By Debbie Altman
I didn’t have a sister and my adopted mother was absent during my late teens and twenties, then passed away when I was twenty-eight years old. By the grace of God and a girl named Martha, I became Christian when I was eighteen and began to discover the power of community within the church.
When I had no choice but to move from my home as a college student, Carole took me in and loved on me. She mentored me in life and pointed me to Christ and His Word. Later, her mother Frances gave me a home until I married.
As a young wife I remember having Esther who I would run to when I was in need of some big-time prayer and motherly encouragement. I clung to Meg when I needed a woman right ahead of me in parenting to guide me along the way. And there was always Mama Kaye to cheer me on!
Later, Carole led a small group to help us to enjoy our husbands, love on our babies and also learn to lovingly discipline them. (Our children, not our husbands!) As I got older, there were the ladies who stood with me as my nest emptied, and those patient ones who prayed and listened as I went through a serious mid-life, menopausal meltdown! It was not a pretty time.
I am now enjoying the camaraderie of girlfriends who are navigating this next season of life involving the joys of aging, adult children, and grandbabies! Yes, every season of a woman’s life has its challenges and blessings, and every season needs it’s female friendships, mentors, and safe landing places.
As if having Jesus is not amazing enough, we are blessed with the Christian community as well… an unexpected treasure! The way women have ministered to me and filled in the gaps when family is lacking, and even when it is not, is priceless and humbling. I am thankful for all the small groups that I have been a part of and the many women, young and old, who have supported, affirmed, taught, comforted, challenged and loved me. The girls in my life allow me to laugh, cry, scream, grow, and fail. The girls in my life allow me to talk when the man in my life has already heard it all and can’t fix it! They are life-giving. They are necessary. Don’t do this life without them.
Click on this link for information about all our Beautiful Summer Groups starting in June.