The Search for Strength as a Woman of God
“Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love. Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it. Seal it for Thy courts above.”
This is one of my favorite lines from the hymn “Come Thou Fount.” It is an important reminder that we so easily drift away from our first Love and a prayer that asks Him to keep us near.
But, why are we so prone to wander? I believe it’s because of our frailty as humans manifesting itself. Nothing satisfies us as we roam from person to person, habit to habit, or thing to thing desperately searching for a place to call home. Even if we’ve been following Jesus since we were little girls, our lives can be characterized by this restlessness if we continue to look for contentment in things that are only shifting sand. Have you ever noticed how easily life falls apart when we wander? When we don’t settle in Christ, we remain breakable. Our souls are clouded, confused and nothing is steady. Jesus makes it clear that those who do not make Him their foundation are “like a person who builds his house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash” (Matthew 7:26-27).
In the past couple months, I have been this house in the sand. I look back and see how often I fell apart and how comfortable being broken had become. Refusing to turn to the Lord with my hurt was more comfortable than allowing Him to do something with it. Instead of laying self-pity at the feet of Jesus, I wore it like a medal of honor. But I realized that the type of life where I remain small and afraid is not the type of life that my Father has called me to.
“I write to you, young (wo)man, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.” 1 John 2:14
This is the life we are called to — one of strength and bravery. He has called us to rise up and fight. The closer we draw to Jesus’s heart, the less we will wander, and the stronger we will become.
A strong woman of God knows who she is because she has discovered who Christ is.
What does this sort of woman look like? This woman is one that lives a life for the Lord in reckless abandon. She is one who lives her days with purpose, rather than wandering aimlessly. She knows she is weak, but she does not wallow in her flaws or in self-pity. This woman is at peace with every part of herself. She does not let the little tricks of the enemy derail her. She does not confuse being a gentle and tenderhearted woman of God with being weak.
Most importantly, this woman knows that her strength is not, cannot, and never will be her own. Her strength comes only from Jesus. We are absolutely powerless in ourselves to be strong — it is Christ alone who clothes us in the strength and dignity that characterizes the Proverbs 31 woman.
A strong woman knows that she is not strong in herself and so she runs to the Lord to exchange her weakness for His strength.
Please don’t believe I’m saying that strength is never showing weakness. Being strong is not hardening your heart so you never feel heartbroken, angry or scared. True strength is pressing into the Lord in spite of these things. Being brave is allowing your humanity to show so that Jesus may reveal His strength through you. Strength is humbly confessing where you are weak, but having the courage not to stay there because it is comfortable and safe. Be brave enough to let go of anything that does not make you strong.
And no one gets this right all the time. We are all beautiful works in progress. Jesus is not finished with you and He will never abandon you. Beautiful girl, do not be too hard on yourself. The words I am saying are not meant to condemn, but to excite you and stir up a passion in your heart to live as the fighter that you are. And I promise that you never fight alone.
“Please hear me, Girl: The world has enough women who know how to do their hair. It needs women who know how to do hard and holy things.” -Ann Voskamp