I listened intently to Christine Caine yesterday as she discussed today’s Christian women and the challenges they face. And since then, I haven’t been able to get the idea out of my head that being strong doesn’t look the same for everyone.
I mean, I have a friend whose husband is working long hours on a job that he really needs. She cares for 4 children at home, doing laundry and helping with homework, making meals and managing a household, all while volunteering at church and loving on her sweet 4 month old baby. Because we’re friends, I know her past. And man, she is so strong.
Strength looks like being a homemaker.
Then there’s a pastor’s wife I know and love. Heartbroken that her childbearing years were cut short, she made it through to God’s plan of adoption as a means of adding to their family. She works two jobs while her husband is in ministry full-time; they have four children, including their adopted child who has special needs that require going the extra mile. Extenuating circumstances have tried to beat her down, but she keeps going.
Strength looks like being a pastor’s wife.
There’s an author I know and love who has written many incredible books. If you met her in person, you’d never believe the abuse and absolutely crazy life she’s endured, yet she is joy-filled and radiant. It’s hard to believe that depression and distress has gripped her in the past; she is flat-out strong.
Strength looks like being an author.
I know a girl who has worked incredibly hard as soon as she was old enough to get a job. She puts everything into her studies and has made excellent grades for years upon years of schooling. In spite of financial obstacles and hurdles, she is headed to begin her last three years of medical training this fall. As many times as she might have felt like giving up, she didn’t; because she.is.strong.
Strength looks like being a student.
A mama hangs out by the bedside of her dying girl right now. She wanted to say goodbye to her baby at home, but the struggle was so great that they moved to hospice. Each day this week she is counting the number of times she gets to say “I love you.” Her only hope for the moment is that her baby girl who has lived with disease is hearing her whispers. I can’t wrap my mind around her strength.
Strength looks like being a mother.
A speaker stands before a crowd of church people, declaring that women in today’s church need to be recognized as leaders. That the world needs Jesus more than ever and we must tell others about his great love for us. She reads a Bible passage I’ve personally never heard preached and talks about how important the role of women was in the ministry of Jesus while he was here on this earth. (Luke 8:1-3) She boldly declares truth about the need for strong women in today’s society and that these women must be willing to be used of God. And I think to myself…
Strength looks like being a preacher.
A woman I barely know has made an incredible impression on me. Though she is a full-time nurse and well-respected professor, every few months she travels to a far away African orphanage and village. There she has almost single-handedly transformed many lives through providing glasses for those who cannot see and foot care for those who have no shoes. Her personal approach to following through on God’s whispers to her heart is more than admirable- it is strength.
Strength looks like being a nurse.
I don’t know your background, your education, or your career.
It doesn’t matter if you stay at home, work part-time, or work outside the home.
It doesn’t matter where you live or what you do on a daily basis.
If Jesus is your Savior, then you are a daughter of the King.
He promises to provide you with strength wherever you are.
He will lift you up when you are down.
His Word will transform you from a weak woman to a worthy warrior.
Being strong doesn’t look the same for everyone.
The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. Psalm 28:7
Who do you know that needs to be reminded of his strength today?