photography by Anthony
In the host of words shared between women friends, especially amid colliding hormones, sometimes something gets said that leaves the other pondering the old familiar question: "What in the world was that supposed to mean?"
Insecurity will rob us of some of the richest woman-to-woman relationships of our lives.
~excerpts from the book So Long, Insecurity by Beth Moore
That's what I said to her. As if it would make up for the words I had just said. As if "just kidding" would be enough for her to not truly ponder whether or not I really was. Because isn't it true that there is always a little truth in our teasing?
I hadn't seen her or spoken to her in about a week or two. So, I teasingly said, "Did I do something wrong? I haven't heard from you." The look on her face said it all... she started wondering to herself if not only I had done something wrong... but had she done something wrong that would cause me to question her.
And as if to make it all better... I said "just kidding" but it was too late... I had handed her a one-way ticket to insecurity. And I knew it.
God was so gracious to bring our paths alongside each other yesterday at church. And we even had a moment to speak just between the two of us. And thankfully, we know each other well enough that I could say, "I'm sorry I said that." And she admitted that she had at first mulled over whether or not she had done something wrong... but also reasoned that I had not contacted her during the same time. Which was so very true.
One of the questions for the So Long, Insecurity discussion group this week is:
Name a couple of ways pertinent to your sphere of life and influence that you could look out for your own gender in our battle with insecurities. In other words, how can you (not others but you in particular) start becoming part of the solution in your female relationships rather than default into part of the problem. No condemnation here. Goodness knows, we’ve all been both. Our challenge is to learn to be deliberate. How are you prepared to do that?And I realized that in my insecurity of "jokingly" asking my dear sister why she hadn't contacted me... I defaulted into part of the problem. I not-so-graciously allowed my insecurity to become contagious... and it was viral!
And in apologizing to my friend, I thanked the Lord that He had very clearly given me an example of how dealing with my insecurities can enable someone else's. And that with a little forethought I might have reasoned that we had both been busy through the week of Spring Break... and that I shared in the responsibility of the communication... or lack thereof.
And so in my desire to be part of the solution... learning to be deliberate in making my security contagious... I have decided to ban "just kidding" from my vocabulary. No excuses. I love you all too much to be pushing your head under water... when you are already drowning.
But please realize... if I am quiet around you... and appear to be struggling with words... it is because I am making a conscious decision to not just fill the emptiness with words... words that could end up... even unintentionally... being hurtful.
Let your conversation be always full of grace,
seasoned with salt,
so that you may know how to answer everyone.
So, when you are waiting for me to share my words of wisdom... I may just be swishing a little salt around in my mouth... and praying that my words bring encouragement. It may take a while for me to get there... but hey, you are worth it!