I’ve never been a good fangirl. When I was at Declare Conference in July I did go talk to Kat Lee because when else am I going to meet Kat Lee? At Influence Conference last year I had my picture taken with Ruth Simons and Erin Loechner. But as much as I admire these ladies and learn different things from them I know they are just women. They’ve wanted to pull their hair out in frustration at ten in the morning when the baby is crying and a toddler is clawing at their legs. They’ve had to apologize to their husband more than once (a day) because of a bad attitude or a snippy tone. They’ve also gone to bed at night discouraged with where they are in life and how much they have left to learn.
They are just like me and they are just like you. However, I’m thankful that they don’t allow that to stop them from sharing what they’ve learned. They don’t let the fact that they’re human keep them from using the talents God’s given them to help others. They keep writing, keep podcasting, keep painting because they have a story and they want to help people.
Phylicia and I receive quite a few emails from podcast listeners who lament that they don’t have advisers. There’s no one in their lives to ask their questions about sex, motherhood, and marriage. There’s no one willing to invest in their lives and get involved and see the mess and not run away.
Often we don’t like people to ask serious questions because it makes us notice our own problems. We don’t have a perfect marriage so how can we say anything about theirs? We don’t do motherhood perfectly- just last week our kids broke the chandelier while we were in the bathroom. We don’t know how to be a godly woman or a mama that balances work and the babies. What do we have to offer someone else?
I totally get that. That’s my biggest qualm about blogging honestly; it always has been. I know my mess well. But there are women who have greatly contributed to my life because they have gotten involved even when they had their own mess.
Anne Watson was one of my favorite speakers at Declare Conference. She gave this wonderful example for all the women who felt like they weren’t qualified to write or teach or do whatever God has put on their hearts. She said something like “If you were at TJ Maxx and the woman shopping in the same aisle as you suddenly fell over you wouldn’t back away declaring, “I’m not qualified to help. Is anyone qualified to help?” You’d rush over and check for a pulse and scream for someone to call 911.
God’s not waiting on perfect people to use. All the people in the Bible were messy people. David was a man after God’s own heart and he made some ridiculously stupid decisions. Solomon started out as the wisest man in the world and ended up saying that nothing mattered because he chased the wrong things. God uses ordinary people who want to serve Him.
I’m not excusing my mess or your mess. Obviously the goal is to walk with God, grow in obedience and grace, and get more of our mess in line with His Word. The next step, which is much harder, is opening up to someone a little farther behind us in some area.
Young women are looking around and asking where the older women are. Who’s willing to share what they know from a Biblical perspective? Who’s willing to let me share my problems and my insecurities and offer truth instead of judgment? Who cares enough to give me some time? They aren’t looking for perfect women. They are looking for available women.
We don’t need fangirls and “idols.” We need women who know each other and pray for each other. We need women who are willing to share what they’ve learned without feeling like they have to know it all. We need women willing relate some of their own mess to offer hope to someone else.
May we all be “older women.” There is always someone coming along right behind us.