I need girlfriends more than a hidden stash of chocolate. They are all necessary for my thriving and time spent in their company fills me like a good meal. Some of my girlfriends and I make a point to get together once a month without any of our kids or husbands and just have a girls night out. We’ve done it for years now, each of us passing around maternity clothes, birthday gifts, and prayer as our lives have bended and flexed under the weight of change and sameness all at once. These nights are filled with food and fun but mostly lots and lots of talking.
A few of us at our girls night Christmas dinner.
I’m sure you know what I mean ladies. We have an uncanny ability to fill every nook and cranny of time with words. We each throw them out there, high into the air and they fall down all mixed together like confetti getting stuck in our minds and hearts; loud and vibrant and colorful.
Girl talk has been forever linked with things like nail polish, colors, and haircuts and at times, that’s what it’s made of, but it is so much more. Girl talk has the power of life and death. Yes, the term “girl talk” paints a picture of chatty Kathy’s but good girl talk, the kind we should strive for should paint the picture of life.
There’s a good example of what girl talk should look like in the Bible.
When Mary, the mother of Jesus, found out she was pregnant, she went and visited her cousin Elizabeth. Elizabeth had also found out she was pregnant (with John the Baptist) and she was in her sixth month when the angel appeared to Mary to tell her about her baby boy who would be named Jesus. These women found themselves facing one of the biggest blessings and biggest challenges of their lives, together.
First let’s look at Elizabeth’s situation. She was an old lady who had been unable to bear children. She and her husband Zechariah had given up all hope of having a child because they had reached old age. However, God chose to heal her and sent an angel to Zechariah to tell him that Elizabeth would have a son. Zechariah, skeptical man that he was, didn’t believe the angel though so he was made mute until his son was born.
Now let’s look at Mary. She was a young virgin who was engaged to marry Joseph, the carpenter. She had a good future planned with a man that could take care of her. Life seemed great. Then, miraculously, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit with Jesus. In those days, if a woman was found to be pregnant outside of marriage she could be put aside by her fiancé and left to languish in scorn and shame.
This is my mom, sisters, and me at my baby shower for Judah (minus my brother’s fiancé who will be my sister in just a few weeks!) Sisters make the best girlfriends.
So, there’s the context of these two women’s lives when they had their little “girls night out”. Both pregnant. Both with a lot of unknowns. There’s a lot of good happening but a lot of things to be anxious about as well. This is not so unlike our lives. More often than not, we have a good news/bad news relationship with life going on when we get together with our girlfriends. The noteworthy thing that happened between Mary and Elizabeth though was how their girl talk amplified the good in each other’s lives. Not the bad.
“At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” Luke 1:39-45 (NIV)
Good girl talk will help you focus on your blessings not your challenges. It would’ve been easy for Elizabeth and Mary to focus on the bad. Elderly pregnancy, a mute husband, a possible break up with your fiancé, single motherhood, public scorn, there was plenty to find in that well. Instead though, they focused on their blessings. Instead of teaming up and proving that misery loves company, they found joy and strength in their less than common circumstances. We can do that.
We can choose to be women who call out blessing in each other’s lives in the midst of trial. The words that we speak as friends have the power to turn a dark day sunny and to take our girlfriend’s eyes off of the challenge and onto the blessing.
Good girl talk makes us feel like we are treasured. Elizabeth said, “Why am I so favored that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” Elizabeth felt favored when Mary visited her! How special Mary must have felt when she heard this! This one is for women of any age but I feel like it’s especially important for younger girls to get. If, after you talk to your friends, you feel dumb or worthless or weird or just not good about yourself, you need to get some new girlfriends who can build you up with their talk. You are worth being friends with and you should feel treasured after talking with your friends. On the other end, are you making your girlfriends feel treasured with the words you speak into their lives? This includes the words you say both in their presence and outside of their presence.
Does your girl talk value or devalue? Build up or tear down? Your words have the power to invest worth in the hearts of your friends like money in the bank.
You gotta have your girlfriends to make you feel treasured at an ugly sweater party!
Lastly, good girl talk reminds you of God’s promises and plans for your life. Elizabeth said in verse 45, “Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished.” Good friends walk through the good and the bad times with each other but a Godly friend will remind you of the faithfulness of the Lord in the midst of it all. Our “girl talk” has the power to praise the Lord. We can be like Elizabeth and remind each other that we can count on God to do what he promised. We can build faith instead of commiserate and find hope in the process.
Girl talk is a powerful thing. Through it, we can call out blessing, instill worth, and build each other’s faith. I think I just gave you a good excuse for a girls night out!