|I was inspired by this series after I participated in a Celebrate Recovery group and talking about feeling “helpless”. It was a process for me to discuss in group, because as soon as I spoke about why I tend to feel worried and procrastinate on some things, I realized that This vulnerable space I often feel between not worrying and trusting God causes me to feel way too vulnerable.
I Am Enough Because I Am Wise.
So what does it really mean to be wise?
Does being wise mean… to be humble?
Does it mean we should consult with someone else who has good advice, can problem-solve, help us manage our lives better or may give good counsel?
Or does it mean simply having good sense In knowing how to respond?
…Or maybe it means being still enough to take care of our lives because we care enough about our lives to be safe, discerning and aware.
Perhaps where I am wisest is when I spend time in the presence of friends. I have wise friends. There is a scripture in the bible that says :
“There is safety in a multitude of counselors.”
I love that scripture. It has resounded over the years with me. I have realized over time that perhaps the best acumen, has come from having “experience” as my teacher. With all my experiences, I have gained such rewarding insight from friends who have “showed up” in my own personal struggles, when I needed such wisdom, – and sowed complete love and admonition for me, and their wise actions and advice, benefited me greatly. The intuition and inspiration was on an entirely different level and completely humbling most of the times, because I allowed them to pour into me, and I trusted them. As a result, I have compassion for them and for others who have experienced similar situations.
It led me to write my book, Red Sea Situations.
I have many women “mentors” that have guided me over the years, and who have also guided me in counsel, and one of them is my mother. I’ve placed her picture here of my mom, because Mom has been over the years one person who has supported my dreams more than I have even believed in them.
I remember when my ‘far-fetched’ dream of traveling to South Africa came as an opportunity. Mom was so concerned about me traveling so far not really knowing the people very well, and being safe. I was traveling with someone knew, but had not known them for very long. She was excited for me. And so.. She reminded me if ‘God gave you that opportunity, Jennifer – I will have to trust in His divine plan for your life.” That was so humble of her. To trust God beyond seeing her ‘babygirl’ – at age of 38 years – going so far. She had to place me in God’s hands. And you know that’s cool because God gave her that strength. she expected it to keep her in wisdom, and so wisdom came.
Mom over the years has supported me in several endeavors, but most of all she has led me to discern friendships that are also “safe emotionally and spiritually.” I believe this is a lesson all mothers should teach their children.
I believe one of the most humbling situations I experienced, was a friend who helped me when I had no where else to go. She had always told me, because she knew I was going through a hard time no matter when or what time it was, whenever I needed a place to go, I could just stop by. One night i thought I was close to losing it, and i knew if I didn’t get out of the house, I would . So indeed, I went over and it was about ten fifteen pm. When I arrived at her door, her husband answered, he smiled, and didn’t say a word. All he said was: “She’s is upstairs, go ahead on up.”
Sidenote: (Can I say I just “admire” a man who allows his wife’s friend to come over so late in the evening , so she can support her? )
Clearly, I had been crying, and I slipped past him. When I go to the top of the stairs, I heard her talking to her boys in a very sacred moment, and she said , “Come on in, Jenn.” She was there with the two of them, they were about three and six years old, and she was hugging on them in bed. She made space for me, and welcomed me in me bed with them. We didn’t talk much that night, we just laid there in quiet and peace. Her boys smiling and she interacting and mothering them, and I quietly watched them enjoy and love on one another. I’ve never felt so welcomed.
…And to this day, our bond is unbreakable.
Now, this has nothing to do with me, and my wisdom. However, my friend’s wisdom – in this moment taught me how to be wise. It taught me how when I am at m lowest point to embrace someone in love and just acceptance, is the very best action of love. To just be present for them, regardless. That night, we never spoke much, I didn’t pour my heart out and all my business. But her presence, just meant the world to me.
For me, wisdom and love, really are not far apart. In fact, they are like semi- cousins. I also found out that I don’t have to know all the details, I just need to love on them. There’s a time and a season for everything, and sometimes knowledge isn’t necessary. She didn’t know, and still doesn’t know what I was experiencing that evening, but what matters is that I knew she was there, and that she loved me. To me, that’s agape love. The God-kind of love.
From this one action, I have found that I can love people without words, in such an amazing way, and that it involves just seeing that their soul is so worthy of love. This type of ‘friend -awareness’ has allowed me to be the same kind of friend. It’s also give me a greater burden to be a mentor to my sisters in Christ. And any other women who need advice in any shade, color or form. I am not particular to them knowng and loving God, first… I just need to know they are open to my might shining in that regard if I have to share an occasional miracle.
On a lighter note,
I am wise because I am clever.
Cleverness is not a word I use very much n my vocabulary, yet I find very attractive.
My husband is rather clever. It was attractive to me from the first day I met him. And his cleverness tends to rub off on me at times. Cleverness involves, quick wit, charm, and wise words, and at times a bit of playfulness. Perhaps the playfulness is the most fun. Being clever involves finding a certain resourcefulness from within. It’s understanding how to use integrity to teach someone by not reacting. It also involves not stooping to a level of personal embarrassment or ignorance because someone else does. Not allowing their impulsive demeanor, unkindness and lack of integrity move me with words. I think I learned how to be clever once I decide din my mind I didn’t care what others thought about me. It was freeing. I decided that once I had made up my mind, and it made sense and I had filtered it through my wisest friends, and they were in agreement, it was well. And no one’s opinions mattered. My clever quick wit would then pounce back on others when they had comments or opinions about my actions in which they did not agree. I admire folk who can take judgment and crush it as soon as someone swings it at them, and keeps on walking without shame or resentment because they are confident they are in a good place.
I am wise because I am contemplative.
Contemplation is one of my favorite things to do. As an introvert, I tend to find myself when I contemplate. Whether it involves speaking to myself, my heart, and pondering the actions of my day I find rest in re-evaulation. If I don’t do re-evaluate, I become restless.
What is in this restless space? Unawareness? A lack of purpose? Dis-alignment? Is that why when I am not looking within, I falter?
I get nervous, my anxiety peaks, or I have a loss for words? I prefer contemplation in order to help me rest. I may not have even realized the extent to which I depend upon what I call : “finding center” Laraine Herring in the book: “Writing Begins With Breath: Embodying your Authentic Voice”, says after the basic needs of food air, water and shelter are met, most of our actions and behaviors stem from a need for love, compassion, understanding and emotional safety.” I find that interesting, because that means if this is true, most of what I seek, when I look within, is about finding self-love.
(Read about my self love and being enough in another story, here.)
I must say however; some of the most unwise persons have hurt me. have been unreasonable, inattentive ungraceful and ill-mannered people I know, because they lacked compassion. Indeed, perhaps this scripture measures up when wisdom is most attractive: “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” (Psalm 85:10)
If you enjoyed reading this excerpt, please take the time to read the series: Completely Validated: A Compilation of Meditations & Readings on ‘Being Enough.‘ , which will soon be an audio course and workbook series online .
Interested in learning more about being enough and reading more about it?
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