Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Proud member of the Maw Maw Club


This morning I want to share a friendship story with you. A tale that led to the forming of
The Maw Maw Club.

Around 10 years ago I began the process of returning to the Lord.
I say process because there were so many things in my thought process that still needed to be changed by the Lord. I had walked in outright rebellion for seven years. Those were the years I spent in the restaurant business. I was set on making a name for myself and proving to others that there was nothing I couldn't do if I put my mind to it.
During this time I rose very fast in the business and received many awards.
Even so.... there was a huge void in my heart. A void that money nor awards could fill.
There is much that I could say here about my return to the Lord...but that is another story.

Once back in church...and back with my Lord....my relationship with Him took off in a major way.
All those things that I had known since I was a child began to find their places in the relationship that was forming.
I had been very secure in the Culinary world.....but this world brought up many insecurities about myself that I had not yet dealt with.
I entered a women's group with women that were in no way like me on the outside.
Their husbands were very involved in their careers and appearance was everything to them.
It was not that some of them did not have good hearts- but I just did not fit in.
The pressure was a little much. I think this is something as women that we need to remember.
Peer pressure does not end in the adolescent years.
I did want to fit in.....or maybe I just didn't want to stand out.
I tried buying the clothes they wore....but honestly, this was just not important to me.
It is still not.
Then there was a new woman in our group.
She was a little scatter brained and she had a lot on her plate. You could tell she had a real love for God.......because she could not keep quiet. And although I felt the same way......I TRIED to be a little more conservative because that was the way the rest of the women were.
Our group planned a trip to a Woman of Faith conference in Houston.
I really thought that this would be a place for me to get to know some of these women and maybe become one of them. Oh how God had other plans.
So.....my goal was to try and make sure I got in the room with the queen bee and her friends.
But somehow I knew this would not happen.......I would probably get stuck in the Maw Maw room. The Maw Maw room being the room with those who were not in the inner circle.
I will tell you now that who I was.....well, she was so insecure.
On the way there I sat in the front with the scatter brained woman
as she drove her "big red" van.
We talked a lot and I began to feel really comfortable around her.
And int the end.......we would room together.
We became the first two members of the Maw Maw club.
That trip was the beginning of something that would teach me to accept myself.
The woman's name was Tracy....and over the next few years we would push one another in a way that was pretty remarkable. A deep bond woven by the Holy Spirit made us inseparable.
She allowed me to express the real me. And she could be herself.
We delved into the deep things of our Father. And sometimes she said I made her brain hurt. :) I love to delve into the deep and sometimes she would admit that her brain needed a break.
Yes, I do have a strange mind. :)
Over the years we would sometimes go places and read things that in our church affiliation seemed a little out there.
We had a rule......if we ever went to something that made either of us feel uneasy in the Spirit we would leave. We saw some incredible things.....and let God out of the box.
It was a relationship that I never thought I would have. I became more secure in who God created me to be and learned not to apologize for it so often. She was a gift from God.
We both grew in leaps and bounds.
Along the way the women in our women's group decided that I was getting just too serious about this God thing. Rumors began to swirl and they began to push me out. They did not like how the things I taught touched things in their lives that they did not want to have touched or brought to light. I never knew that people who claimed to be part of the body of Christ could actually turn on one of their own.......guess I should have remembered the Joseph story.
The end was very ugly.
Tracy never left my side.....nor did my husband.
My parents reminded me that God is the one who fights our battles.
He did.
But before the battle had even begun....He had provided someone who would walk through it with me. She knew me inside and out. And it was not a one way relationship.
I don't know how I would have made it through this time without my sister Maw Maw.
(I would like to say here that of the four couples that were involved in this....three returned a year or so later to apologize and admit that what had happened was not right.)

Our relationship has still continued. We have had rough times where one walked away for a period from the Lord. But because of the bond that was created......the other fasted and prayed and that one came back. It has been a relationship of give and take.
We have been together through children problems, spiritual problems, deaths, and moves.
And still the bond was not broken. It was not broken because there was a bond that was formed in the trenches. A bond that was formed by the blood of Jesus.
A bond of the heart.
I love this girl.

Now over the years there have been more members join the Maw Maw Club.
It will never be an exclusive club.
It is a club for those who love the Lord and want to learn to love the women of the body of Christ. Learn to love the true woman and not just what she appears to be on the outside.
A place where a woman can come and remove the expectations the world has filled her head with. A place where the little girl inside can come out and know she will not be rejected.
A place where she is loved for who God made her.
Now aside from all the lovey dovey stuff.....there is truth.
Truth about who you are and what you are doing. If this does not match up with what God has in mind......then in Love......we speak the truth even when we know it will hurt.
I have done this and Tracy has too.

