Bippity, Boppity, Brave & Beautiful: Happy Women’s History Month!
I hope you’re having a beautiful week, inside & out. I just spent the weekend at my church’s youth conference for middle and high school young ladies, Brave Conference, and let me tell you, it. was. amazing. Not that I expected anything less of a weekend spent with 70 women worshipping and loving on Jesus, but, [gush] it blessed me so much more than I could’ve hoped for.
I had the opportunity to pour into young ladies and be poured into by women with hearts I so admire–for two whole days y’all. To see women pour their hearts out and be vulnerable so that younger women might see their struggles are not unique to them. To see young ladies thirst for Jesus and confidently own their salvation. To see a handful of gentlemen spend their weekend serving so that we might have the chance to draw closer to the Lord–and to not see them any more than when they were serving so that it could really be just us ladies–thank you to the men of Southside, for both being present and being aloof and being a blessing in both actions.
The theme of our Brave weekend was unwrapping, as in becoming bare and real before Jesus. I think it’s easy to acknowledge how hard it is to be real, to be genuine, as a teenager, but it’s a little harder to admit that it doesn’t get easier to be real the day you turn twenty. It doesn’t, though, does it? I had the opportunity to share a big struggle of mine (that’s another story, for maybe another post, some other time) and it was a relief to share that even something that broke me, messed me up, and hurt me does not define me because I’ve been redeemed.
The biggest takeaway for me from the weekend was this (now, I knew this beforehand, I’ve seen it in various words, many times, but I’m one of those girls who like repetition, so this is what I wrote in my journal Saturday):
Jesus doesn’t call the perfect.
They don’t exist, and if they did, He wouldn’t be have any room to work on them. He wants the broken, the messed up, the hurting.
Broken can be fixed.
Messed up can be cleaned up.
Hurting can be healed.
But only by Jesus.
As all weekends must, our weekend retreat came to an end, but this ending involved matching t-shirts and taking up a nice, big section in the front of the sanctuary for one last worship and service session where the presence of the Lord hugged up on our corner of teal tops and sunburned cheeks and sleepy eyes and full hearts. [gush, again]
Sunday afternoon I finished one of the books you might’ve seen on my library page, Beautiful Uncertainty by Mandy Hale, The Single Woman. And I found myself smiling in agreement with the author that while so much of life may be beautifully uncertain, Jesus is a beautiful certainty we can rest our hearts in and count on through any struggles and brokenness.
Monday evening we had our monthly ladies’ night at church–this was my first time going! Wouldn’t you know it our sweet pastor spoke and really drove home a point about Psalm 45, particularly verses 10-11,
“Listen, daughter, and pay careful attention: Forget your people and your father’s house. Let the king be enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord.”
How sweet a parallel that we, as daughters of Christ, are called to leave the baggage of our past in the past so that we can spend our time loving on Him and being adored in return? That’s a pretty sweet deal, right? Again, this girl likes repetition, so it didn’t hurt my feelings that I got another reminder that when you run to Jesus you can count on Him to fix your heart and you can [and should] leave the past behind you.
Then today (Tuesday, for those of you following along) Proverbs 31 Ministries daily devotional was on, drum roll, God Thinks You’re Beautiful. Another reminder of just how beloved women are by The Creator of heaven and earth. [all of the gushing. don’t hate me.]
I don’t know a single woman (or person, for that matter) that doesn’t have something in their life that evokes sorrow, tears, snotty-mascara-streaked-crying. (Yeah, girl, I know.) But I DO know a Savior that can turn even the hottest of messes into a beautiful testimony better than Cinderella’s fairy godmother can turn mice into horses. No bippity-boppity-boo required, no midnight expiration.
March is women’s history month, and while I’m inspired by the fabulous quotes and the photos and empowered statuses I see on my timelines, there’s a revelation that smacked me in the heart recently that meant more to me than all the other yes-women-are-amazing-because-of-x-y-and-z tidbits.
Before women were considered eligible for Presidential candidacy,
before women were equal percentages of medical school cohorts,
before women were granted the right to vote,
before the woman had such faith that she was healed by touching Jesus’ hem,
before Mary was blessed with a divine pregnancy,
before Esther helped her people through the position granted to her,
before Ruth left her homeland,
before Hannah prayed for a child,
there was Eve.
The final creation we learn of is Eve. (Genesis 2:18-24)
Now, it’s really easy to think poorly of Eve for her choice to listen to the serpent, but friend, I’m no better because while I may not have eaten from the tree of knowledge, I’ve definitely fallen short of Holiness more than once.
Here’s the truth that touched my heart: Eve was the final piece of God’s puzzle that is creation. He made everything with perfect foresight, made every ecosystem to serve its purpose, gave every food chain the pieces it required, made every system and cell of every living being to function properly, right down to the mitochondria [the powerhouse of the cell, thank you 9th grade biology].
And He didn’t stop with Adam. He wasn’t finished with creation until He made Eve.
Do you know what that means?? All of creation wasn’t finished until a woman existed as part of it.
Now, I’m not discounting men, by any means. I’m simply reveling in the fact that before God rested from all his work (Genesis 2:2) he made a woman.
Let that soak into your heart.
The God of everything that has ever been and will ever be not only made woman in His image, but His work wasn’t done until He had made her! The plans of all eternity never would’ve played out, be playing out, without women.
God didn’t rest until He’d made the first of us! And some 4,000 years later He is faithfully near, longing to correct our brokenness, clean up our messiness, and heal our hurting? Desiring to call us beloved, beautiful, and reveal to us our purpose in His grand designs?
That’s my favorite bit of women’s history there ever will be, y’all. What do you think? Share with me in the comments!