When I attended my first Family of Women meeting, I knew I wanted women in my life. I fell in love with the idea of sitting in a circle with women each week! It felt so lovely and supportive and productive.
What I didn’t realize at the time was how much I also needed those women… to encourage and guide me and support me in my goals and dreams.
One woman in particular helped me clarify my goals right from the beginning of my membership. And she often asked me direct questions about my choices and behaviors that had me look at what I was doing and why, and whether I wanted to keep doing things that way or not. But I never felt judged by her, just cared for; she took an interest in me and my life, for several years. She and the other women also helped me get clear about what I was looking for in a potential husband – this would come in handy when I met him!
Then when I was provided with an opportunity to work overseas, the women in my group encouraged and supported me to pursue it. It took me about three months of deliberating to make the decision, and I don’t think I would have made it without them. That decision changed my life in so many important ways and I am incredibly grateful to those women!
One way it changed me was moving away from my hometown for the first time at the age of 29 and living on a different continent where I didn’t even speak the language. This in itself helped me grow immensely as a young woman. And I met other expats who have become dear, lifelong friends in a variety of countries.
And, I met the man of my dreams while I was there too! One woman in particular from my Family of Women group continued to support me in believing in myself and knowing my worth whenever I reached out to her while I was dating and “interviewing” this man who would become my husband. I wasn’t sure if I deserved such a great man – well this woman very clearly told me I absolutely did, and thankfully I believed her! He had what I was looking for. We have been happily married for over 10 years now because I chose the right man for me. I am forever grateful for her encouragement and support to dream big and not settle.
I have also been given opportunities to practice leading and facilitating groups of women over the years. I believe this has helped me grow my confidence and skills in a variety of areas, and I am grateful for that.
Several women within the Family of Women have truly helped me change my life. I wouldn’t be who I am today if it weren’t for their loving care, encouragement, acceptance, and gentle nudges of support to get what I said I wanted. Thank you all! I now endeavour to pay it forward and give to others what I have received.
~Clair F., Washington State