Monday, December 3, 2012

The Art of Conversation

Today we have a guest post from Sarah Van Beveren.  
I was never the kid who could run and jump into the deep end of the pool. I could be found on the stairs in the shallow end, letting each part of my body adjust to the temperature before going further. I wanted to just run and jump into the deep, to not care about how cold the water was, to believe that it would only last a second before it felt warm. But I had too much fear, and not enough trust.

I find myself approaching friendships the same way I approach swimming.

I sit on the stairs and chat about the safe things. Children and recipes, shopping and the everyday details.

And safe things can be good things, because they’re real. But often I forget that my goal is to swim.

And usually, the longer I stay in the shallow end, the scarier the deep end looks.

I long to just dive right in. To forget the chit-chat and start with the heart. But twenty years later, I still have too much fear and not enough trust. Too much me, and not enough God.


I’m learning though, that small talk has a part and is important. But I’m trying to view it as more than just casual words. I’m trying to listen to the unspoken things they say about the woman speaking them. Her dreams, her passions, her struggles. Who God has wired her to be. I want to get to know her. And I want to weave these small words into the larger, life-giving words.

Connecting is tough, isn’t it? Letting someone see the real you, a messy life clinging to grace? I place the opinion of other women above that of God and I let pride get in the way of authentic relationships and authentic living. I’ll show you my weakness and my sins, as long as you show me yours first.

But can you imagine it? A community of women, united together in grace and being real. No competition, no envy, no fear of rejection. Just a desire to see God glorified in our lives?

And the truth is, we have nothing to fear in baring our souls. We are already loved and already accepted and already forgiven.

And that woman in front of you? She doesn’t need your perfection. Just like you, she needs someone to remind her that it’s okay to not be okay. Showing each other our need for Jesus is the start of a beautiful friendship.

Is there someone you can bless today by opening up?

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