For Her: Wading Through Together
Last year I spoke at For Her and it was the most surreal night of my 2017 and I met the Backstreet Boys in 2017, so there was some fierce competition.
Female friendships have always been a challenge for me. I worry a lot that I’m too much and yet simultaneously not nearly enough. I’m a lot to handle, and yet not very interesting. Too honest, yet somehow holding back. Too light-hearted and jokey, yet somehow just a real bummer to be around. And I find that more often than not when I leave a social interaction with another female I spend a lot of the drive away from them criticizing the things I may have said or done wrong.
It’s pretty exhausting, yeah. Thanks for noticing. I think it may have started when some of the girls I was best friends with in middle school kicked me out of the talent show skit that I wrote and replaced me with some other girl and I’m still not even really sure why.
So it was surreal to stand onstage and try to encourage the women of Summit to take seriously how important it is that we be in friendships with other women. ‘Cause I don’t always love being in friendships with other women. It was surreal writing a talk about something that Lord knows—no, seriously, the Lord knows—I struggle with daily. But that’s kind of his mode of operation with me and maybe you too.
I didn’t know when I was writing that talk how much I, a year later, would desperately need to be mindful of what he was teaching me then. How much it would matter that I learn to trust the women in my life, to show them my gaping wounds and my ludicrous shortcomings and let them draw me closer, wipe my bountiful tears, remind me of Jesus’ even-more-bountiful and unflinching grace. God used me to teach me that there is tremendous value in letting another woman look you in the eye and say “me too” and to lock arms with you and wade through this world that seemingly goes out of its way to crash on and around us.
Each year when we start promoting For Her it’s kind of just a no brainer that women will be excited, that they’ll show up. Check the comments on our Instagram post if you don’t believe me; women love this event and they want to attend it. And I sincerely hope they will and that you will too—be there. It’s a great event and you can glean a lot of wisdom just sitting in that room.
But I hope this year more women take seriously the gift an event like this bestows upon us. A bunch of women in a room who are doing their best to follow Jesus and have their own unique stories and paths and hurts and worries and fears who might just benefit from a cup of coffee and the chance to be heard, understood, celebrated.
Show up in that room and ask someone’s name during the meet-and-greet. Don’t tune out the details that will point you toward a Connect group. Resist the urge to pop up at the end and rush out the door and get to the next thing you have jotted down in your Rifle Paper Company planner. Maybe you’ve convinced yourself your life is too busy or your phone already buzzes too often with group texts and obligations, and I hear you, I do. I feel the weight and the stresses of this chaotic, hurting world too. But it’s in the understanding I find in the faces of the women who love me that I feel a little lighter. It’s in the follow-up texts to see how that work-thing is going and the consistent reminders that she’s on my team that I am reminded that Jesus places people in our lives to reveal himself more fully to us. That he uses our relationships to point us to him. That maybe there’s someone out there who has a similar story to mine who needs to share it, needs to hear I understand and empathize with it, and who would never ever kick me out of her talent show skit.
Our four-week speaker series for women, For Her, is starting Monday, July 16th at 6:30 p.m. at the Herndon Campus. We hope to see you there!
Katie Schmidt is the Content Coordinator at Summit Church, which means that pretty much anything you can read at Summit, she either wrote, edited, or coordinated. If you would like to get in touch with her to ask her a question, hear the story of how she met the Backsreet Boys, or to bum her out and let her know that you found a typo somewhere, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.