Sit With One Woman

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P_IDELETTE2

Sit with one woman. Take the time and drive to the event, because on Monday she called and invited you to come.

So, of course you go. Two kids have soccer and your international student arrives that day, but this is important.

She’s been in her residential treatment program for three months and this is the first time you will get to sit next to her. This is the first time she will get to tell you how she’s doing.

So, of course you go. You cancel every and any other plan, because this is important. You want to show her that people can be reliable. That when you say you’ll go, you go. You will show up. You may be a few minutes late, because you decide to stop at the bookstore and bring her a beautiful journal that says, Never Ever Give Up.

You want her to remember this on the hard days: Never Ever Give Up. You want her to see those white words on the cobalt blue cover of the journal and remember that you believe in her. You believe in her, because she’s doing the hard work of healing. She’s doing the hard work of looking at her story and all the players in it and she’s holding it all before God. She’s reading and learning and studying and praying and worshiping and learning all the ways in which she can live a flourishing life. She’s unlearning the old ways. She’s laying it down. With the help of teachers and counselors and helpers and books and her journals, she’s doing the long, hard, beautiful work of healing.

So, when she invited you to come on this one night, of course you go.

You drive through the rain and touch up your makeup in the car. You find a parking spot and walk around the house to where the gathering is. She sees you even before you see her and she runs to you. She runs! And your heart is so grateful that you came. You feel like you get to be the skin and heart and the love of Jesus for someone tonight and it doesn’t feel heavy. It feels good.

O, dear Lord Jesus, please don’t let me mess this up. O, dear Lord, I am so human and I do too many things and there are too many people I love. I don’t want to mess this up. Please, help me love this one well. Help me to keep showing up for her.

Then you stand in the drizzle and listen to the stories of how lives are being transformed. You are standing next to one of those lives that are being transformed. She’s a transformation in the making. She is God’s beautiful handiwork.

When they make an announcement, this young woman you came to see, she runs up to the front and offers to hold the banner. It surprises you a little, because she used to be so closed. What’s happening here? You see her unfold here … how she’s finding her place here in this beautiful house. In her desire to serve others, you see her come out of her own pain. It’s beautiful.

The tears sit close to the surface and you may even scrounge for a tissue … This place is helping this one woman. You know this was her last resort. This was what she’d held out for for so many months. She’d traveled across the country and truly she’d left everything and everyone behind. Now she’s finding what she needed. She’s finding God and community and resources and wisdom and tools and everything she’s needing for the journey ahead of her.

Here’s where she’s learning to be planted and here’s where she’s learning to go forth and flourish.

That’s what you hope for her. Ultimately, that’s what you hope for every woman on this earth. but you can’t be close to every woman on the earth. Dang it, if you could, you would. But more and more, you are seeing the ends of your energy and capacity. There is only so much of you to go around.

Your heart is bigger than your capacity.

But when you met this one, you heard a gentle whisper —so gentle, it could have easily been your own heart. But you heard it nonetheless: Lean into this one. So you quietly started setting one foot in front of the other and just doing the next thing: a text. A Starbucks meeting. A hug. A prayer. A phone call. Saying yes to the very simple needs she presents to you. Yes, you can store your stuff at our house. Yes, I will drive you to the home on your first day. Yes, you can stay over the night before, so you won’t be late.

All that is required of you is ONE yes at a time.

It doesn’t feel too much; in fact you feel an expansive grace over all of this, so you just keep walking.

You call her on the days she’s allowed to receive phone calls. Then you miss a few Saturdays, because when you call, you can’t get through.

Something rises up in you and you refuse to let it fizzle out, so you write her a little card and you actually mail it. You actually go to the post office and drop this one little card in the mail and it’s like the Heavens exhale right there with you. You did it. You did your part. You held on to your end of the string and you didn’t drop it.

You’re simply holding up your part. It’s light. Not heavy. You know it’s right.

She writes back. And your heart is thrilled when you see that handwritten letter in the mailbox.

Then you write her another card. You are scared, because this feels like a commitment. But she is teaching you, too. Walking with her cements this in you: You are reliable. You are not going away. You are not disappearing.

When you sit next to her on the couch and time slows down while you catch up and laugh and talk about hard things and good things, you are so glad you showed up. You are simply doing this one thing that is required of you: You lean in to this one. 

Not ten million things. Not ten million dollars. But just this one night. These few hours. This one heart.

You sit with one woman.

More than ever you know this: It matters to this one.

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Idelette McVicker
If you only know one thing about me, I'd love for you to know this: I love Jesus, justice and living juicy. I also happen to drive a minivan and drink my lattes plain. (My life is exciting enough!) Nineteen years ago, I moved from Taiwan to Canada to marry Scott. We have two teenagers, a preteen, a Bernese Mountain dog and a restaurant. (Ask Scott to tell you our love story.) In 2010, I founded SheLovesmagazine.com and it has now grown to include a Dangerous Women membership community, a Red Couch Bookclub, events and gatherings. I'd like to think of it as curating transformational spaces for women in community. I long for women to be strong in our faith and voice, so we can be advocates for God’s heart for justice here on earth. As an Afrikaner woman, born and raised in South Africa during Apartheid, my story humbly compels me to step out for justice and everyday peacemaking. I have also seen firsthand the impact injustice has had on the lives and stories of women around the world. I refuse to stay silent. I am anti-racist and also a recovering racist. I am a Seven on the Enneagram, an INFP and I mostly wear black, with a dash of animal print or faux fur.
Idelette McVicker

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