by Mary Walker
One of my favorite stories in the Bible is when Mary finds out she’s pregnant with Jesus, she goes to see her cousin, Elizabeth. She joyfully tells her the good news and Elizabeth, “filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out with a loud voice and said, “most blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb” Mary responded with the Magnificat, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful prayers in the Bible, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my savior.” (Luke 1: 39-50)
Mary and Elizabeth knew that women need other women to fully celebrate the joy we experience in life. We need our girlfriends! I remember taking a summer class on the political plays of Shakespeare. I didn’t understand a lot of it and I doubted I’d get higher than a C in the class. When my grade appeared online as an A-, I gave a shout of delight and instantly looked for someone with which to share this amazing news! I told a neighbor lady who shouted and gave me a hug, and I told my mom who gave similar expression of excitement. When my then-fiancé got home from work and I told him, he, with a straight face, blandly said, “oh that’s great, congratulations.” I was extremely let down until I realized that he was excited for me, he just didn’t express it in the way I was used to hearing from my girlfriends.
A deacon once told me, “women process their own emotions by communicating them and hearing a response from another woman”. It’s my personal opinion that the Holy Spirit blesses women with the spirit of felicity and bliss at seemingly small things in life. How many of us have found true happiness in the perfect nail polish color or a great dress that just so happens to be on sale? Katie Sciba and I recently spent two hours in Target marveling over things like curtain rods and cute tank tops.
A few weeks ago, I was having a rough day and met up with my friends Katie and Mikki Sciba after work for dinner. After four hours of talking, I felt restored and ready to face whatever came my way. One only needs to look to the story of Naomi and Ruth in the Old Testament to see how the sharing of emotions is equally important for women in times of sadness or distress. Christian women married to wonderful, faithful men still need to discuss a problem or two with girlfriends. However, this must always be in the spirit of what’s best for the marriage, and the friend involved must always have the best interest of the relationship at heart. It must never be carried out with a spirit of malice or pettiness.
Girlfriends are such a precious gift from God, to be cherished and treasured. In my favorite book, Orthodoxy, G.K. Chesterton said, “And the more I considered Christianity, the more I found that while it had established a rule and order, the chief aim of that order was to give room for good things to run wild.” That’s how I understand a good Christian friendship. Being so overwhelmed with the goodness of God, you can’t help but share it with someone who will communicate that joy in her own unique way.