I stepped out of my “comfort zone” this week. I don’t think many people know that I really, really don’t like “women’s groups”. I don’t usually attend retreats or workshops or meetings or parties that are “ladies only”. I’ve always felt like an imposter in large groups of women. Don’t get me wrong. I like the camaraderie of other women. I love to spend time with co-workers. I like to go out to lunch with friends. I love to talk, talk, talk. But something about those scheduled, pre-planned, programmed, “ladies only” events makes me want to run in the other direction.
I’ve thought about it before and I think some of my panic comes from my early experiences with moving. I was never part of the group. I was never one of the girls. Even after we moved to Caddo and settled down, I was still “that girl who talks funny”. (Kids here made fun of me because I said “forest” instead of “woods”, “aunt” instead of “aint”, “get” instead of “git”, and a dozen other words and phrases of a California girl.) It took me a while to feel like part of my class, part of my community.
Anyway, during the past fifteen years I’ve probably been to about three events that were “ladies only”. So it was a surprise this past Sunday when a young woman in our church specifically asked me to attend this week’s women’s meeting because she was going to speak. She said she felt nervous and it would help her if I attended.
Let this be a lesson to all of us! I’ve had lots of women over the years say “You ought to attend the women’s meeting this week.”, or “Hey, why don’t you join us this week?” But no one has ever before said, “Will you attend for me? Because I need you to be there.” There was no way I could turn her down!
So, I nervously attended my first women’s meeting in about ten years! I suspect God had this planned all along, because it was such a blessing! Not only did I feel comfortable and at peace because I felt I was “serving a purpose”, but I thoroughly enjoyed the fellowship, the food, and the program. My young friend did an excellent job! And something she said encouraged me to tackle a problem at school in a totally different way. The result today was astounding! Something that had been a burden to me for months simply melted away because I changed my approach to it. I guess even an old dog can learn a trick or two!
Now, I’m not going to make any promises, but I hear that next month the program is going to include a talented singer from another church. I just may have to attend again!