This is good — contrasting “Strong Women” who seem to have it all together (who does?) and “Women of Strength” who rely on Him to make them strong. My favorites are bolded:
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A strong woman works out daily to keep her body in shape,
but a woman of strength kneels in prayer to keep her soul in shape.
A strong woman isn’t afraid of anything,
but a woman of strength shows courage in the midst of 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 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.
In a recent job interview, I was asked (half-seriously): If you were a superhero, who would you be and why?
My response (after laughing!): “Superwoman, because she saves the whole world — and looks great doing it!”
Hah — Yes, I’m ridiculous. But it got me thinking. Is this our goal as ladies? Apparently it was mine. But the sad truth is I’ll (probably) never be Superwoman. A girl can dream, and a cape may look good on me, but I’ll never be able to ‘do it all’. Is that a tough pill to swallow or what?
Not you, you say? After all you’re lacing up those sneakers for a third half-marathon… You cook gourmet fare 5 nights a week (does Kraft count?)… Your kids are honor roll-ees (except that one semester)…. You juggle work, marriage and motherhood with grace, poise (and caffeine). And you look good doing it.
But if we’re honest, we’re worn out from the Superwoman treadmill. I for one want to get OFF. And I’d like to not incur judgment for doing it. This means we must give and receive grace for messing up. This means we can laugh at our mistakes, not take them personally, brush ourselves off and ask for strength the next time.
Our world tells us (and we wanna believe!) we can do it all – achieve it all – but we reach The Wall eventually. We all face limitations. I fight my own weaknesses. Funny enough, though we try to cover them up or downplay them, people around us know our faults anyway. Time tells all. We can’t hide them, so why not vocalize them and ask for people’s help? This makes our struggles lose their power over us!
“But wait!” you say. “Superwoman can’t ask for help! Who will take her seriously?”
One of my favorite quotes ever says Never trust a leader without a limp. If someone is unwilling to own their flaws in front of their people, they are not yet fit for leadership. A true leader must reveal who they are — warts & all — in order to successfully encourage others. When a leader covers their struggles, they appear prideful and a tad dishonest (or outta touch with reality). Pride leads to falls. Dishonesty leads to much worse. Neither trait qualifies a person to lead.
Some people have told me how “strong” I am and that I have my “act together”. This makes me question myself: Do I show others I’m merely a strong woman who relies on myself or do I show that I’m a woman who relies on God to help me excel? Do I grab His glory and hang onto it myself, or do I pass it on to the only One who owns it (and can handle it)?
Does my strength come from ME or from Him? If Him, then people should be singing His praises when strength and excellence show up in my life! People are drawn to those who have Supernatural Strength in their lives. If you and I continuously give God the kudos, others will be more likely to turn to Him in their time of need, too.
Because we’re all weak sometimes. We all need strength and courage and help.
“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40:31
Are we pointing other ladies to Christ’s power in us, or are we keeping His praise for ourselves? Are we relying on our own power, or are we gaining strength from Him?
Food for thought. And (I hope) for change.