So I was feeling mighty low, when I received mail from my mother. I don't know about you, but I know for me, receiving mail has become a special event. And obviously, I don't mean "junk mail". We get that everyday, and it's always so full of ... junk.
And so I was lying on the sofa, when my husband handed me the card. I opened it up and first found an old picture of mom and me and some friends. Tears welled up in my eyes right away. I must have been about 3 years old, when the picture was taken. And there I was standing by mom, leaning on her with one arm--both of us looking like we're posing for some 70's model shoot. "Sooo cute!"
I don't know what possessed my mom to send the photo, but it came at just the right moment to remind me of not just her love, but of God's love for me. You see I was feeling lousy, both physically and emotionally. And with such a small gesture, God embraced me; and a feeling of joy came over me.
Okay, so it doesn't end there. I looked inside the card for what was written, and all that I found were these words. "She is dressed with strength and honor" (Proverbs 31:25a)
That's all she wrote. And the tears rolled down my cheeks. How did she know? How did she know that I'd need to hear that? She didn't....but God did.
You see lately, I've been feeling the pressures of motherhood and womanhood coming down on me real hard. And most of the time, I'm left feeling inadequate and defeated. I'm left with the thoughts... "What makes a good mom?" "How do I respond to their demands in a Godly manner?" "Am I being too pushy?" "Where will our relationship be ten years from now?" "Will my daughter confide in me at her time of need?" "Will my son return home, once he's gone off to college?" "Am I not doing enough to keep my middle child content?" "Am I pushing them away instead of drawing them in?" "And yet, is it about me? or about leading them to God?" "Am I leading them to God?"
and.... Where do I throw in the towel?" "Please be easier on me, please!!!" "I'm only human.".....
She is dressed with strength and honor.... How can I be dressed this way? You see, this represents a the woman I long to be. Yet, if you read the entire chapter in Proverbs, you find that this woman is not free of trouble. She is not unfamiliar to the common demands of womanhood and motherhood. In fact, she is faced with the same types of demands I face. And yet, she thrives on God's approval, and so she is considered the "wife of noble character". If I read this chapter trying to see how I measure up, I lose interest real quick. But if I focus on her source of strength and honor, then I regain my own.
You see, just like I freely admit that I'm no superwoman, this woman of Proverbs 31 does not claim to be one either. Unseemingly, she too, was only human. And just like me, she too, found herself able because of God. You see, if you read on, you find this verse, 30"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised."
Okay, so I admit that this chapter of Proverbs has never been one of my favorites because of how mighty and perfect this woman sounds.... making me out to be incapable. And yet, the way I've come to peace with it is by focusing on six specific words found in verse 30... a woman who fears the Lord.
That's it! That's where I fit in! That's how I can compare to this so called mighty woman--- I fear the Lord, as well.
And so I'm not alone.... in fact, I am just one of the millions of mothers and wives who lack the confidence, who feel the guilt, who suffer the losses,and so on.
But I am also one of many who fear the LORD, and because of it, I too, am dressed with strength and honor.
Strength and honor....... wear it!