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Sierra Pines Church

12 Ways to Turn Your Pain into Praise

Sapphires from Psalms

Better Than Jewels

I was asked to write a column for the Christian Women’s Connection about how girlfriends are good for us. This is for all the friends who make a difference in our lives. YOU GO GIRLS!!! Please post on my blog and share about the girlfriends who have come through for you in tough times.


GOOD FRIENDS CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE
Tammy’s world collapsed when her husband walked out. “I feel like I am going to fly into a million pieces,” she opened up in my counseling office. “Eric’s gone and he’s not coming back. He’s moved in with this secretary. My boys are crushed, and want nothing to do with their dad. Can’t he see how betrayed they feel that he broke up our family? I don’t know what I am going to do,” she sobbed. “

I listened to her pain, let her cry, and we spent the rest of the hour unpacking the hurt and abandonment she was feeling. Among other tools to help her cope, I suggested that she get involved in a women’s Bible study or a small group.

“You are really going to need your sisters right now,” I urged.

Despite her pain, Tammy wanted to be there for her kids. She took my advice to heart and joined a ladies lunch time Bible study that in her words, “kept me sane and on the straight and narrow.”

There she met Janet who found her a part-time job to help make ends meet.

“If it wasn’t for Janet’s encouragement and counsel, I wouldn’t have found confidence to even interview for the job after not working in ten years,” Tammy confided.
     
“Trudy, the study leader was amazing. She helped me through some major meltdowns, praying for me when I was too distressed to pray for myself. I don’t know where I’d be without the acceptance and guidance I received from the women God put in my life,” Tammy informed me.

The Scripture paints a picture of wise women benefiting from each other in the book of Ruth. Since the days of Ruth offering up her strength to glean grain (Ruth 2:2) and Naomi offering advice and concern (Ruth 3:1-4) we see how women can benefit from the counsel and support they get from each other.   

As often happens with the passing of time, science validates what scripture states. For years the concept of “fight or flight”—the need to face one’s fear and fight or turn and flee—in response to stress has dominated scientific thinking.  However, Shelley Taylor, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, describes how stress can elicit another behavioral pattern they call “tend and befriend”—especially in females. Taylor's team found that, during stressful times, females spend significantly more time tending to vulnerable offspring, and they form especially close, stable attachments with other females. The researchers suspect that endorphins—proteins that help alleviate pain—and oxytocin—a female reproductive hormone—play a part in their response. This research confirms that God has wired us to connect.

Tammy didn’t need proof. “The ladies in my lunch time group loved me until I realized God did. Now that I’m on my feet again, I am looking forward to being a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on for other hurting women, just like my girlfriends were for me.”

 

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