When Sisters Gather

A couple Fridays ago, I had the honor and privilege of speaking about my journey and sharing a word.  I had never done anything like this before and it was honestly one of the most amazing and FUN nights! There is something powerful that happens when women gather for the purpose of growing, learning together, and cheering each other on. When my mom and I were driving home that night, I remember her telling me that I had a great group of girls there, like we were a bunch of old friends. The truth is though, at the time, I only knew about half of the girls that attended. I thought it was so cool that God brought us all together and had it perfectly timed. He is so kind like that. There wasn’t a hint of comparison. Or judgy-ness…I don’t think that’s a word, but you know what I mean. There was just a real and raw sense of love and acceptance. I have only experienced something like this a few times but I feel when women gather with Jesus truly at the center, this sisterhood relationship and friendship is present. I have kept thinking about this night and what I shared with the girls. So much so that I wanted to share here, what I shared with them:

“I have been learning a lot about identity and how everything flows from that.  When we know who we are and who we belong to we can do anything! Dan Mohler says “If the tree is good, the fruit will be good.” WOW! It is so simple but somehow, we make it more complicated.

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John 15:4-5 says “I am the vine and you are branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”  I always thought the “remain in me” part meant I had to check all boxes. I had to read my bible every day, wake up very early to pray, serve, give, go to church every Sunday, etc. While none of those things are bad or wrong; they are all actually good things, when healthy. But for me, I thought I had to “do all this stuff” to basically stay in God’s good graces. I thought I had to earn this relationship. BUT “remain in me” is actually about Fellowship not Relationship.

My relationship with God is settled. I am His Daughter. That is my identity. That relationship cannot change, no matter how much I do or don’t do. That is who I am and who you are (or a Son). I have family members that I have relationship with but I haven’t seen them in years. We are still related but I don’t have fellowship with them. The fellowship is where we grow in our relationship. For example, Shane (my youngest boy) is learning to speak. He says things that to someone who isn’t around very much isn’t going to know at all what he is saying (that baby gibberish). But I am with him all the time. I know what he is saying.  We have fellowship. It makes me think of John 10:27 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me”. The sheep know His voice because they have fellowship. They are with the shepherd.

As I have developed this fellowship and communion with God, He has begun to tear down these lies that I have believed. One of the big ones: the fear of man, comparing myself to anyone and everyone, and being concerned with others thought. When I felt like the Lord was prompting me to begin writing more and start my blog, I was SUPER scared. It took some time, and even now, I still take a LONG time to click publish! It was something God put on my heart to start but it was scary. Around the same time that I was thinking about starting my blog, a few other people in my life were starting similar type things. I remember feeling so down and defeated, like they had beat me to it. I started thinking I can’t now because she already did, why would they read mine, and what could I say.  I heard the Lord tell me when admiration becomes adoration. I went to look up these two words admire and adore. Admire means to delight in, regard with respect, and appreciate. But adore means to worship, glorify, and exalt. I think we probably use these two words interchangeably but the truth is they aren’t the same.

I believe sometimes in our “Christian culture” it is very easy for us to look at a friend, a leader, a pastor, a family member, or anyone and say, “Wow I really love the way she is able to do that or this. Way to go girl! I think that is amazing” (Admire). And then, if our identity isn’t settled, it can change so quickly to, “I wish I could be like her. I could never do what she does and have what she has” (Adore). I don’t know about you but I believe there is a fine line between looking at someone and seeing goals for yourself to improve and grow and goals to BECOME someone else.

I knew then the Lord was showing me that there are things I am called to do that only I can do. And the TRUTH is no one else could do what YOU are called to do and the way you are called to do it. When we get caught up adoring other people’s calling, we miss out on our own calling.

I played a song for the girls. “Catch the Wind” by Bethel. These are lyrics that really stuck out to me:

I am bold, no fear inside
Spread my wings, open my life
Like an eagle, whose home is the sky
I’m gonna catch the wind
I’m gonna catch the wind

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When eagles are getting ready to fly, they stand on the branch and start flapping their wings. When I watched YouTube videos on it, I felt like the birds flapped their wings FOR.E.VER(The Sandlot). Is there something you are still flapping your wings about? Aren’t you ready to fly? I want to encourage you to JUMP! He will catch you. Don’t look at what she is doing or not doing. It is time to stop looking around at all the other birds, adoring their colors, and flying skills, and JUMP. If He wanted you to look like her, fly like her, and the same way as her, He would have. I’m sure those baby eagles are scared to jump but they were made to fly so they do it. They find the wind and jump.”

 

This night was so special to me and I hope to be part of more like it! I hope this has encouraged you, just as much as I felt it did when my sisters and I gathered together.

To listen to the song “Catch the Wind” by Bethel click here.

With Love, 

Ashley

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