I was challenged as I read Pam Lau's book, A Friend In Me, that I need to be connecting with women more. I need to be seeking out the older women, or those who have been married longer than I have or have children older than mine, and learn from them. But I also need to reach out and be a safe haven to the younger women ... and not just the encouraging word on facebook that's easy to give. Real, face-to-face interactions. Those are hard to manage in my family, with kids ranging from toddler to college student, and a husband who has a long commute and often has to work over-time. But it's where the relationships get real and deep.
I was also challenged that I need to be in God's Word and attuned to His Spirit so I have wisdom to share with others. As I read through her chapters about the difficult questions women have asked her, I realized that I often fall into the wrong types of advice. I try to fix the situation, or give the Bible answer that is cliche' and trite. But as I read, I realized I just don't know what else to say. Even to my own daughters at times. I do care, but I don't have the answers they need. And when I try to point them back to God, or His Word, they feel like I'm just giving them the "right" answer and it isn't helpful to how they're feeling.
Pam reminded me that I need to connect with the feelings being shared more, and offer more empathy, even when I don't have answers. But Pam can't tell me exactly what to say, because that is going to differ with every woman and every situation. It really comes down to being in-tune with God, His Word, and His Spirit and asking Him for the right words. But it can't happen if I'm still so wrapped up in my own family life that I don't reach out to older women, or I am unapproachable to younger women.
A Friend In Me is very well-written and compelling. If you're longing for more connection with women in your life, or if you see the need in the church community for more connection, it's an excellent book to read! We are not meant to be self-sustaining and completely independent. God created us to be in relationship with Him, and with those around us. That can't happen if we're putting on our "I can handle it" face and don't let ourselves be vulnerable and real. So pick up a copy of A Friend In Me and let Pam inspire you to connect more.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of A Friend In Me from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was received.