Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Woman's Heart Part Four: Bare Strength

Have you ever noticed how a woman attracts more attention than a man? A woman who attracts more attention not because of her physical beauty, but the beauty of her soul? Think about it. The moment a woman laughs, sings, smiles, politely comments, makes conversation, heads turn. She attracts people’s attention, woman and man alike.

There is an awe about a woman who dares to bare her soul to the world, to shine a light that casts out all dark thoughts and places. A woman's soul is said to be medicine to the world. The passion harbored within her heart brightens up a day in a single song of praise, a kind gesture, or a gentle hand catching a falling object. She is a healer. She is mercy.

I’ve heard men rant at women for being forgiving, for offering second chances, for offering peace. I’ve seen men shake their head at the smile that comforts a naughty child or the helping hand to a man who just punched another. Yet, I’ve also seen men stop and stare, awe-struck by the mere thought that she might risk herself, her reputation, and her life simply to offer another mercy.

Women run such a risk of being misused or over worked or pushed around because they are so willing to put themselves on the line, their hearts on the line, when asked to. Granted, we don’t do it for every situation, but our hearts are naturally tuned to respond with grace more than punishment. We are the embodiment of God’s graceful, forgiving, peaceful and merciful characteristics. And for that, we bear both exploitation and glory.

See, there is a strength in women that few can match. A true woman shouts to the world. She knows justice; she upholds it; but she also knows when a heart needs a friend more than a new enemy.

We have the guts to let pieces of our hearts reach others, knowing full well they may be rejected, stomped on, or accepted. We know full well that there may be pain on the other side of a relationship offered entirely in grace, but we pick it back up again.

Even when plagued by the tortures of false beauty or fears of abandonment or the shame and hurt Satan pours on us, we still shine light into the darkest places because it is what we are called to do. Deep down there is a desire to be in situations that demand every piece of our minds, hearts, and bodies. We not only long for adventure, but we long to be run dry of all possible sources of strength.

There is gladness in our hearts when we open the doors to our soul just a bit to let others peek or even when we simply pour out our soul into something others would find meaningless. The heart of a woman does not thrive in moderation; it thrives in ups and downs, fills and drains. The key is keeping our hearts full.

That fullness comes from the Lord. He has specifically designed us to be a physical expression of His compassion and mercy. He also gives us the tools to engage in that physical expression every minute of every day through His word and devotion to Him. He sings to our hearts, dances in our minds, and empowers us with His words. We love to teach and spread the Word. But, we usually prefer to act on it rather than speak of it. We like to be the hands that extend love.

Now, this is not to say that we are to be unwise and lay our soul out for everyone to see and trample on. That’s not what I’m saying. A true woman knows when it is best to keep her glory close to her and when to expand it to reach others. What I am saying is that being a woman, a true compassionate creature of the Lord, takes a strength that no male-dominated career can provide. It takes a strength that no worldly pleasure can prepare. It takes a strength that no level of degree can alter. She is a teacher, a lover, and a healer. And those three alone mean getting hurt, rejected, despised, cast out, torn, neglected, misused, misunderstood, you name it.

The Lord never assured us that we would evade trouble in this life, but rather guaranteed it. Men find their strength in protecting women, in carrying out the justice of the world. Women find their strength in stopping punishment to rescue a soul that needs gentle care, not retribution.

The Lord doesn’t require that you become a feminist or that you embody every characteristic of the ideal woman (Proverbs 31 is a great example). What He asks you to do is bring all that you have to Him and let Him turn it into your battle plan. He equipped you with a unique and valuable personality that magnifies His compassion in specific ways, often times opposite of your best friend's and family's. He created you precisely as you are so that you could specifically carry out His plans through His grace.

So many women look upon strength as being at the end of a fulfilled check-list or an altered personality. Instead, you just end up with a broken spirit. Our hearts were not made to compare with others or to live up to standards that did nothing to fill our aching souls.

Only God can fulfilled those souls of ours, and we so often times run to the wrong places. We want to seem strong, bold, beautiful and worth it. Yet, we see greener grass on the other side without ever seeing how plush our own is. A woman who knows who she is, Who she needs to follow, and who she needs to hold her heart out to is a strong, bold, gorgeous, and well worthwhile woman. She is a rare gem that can never be found twice.

The thing is. . . you, right as you are now, don’t have to change who you are to become that strong, beautiful woman you have always sought to be. She is staring right back at you when you look in the mirror. Don’t be ashamed of not knowing how to cook or not desiring shopping or being the worst when it comes to colors. If it’s not you, it’s not you. Who you are right now is the person God intends to shape and use with His grace, not the woman you composed on some paper and have sought to make her a real person.

So, you know what? Throw away that checklist. If you love to sing, go to the market and sing your heart out. If love vibrant colors, go get some paints and start sharing your heart on canvas. If you love to hunt, get to practicing on your aim. If you love to mountain climb, get your gear and go! Do what you love and do it all for the glory of God. Flaunt your beauty, your heart. Give Him glory in a way that only woman can, with compassion, healing, mercy, grace, and transcendent splendor.

For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light. (Ephesians 5:8)

1 comment:

  1. This is my favorite one you've done, Hannah.