Not too long ago, I shared some thoughts about things I learned at a recent Bridal Shower. I want to share a few more.
The Bride-to-be grew up in our church, but has since moved on. Her Grandmother however, is still a faithful member. Grandma’s Sunday School class, “The Homemakers” were the hostesses for the shower.
The “Homemakers” had a picture made together at the shower. I was struck by their beauty as they laughed and joked about who would stand in the front, and who wanted to stand behind someone else so she’d be hidden. I got tickled because these ladies were acting JUST like my friends and I do when we take a group picture. Then I remembered something my mom said when I was a teenager...”I still FEEL like I’m 18. I’m the same person, I just look different.” Watching these ladies throw their shoulders back and suck in their tummies for their picture, I wondered “Do they still feel 36?” I think they must.
They have been friends for AGES…some since they were my age. They have celebrated together at weddings, and at births of grandchildren….and they have cried together and prayed for wayward children and grandchildren….and they have mourned the loss of husbands, children, siblings, and parents. I was thinking how cool it must be to have been friends for so long, and how great it would be to know what they know.
I admire them for not giving up. I admire them for holding on to each other. I admire them, plain and simple. It is hard to think of any of these “Grand Dames” bursting into tears because her newborn won’t sleep or won’t eat or won’t stop crying. It is hard to imagine any of these ladies as new brides with a life of uncertainty stretched out before her. I found myself wishing I could stand in their shoes…see life from their perspective.
I realized….the only way to get to where they are is to keep going. That may not make sense. I guess the thought was born out of something in the Bible study we are doing, “Beautiful Offering”. In this Bible study, Angela Thomas said that sometimes the only way to get through something is to…well…go through it (“walk through” is the terminology she uses). So as I am sitting at the shower with these women…most of them the Matriarchs of their families, a new appreciation for them was born in my heart and I began to wonder “what have they ‘walked through’?” What RICH memories they must have! It occurs to me that, in order for me to have what they have, I must keep walking …. through marriage, through parenting, through church, through friendships…..I admire them, not so much for their age, but for the things they have “walked through” to get where they are.
I have adopted a new motto. When I find myself falling to pieces because the laundry is piling up, my best friend’s kid got in trouble at school, another friend’s brother had to give his baby daughter back to Jesus because of a heart defect, I miss my mom and she lives 6 hours away, my husband STILL won’t unload the dishwasher, my 4 year old won’t sleep through the night, and I have to stop at least one morning each week and double check to make sure I have all my clothes on and that my shoes match (my outfit and each other)…I take a deep breath and tell myself to “walk on”. Just take the next step. One foot in front of the other. I think of those beautiful women posing for a picture at a bridal shower, still radiant after years of putting one foot in front of the other. I want to be them one day. In order to get to where they are, I just have to…
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Titus 2:3-5