The Best Boss of Us.

Things are often not what they seem. I can testify firsthand to this, and I have proof.

That’s a snapshot of my email in box. First, please do not judge. Yes, I order from Amazon frequently. And sometimes in the wee hours of the morning. Amazon is my kind of shopping because it requires virtually zero effort on my part. But that is not my story today. My story is about that first email in the box. Do you see that? $7.99 for a case of paper. Now, Amazon might be my fave place to shop, but $7.99 for a case of paper got my attention. I go through paper like I go through cupcakes. But then this:

So the paper doesn’t really cost $7.99; it costs $47.99. They might give you $40 back in rewards, but hello! They do not sell cute sandals at Office Depot, and it’s not likely I need $40 worth of something else there. Shame on you, Office Depot. Things are often not what they seem.

And that’s true with us, too. If you put all the people reading this email into a room together, we’d be a pretty awesome group. I’m going to paint with a broad brush here, but just stay with me. We would be “churched up” people. Educated and employed. Able to put food on the table and go out to eat. Drive a nice car. Have cute clothes in the closet. Get our hair done at a salon and probably our nails and toes, too.

But here’s the truth: Things are often not what they seem. And I know this because I share my faith journey not only with the women behind the fences, but also with the ones I described above. I’m in that second group, but the only real difference is this: Our struggles and hurt and pain are carefully camouflaged behind a middle class Christian facade. But. They. Are. There.

Over the past several years, I’ve spoken to hundreds of women. Usually these are large group settings that are not terribly intimate. I always tell the women that if they need prayer to call me, text me, email me, write me a note. And they do. Even when they barely know me. Even when they might not ever see me again. They share their deepest hurts and sometimes even their darkest secrets. And I pray like crazy for them.

Several months ago, I decided to start doing something similar at our monthly GloryDays workshops. As everyone is preparing to leave, I tell them that if they have a prayer request they can write it on the back of their name tag, leave it on the table, and I will pray for them. And they do. And I read and pray over those name tags over and over and over again. And I am reminded that we all have our pain. Whether it’s a financial situation or marriage trouble. A rebellious child or a devastating illness. The hurt and struggle is real, even if we “wear” it a little better than others. Things are often not what they seem. Life is hard. Everyone’s life is hard. No one has it together. Everyone has their struggles.

But you know what? It’s so much easier when we share the load. When we link arms and recognize we’re in this together. When we battle for each other in prayer. When we become more than acquaintances and even more than friends. We become sisters… family… and we stick together to do this thing called faith and life.

My encouragement to each of us: Look a little deeper. Love a little harder. Link arms and sister on!

Let God’s love be the boss of us! “Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love.” John 15:12 MSG

{ If you need someone to link arms and sister on with you, please email me! We’ll let God be our boss together! }

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