Womanhood Series- Week 2: Ladies, Be Strong
Let’s face it, life isn’t always easy. Some days are amazing! You know the ones-- those days that are filled with good food, good people, love, and laughter. On the flip side, there are days when you simply don't want to get out of bed. You literally force yourself to get up and face the day. The reasons behind these "bad" days may differ from woman to woman. For some, it might be failure. Some women might be walking through an illness. Some may have lost a loved one, while others might be struggling with rejection. Life happens- and it when it does, it happens to all of us. No one is exempt from trials.
One thing that I want to say to you this week though is, Be strong. I truly believe that God is calling us higher in this regard. He is calling us to more. He is constantly challenging the idea that our lives must always be comfortable. It is important that we understand this: we are refined by the fire. Someone once quoted that great things never come from comfort zones. The fire is what makes us strong; it’s what molds us into something more than just another woman.
After much testing, I’ve learned that everything that I have faced was for a greater purpose- a purpose much greater than myself or my feelings. Every trial that I've encountered has made me stronger in some way. Every hard season in my life was always to help someone else. The suffering was by no means easy to cope with, but it made me stronger. It made me more resilient. God has taught me over the years that as His daughter, I must be strong. As a woman, I must be strong. Many of us want strong men, but we’re not strong women. We’re not women of strong faith. We’re not women of resilience. We’re not women of resolve. Many of us desire to be used by God and to do great exploits , but as soon as the walk gets hard, we retreat. As soon as the waters begin to rage, we want to throw in the towel. For some of you, giving up is a way of life. A class gets hard, you drop it. You experience some resistance at work, you quit or ask to be transferred. Things get rough in a relationship, you tap out. We’ve practically trained ourselves to be weak, to be quitters and it’s profiting us nothing.
How can God use us if He can’t trust us? Why would He want us to do great exploits for Him, if at the first sign of opposition, we falter and crumble under the pressure? Ladies, we must be strong. We hear about Queen Esther all the time. A lot of us even compare ourselves to her. But Esther was a strong woman! Are we really even ready to come anywhere close to filling her shoes? This woman looked death in the eye to save her people. She was willing to sacrifice her own life to save an entire nation.
Esther understood that going before the King unsummoned meant immediate death, yet she was strong. She didn’t shy away from the opposition. She didn’t allow the possibility of death to deter her, and for the sake of her people, she went before the King. (Esther 5:1-8). Esther didn’t retreat, and in the end, God used the trials and the opposition to make her stronger and to help so many people. Her story is still inspiring us today (thousands of years later).
I know that being strong might sometimes seem easier said than done. It’s easy for us to tell someone else to be strong when we can’t fully understand what they’re facing. I understand that. But ladies, I’ve lived this out. I may not know what your exact trial feels like, but I have had more than my share of rough days and dry seasons. So, believe me when I say that once you endure, you will come out stronger and more resilient. The Bible tells us this. (James 1:2-4) In the midst of your storm, remember these two things:
1. Don’t Give Up: There will be moments when you want to throw in the towel. There will be days when you want to give everything up because it just feels too hard. Ladies, please don’t give up. Keep enduring. Keep pressing on. I always remind myself that once I continue walking, I will eventually arrive at my destination, but if I stop and throw in the towel, then that’s it. Don’t be a woman who gives up easily.
2. Do It Afraid: There will be moments in your life when you’re afraid. You might be afraid to apply for a school because your grades aren’t the best. You might be afraid to apply for a job because you feel under-qualified. You might even be afraid to take on an opportunity because you don’t feel well equipped for it. One thing that I’ve learned is that sometimes we must do it afraid. I’ve had so many moments in my life where I felt petrified. I mean petrified to the point that my body felt like it was shaking all over, but God always reminded me that He was with me and that through Him, I can do all things, so I did it afraid. (Philippians 4:13)
Let’s not retreat when trouble comes, but instead, persevere. We may not know what’s on the other side, but we know that the One who walks with us is aware and He has our best interests at heart. Be a woman who is persistent even during great opposition. Be a woman who refuses to quit when the fight gets hard. It’s time to step our game up!
(Refer to Week #2 worksheet if you're serious about becoming a stronger woman.)