You know that feeling? The one where someone has just been completely understanding, but beyond that, they heard you and reflected a resonance back? I’ve had two such encounters this week, and each time, I walked away from the conversation feeling energized, respected and encouraged. Sometimes I forget how important it is to feel that way–and how important it is to be intentional, surrounding myself with people who sync up with who I am and what I believe. It’s important to me to be that person in other people’s lives as well.
By the same token, it’s important to make time for relationships that challenge who we are and what we believe. There’s a delicate balance, I think, between this being productive and dangerous, but when we’re challenged by others, we’re given amazing opportunities to grow–not just to strengthen who we are and what we stand for, but to increase in grace and patience and Christlike love for others.
The conversations that were so life-giving to me this week were such because they revolved around something I’m passionate about–something that really, truly matters to me. And I can downplay how I feel in my mind all of the time when I come up against people who have a strong difference of opinion, or who just don’t understand my point of view. Aligning myself with people who affirm what I believe gives me clarity and the ability to step forward with courage and tenacity. I feel like the passions God has begun in me grow stronger and more steadfast, and I learn even more about who I am.
Significant life changes–like making a big move to somewhere new, shifting careers, breaking relationships, becoming parents–all of these things give us cause to stop and evaluate the life we’ve built around us. Who do we associate with? How do we conduct ourselves? What in our lives do we want to see change? To stay the same? How do we continue to become the people we feel called to be? I love this honing and refining process and how it shapes us, and I’m grateful to be in such a season at this moment.
These days, I’m seeking life-giving conversations. Friendships with people who are passionate about the things I’m passionate about, and who will love and encourage the woman in me that God is calling me to become. I’ll happily embrace the challenging, stretching interactions that cause me to grow in virtue and grace, but some of the very best relationships in my life do just that without casualty, and I’m going to embrace those first as I become a new mom. Life-giving. Not robbing, not stagnant, not stale. Instead, breathing joy and hope and grace in and out of days as we interact and do life together. The way that I believe God intended for relationship.
feeling heard. and grateful,