Monday, April 30, 2012

A Strong Woman Vs. A Woman of Strength

A strong woman works out every day 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 her fear.

A strong woman won’t let anyone get the best of her -- but a woman of strength gives the best of herself to everyone.

A strong woman makes mistakes and avoids the same in the future -- a woman of strength realizes life’s mistakes can also be God’s blessings and capitalizes on them.

A strong woman walks sure footed -- 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.

~ Author Unknown

Being a former Marine, and an athlete sparring in karate tournaments (many moons ago), I can relate to both. From the time I was a young child I was very strong physically and got into fights with boys and could even be found arm wrestling them in high school. And I guess you could say that I took pride in my ability to "hang" with my fellow male Marines. BUT, I can admit now what I would not admit then -- I was a very insecure young woman.

I intentionally hardened not only my body, but my mind and heart as well. You see, growing up was hard in my neck of the woods. My father kept us in such poverty that we literally did not have a pot to....well you know the rest. There was no tub or shower, no toilet or even an outhouse and NO toilet paper and there was no running water at all. We had to take buckets down to the spring that was about a quarter mile behind my grandmother's house to get the water needed for cooking, bathing, and washing clothes. Because of the thick woods you couldn't drive to this spring, you had to walk. I can still remember, as a five-year-old, straining to carrying one of those buckets back home, splashing more water out than I had in by the time I got back.

Because it took so much time and effort to get water we only took a bath once a week. When it was time to take our baths mama would bring in this big tin tub and place it into the middle of our tiny living-room. We had an old wood-stove in there for heat so, in the winter, this was the only warm spot in the house. Then mama would heat water on the kitchen stove so we didn't have to take ice cold baths. What a blessing! =) When bath-time came for me and mama my brother and daddy had to make themselves scarce and vice-versa. 

Okay, before I go any further I want to make something clear...I was not born in the early 1900's. Lol! When I was five it was 1967. It was NOT back in the day when this was a normal way of life. I honestly did not know of one other person who had to live like this in our area, except maybe one. When my cousins moved next door many times I would go to their house just to use the bathroom.

As you can well imagine, if I had to take a bath in a tin tub once a week and the great outdoors was my bathroom, then I surely didn't have nice clothes and shoes to wear to school. It didn't take long for my fellow classmates to figure out that I was one of the "poor" kids and for some reason it seems that poor equals dumb. The taunting by my classmates was unmerciful. What is it in a person's heart that causes them to belittle another? Often, it is because they too are insecure and insecurity manifests itself in different people in different ways.

Anyway, as you may know from reading some of my other blog posts, I was subjected to many evil things way too early. It set me on a course that was far from God's original intent for my life. In my quest to protect myself from being hurt any further, I built a wall around my heart that was as hard as a rock. But, the thing is, I kept being hurt, no matter how much I tried to stop it. Just when I thought I was invincible, satan would use one more trick that would knock me off guard and bring me crashing to me knees.

All the while, the Father of this prodigal daughter was still watching down that long road hoping to get a glimpse of His child. I know He had been calling my name for a long time, but because of the great wall of sin His voice was muffled, and eventually I could not hear Him at all. But, He waited. He knew that I would come home. 

Eventually, when the time was right, God stepped in at the precise moment I let my guard down and grabbed hold of my hardened heart. I could do nothing, but surrender...and so it long journey to becoming a useable vessel.

Years of an independent attitude, pride, anger, and unforgiveness had to be removed from my life and I'm not going to lie, it was painful and still is. I have not yet arrived (and I know I never will), but God has brought me a long way from the hardheaded Marine I used to be. I am a different kind of warrior now. I'm so much stronger than I was before, but not because of anything I've done, but because I came to realize that deep down inside I was still that vulnerable and insecure little girl. I became strong when I admitted my weakness to God and asked Him to be my strength.

The Proverbs 31 woman is now my hero. She is the role model set before me to emulate and she is the total opposite of who I was. Hers is a gentle and quiet spirit. She is not boisterous, loud, and bossy. She is strong physically, but it is her inner strength that I admire and I know that she gets that from her Father. God was not impressed with how much weight I could once lift, but He is pleased when I cast all the weight of this life on Him.

She puts her trust in God to give her strength for battle. She consistently puts on the Armor of God as soon as she awakens each morning because she knows that without it she is easy prey for the one who seeks to devour her.

She forgives her enemies then offers them up to God and asks Him to deal with them, then she goes off to do her daily routine of serving God knowing that He is her shield. She knows that there is no need to get anxious, because God is working everything out for her good...even the evil that is done against her. 

Her heart is pliable and ready for the Lord to mold. Her heart is filled with love, compassion and mercy...even for those enemies. Her thoughts are pure and her mind is stayed on her Lord.

Instead of trying to fix life's problems herself, she immediately runs to her Father. She knows that if He takes care of the problem, there will be no need to worry about it any longer. It's in capable hands. 

There are so many things about this woman that I admire and I know that I am no where near the mighty woman that she is, but she is my goal and bless the Lord, oh my soul, every day I will strive to be like her, for she is a woman after God's own heart...a princess warrior...and not just a strong woman, but a woman of strength.

Needing Your Help Lord, 

The Princess Warrior 

P.S. While trying to find a pic for this blog post I came across a photo of a beautiful woman of color praying and was going to use it to portray the Woman of Strength, but then I found the silhouette that I used above. I thought it very befitting of this particular post because this woman represents ALL women. She is neither red, yellow, black, or white...she is a representation of every woman who is a daughter of the King.

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Copyright © 2009 The Princess Warrior Ministries. All articles are copyrighted on the date they are posted, unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved. Permission granted for not-for-sale reproduction in exact form including copyright and web address. Other uses require written permission. Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture references are taken from the King James Bible.

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