Hello there, friends!
Welcome to chapter four of Girls’ Club!
I’m awake in the early hours of the morning, pondering the content of this post’s chapter, and looking forward to spending the weekend with my sister, Julie.
Julie is one of my dearest friends, and I couldn’t help thinking of her when writing this post in our Girls’ Club Book Club.
The title of chapter four is “Loving Each Other’s Woundedness,” and if there is a friend who has loved me through deep wounds and a journey of healing, that friend is my sister.
I’m sure I’ll spend some time this weekend discussing this chapter with Julie- likely over cups of tea and chocolate cookies.
For now, I’m so happy you’ve joined me to journey through another chapter of Girls’ Club!
There is much important content in chapter four, so I’m going to unpack it a little differently than I have previous chapters.
Instead of a single favorite quote and takeaway, I’m going to share a few “nuggets” from the pages of this chapter, and why they feel meaningful to me.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on chapter four!
If you don’t own a copy of Girls’ Club, you can grab the book and accompanying journal from Amazon.
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Here are a few key quotes and my Cliffs Notes on chapter four of Girls’ Club, “Loving Each Other’s Woundedness.”
We are all wounded.
Over the years, most of the Christian books I’ve read about womanhood, friendship, and even motherhood, revolve around feel-good idealism; very few delve into topics of how brokenness affects our lives as wives, mothers, and friends.
But our woundedness does affect us, profoundly.
One of the aspects that has drawn me to Sally Clarkson’s writings over the years is her transparency. She doesn’t hid from the truth, and that has encouraged me to live with honestly and vulnerability in my own life.
To me, chapter four of Girls’ Club has a redemptive quality to it.
Sally is honest about the plight of humanity, yet she charts a hope-filled path toward wholeness and healing.
On page seventy-six, Sally states,
Deep impressions or roadways are formed in the brain through countless experiences, and they are shaped by the small, daily events of relating to those around us. We come to adopt the habits of those who have formed us…
“Mothers, especially those who have not had healthy role models of relationship, can pass on legacies of guilt, anger, manipulation, fear, critical attitudes, judgement, and insecurity, which give children holes in their emotional well-being- sometimes for their whole lives.”
This quote resonated with me.
However, Sally doesn’t stop there! She goes on to speak words of hope and truth regarding our innate woundedness.
We can experience health and healing.
Be encouraged- He can restore health and beauty where we have brought darkness and scars. He loves to redeem relationships…
“Of course, no one has had a perfect childhood, so most of us come to adulthood with a combination of good and bad relationship habits. That’s why it is so important that we correct unhealthy patterns of relating and replace bad experiences with healthy ones.”
As a woman who has experienced- and I continue to experience- healing and freedom from deep brokenness, I want to share this message with as many women as I can:
There is freedom from unhealthy patterns and healing from brokenness.
We do not have to pass a legacy of emotional unhealth to our children.
Personal Health Precedes Healthy Community
Sally goes on to unpack another vital truth about community:
As women, we are capable of experiencing meaningful, healthy friendships only once we have cultivated emotional health in our own lives.
Most of the feelings of isolation and loneliness I have personally known have stemmed from an inability to cultivate and sustain healthy relationships with the people around me.
My community wasn’t broken; I was.
Before we can enjoy the deep pleasure of girlfriends, we have to become healthy in our own lives.”
Community is not Without Boundaries
Just because we are moving toward the direction of health, and cultivating meaningful relationships with other women, does not mean that everything within our community will be idealist.
Sally addresses another misconception within Christian circles, and that is the idea that being a “nice Christian friend” means we must be close with everyone, simply because they are fellow believers.
This is simply not true.
At some point, separation from an unhealthy person becomes necessary. Gossiping, controlling, lying, accusing, criticizing extensively, spreading rumors, being overly emotional, or being emotionally unresponsive are hindrances to developing sound relationships.
“We ocassionally find ourselves in places where we must learn to set boundaries with people in order to function in a healthy way…”
We should never be quick to break a relationship, and we should do so only with the wise counsel of others, when our own assessment is confirmed by other mature people. But there are times when the wisest, most godly course of action is to continue to show love wile not inviting the person into your inner circle.”
Whether you’re reading chapter four for the first time, or revisiting this chapter, here are a few questions for you to ponder:
- What experiences in your life have caused wounds? How have those wounds affected your relationships- both in the past and presently?
- What steps have you taken toward healing? As women with busy lives, it’s easy to ignore our woundedness and simply try to move on. Why is this not an effective way of dealing with our emotional needs or unhealth?
- Have you attempted to get close within community before cultivating your own personal health? Why do you think personal healing is a vital “first step?”
- What does “setting healthy boundaries” mean to you? Do you build walls? Have no boundaries at all? Both of these imbalances point to our need to grow in understanding of what it looks like to live in healthy community with other people.
Sally covered so many important topics in chapter four that relate to our emotional health as friends, wives, and mothers.
If you’d like to delve deeper in this topic of emotional health, healing, and boundaries, I’ve shared a few helpful resources below.
(I’ve also written a few posts here on the blog about my own journey through brokenness and healing.)
- Boundaries, by Cloud and Townsend
- Safe People, by Cloud and Townsend
- Changes That Heal, by Cloud and Townsend
- Own Your Life, by Sally Clarkson
- Why Yes, I Am Broken
- 4 Things Loneliness Taught Me About Friendship
- A Glimpse of Grace, for When Motherhood Hurts
Thank you for journeying with me through Girls’ Club!
Your comments on social media and this blog are always welcome, so drop me a few words and share your thoughts.
Next time we’ll explore chapter five: “Saturday Mornings: The Girls’ Club Prototype.”
And enjoy your Mother’s Day weekend, lovely friends.
Here’s to living & loving well-