Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fearless Women

This is dedicated to all the women I know, who have had to withstand turmoil and suffering, and yet did not give up; finding strength in the Lord our God.

My mother said her first heartfelt prayer, while facing her own death. She nearly drowned as a teenager, as she tried to save her sister from drowning. And in that most turbulent moment, she cried out knowing that only God could save her. And He did. Her sister's fate was different. She passed away with the turbulent waters, leaving my mother with immense loss.

I call my mother a survivor. A feisty woman full of gumption and great spirit. And although she has given in to fears at times, she is fearless.

There's a woman I know. Her graceful smile hides the burdens that she must carry. Her gentle ways never tells about her pain. She pulls herself together instead of pulling covers over her head. She is fearless.

I've fond memories of a woman who'd write her cares away to paper. Not allowing pain to leave its trace on her heart. With each new night, she welcomed new strength... With each new day, new mercies she embraced. She was fearless.

My sister is one of my heroes. Her smile lights up a room. She's giving and meek,and to some she may seem weak. Yet on her knees, she finds the courage to face the cares of the day. She is fearless.

One of my dearest friends passed away several years ago, after a long battle with Lupus. This October 17th, we would have celebrated her birthday. I can't help but think about the great example of strength and courage that she left for me and others. She had the gift of hospitality. And although she lacked physical strength, her words were always uplifting. She drew people in with her soft tone and laughter. Oh, how I miss her! Nancy was fearless.

I know of single mothers, who play the role of mom and dad. I know of widows who pick up where husbands left off. I know of young mothers who spend their days and nights by the hospital beds of sickly children. I know of women who are battling illnesses, not giving up the fight. I know of moms who await their "prodigal" children's return. I know of wives who do not walk away from their marriage, although they have every right to do so. I know a lot of fearless women.

And then there's me.
I get up in the morning because I am able to. I share my life with others because God says I should. I love when it is hard to. I believe, when I can't see. I trust although it's difficult. I move forward, although I feel stuck. I smile, even when I'm hurting. I laugh because it feels so good. I cry because there is hurt. And I pray because only in God do I find strength.

A while back I read a study on what it meant to be a woman of strength versus a strong woman. And the conclusion was that anyone can be strong, but real strength is only found in God. And when you fully rely on God for strength, you become fearless.

Have you ever head the story of Elizabeth Elliot? She won over the men who killed her husband. She witnessed to the violent tribe, and they gave their lives over to Christ.

Have you read the story of Rahab? Although she was a prostitute in Bible times, she protected the men of God who needed a place to hide, and she was saved.

Lastly, have you not heard the story of Mary, the mother of Jesus? She was a young virgin who carried baby Jesus in her womb and gave birth to Him, the savior of mankind.

She was, indeed, fearless.

Nehemiah 8:10b, "for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
Psalm 28:7a, "The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me."
Isaiah 40:29, "He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak."
1Peter 3: 13-15, "Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats[b]; do not be frightened.”[c] 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord.
2Timothy 1:7, "For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline."

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