You know the one. She’s across the room, and immediately you know it. She has it all together. She might have great hair and style and friends laughing around her, but what really makes your soul shrink is something it’s harder to put your finger on. Looking at her, you’re convinced she’s discovered some secret to life that has eluded you, something that is wrapped in, but lies beyond confidence or success or beauty. She has it, and she has it, and her too. Not you.
I was part of a women’s retreat at my church on Saturday that upended the scenario above. Perhaps this is not surprising. At Triune, we’re pretty good at going ahead and admitting we don’t have it all together, and the ways we don’t have it together are as varied as our lives. I’ve never been with a group of women with whom I felt such warmth and safety, acceptance and peace. Our few hours together were so life-giving.
The retreat’s theme was “What’s Calling You Now?” We first spent time considering the idea of calling or vocation. We took personality tests that encouraged us to dig more deeply into how we react to new situations, what our gifts might be, and the spiritual practices that will build our strengths but not feed into our weaknesses. We pondered the journey toward our calling as a voyage toward authenticity, toward offering our particular gift to the world.
I came away excited to continue delving into becoming the unique woman God has created me to become. There’s no secret ease to being that other woman knows. I sat with women middle-aged and older, lovely and wise, asking and answering, speaking and silent. All on the same path to becoming comfortable in our own soul-skins.
So the next time you see that woman across the room, catch her eye and smile. She has strengths and weaknesses, gifts and things that trip her up. She’s on her way, just like you, just like me.