*** Because I have some things going on tomorrow, I am posting this early***
Welcome back to Yes To God Tuesdays. You can link to the host of this study, Lelia at Write From the Heart. Also, make sure you check out Lisa's (author of Behind those Eyes) blog as well.
I really enjoyed reading this chapter because I think Lisa did a wonderful job of sharing what true confidence is and as women, who are confidence can be in.
(Everything in RED is taken from the book.)
"A Strong Woman vs. a Woman of Strength" (poem found on page 52)
A strong woman works out every day to keep her body in shape...
But a woman of strength kneels in prayer to keep her heart in shape.
A strong woman isn't afraid of anything...
But a woman of strength shows courage in the midst of her fear.
A strong woman won't let anyone get the best of her...
But a woman of strength gives the best of her to everyone.
A strong woman makes mistakes and avoids the same in the future...
But a woman of strength realizes life's mistakes can also be God's blessings and capitalizes on them.
A strong woman walks sure-footedly...
But a woman of strength knows God will catch her when she falls.
A strong woman wears the look of confidence on her face...
But a woman of strength wears grace.
A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey...
But a woman of strength has faith that it is in the journey that she will become strong.
I totally agree with Lisa's point that society's suggestions about how to be a confident woman often contradicts the truth about where real confidence comes from. I see this not only from my perspective as a woman, but as a mother of a daughter. The truth of knowing that confidence can only come from one source- Jesus, is what I want to be kept in those deep places of my heart and the heart of my daughter.
I really had to do some thinking about the times when I've portrayed myself in an overly confident way because deep down, I've been afraid to let my vulnerabilities show. I've just never thought of it this way before. It makes sense though. I don't want to be vulnerable with my husband sometimes because I do want him to think I am strong. That I have it all together.
God keeps showing me how to be VULNERABLE. To me, being vulnerable means I can tell my husband that I need him, that I'm scared, that I have hopes and desires. It also means that I am laying it all out before God. The good and the bad. Vulnerability is really discovering who I am, if that makes any sense. It's hard. It's a risk. You know what I am discovering though... It's worth it. It's often easier for me to push feelings aside for whatever reason. Being afraid, not really understanding myself how I'm feeling, or sometimes because I'm just tired and I don't have the energy or strength. If I push them aside or ignore them, maybe they will go away. Perhaps for awhile they are gone, but they eventually come to the surface again. When I do stuff my feelings, it effects everything. The way I feel, my perspective, my marriage, how I respond to my kids, and my relationship with God. For a long time, I believed that I really could keep a lot of things from God. I don't know who I thought I was kidding. I want to go to the places of my heart where I can look at my fears and weaknesses because I can TRUST and BELIEVE that God will be there to meet me. God is really taking me on this journey of knowing Him in such a deeper way. I want to know and love Him more. I can only know Him at this deeper level when I am not afraid for Him to see the real me. The real me that has fears, worries, and vulnerabilities. The real me that puts a name to my feelings. On this journey, I know that His grace is enough. The weaker I get, the stronger I become.
As a woman, I do desire to be fearless, strong, self-sufficient and confident. Are these qualities being displayed in what I do or Who I believe in. I hope the latter.
At the end of the chapter, Lisa gives us a new set of definitions of the characteristics that would describe a confident woman.
~ Fearless- A complete state of being for a woman who rests in the strength of God.
Lord, help me to be a woman who does rest in you because in You I will find strength.
~ Strong - A resilience that goes beyond any tangible or physical condition and is unmatched in its fortitude.
Lord, I know that there are going to be things in my life that I have no control over. When my hope is you and because I know that You are on my side, I can scale any wall.
~Empowered - Comes from knowing who we are in Christ and who, by His strength, we can become.
Thank you for the promise Lord of knowing that He who has begun a good work in me, will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.
~ Independent - Recognition that our relationship with God is deeply personal and our need for anyone else but Him diminishes.
Jesus, You are my all in all. Thank you that you do know me in such a deep and personal way. That You have called me by name. Draw me close to You, that I may know your heart. My hope is in You alone. Lord, You are dependable and can be counted on. You are all that I need.
~ Emotionally Healthy - The desire to please only one source- that is Jesus Christ; the opinion of anyone else pales in comparison to what He thinks of us.
Lord, may the things I say and do bring glory to you. I know that I am accepted and loved by you and nothing can compare to that.
~Accomplished - What we do for God becomes the central and primary focus of our lives. What we accomplish on this earth can be gratifying but does not make us who we are.
Use me, Lord. Use me to share the truth of who You are to those around me. Lord, I pray that the passion I have for You would be so clearly evident. Lord, show me the places You want me to go, the areas you want me to serve and that I would be effective for You.
I started writing this post this weekend as I was getting my thoughts together and praying about what the Lord wanted to teach me in this. As I sit here now, a couple of days later, I am so thankful to know that my confidence can be in Jesus. My Lord and Savior.
A situation here at home has really shaken me the past few days. I don't feel confident at all. I feel helpless, unsure, anxious and scared. I know that there is nothing I can do right now to make it better. All I can do is pray and believe in the God I love. I have come to the Lord weary and tired. I've laid my worries at His feet. I will praise Him in this situation as well. He is working. He is answering prayers along the way. I have felt His presence. He has come to me in my silence before Him and through His Word. My confidence is in Him because I know who He says He is. Faithful. Trustworthy. All-powerful. Healer.
When I am weak, then I am strong. Only because of Jesus.
But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when the heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. ~ Jeremiah 17:7-8