What Women Want (and don’t even know it)
This past weekend I had the opportunity to travel to Myrtle Beach, SC with a group of women from our local church for a conference. I‘ve attended in the past, but it had been quite a few years since I had gone. When I first committed a couple of months ago, it seemed far off and fun…but the closer it got, the fuller my calendar became, and the more overwhelming it felt to think about preparing to leave my fam again. (If you can relate, say AMEN!)
Woody and I had just returned from another trip, I had unfinished work commitments, on top of the fact that I knew I would come home to dirty laundry and a long To-Do List. Feeling super tired and unprepared, I packed my belongings into a suitcase the night before I left, questioning if it would all be worth it.
Fast forward to the next day, and after a fun car ride full of much needed convos about kids, dirty houses, makeup and fashion…we arrived at our hotel. Once we got to the suite (which slept 10 of us) I was dripping wet with sweat and second guessing the wardrobe choices I had made for the unexpected 80 degree beach weather. All of my suite mates began to arrive, most of which I’ve known for 20+ years. The rooms were buzzing with mothers and grandmothers happy and giddy to have time away. We went to work unpacking, putting away groceries, and planning the next two days.
I laid down on my designated bed and realized how physically exhausted I was. Suddenly, I felt a few seconds of regret as the “what-ifs” crowded my brain.
What if I am miserable the whole time from being tired?
What if I’m dripping sweat at every meeting because I didn’t pack short sleeve clothes?
What if I was at home watching movies and eating pizza with my fam right now?
Then my thoughts shifted to other things…ten women, two bathrooms. “I think I’m getting too old for this, lol” I texted to my husband, Woody. After a few deep breaths, I quickly gained control of my negative thinking and headed to the kitchen to help my friends prep for dinner before heading to our first big gathering in the conference room.
Once downstairs I got excited to see all of the other women and my heart filled with anticipation. I knew the Lord was reminding me that being there wasn’t about looking cute or having 5 star accommodations…it was about giving and receiving, making memories and building relationships.
Over the next two days, we experienced amazing praise and worship, (my favorite) were ministered to by anointed women of God, and stayed up til 2am laughing like carefree school girls. It wasn’t until I got home and started relaying all of the stories to Woody that I realized how much I needed that refreshing.
Women need other women. We need girlfriends, community and people in our lives we can be transparent with. In other cultures, people (especially women) rely on one another to help in their daily lives, but in Western culture we have no-contact delivery, avoid talking by texting, and sometimes go to great lengths to keep from interfacing. We create a wall of loneliness around us that feels so familiar we don’t even recognize it.
I could have stayed home this past week. I could have blamed my busy schedule and given into the guilt of leaving my family to avoid the hassle of the trip. Then, I would have missed out on the chance to let down the walls I occasionally build around myself and receive all that the Lord had for me this weekend.
Whether it‘s building new friendships or making time for old ones, it’s not always easy or convenient to be a friend. Making time for small groups, volunteering or other things that build relationships require sacrifice. But it’s also an investment into our future, our spirit and an investment into our mental health. You don’t have to go out of town to make those investments. You can plan a girls night at your house, meet for coffee or attend a Bible Study. Whatever it is, just do it. You will be so glad that you did!