I don’t know a single Christian woman who isn’t tired right now.
I’ll be honest, I’m writing this post before the election results are final because no matter who ends up in the White House next spring…
This election has changed us.
The cost of unabashed political rhetoric and relentless mudslinging will be high.
We are deeply scarred by this season.
As The Church,
We are hurting.
So what’s next?
How do we put things right side up?
Where do we find healing?
How do we choose togetherness in such an isolating season?
This post is my heartfelt attempt to give you, the heartbroken Christian woman, the first few steps to setting your world right again in the midst of this prolonged fight.
The most important advice I can give you at this moment is not to do this work alone. Being alone sometimes is crucial to a healthy rhythm, but isolation will only create more pain.
Living in isolation won’t heal the pain we are feeling and it makes us terribly susceptible to the enemy’s attacks.
So step one of your 2020 recovery plan is to gather your crew and form a safe circle where each woman is equally welcome to bring her gifts and her pain.
People can help you heal faster, become more resilient for next time, and bring a little extra discernment into your life, but it has to be the right people. You can’t allow just anyone to speak directly into your heart and spirit.
Every Christian woman needs a tight circle of filled with women who meet one (or more) of these four roles:
Sisters are your peers. These are people who are working, living, or serving in similar seasons. They encourage you when things become difficult, and they celebrate your wins with you! They have similar passions and share your faith. The people you want to do life with. They just get you because your paths are similar.
Sisters can offer valuable advice in hard situations based on their experiences but the magic of sisterhood is just their presence. It reminds us that we are NOT alone in the hard times. They remind us to laugh, cry, and take a road trip when we need to get away from it all. They are your “text me anytime” “hold my earrings” partners in crime.
Teammates are committed to partnering with you in your ministry, family, or work, or some other project. They are strategically strong in areas you are not and are key to growth for you and your project. Teammates are partners focused on a specific goal. In the home your spouse, children, babysitters, extended family can be teammates. In the workplace, it could be co-workers, your supervisors, or those you supervise. In minsitry you may team up with partners, staff, and/or volunteers to accomplish the work God is calling you to.
The key to forming healing teams is finding people willing to make an equal commitment to the project, the team values, and the relationship with fellow team members.
The teachers in your life are those who can instruct you in skills and points you have not yet built or learned about for your organization or personal growth. It’s important to include these mentors in your inner circle because although you are capable of learning complex things on your own, good teachers facilitate the acceleration of this learning process. They know about apps, books, theories, places, and techniques you may not discover on your own.
Because they’re experts in something specific you want to learn about, your teachers may not be able to support you in areas outside of their expertise. A good teacher isn’t afraid to say “I don’t know” or refer you to someone else. A great teacher will challenge you to dig deep inside yourself and trust what you already know, even in the midst of stretching and growing and learning new things.
Your shepherdess’ primary responsibility is to nurture you spiritually and err on the side of always speaking God’s word. They will be on the same page as you spiritually, always in tune with the Holy Spirit, and unafraid of speaking hard truth. Your comfort will not be this person’s primary motivator, though they will care deeply and always operate within healthy boundaries as they pour God’s truth into you.
The Shepherdess may be filled by a pastor or minsitry leader, but it doesn’t always have to be. So keep your discerning ears open for the person who is going to be your spiritual mentor. This role is crucial to healing and growth, but it requires significant vulnerability on your part, so take the time to find the right person. Remember the Shepherdess should be fully committed to servant leadership (like Jesus). Humility is an important virtue for this person. They should never seek to control or posses you, motivate through fear, scarcity, and threats, or use your relationship to boost their own ego or power. Stay alert and hold those healhty boundaries.
Where do you find the right people?
It takes time and getting out there to find the right people. Notice when you have an extra little connection with people you meet and always be listening for God’s prompting. They won’t usually come from one specific place–Most likely they may come from multiple places over a span of time as you and they grow.
Wise Christian women who have learned and experienced more than you may be in Facebook groups with you, in church, or in other social circles you are already part of. They could also be people that God is calling you to seek out.
Every Christian Woman Deserves A Crew That Has Her Back, So Choose Wisely
Spend time in prayer over each aspect of your inner circle. Focus on what God says you personally need in each area. Set intentions around growing your circle. Reach out to people in your physical and online communities and build connections. If you’re still looking for an online group to connect with, consider joining my free Facebook group Christian Women Who Lead. There are supportive women of different ages and stages of life who are ready to welcome you.
Angela J Herrington, MA, LSCC is a Life and Leadership Coach for Christian Women at AngelaJHerrington.com , founder of Broken Beautiful BOLD online women’s ministry, and Christian feminist activator at WildSacredHoly.com.
Angela is a spunky Gen Xer who creates sacred spaces for vulnerable exploration. Her specialty is helping Christian women untangle themselves from limiting beliefs, toxic religious culture, and all the ways the enemy tries to keep them small. She holds a BA from Indiana Wesleyan and a Masters in Leadership from Wesley Seminary. Her graduate research project focused on leadership development and opportunities for Gen X women in the US church.
Angela and her unique online ministry were featured in Lyz Lenz’s 2019 book God Land: Story of Faith, Loss, and Renewal in Middle America. She also has been published in Hope for Women and HOPE is Now magazines.
Angela is also a Lark’s Song Certified Life Coach who reaches hundreds of thousands of women in 40+ countries each month on Facebook, IG, Twitter, Pinterest, and two blogs. She is Director of Communications for Wesleyan Holiness Women Clergy, a women-led organization dedicated to engaging, empowering, and equipping women to lead in the church.
Angela is also a wife, mom to 6, and proud resident of Marion, Indiana with her family when they’re not traveling the US in their RV.