back long ago in BC.... (before children)....
I used to say I was a working woman...but apparently that has some unsavory connotations
Because I worked during the day, I was unable to attend the Ladies Bible Study held at my church many of the younger women attended.
Thankfully, there was an evening Ladies Bible study group that met on Thursday evenings - but all of the women were closer to the age of my mom, than to me.
Did I mention my husband was deployed all the time?
He was home so rarely I garnered raised eyebrows whenever I sat next to him in church!
So, because he was gone all the time, my nights were
And you know what? That Bible study - that group of women - impacted my life greatly. I was challenged to be a faithful daughter of God, a dependable wife, a woman who sought to live a life of thanksgiving - regardless of my situation.
It is amazing the perspective I gained on MY struggles when I learned about what these women - who seemed to have life "set" - had been through. My initial assumptions about them - who they were, what their lives had held, what their lives were like presently - were completely wrong. I had assumed because they were always encouraging and kind, their lives were cake; they had not known sorrow; the future was clear to them.
Not one bit of those assumptions was accurate.
They just knew the Peace-giver. They were well-acquainted with the Great Physician. They had walked through dark valleys - valleys darker than anything I've encountered - and God had led their every step.
Perhaps I could have gotten all of that from a group of early-20's women who were either single or also newly-married.
But I kind of doubt it.
The kindness, humility, and steadfast faith I saw modeled by each of those women is rarely found in people who have not seen God's grace through great adversity.
Young women would have shown me I wasn't alone in my struggles.
But the women in that group showed me struggle is not unique to an age or phase of life - that God would get me through whatever He placed in my path, and that commiserating is rarely a wise decision.
What a blessing it was that my husband was on an oft-deployed ship...
that I worked when I didn't know many other young-married-women doing the same....
because sometimes the very best thing for you -
is exactly what you don't want.