With, Not Against

Last week I started reading Lysa TerKeurst’s new book, Uninvited. (But I didn’t Instagram about it, so hopefully you believe me.) I’m not even finished with it, because I’m mostly doing a lot of other things (like looking at my phone rather than reading). But, what I have read? It is so good. I recommend it this far (and I’ll keep you updated if that changes).

Over the weekend, I heard a message in church about knowing who our enemy is, as well as knowing the King and knowing what our weapons are to fight. It seemed fitting that just today I read in Uninvited about the issues in friendship women run into. We get mixed up; rather than fighting the enemy together, we look at each other thinking she’s my enemy or he’s my enemy. We fight against each other instead of with each other.

I’m really not a confrontational person. Facing problems is something I can deal with, but it’s especially hard for me to deal when I’m in the wrong. It makes me want to melt into the floor and disappear. The thought of someone coming to confront me…please, just let my superpower be invisibility. I would use it far too often.

I’m also very much a cheerleader. Supporting, encouraging, and being a sounding board for advice is my jam. Like, my jam. I don’t do it because it makes me feel good or gives me brownie points with anybody. I just love to be optimistic about people and their stories. I often try to see all sides of situations, because I hate to believe that everyone has a bad side.

So, this is what you know of me: When I mess up or someone is disappointed in me, I want to hide from it. But when I can fight for others, I do it, and I do it well. You can believe that I am the type of friend who gives it their all and will squish issues before they become overgrown in my heart.

I have entered a season where I have a lot of women around me, and man. It feels like glory. In worship this Sunday, where the message was about knowing who our common enemy is (and it is never each other), I quieted for a moment to hear the hundreds around me singing. Just as I closed my eyes, God gave me a vision of all of His angels doing just the same, only multiplied so greatly I couldn’t see the end of the crowd. It took my breath away, the thought of so many surrounding me, so many who are with me that fight the same enemy that I do. I think about all of our people, the couples, families, and singles that are all around my own family, and my breath escapes my lungs. The women around me. We all are in this. And these are all my people.

I get it in my head that I’m probably going to mess up. There will be something I say or write that will just need to be confronted, and I can see her–whoever she is–and her silhouette coming right in my direction, waiting to tell me whatever it is that I’m scared to hear. I look at this crowd of women I’ve got, and I keep thinking, God if I fail, I pray they fight for me. I pray they can help me do better. I pray they love me hard and confront me well and give me grace where I probably don’t deserve it. And I’m praying in the moments when another woman does something that hurts me, or yields anger in me, Lord let me fight for her too. Let me be soft, let me lift her up, let me give her so much grace that it drowns out anything that feels like sin.

Ladies, I want to fight for you. I want to see you as God sees you, and I want to pray for you and love you because I can. Because I am so loved. Because God is a forgiving Father, and He corrects when He needs to, and Lord, let me have the wisdom to let You do what only You can. Not me.

Our enemy is Satan himself. Not you. Not me. Or her, or that guy. We can fight for each other, and I think that’s a great way to win a war. With, not against.

Published by Janelle Delagrange

Wife to a graphic designer, mom to three young boys, and writer of the soul.

2 thoughts on “With, Not Against

  1. Yes!! I think we’ve touched on this subject together before, have we not? I do not know why women especially are prone to comparison and competition, but we need to go hand in hand, or get behind and push each other forward, or walk ahead encouraging all the way! In the family of God we go together (like rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong–that’s old, from Grease, but Grease has made a comeback right–I’m totally off-topic here).

    Back to your post: If I look at your blog and think, “oh, she’s so lucky, she has time to blog every day and I don’t” what do I accomplish? –NU THING! Why do we compare ourselves that way? Why not say, “Look at what a strong voice she has; I am going to share this!” I love what your voice is saying and I hope it will be heard by many. And I will be speaking too, as often as God allows. I will be walking beside you because we are the family of God together.

    Your quote expresses my thoughts exactly: “Ladies, I want to fight for you. I want to see you as God sees you, and I want to pray for you and love you because I can. Because I am so loved. Because God is a forgiving Father, and He corrects when He needs to, and Lord, let me have the wisdom to let You do what only You can. Not me.”

    -AMEN, I can’t wait to get to know you better!

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