By Tamara Tucker
Milestones are amazing, aren’t they? They are the stuff of victory, hallelujahs, and satisfaction. Often they are met with elation and relief in equal measure. Milestones call for celebration! And they feel glorious when reached. Recall a milestone moment in your life. I bet that just the memory of it brings a wave of satisfaction to your heart and a smile to your lips.
On one such day, I hit a milestone in a project that had literally taken years of my life. The final stretch leading up to that moment took every ounce of meagre courage that I had left. I felt as if I had bled out everything to get to that place. I was raw, exhausted, insecure, and largely unable to see the light at the end. Obviously, this achievement called for a solo dance party of epic proportion. It was an eclectic dance-off for one, and I had all the moves!
Not long after this, I found myself in a conversation in which I expressed the toil and exhaustion of that season. The response received was along the lines of wait until you have a baby, and then you’ll know what tired is! In this response I felt unseen and unacknowledged. Worse, I began to wonder if all I had struggled for and fought for had been in vain: my goals weren’t enough; I wasn’t enough; efforts seemed negated.
Wait-until comments are completely unhelpful, but they seem to be offered regularly. Wait until you are in university/you are working/you are married/you have a baby/ you have another baby/you have teenagers/you retire/etcetera…. Such discouraging statements do not honour where a person is right now, and they feed a compulsion to compete. Words can be used to tear down, rather than build up.
As sisters in Christ, we need to encourage one another in love and use our words wisely. Let us honour different seasons of life. Let us not compete to be the busiest, the most tired, or the most whatever it is that brings you validation. If someone else succeeds at something, that doesn’t mean there is less success to go around! You succeed in your season and I’ll succeed in mine. There is room for all of us. Let us honour the milestones, raise a glass, offer a toast, bust a move, wipe a tear, and share a laugh, a hug, a coffee, or a meal. Let us celebrate each other well! Let us love well. Let us be Women who Love.