15 Sep

Have You Prayed the Bra Prayer?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Their voices echoed up and down the hallway. Chatter filled the air as the mothers gathered waiting to pick up their children. Sitting on the floor, I just watched. Listened. There was something unsettling in the air. Complaints. Negativity. Where was the encouragement? Laughter?

Another day I listened as a young woman excitedly shared the details of her current successes. As the last sentence hung in the air she turned expectantly to her friend. Waiting to see her excitement reflected she just stood there. But the reflection didn’t come, immediately her friend began telling her all the things that could or would go wrong and all the reasons she should be cautious. Visibly deflated the young woman shut down.

…encourage one another and build each other up… {1 Thessalonians 5:11}

God tells us we were meant to live with Christ, and therefore  we should build each other up. Lift each other up.

A supportive, encouraging friendship is like a good bra {stick with me here}, it improves the way we carry ourselves, changes the way we interact with the world around us, and it is something every woman needs!

Every woman.

We all have different friends we call for different things. You know the friend that is fun, outgoing and the must have on any girls night? How about the wise friend who always seems to have advice or perspective on your situation? Now how about the woman who always has a hug, an encouraging word and whose conversations leave you uplifted and inspired?

We all need that last woman. We all need to be that woman. We were made to be that woman. And, I know God provides opportunities everyday to just build someone else up.

Years ago I was super, super embarrassed to shop for undergarments at stores. Even being in the underwear section of a department store colored my cheeks pink and made me anxious. The thought of other people knowing I was buying, even wearing, a bra was more than I could bear. {ask my mom, I was a nightmare to shop with} But as I matured and grew into my body I realized that it was pretty obvious I wore a bra and so did other women…to be seen buying one wasn’t a huge embarrassment {I had many, many other reasons to be embarassed…my life is full of them}. And so I began shopping in department stores, buying decent bras and it changed my life. It quite literally, lifted me up. {okay, I know, border line sharing violation}

And as I get older it is these kind of friendships that I look for. The ones that build me up, the ones full of mutual encouragement and God’s love.

And the more I look to find this kind of friend the more I look to be this kind of friend. I’ve begun to pray that I can be a like a bra in friendship for others.

I am asking for God to point out the women who need a kind word, a hug, and more.

It used to be that I could remember anyone’s name and the details they told me. In recent years motherhood and the busyness of life has started to make my memory fuzzy. I ask God daily to help me listen and remember, because I know there will come a time when I see a woman and what she needs more than anything is to know that someone remembers her name and cares enough about her life to ask after the details.

And I am learning to be the woman who can celebrate another’s successes with her, regardless of the current hand I’m dealt. To be the mirror reflecting the enthusiasm and excitement.

I have a reality tv addiction. {um don’t judge} And I’ve been seeing it there too. Women so busy complaining, back biting and focusing on themselves that real friendships fizzle and life is lonely. Yes, I know these things boost ratings, but it is a sad reality I am watching play out on the screen of life. There were no ratings gimmicks in the hallway as I sat and listened, and yet every conversation was someone complaining about something.

Jesus himself warned us that what we say tells what is in our hearts, and one day we will give account for it.

“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.  A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:33-37

I can’t imagine standing in front of Jesus and watching the scenes of my life. The thought that together we will watch a divine appointment He had set for me, and then we’ll see me fill the air with negativity, miss the moment to listen to another’s heart or just plain fill the moment with useless chatter about myself. The disappointment reads on the woman’s face in the flashback scene. Then imagine the look of disappointment on Jesus’s face. We’ll give an account for every empty word. Empty words. Those that don’t love, encourage, exhort, empower. How that pricks my soul to think that missing the moment here is missing a moment to be closer to and more like Jesus.

Jesus is our friend. He loves us. And through that love He wants us to love others. To encourage and uplift each other. To fill up with Him so that we overflow into the lives of others.

It is a learned behavior this business of filling up with God and intentionally overflowing on others. It is something we were made to do. Designed to do.

So as you get dress each morning pray the bra prayer, “Lord let me be supportive and uplifting for someone today.” I know it is silly and you likely just rolled your eyes at me, but you must admit you won’t easily forget it.

Father, I ask you today to continue to help us be a friend like Jesus, one that lifts, loves and pours into another’s life. Set divine appointments and remind us to be your love in an overwhelmed and often uncaring world. Help us learn to fill up with you so that the fruit of our  lips will be the love of our Jesus, so that today and everyday unto eternity our lives would give an account of our faith. Amen.

3 thoughts on “Have You Prayed the Bra Prayer?

  1. I agree very strongly with both perspectives of this, the literal and the figurative. 🙂 Finding good support truly is a memorable, life-changing experience, and for me, when I experienced it literally, I had to share the information with my best friends, and they said it was equally life-changing. And in the same manner, a strong, mutual support group changes everything. 🙂

  2. I love this post and I love that you did such a good job in telling the things that have been on my heart. I know what it feels like to be the person wanting the reflection only to be faced with the cold hard negative. I have also been the person who watches it happen to others and cringe as it happens. Thank you so much for sharing.

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