So that is the story of the Maw Maw Club.
Everyone is welcome.
It is all about being real.

Proud to be a member of a group that allows you
to become the one
He created you to be!


For MelanieJoy ;)

15 comments:

luvmy4sons said...

Oooooh. I like the sounds of this club...I so often feel the outsider because I am TOO REAL for people. What a blessing God bestowed upon you both!

MelanieJoy said...

Thank you...Love you...

Denise said...

Such a lovely post. What a wonderful club sis. I love you.

Mary said...

Sharon,

What a great story. I am so glad that you and Tracy stuck together through thick and thin. So often friends are only friends when the going is easy. I too have been blessed with a friendship like this. We have known each other 32 years and have climbed mountains together and walked through dark valleys.

Thank you for this inspiring post.

Blessings,
Mary

PS. Be sure to drop by my Writing Nook and enter my Harvest Giveaway.

try2bAsunbeam said...

Great post, Sharon. I have my own "Tracey", but her name is Sue. I know what you mean by the people who are worried about the outside appearance. I try to be more concerned about my heart than how I look. When you know you heart is ugly to God, it doesn't really matter how shiny your shoes are, does it? And on the other hand, when your heart is pretty spiffed up, God doesn't pay attention to the rags some people have to wear for clothes.

Oh, I like it when you make my brain hurt, too!

Halfmoon Girl said...

Good story- you have mentioned hte Maw Maw club before- now I know how it started. I love how God brought you through the trials with your friend and hubby by your side.

Joyfulsister said...

Amen for the Maw Maw club!! What a beautiful and heartfelt story. I have a friend like like yours, and we may not see each other all the time, but I know that if I ever need her she would be right there in a heartbeat..

Hugz Lorie

Sandi said...

I understand and often feel not excepted by the women in my church because I don't dress or act like them. I get it. I have a close friend but she attends another church. I've never made a close friend at this church yet but I will hold on to who I am.

Edge of Design said...

Sounds like my kind of club. We got 3 1/4 inches of rain yesterday. How about you?

Tracy said...

Oh, so many memories; so little time! The funny ones first: My BURGUNDY (by the way) conversion van has a chopped off/flat front end and you spent the whole ride with your knuckles and face white and your foot pushing my floor board as if that would help stop the huge thing form rear ending somebody. To be fair, I really do need to slow down and not see the color of the drivers eyes as they look with horror in the rear view mirror. And then at the hotel when I opened the door to the dredded Maw Maw room and saw your face. It was pricless, and I don't think I have ever seen that expression from you again. Of course, we didn't know it as the Maw Maw room yet, but it was obvious that it was the last place you wanted to be. I guess I should have been offended, but your unintentional reaction was just a hoot!I guessed you started to actaually be thankful for your exile when the queen bee came over from the "main" hotel room with her long black satin lapel robe and matching slippers and,of course, the matching Vic. Secret stuff underneath. Somehow, I think you were more comfortable with my oversized t-shirt with some kind of faded logo on it, and shorts of course. I remember you and I wanting to stay and learn and take notes as Kay Author was teaching and we had to fend off loud and constant "requests" from some of the other ladies that wanted to leave and go shopping. More to come. Sharon, you forgot to tell them my tendency to ramble. Love

freetofly said...

This is so true of you and the friendship and example you have set in your blogging! It rings true! I too, tend to be on the outside, and God has shown me that it is good for me! It is best! I try (I do not always succeed) but, I try to look for other "strays' like me and lift them up and befriend them. It is so rewarding and I have made some wonderful friends this way!

Now - how did you come to attach the name "maw maw" to this? Please - do tell!

:)

love,
Maria

Karen said...

Oh yes, can absolutely relate - and how timely because have been feeling like this, this very week ....God knew. Thanks for sharing :-)

Denise said...

What a beautiful story and how wonderful to have a friend that stays through thick and thin..... I do not have a friend like that at all........ traveled too much..........Speaking the truth even when it hurts is a gift that we all need to learn.... Sympathy will kill you...... The truth will set you freen.... I love the name Maw Maw club!

Pray for my little Mom...... I have posted about her......

Hugs

Jessie said...

That is an awesome testimony of a real and true friendship. Thank you for sharing it with us and being so transparent. God is so good!

D said...

Great story!!! Yah for the MawMaw club -- can I join?? :) D