Sarah, a married woman with two small children, was living and working overseas. She thought she knew why she was there: support her husband, take care of the kids, and help with their community development project with what time she had left.
But something else troubled her. So many women, both expatriate and local, looked lonely and frustrated, as though they had no one they could trust. In her mind a surprising question grew: “How can I be a woman other women trust?” This never bothered her when she was in her home country. Now, in this place, she wanted to help these women, but wasn’t sure they would let her.
And why should they? When she was eight years old her mother just disappeared, leaving her with her dad. She never saw her mom again. Her dad did his best, but she had no woman to look up to, ask questions of, or model herself after. After marriage she found that her mother-in-law was not a very motherly type, either. A good woman, yes, but not the kind of woman you felt you could trust with your secret struggles.
Gwen, another woman in her assigned country, seemed like the kind of woman who might have some answers. So she made a lunch date. While they sipped coffee that tasted like motor oil, only sweeter, Sarah told Gwen what was on her mind.
“Gwen, I want to help some of the lonely women I meet here. But I know I can’t if they don’t trust me. Gwen, how do I become a woman other women can trust.”
That day, and for many days after, Gwen and Sarah talked deeply about becoming a woman other women trust. What follows is the substance of their conversations.
They discovered that becoming trustworthy does not happen in a miraculous moment. Trustworthiness is the work of a lifetime. We may get flashes of insight, but the working out of faithfulness comes with successes and failures, with repentance and forgiveness, with desire and with practice. The woman other women trust has found grace and truth in all of life’s experiences and willingly shares it.
Most often the women we feel we can trust have a solid faith in God, and of course that takes time and concentration. Just reading the Bible through every year isn’t enough to build a faith that can stand the storms of life.
Our Bible reading can be a conversation with our Savior. Who is God? What is He like? How did He treat those who loved Him? What does He say through His Word to people like us? What does He clearly say we should or should not do? If we ask questions and search for answers as we read our Bibles, God will slowly, but surely, transform our lives. Solid truth builds solid women, but it doesn’t make them hard.
Women we trust are compassionate. Compassion is usually birthed in the hard seasons of our lives. When others don’t treat us like we think they should, we learn how undeserved harshness feels. We make a determination to never treat another person like we were treated. When we fail and repent, receiving grace and mercy from others, we learn compassion too.
Women we trust are honest and real. When people talk with them they do not feel like they are talking to a mask. They feel they are talking heart to heart. Like one woman had told Gwen, “I feel like you never look down on me, even when I am so confused and feel so vulnerable.” That’s how Sarah felt with Gwen. And that’ s how Sarah wanted other women to feel with her.
They discovered, too, that women other women trust can keep confidences. The only one they talk to about the struggles their friends share with them is God. These trustworthy women pray.
A woman other women can trust makes their lives better. Whether we had good or bad examples of faithful women in our lives, we can all grow in our ability to be the kind of role model that pleases our Father. As we relate to the women in our lives, our faithfulness will bring healing and hope. We will find God is making each of us into a woman other women can trust.
Remember Horton the Elephant, from Dr Seuss? “I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful 100%.” What a nice elephant!
Ladies, not one of us wants to look like Horton, but let’s be the kind of women other women trust- women who are faithful 100%. Our loyalty and support could save a woman, a marriage, and even a calling.
We would enjoy stories from you about a woman who really helped you–a woman you trust. Submit your stories by adding a comment. As soon as we know they are not spam they will be posted.