Grace that Overcomes.
There are few things in life quite like the glory of friendship.
My entire life I have more negative female experiences than positive ones. Perhaps this isn't true, it is better to declare that I have had more than my fair share of the extreme in this department.
As a youth I was the "outsider" in my church youth group. At school I had girlfriends I hung around with, had common clubs or classes with, but it wasn't uncommon for them to behave "uniquely" toward me. If not at first--eventually. But there have been a few along the way that have stuck by my side and stayed. And in my young adult years I found a few rich nuggets in women who I am still friends with to this day.
My husband says that men and women can't be friends. The first time he told me this I was shocked because most of my youth many of my good friends were guys. I have one that is still in my life today and is probably closer to friends with my husband than I.
I always found it easier I guess. Girls were just a little too emotional for me and I never knew what I was going to get. I guess there's a reason they liken a woman to a cat. Guys friends were less drama (and to this day the women who have stuck and stayed are just as low drama as I am--we don't partake). I guess now I can see my husbands angle. Men don't think like women. For a myriad of reason for this I am enormously grateful. I am definitely not a feminist. There's a difference between the mantle God reserves for men and what He gives to women. Both stellar, but not the same. But I have zero doubt God has wired me to adore all of his humanity and I see with equal eyes all His Love and possibility in both genders (and yes, I still believe there is beauty in gender identification). I love them all!
There is true beauty in friendship....
I realize now why I had more than the norm of female rejection or jealous behavior growing up. God used it to create in me a heart that is accepting of everyone. I look at everyone and see beauty. The world looks at what can be seen with the eyes. But real eyes...God's Kind eyes, see deeper.
I recall many years ago, I was maybe 24 years of age, I had an older female tell me that God doesn't usually make a woman both smart and beautiful. If she is beautiful she isn't usually very smart. I sat and listened and chewed on what she said (before completely dismissing it in my head!)--and I wondered. First, I wondered why she was saying this to me. Second, I was curious which category she was mentally placing me in? This right here is a prime example of my lifetimes experience with women. Am I suggesting I am both? Not at all! One way to be humble in your thoughts about yourself is to surround yourself with others more qualified than you. I guarantee my whole life my girlfriends were prettier than me and outsmarted me in the books!
Here's what I now know...
Every time a woman or girl tried to hurt me (or tries because it still happens)--It was because she was hurting. And her pain usually had nothing to do with me. And God used every ounce of it to groom me in His Perfection. Always knowing I wasn't perfect nor would ever become perfect, but to bloom within me a deep compassion for the hurting and wounded. He has given me the Grace that Overcomes.
Imagine for a moment in your minds eye...two little girls giggling together and scampering about. Laughing and enjoying the friendship of each other. One little girl leans in to her friend, cups her hand, and whispers a secret into her friends ear.
Once we've grown we don't generally "whisper secrets" in our friends ears any longer, but we can have a friendship with God like none other. With this friendship comes an intimacy of heart that is full of good advice.
He is the voice of a faithful friend whispering into your ear. He reminds you of your longevity, comforts you with the knowledge of what you've been through, but encourages you in resilience and break through. He will allow nothing evil to come near you. In fact, He knows how to turn a crooked or crumbling road straight and smooth. So just stay on the path He has made. He is a most loyal friend.
Follow your faith, not your feelings, listen to the voice of your Father. Sometimes, when God trusts you, He will send you into shadowy places to extract a blessing...but He goes with you.
Be encouraged! Gods designs for your life are always Bright. He takes away the Night and breaks forth with Glorious Sun Light. He's got you covered.
"And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left." John 16:13