Last Tuesday I spoke at our women’s ministry quarterly coffee house gathering.  I followed two well respected women who spoke with different perspectives on parenting. 

The first shared a message of parenting her children and the spiritual comparison of God parenting us.  The second shared her current views on being a child of God with the history of an abusive father.    I shared the struggle of control in parenting i.e. getting pregnant, miscarriage,children’s health,  and controlling our daily lives– but God is ultimately in control– and does such a better job. Vulnerable, raw, and exposed we all pushed past the nerves to give the wonderful and ugly pieces of our lives so that we may better know each other and God.  Wow. 

I find myself recognizing  how many layers we all have wrapped up in the smile and 30 second hello exchanged on Sunday mornings.  I must confess that I foolishly assumed these women who smiled, seemed happy and otherwise care free,  carried only that very  joy exhibited inside.  That the pain, circumstances, trials and sometimes tragedy recently shared were only possessed by the few.  Turns out that many of the women who shared have had pain and heartache in some manner or another.  Again, how foolish of me to assume a carefree existence. 

I feel odd that I’ve never considered the ‘layers’.  I almost feel ashamed. 

Praise God for our layers.  Praise God that we’re wrapped up in lots of layers that have shaped us into the wonderful women He intends.  Praise God that we can relate to each other so much more intimately because of those layers!


4 thoughts on “Layers

  1. My explaination, which I steal from the book of Romans, is “we have all sinned and fallen short”.. the way I see it, some smile to cover that – unaware of the “all” part, hiding from themselves and others, as though they are the only ones marred.. and others smile, some may say “in spite” of it, or I would say at Lori’s realization: learning it truly is the thread of humanity than strings us all together and ties us to our need of Christ.

    It is neat to see how there is a reward for that vulnerability and pain that all 3 of the women in Lori’s story pushed thru.. as “put together” with the appearance of manifested joy always, I imagine less could relate and connect with them, attempt deep friendship or confession, when compared to sharing their own personal struggles.

    Guess that is why God sent Christ – so we knew he could relate.. and why relational ministry, like Lori’s coffeehouse time, is so effective.

    I find somehow Christian culture has made it a sin in and of itself to be human: to be in the state of need and wrong. Yes, our needs and action are more than not shot thru with sin, but somehow this has translated so people cannot openly be in that state of need or wrong.. and this is where evangelicals shoot themselves in the foot: if there is no true and gaping need, why turn to Christ?

    I’m confronted with the fact that I steal something from others when I cover my sin rather than sharing how Christ does – as these 3 ladies in Lori’s story did.

    Can we let ourselves and others be a little more human?

  2. Charlotte,
    I guess my point is that there is more behind the smile than any of us really know… unless we go deeper into getting aquainted with people. I’ve seen these same women for 2 years and never knew the major trails they’ve faced and in turn how those circumstances have shaped them into the women they are. Hope that’s more clear. Sorry for the confusion;)

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