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Womens’ Hearts and Bunny Rabbits

I know. What in the world does a woman’s heart have to do with bunnies? Well, not much really, but it got you to read this far at least! A dear friend of mine is a veterinarian in the community, and when she sat down for lunch the other day, the weight of her morning dropped into the padded booth seat along with her. It had been an unusually hectic morning at work for her, and she had barely caught her breath. I asked her what was so different, since we'd been meeting regularly for months at this time of day, and I'd never seen her so disheveled. She breathlessly shared how she had been focused intently all morning because it was a special procedure and she had to be at her best: it was bunny surgery day.

Now, at the risk of offending some of you (I apologize in advance), I have to confess -- I giggled.

Bunny surgery day?

I thought I had been juggling stressful situations, but apparently bunny surgery is in a league of its own! Intrigued, I had her explain in as much detail as she would indulge me, with what exactly made bunny surgery so stressful. I admit, it did sound rough...especially for the bunny. But my friend is amazing and I gained a new appreciation for her mad bunny surgery skills that day.

What struck me as most interesting though is the fact that the challenge is not so much the surgery itself, as it is the personality of the bunny. They are extremely sensitive to stress! Bunnies stress out worse than most animals, so you have to work quickly and carefully so the poor bunny doesn't have an all out fit. Ok, I may have giggled again. Sorry!

I asked her the natural next question (well, natural to me - another creature very sensitive to stress): how do you relax a bunny - aside from medication? Herein lies perhaps a connection with womens' ministry (see, it's a leap but there's a connection...or should I say 'hop'?) My friend calms bunnies down by putting them in a small space, like a cage within a cage, and then covers it all with towels to make it dark, cozy and quiet.

Here is the key: try and keep the bunny from seeing and hearing all the things going on around her so she doesn't see and hear all that she has no control over.

I just sat there for a moment as I took it in, and remembered some passages where God essentially is saying the same is true about what we need from Him:

"...hide me in the shadow of your wings..." Ps. 17:8

"You are my hiding place; You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance." Ps.32:7-8

"The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe." Prov. 18:10

"In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength." Isa. 30:15
"When I said 'my foot is slipping,' your love, O Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul." Ps. 94:18-19

Women multi-task, in general, more than men. We tend to hear, see and imagine many things in a day that cause us stress because we have limited control over how they will resolve. We manage, reason, plan, prepare, plan some more, strategize, communicate and organize, but ultimately it doesn’t help us truly relax.

Women serve each other best when we use our influence to encourage and remind each other to calm down, Christ is covering us. Jesus Himself assures us in John 14:27 that He has left His peace with us so do “not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Run quickly to the quiet still place where we rest in the reality that our big, in-control God is covering us. When we speak Truth to each other as women, and model for each other a dependence on God and a rejection of trusting in our own strength to control everything, we give one another Good News: God is big and we are small - even like little stressed-out bunnies.

We are weak and easily stressed out. What stresses you out may not stress me out, but when our hearts are challenged and our sense of security is rocked - watch out! Stress is an equalizer, we can all relate, so this gives opportunity for connection among us! Not to glory in stress, but in the God we can all run to when stress comes.

Friday night, February 8th, we're going to have opportunities to talk with each other as women, and use our influence to encourage and learn from each other - and even relax for a while! Have you registered for Just Women Night yet? You can register here online, or stop by the registration table on Sunday morning. We’d love to enjoy the time with you - just don’t stress over it.

Heather Yates
Women's Ministry Director

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