Where did all the time go?
As February winds down and March appears on the horizon, I feel as if the months are just racing by. Everyone tells you that, as you grow older, the years go by with lightning speed – and, as far as I’m concerned, that is entirely true. March 22nd, which arrives in just a few weeks, will mark the one year anniversary of my mother’s death. That is incredible to me. So many changes, so many adjustments – and yet, it seems as if she left us only a short time ago.
Seasons change. We take on new roles. We joyfully welcome new souls into our families and we say heartbreaking goodbyes to precious loved ones.
It is how life goes – and it is how we go along with it that makes all the difference.
Changes and adjustments can make us fearful. They’re not all positive, but they are all part of a full and meaningful life.
Resilience is the key to doing life well, and it is found in knowing our identity in Christ.
In Proverbs 31:10-31, we find the infamous ‘virtuous woman’ that Bible study girls love to get stressed out over. The description of her superwoman ‘to do’ list, which apparently she executed very well, can be intimidating. We feel we can never measure up to all of her dazzling attributes.
This portion of Scripture has caused many a women’s Bible study circle to be filled with rolling eyes and a lot of heavy sighs. I speak from experience!
But let’s take a look at her again with fresh — not rolling — eyes, shall we?
When I quit comparing myself to her and view this sister from a different vantage point, I see a woman who lives fully present and alive in the season she is in. My goodness, this is one busy girl! We’ve been there, too – haven’t we?
The role she fills at this time of her life keeps her on her toes, but she is not described as frazzled, worn out, dragging around, or miserable. Even though she is clearly serving many people in her family and community, verse 25 says this:
“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.”
So…putting that head-spinning ‘to do’ list aside, what stands out to me is that she embraced the season she was in and did not fear what the next might bring to her.
Scripture doesn’t tell us about her losses, the people who lived with her, or the circumstances she was living under. I wonder…
Was she caring for an aging parent?
Did she have a troubled child?
Had she hit a few rough patches in her marriage?
All of the above?
We do not know – but, since she was human, we can assume that any of these or other scenarios could have been part of her story. And yet, she moved through her life and met her challenges with strength and dignity.
God’s Word tells us that our strength comes from the Lord. She was strong in Him.
The word ‘dignity’ in the original Hebrew is the word ‘hadar’. A woman clothed with hadar is a woman in majesty, magnificence, worthiness, honor and beauty.
She is glorious — her life brings glory to the Father.
This is her identity.
She is a child of God and she knows it.
She knows who she is and Whose she is.
I love this because it clearly demonstrates that dignity is not pride. Sometimes we mix the two up, but they are not the same. Pride is self-satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements – but dignity comes from what He has done.
Her identity is the firm foundation she operates from.
She takes care of the things she has been given to do now and then, looking ahead to the next season, she does not fear.
This means that our virtuous woman doesn’t cling to the season that is ending. Instead, she accepts and even welcomes the new season that is to come.
There will be endings and there will be beginnings, but she stands firm in her identity as a strong, magnificent, glorious and beautiful Child of God.
Dear sister — as you travel through the seasons of your own life, do not fear.
This is your identity too, and it is the key to doing life well.
Love to all,