“When the Holy Spirit in one woman recognizes and responds to the Holy Spirit in another woman, safe places become sacred spaces.” -Sophie Hudson, “Giddy Up, Eunice”
I am re-reading the book “Giddy Up, Eunice” by Sophie Hudson in preparation for a book club I am co-leading at our church this summer. I read this book last fall and loved it so much that I wanted to share this book with others who may not even know they need this book and/or who are passionate about the message of this book as much as I am which is “women need other women.” We need women who have gone before us and blazed the trail, we need those who are shoulder-to-shoulder with us neck-deep in baseball schedules and dirty diapers and we need those who are behind us that are watching us and taking notes. We were made in the image of a deeply relational God, thus we were created to be in relationship with others. By the way, if you are local and would like to join us, PLEASE DO, we would love to have you!
This phrase…”safe places become sacred spaces” has been mulling over in my head and heart for a while now. And I wonder, how many of us have these safe places that become sacred spaces. Here’s what it looks like…
“…we know we’re in a sacred space, when there’s freedom to share our real lives and our real circumstances.
To sincerely pray for one another.
To bless each other.
To listen with our hearts as well as our ears.”
I know from personal experience what this looks like; what it’s like for the Holy Spirit in me to recognize the Holy Spirit in another woman and to be invited into a safe place that became a most sacred space. And believe it or not, it didn’t happen with someone who was the same-age or same stage as me, but with someone much older than myself. Let me explain…
My very new husband, as in just married, and I had just moved 600 miles away from family and friends, we knew absolutely NO ONE. That’s a very sobering and scary thought. We moved up to Ohio for him to take a High School Youth Pastor position at a very large church. Now, being from the south I knew nothing about Ohio or how brutal the winters were. When they say that love is blind, they ain’t kidding! I was so far from home and everything familiar.
I will never forget the first time I met, Lisa Bailey, she had two pairs of glasses on her head and she was wearing a pair on her face. Then she introduced herself, telling me she was from “Wild and Wonderful” West Virginia. Instantly, I knew that I had met a kindred spirit. She invited us over for dinner the following night to meet her family…her husband, 6 kids and Phoenix the dog. We joke about it now, but when we showed up the next night and sat down at the dinner table to eat, Nick noticed a piece of pizza clinging to the wall above the table. We all laughed about it, finished our meal and talked long into the night. Over the next several years, we spent many of nights eating dinner around their table and most holidays/birthdays were celebrated at their house. Their home became our home away from home, in fact we never rang the door bell but just walked on in. Side note: if the door bell rang, you were either a salesman going door-to-door or a stranger.
The spirit in me recognized the spirit in Lisa…she was a safe place that became a sacred space. It was never a formal thing, we never read a book together or did bible studies together. She simply opened up her home and life to me and my husband. I shared with her my struggles of being so far from home. She asked me to come over for coffee and apple pie. I would ask her to pray for me and I knew without a shadow of a doubt that she would. Even now, I will text her from time-to-time on her prayer/fasting days to pray for me. She celebrated our birthdays as if we were one of her kids. She was there the day I gave birth to our firstborn and loved him as if he were one of her own grandchildren. She listened to us as we shared with her that we felt God leading us back down south. She encouraged us and pushed us to follow God’s call even though we knew she didn’t want us to leave.
Safe places become sacred spaces…
Do you have this? Do you need to be this to someone?
It’s not hard and it doesn’t have to be complicated. All you have to do is show up or invite someone in.
I have been on this earth almost 32 years, which I know is only a drop in the bucket compared to some, but I have learned that my fondest memories and greatest joys can be traced back to someone or a group of people.
Are your spiritual eyes wide open as you look for your people?