I needed to feel confident. It was a hard day, that turned into a hard week that escalated into a long, tiring, and weary month. (2020 anyone?) I needed to feel strong, confident and capable so I went on a run. I put on my headphones and blasted my anthem song. I started to run as my pace increased, I envisioned myself boxing. Yes boxing, it's literally been a dream of mine to be able to box. (I'm aggressive ok!) As I started to run, I thought of all the moments (and people) that have frustrated me and I ran faster and faster. I said to myself I feel so strong, I am confident, and capable. And then I rounded the corner of the neighborhood and I heard a gentle whisper that said, "This isn't the strong I want you to be Heather."
I turned the music off and stopped with my hands on my hips catching my breath, I suddenly felt His presence. With tears in my eyes I just listened. I could feel my heart pounding in my chest as my lungs breathed hard exhaling my frustrations and inhaling awaited breaths as I hoped He would keep speaking to me. Then I heard, "Strong is complete brokenness. Bending down low, humbling yourself so you can hear My ways, my plans and my strategies. Strong is every day serving your children with joy in your heart. Strong is submission in humbleness willing to go where I send you and walk where I lead you. Yes strong is fighting and pushing and working. But Heather you know how to do that already. I am cultivating in you another type of strong."
Are you a strong woman? There seems to be a movement in the world...definitely more culture led than spiritual, but it is about strong women. Standing up for yourself, fighting, breaking the glass ceiling, doing things only men have ever done. Now I am all about that, I have three daughters, so hear me I want them to be strong. But what kind of strong are you?
I grew up climbing trees, playing sports with all the boys, ruff and tumble and don't tell me what I can't do kinda girl. I pushed and strived, and fought and was down right determined to do whatever it was someone believed I couldn't. I was strong. And in this world, we must be strong. We fight, we work, we get it done. We do it afraid, we run hard, we don't quit. And that's beautiful. That's something I would applaud, most would applaud. Most people recognize this as strength, maybe some are intimidated by this and call this bossy, pushy, cocky, etc. But I am not talking about that today. I could, because I have been labeled many of those, (a blog for another time). But today, I am talking about strength, because this is a deeper level of faith and trust that I have walked and I know it's where the Lord wants to take His daughters. This is the kind-of strength I am talking about that is not awarded by this world. It is not liked or followed on Instagram. It isn't pinned on Pinterest and it surely isn't building your platform of influence. But it's the kinda strong that brings heaven to earth, that shifts a room, that softens a harden heart.
It's the kinda strong that breaks down walls of insecurity, fear, and bitterness. The strong that intercedes in prayer and never gives up, the strong that dies to self everyday so that you can be led by Jesus in every way. The strong that breaks herself open like an alabaster jar and pours herself out and the aroma of her life is pleasing to the Father. Yes this is strong. And this is the kind-of strong we must be "For such a time as this."
To the world it looks lowly, forgotten, passive, a pushover, a wimp, a doormat. It won't be applauded or praised, it wont look too good filtered or cropped for a photo, because it's messy, and hard, and holy, and broken in the best way. It's not logical, it's heavenly and focused on the unseen. It's a never giving up; not by striving for attention but by seeking the affection of the Lord. Because He promises when you seek Him you will find Him. We are all looking for something, and you will find it. And if this year hasn't taught you how fragile everything except Jesus is then I am here to tell you that He is the only thing that doesn't change, shift, break or lie. It's time to wake up and be fully alive and that means fully surrendering to what He is doing in HIS-Story. (History) And it's time to live the broken life before Jesus, because that is truly strong.