Common Ground

The younger version of me envisioned a time, maybe when the kids had grown up or at least gotten a little older when life would get easier. I thought that sometime around 40, I'd have figured this whole thing out and it would be smooth sailing. I'd have confidence and sophistication and problems would be a breeze. As I encountered issues in life, I found myself reaching out for someone who had been there, walked the road and survived it. My first tendency was always to go to my husband, unless he was the source of my annoyance, then my momma, and my peers, and of course, God. But I'd always have a hang up about taking advice from someone that I felt was unqualified. In other words, this person had to have gone through almost exactly what I was dealing with in order for me to feel like I could really take their word for it. Common disqualifiers: 1) not married to a man in ministry 2) not a mother of 4-6 children 3) not homeschooling, or public schooling, or private schooling whatever I was doing at the time 4) I didn't see the fruit in their life of what I wanted to replicate in my own. These are some pretty steep requirements. No wonder I had such a hard time taking anyone's advice, no one out there is just like me...

As I'm getting older, I'm realizing the beauty of commonalities. Having trouble with my teenage daughter...Hey you, have you ever raised a teenage daughter? Yeah? What can you tell me to help me out? Anything at all would help right now... Our stories don't have to be the same, our backgrounds, lifestyles, likes or dislikes. We don't even have to go to Starbucks for coffee. Its just cool to find someone else who's made it down the same slippery slope I'm on right now and can offer some pointers on how to get through a little easier.

These are some of the things I love about being part of a community of believers. Whether at work, school, church, there are people surrounding me that are looking out for back. Not waiting for me to trip and fall over the same root they just fell over, but genuinely reaching out a hand and helping to make my way smoother. I've been burned in the past sharing my story and trying to help others find their way a little easier. But I'm not gonna let that stop me this season. This is the time for letting down your guards and allowing the gift of the testimony that He has given to you to finally be spilled out for His glory. It doesn't have to be a big production, a podcast, news reel. When you find someone going through and you've been there, speak up. You'd be surprised at the good just an encouraging word or two can do.


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