Sometimes in this busy, noisy online world you find yourself surrounded by women who simply shine. They’re the kind of women who can sit in a circle and share one word God is using in their lives and make you laugh and cry over the glory and grace of it all. They’re storytellers, world changers, generations of women who are doing what God has called them to do in the big and brave and the small and scared. These are the women who walk and live and breath the Gospel.
And sometimes when you’re in a room full of women like that, it’s easy to feel small. To feel like your voice is too quiet, too harsh, too unfocused. It’s easy to wonder what part of this race you’re really in – are you on the track, ready to take the next baton, or are you on the sidelines cheering and watching it all pass by.
But if you pause long enough you’ll catch the little moment. The one where those race runners look over and give you a little nod, a quick smile, a reassuring hand squeeze as they pass by. The kind of assurance you could miss if you’re focused on the big and the loud. These women run their race and hold out a hand to bring along the next group simply by taking two minutes to whisper “You’re doing a great job. We’re so glad you’re here.”
And those women? The ones with a wealth of knowledge about writing and speaking and leading out in community? They teach me. They show me what it’s like to finish strong, to be willing to pass the baton of leadership and ministry to someone new because they know in their heart that it means someone else can run faster and further than they could have ever gone on their own.
These are the women leading their generation and teaching the next. These are the women who show me what it means to be generous, to live a life that is inviting and inclusive. They teach me to value the differences in my sisters and to pursue the opportunities God has given me with courage. These women? They make me brave, and they encourage me to finish well this part of the course God has me on before throwing it away in favor of the next newer, shinier, fancier thing.
And to Lisa-Jo, who dreamed and created and loved on this rag tag community of five minute writers – thank you. Thank you for leading out in your strengths, and for teaching us how to do it well. Thank you for every word of encouragement, every affirmation, every call to be brave when we feel the most scared. Thank you for giving me a reason and a place to write in the hard seasons. And thank you for showing us all what it looks like to finish beautifully – I can’t wait to see what new baton God lays in those open hands, my friend.