What is behind the face of every strong woman?
About to spring into a new season, following months of lockdown and extraordinary changes to our lives. Some positives highlight, how the world turned upside down has altered our perspective and appreciation for the small wins we make from day to day. International Women’s Day is a global awareness day that began in 1911! To celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. In addition to rallying for women’s equality. Celebrating International Women’s Day, is an opportunity to turn inward and examine our personal and professional lives. To note the strategies we find behind every strong woman, outlining her unique story of how she overcame obstacles.
Table of contents
- What is behind the face of every strong woman?
- What obstacles are you facing?
- Are there pitfalls you would like to confront and overcome?
- If you are thinking, ‘Can my story really be transformed’?
What obstacles are you facing?
Right now, if you turned a spotlight on every obstruction in your path, you would fill a blank page with difficulties, quickly skimming past the compassion, determination, diligence and intelligence you exhibit day in and day out. Completely ignoring your consistent strengths and uniqueness.
Which qualities do you overlook knowing you are already a mentally strong woman?
The Bible is filled with women who encountered a direct impact from how Christ touched their lives. Many came to Him with their brokeness, rejection, insecurity, hopelessness and loneliness. Through His miracle touch, they left without any emotional baggage or past failures. As He transformed every painful scar into beauty spots. Before you say anything, this wonderful truth is not just for those women in history but for both you and I. To experience the direct impact of Christ to erase our ugly blemishs and shift us out of broken places. To become that strong woman who can overcome any obstacle.
One truth I can guarantee, is that when you meet Christ your life will never be the same again. From my own valleys, I have encountered a life-altering experience. That has catapulted me towards confidence, optimisim, becoming a ‘go-getter’, tackling fear and not being afraid to stand up for what I believe in. But, it all began with a conscious choice to overcome obstacles.
Are there pitfalls you would like to confront and overcome?
I cannot promise you there won’t be obstacles. You see I was that type of woman that faced struggles, admiring self-assured women and longing to have something they had.The secret is we all can be that dauntless woman. It has to begin with believing that you can!
God loves us with an eternal love and that includes overcoming any hardship or drawback you find yourself entwined in. Simply because you will never be forgotten by God!
‘I’ve never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love and more love!’Jeremiah 31:3 The Message
Can you count the number of times you have believed that no-one loved you – for who you are?
Films mainly depict a ‘happily ever after’ storyline. Sometimes we can get stuck on the road of life when we trip over bumps, potholes and detours along the way in our pursuit of love. Unfortunately, we might get disappointed, leaving us filled with heartache and disillusionment. It takes courage to switch the negative story in your head and honestly ask yourself this question, ‘What exactly am I looking for?’
Turn the corner with me and study a few women in the Bible, who weren’t that different from you and I. They were young or old, wealthy or poor, married or single, destitue or ambitious, broken or rejected. One commonality was that they longed to be accepted, encouraged and loved. Despire being ignored or abused. Only when they discovered Christ, did they find the love of a Man who would and will never let anyone down.
Do you feel rejected, cast-off and shunned?
Without a doubt, the story of the Samaritan woman is one we can all relate to. She knew too well what rejection felt like. Perhaps she had heard the words, ‘ I don’t want you anymore’ or ‘I don’t love you’. Leaving her with feelings that she was flawed or worthless. She had become unwanted, not needed and most of all pushed aside as if she was a possession cluttering someone’s life.
Sadly, rejection can affect our abilty to know that we can have a sense of belonging and rob us of our self-worth. The Samaritan woman had no place to call home. Can you relate to that? That is exactly where Christ met her – at the well. I remember that lost feeling. Right there adrift and off-course, is where Christ embraced me and brought me to a place of belonging. To know that I was worth more than any self-doubt and concern of what others thought about me.Despite any track record or stigma, Christ did not abandon me. From distress and being deserted, He loved me past every tarnished reputation or name with a redeeming love. And I know He can do the same for you!
Are you unsure of yourself, afraid and lost?
When we have been broken and rejected, it can take it’s toil on our emotional health. Unexpected crisis in my own life, left me feeling like the rug under my feet had been pulled. I had to search deeper than I ever had (having grown up with a strong Christian foundation). Because I didn’t expect to feel insecure or unsteady as I looked towards the future, but there I was.
Guess what – God used every one of my weaknesses to become resolute and tenacious. Through His strength, I am able to face every trouble. Countless times, I had to pull myself up from the bootstraps. Push myself past the walls that we so quickly build to shield us and create barriers against the unknown.
Like many women in the Bible, it has to be our choice to invite God to meet us at our breaking point. Whether it be unexpected, unwanted or a total shock – the earth will not move under our feet, if we lean on Christ the chief Cornerstone. With His hand at the helm of my life, He pivoted my life from brokenness to beauty. Whirling me away from insecurity into a story of limitless hope.
Why? Primarily because God keeps your days stable and secure with salvation, wisdom and knowledge in surplus. (Isaiah 33:6)
Have you reached the point where you see no possibility of a solution?
Sometimes memorable milestones in our life can be turned into moments of despair. Where we lose someone we love in death or divorce. Around us, everyone might say, ‘things will get better’. Often you can never understand how. I remember waking up with the feeling of hopelessness. But deep down I knew that Christ had put hope in my heart. I held onto this promise, that God would not brush aside the bruised and the hurt and he won’t disregard the small and insignificant, but he’ll steadily and firmly set things right in my life.
Maybe you are thinking that isn’t my story, well it can be. The reason is that our need becomes God’s response and Christ changed the lives of so many hopeless women, rekindling their inspiration and joy to live their best lives. Only because if Christ heals your heart, hopelessness will reverse into hope, making nothing ordinary ever again!
Have you labelled yourself as the woman who is lonely and abandoned?
Too many times we add labels to ourselves. I know I had a string of them, which I eventually discarded, simply because that isn’t who and what God says I am. I am never alone, nor lonely and this is why – in every storm and valley God has been my refuge, and underneath are the Everlasting Arms that have never once let me fall.
My identity is not established in how I feel. Loneliness wil not envelop me or make me imperceptible, if I have Christ to eliminate the sting. In the same way He appeared to the weeping Mary Magadelene in the garden, He is the Man who will never forget your tears, trauma or hopelessness. Remarkably Mary Magadelene’s life was transformed when she met Christ in the garden that Resurrection morning.
If you are thinking, ‘Can my story really be transformed’?
Yes it can! I believe transformation is not something unheard of or unobtainable. Wait before you think change is inevitable, consider how coming to the well like the Samaritan woman exceptionally converted her outlook. She left the well without water, but found the Water of Life that reshaped the condition of her life. For that is exactly what Christ can do.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, God knows you by name and He can take any broken promise, crushed hope or destroyed dream and bring new life and retailored beginnings. I am not defined by the past with it’s scars or shredded emotions. I don’t need to fill empty spaces with material possessions. Or chase the ‘I can do it all on my own’ mindset. The reason I am living my best life, is because Christ has healed me. Not a quick-fix remedy but because I said ‘yes’ like many women in the bible who witnessed their flawless, empty or isolated lives being astonishingly transformed by the Man called Christ.
Share your thoughts…
What can you celebrate this International Women’s Day? For some it could be overcoming abuse, poverty, stigmas and stereotypes. Whatever cycle you find yourself in, there is a way to break free.