June 6, 2011

pursuing proverbs 31

everyday i come across women i've never met before. women with beautiful smiles, an easy laugh, and touching stories. women who, within the space of a brief conversation, inspire me. and as i admire them, i wonder if i ever inspire others. as i was pondering this, however, and along with a lot of recent soul searching, i've realized that the motive behind this question needs to be re-evaluated. tonight, it doesn't come out of a proud and people-pleasing heart, but out of a heart that humbly wonders if i carry myself in a manner worthy of being inspiring.

am i truly, in every aspect of my life, worthy of admiration and respect. as the second oldest of 5, i automatically assume the role of the older sister, but can, and will, my two younger sisters and my little brother, see me as a role model worthy of example? undeniably, in the same way that i look up to others, others look up to me. the question is, however, whether i take that responsibility seriously, and whether i choose to live and shape my life into a strong example.

this morning, before church, i was flipping through proverbs and landed upon chapter 31, the description of a noble wife. admist all the refining, and in the confusion of who God is shaping me to be, i know that i am first and foremost His child and a woman of God, or at least i hope to be. proverbs 31 offers the most clear example of that woman, and as i was reading through the verses, i couldn't help but compare myself to this superwoman. i realized that i, without fail, often fall short.

God's ideal woman is, of course, perfect, because He is. i know i'm not perfect, i know i never can be, but the constant pursuit of righteousness, holiness, and perfection, is one we are called to, regardless of how impossible it may seem. personally, i think that God leaves perfection just out of our reach, so that we recognize our insatiable need for Him. we can never, we will never, be perfect. only He is. that is why we need Him. aside from that, however, God's ideal lady is remarkable in so many ways.

she is a perfect balance between independence and service to her family. she gives her best to all she does, is diligent in all her tasks, and the word 'lazy' is not in her dictionary. she lives to serve her family, respects herself, takes care of herself, and shows benevolence toward the unloved. above all, she fears the Lord. i know that this passage is specifically talking about the perfect wife, but for the majority of girls i've talked to, becoming a wife is the dream, and just because we aren't married yet, doesn't mean we can't already cultivate those characteristics - because a godly woman is a godly wife.

this past week or so has been one of those wrestling with God and walking through the refining fire kind of weeks, and it's not easy, but it's rewarding. if things were always perfect, if i felt i had conquered all my issues, and was always able to encourage others, i wouldn't need God. i think as soon as he recognizes pride and self-satisfaction, He withdraws, because as the cliche goes, 'you don't know what you have til it's gone.' as soon as God retreats, we recognize our inadequacy and seek to once again fill His void in our hearts. this is a period of seeking, searching, and pursuing after Him. as i do, he slowly reveals to me the sin in my heart and the things i must rid myself of in order to better reflect his son. ultimately, the goal is to see Him in all that we do. there are seasons where we feel like we're walking hand in hand with God, we see his fingerprints everywhere, we talk with Him and sense him in everything we do. those seasons are wonderful, but the seasons where God is distant? those happen too, and in those, we must persevere because this life, this journey, is not about us and our comfort. it's about glorifying and loving Him in all we do.

all this to say that many of you reading this, inspire me, challenge me, and constantly push me to better seek God. i am so thankful for your influence, and i apologize if my self has ever gotten in the way of loving you genuinely and selflessly. i told T a while ago that i was craving inspiration, that i missed being inspired, by whoever and whatever. his simple answer was, 'God can inspire you.' i didn't believe it at the time. i looked to other outlets, other people, to myself, and in all that worthless looking, God gently nudged Himself in there. i am still wrestling, still learning, still growing, and i hope i always will be. and i hope that at the end of this season, i learn what it is to truly be inspired by God, and what it is to be a godly inspiration and a godly friend, sister, girlfriend, and woman.

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