I have a lifelong friend I admire greatly. She is a few years older than me, and I always look to her as a role model, a confidant, and a friend. She is a very accomplished woman. She has a PhD in her field and works in a senior-level position in her job. She is an elder in her Presbyterian church and has been intentional in making sure her family is grounded in their Christian faith. She and her husband have restored a historic house in the downtown district of their hometown. This fall their family nest emptied when their son took flight to attend a university seven states away.
When she is not being an amazing mom or strong leader in her business position, she always finds time to enjoy life. She organizes and hosts neighborhood gatherings around seasons like Christmas and even Mardi Gras! She raises money for the local humane society. And… she is a runner. She gets up early and plods alongside other women in her same age group; they move their bodies and engage in life-giving conversations.
There have been periods of her life when she has prepared for a marathon. On the mornings of those races, she dons a Wonder Woman costume. This includes the outfit and a cape that flaps behind her as she runs, runs, and runs to the finish line. I have seen her in action! While she is not the fastest runner, she never gives up… ever.
The true reason I admire her is grounded deep beneath all of these accomplishments: what I love most about her is that she always makes time for friends and family.
We talk weekly on the phone and visit face to face at least once a year.
These interactions are what make me really think of her as a true “wonder” woman… for in our conversations, we are honest…
As we take turns sharing what is happening in one each other’s lives… she helps me to wonder out loud. We share without fear of judgment or rejection. And as we wonder together: we listen and delight in one another’s joys, share tears in sorrow, and indeed troubleshoot challenges.
When life changes and the proverbial rug is pulled out from under us, we help one another stand up again.
Last month, I received a call that my dear friend had been hospitalized with a mild stroke. Throughout the two days she was at the hospital, we texted quite a bit. She was mystified and scared as to what had just happened. She wondered what this meant for her as she returned home to her life: her husband and son, her career, and would she be able to return and do all of the things she loved to do in life?
I sent her this text in reply:
You will always be a ‘wonder’ woman to me… and for that matter Wonder Woman for sure.
All of us see your light shine when you glorify God in how you use your body, mind, and spirit.
I wonder right now, though, if maybe you need to hang up your cape and rest. Rest and breathe. Wonder and reflect upon what has happened and how this change in the road might mean adjustments ahead. BUT DO NOT GIVE UP your cape. Just take some time. You will don that cape again soon.
This March the Presbyterian Women continue their monthly look at the “Sheroes of the Bible.” I will be exploring the Sheroe, Mary, mother of Jesus. Mary wears a cape of her very own.
You can see the video below. And you can join us in a Zoom conversation at 2 pm today (Monday, March 15) — contact Yolanda Baxter for the link.