"I find it amusing. Men are supposed to be made out of steel or something..."
- Quote from M'Lynn from Steel Magnolias (referring to the fact that her husband couldn't handle watching their daughter take her last breath, but she could).
This weekend was my annual Girls Week Away (GWA). And once again, I left that gorgeous cabin touched and inspired by those women. All throughout the weekend, that quote from Steel Magnolias rang loudly through my head as I talked with and learned more about my GWA girls.
And let me tell you, they are definitively steel magnolias.
Some of the stories I heard this weekend were unbelievable. I cried a few times, not with tears of pity, but of awe. I heard about childhood traumas, divorce, abuse, children's illnesses, crimes against them, deaths...and all of them have not only survived the shit, but have come out on the other side of it stronger and wiser, doing better to others than what's been done to them.
They are really something to behold. They are down to earth, fun, kind, smart women who are also extraordinary, tough and brave, although it seems many of them need reminded of that.
Maybe they forget how special and important they are. Maybe when a woman has had to fight for every single good thing in her life, when she has had to take care of so many others instead of herself, when she's had to push and battle obstacles just to get one step ahead, when she hasn't had anyone to remind her how beautiful and good and smart and unique and valuable and significant and relevant she is; maybe then she forgets that she is all of those things. And more.
And these women are.
These girls make me laugh until my side hurts, soften my heart, make me see things from completely different perspectives. They make me feel blessed that they like me as much as I like them.
For some of them, I think I'm the only "regular" Christian woman they've ever met. The only non-judging, down to earth, non-Bible-banging, non-pushy, non-in your face, sinning Christian they might know. Hell, I'm probably in the minority even among other "regular" Christians as far as those attributes go.
But none of them judge me. They treat me like one of the gang. And I love that. If they want to talk about God, then I do. But I don't bring it up.
Though that's not to say that God isn't anywhere to be found at GWA, because he was all over that place this weekend. He was in the faces and smiles and hugs and reassuring words of all of those women, even if they didn't realize it. That's how God works, you know? And he was in the beautiful weather and the fields and hills and trees and the moon and the warm sunshine...I saw an awful lot of him there.
Right there with all of my steel magnolias.
Love you, GWA girls.