There was a moment this year when I desperately prayed to not be a strong woman.
There was a moment when all I wanted was to be quiet, sweet-as-pie and unambitious.
There was a moment when I thought God had made a mistake with me in the creation process.
I mean, didn't He realize I was a woman? And weren't good, Christian women supposed to be un-intimidating, small and delicate?
Because if that was the case, I conjectured, I was a lost cause. No Christian man would want to date me, I'd be stuck in this purgatory of being too much and not enough all at the same time and would have loud, boisterous, STRONG female plastered across my forehead for the rest of my life. Yuck.
So naturally, I turned to my girlfriends, where all my wrestling gets shared - usually over a glass of CabSauv. Like clockwork, they provided support, spoke truth and encouraged me that God doesn't make mistakes. See, they are strong women too - so they've gone through this before. When I forget, they help remind me who I am and who God created me to be.
Do you ever feel this way? That you're a strong woman and that there is no place for you?
That you'll be perceived as "too much" for having an opinion?
That your dreams and aspirations will be unattractive and too intimidating for a guy to handle?
That you know what your giftings are, but you're too scared to reveal them for fear of looking too ambitious, success-hungry or boastful?
Preach, preach preach! But here's the thing. By stuffing down our innate characteristics, dreams and aspirations - we're TOTALLY missing out on what God has for us. What he wants to do through us. Let's take a look at Proverbs 31 - the most commonly referenced "blueprint" for godly woman:
A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
This woman is a total badass! (Sorry mom) But it's true. She's smart, driven, honest, noble. She's a provider, an entrepreneur, selfless, creative and resilient. She respects and supports her husband, but is equally respected and valued. And she's praised for all of these things. Her husband and children praise her for these qualities. Let me repeat that:
She is praised for being a strong woman.
This woman is by definition a #girlboss. The perfect example of what I would call a "strong woman" in today's day and age. There is nothing small about this woman. There is nothing that says passivity is ideal. She takes initiative, she gets things done and she welcomes the Lord into the rhythm of her daily life. She's strong, confident and valued for those characteristics. I don't know about you, but I take incredible comfort in this passage knowing that this is something I have to look to when the lies infiltrate.
Are you innately a strong woman? Yeah, that's probably not a mistake. I would have to conjecture he wants to do big things through you, for His glory. Keep an eye out.
P.S. Still don't believe me that being a strong woman is a good thing? Check out this guy's thoughts on the matter.