Am I Your Stumbling Block
By Jana Ferree on August 20, 2014
I have had the same group of girlfriends for years. Im talking 4th grade some of them. We are all so different that time would be the bind that keeps us together. One of those "we are friends because it's always been that way" type of friendships. Let me introduce them so you can paint a mental picture.
Ashley would be our sporty spice, she's strong, daring and athletic. She plays baseball, runs marathons and loves water sports. She is considerate and structured. Organized and self sufficiant. She is beautiful and natural and has a gorgeous soul.
Beth is gentle, one of those fun in a group and precious one on one type of people. Such sweet memories I made with her before she moved to seattle last year. She is mature and classy but I can sway her. Last year we were shopping in the city and I got a flat tire so we called tripple AAA, a very nice older man let us wait in his truck while he changed our tire. Beth was anything but happy with me when I decided it would be fun to take selfies with his unsupervised cell phone he left in his truck. She began giving me the " mom tone" warning me to put it back, shes careful and trust worthy.
Nikki is just cool. She's aristic and creative. Her house looks like a pinterest museum. Her kids have cool names like Evie and Corbin. She wore owl accessories before they were in style and shes adopting a baby from China. She's a dance teacher, youth group leader and world travelor and I am decived when hanging out with her because I start to think Im cool too just by having her rub off on me. ( I assure you tho , I am not cool)
Lindsay is organized and the closets thing to perfection I have ever encoutered. After adopting a new born and 5 months later giving birth to a newborn I was so excited to go see her in her sweats , thrown up hair and disaster, survial mode of a house. Good grief if I wasn't ticked to walk into a perfectly clean home with 2 sleeping babies and a mama with her hair curled and wearing skinny jeans with a big smile saying " hey girls come in , are you hungry" ...psh but she is kind, convicted and compassionate and I love her to death.
and finally my Megs. Megan is beauty and she has a gift for beauty and she makes every thing around her beautiful. Wither it is canvas, walls, old furnature, hair, photography, or her own closet she makes things beautiful. She truly reflects the beauty of Christ. Beauty is welcoming, inviting and comforting and so is Megan. I have loved this girl for 22 years. She is my sister and Im her project. ;)
These girls are powerful because groups of women are powerful. Groups of women can be visious, hurtful and destructive....or they can be encouraging , beautiful and can breath life into you. These girlfriends of mine have two things in common, fashion and Jesus. They breath Life into me.
Now with that being said here is my point. Sometimes it takes people who know you to pull you back to where you are supposed to be,but are we too busy falsifying the way our lives look for acceptance and is this false image causeing others to paint a false image to keep up as well? After having Mason my life turned into a train wreck. Pregnancy is hard, after pregnancy is harder. I lost my self, I felt old, and tired. I didnt look like those magazine moms. I looked like I got hit by a bus. I didnt want intimacy with my husband, I didnt want to go shopping. I didnt want to hang out with my gorgeous girlfriends. I just wanted diet pills, and designer bags. I wanted to inhale this life I felt stuck in and exhale this pinterest culture, where my hair was pretty and fitness was my friend. Where my house was a showcase and my meals won over my husband. People often see me as a "fun" girl, life of the party, funny, confident, sarcastic and witty. Good marriage and cool kid. In all actuality thats what I want to them to think because actually I am insecure, restless, and axious around people. I would rather stay home and read or watch fox news, and when I read im talking war novels and presidential documentarys not cool hipster stuff. I had a girl tell me once at a Bible study " I want Jana's marriage, I am jealous when I see them walk into church together cute and in love. She doesnt see that my marriage is a covenant made to me protected and nurtured a safe place but often like most marriages its hard and used as a punching bag. We know the others weakness and we go straigth for that akealeis heel most days. We throw out words that are like needles penatraitig the lung and slowly letting the air out, leaving eachother breathless and trying to sustain life. They dont see that I question my motives for my faith, I feel used up in the darkness with my husband and I feel like im stubling through my life with my child as the liability. What if church language spoke not just stumbling blocks are a dressing modestly campaign but that a stumbling block can be presenting perfection that doesnt exist. What if we took off our masks, would others have the freedom to as well. Then we could start to support eachother in these life trenches and start to find our way out. Watching Jesus, and encouraging eachother to be on the look out as well. Do we stumble over eachothers false perfections? Does Megan feel judged. Does Nikki feel inspired, Does Lindsay feel exhausted, Does Ashley feel weak and does Beth feel free...Do I allow them to unmask or am I too busy labeling. Im sorry if you ever saw me as a "got it all together example kinda chick", but if you see me as a trainwreck , survial mode, but somehow makeing it day to day , then your right on and all is Grace.