Building Bridges

by Jennifer

This year I am going to be serving together with several other women.  It is a great organization and I am excited to be a part of it.  These women have friendly, beautiful and upbeat personalities.  They have awesome children.  They have hearts that want to serve and I am grateful to be serving with them.

In conversation yesterday with one other woman I saw it.  I heard it.  I almost felt it.  Our differences.  We have pretty big philosophical differences that guide us in our own lives.



What if we confidently go forward, certain in what divides us and yet also certain in our own approach.  What if we go forth confident in our decisions?  Decisions we’ve made with our spouses and through prayer.  What if we move forward peacefully confident in our own decisions?

What if?

What if we looked at these decisions differently?    What if I looked at my sister and said, “But you should continue on this path.  It is what Christ has planted in your heart.  Keep going.”  These differences between us are beautiful and necessary divisions.

They don’t require arrogance, insecurity or competition.

These differences may see like a canyon in our relationships; deep and stunning.  They are carvings from our unique backgrounds and experiences.  If we move toward one another in  our strength, confidence and certainty we can build a bridge that defies all odds.  We can create a connection in places we can connect.  In places we do connect.

Connection over differences.



I walked this bridge in the literal sense last week.  What does it look like to relationally walk this bridge?  What does it look like to walk the bridge of connection over differences?

It means not entertaining insecurity or fear about my own decisions.  No second guessing or doubting what we have discussed and discerned with our spouses and others.  It would be mutual; both people seeking connection in places we connect.

It means allowing space for others to be themselves.  Allowing space for differences in opinions.  As Matthew Kelly says in The Seven Levels of Intimacy,   “Consciously or unconsciously we tell ourselves, ‘When I understand him, I will accept him’ or ‘when I understand her, I will love her.’

This is akin to standing at a stove and saying, ‘I’ll give you wood when you give me heat.’ Too often we make understanding a condition of our acceptance.’ ”

If we took time to remind ourselves, I do not understand your approach, but I accept you.

If we took the time to remind ourselves, that together we are trying our best and following the call that is placed our hearts to become everything we were created to be.

If we took the time to remind ourselves, that your path looks different from mine and I accept that.

We would build amazing bridges.