editor’s note :: i’m taking a break this month to work on a new manuscript. some of my closest friends have agreed to fill this space in my absence with their thoughts on bravery and what it means for our faith. you can read the rest of the posts here. today, crystal shares her words. I have this whole vision of the Proverbs 31 woman—how she sews and knits and probably doesn’t believe in spanx because all of her industriousness has led to a beautiful physique only branded by the stretch marks that came when she incubated her now-larger-than-the-Duggars family. She makes her own laundry soap, face wash and deodorant and doesn’t have a dishwasher because it is a waste of money to own something she can do with her own hands. My close reading of scripture also indicates that she accomplishes these tasks in high heels, perfectly coordinated outfits and a coif only Texas girls can actually recreate.
I had hoped I would be her by the time I was thirty.
Well, I’d hoped to be her minus the sewing nonsense because I’ve never really had the patience to learn when I had a perfectly good stapler that could basically accomplish the same job with a little bling. But that’s beside the point. The point is I took a wrong turn somewhere—a drastically wrong turn that led to severely different life circumstances.
That’s what I tell myself anyway—that my road had a pretty significant Y instead of following the straight and narrow to an absolutely industrious household. And, truthfully, I project the Proverbs 31 Woman in all her June Cleaver glory so I can sarcastically declare my status as a female who wasn’t built with these features.
As soon as I get comfortable in that declaration, these lyrics flutter to the top of my consciousness: “We were meant to live for so much more. Have we lost ourselves?” (“Meant to Live” Switchfoot). For the second my vision clears, I can see this scripture a little differently—not as a woman embodied, but as attributes that come through someone who knows her place and value.
But I have forgotten myself.
Instead of seeing my life as a valuable acquisition in the hands of the Almighty, I pretend I’m a victim of my circumstances. A disease I didn’t want to have. A baby I didn’t want to lose. A body I just can’t stand. I wallow in things beyond my control and forget who I was meant to be.
Apparently, I’d rather continue to point out others’ blessings and ask God why He hasn’t seen fit to seat me at his right hand. Then, I turn my back and find a way to accomplish those things in my own strength while He keeps prodding me to follow Him despite the roads others are traveling (John 21:20-23).
Frustration meets me when I plant myself and demand answers. Sometimes I find myself suffocated by emptiness. I’m terrified God has forgotten me because it doesn’t look the way I thought it would. I don’t look the way I thought I would.
And again, He gently calls my heart and asks me to follow Him.
I can’t get away from His gentle leading: “Remember who you are and your purpose as beloved servant, Crys.”
Daily, I’m asked to put one foot in front of the other when I can’t see the fix. But I guess Proverbs 31 doesn’t describe a woman who knows the outcome—just a woman who knows who she is in relation to Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides.
So my action, often taken for inaction, is giving my servant’s heart room to grow. In the waiting, I’m asking for God to move His hand—slowly, steadily and in the direction of his choosing. And without any burning bushes or pillars of clouds in my living room, I realize: Maybe the bravest thing we ever do is let God’s hand work when the only movement we can see comes from putting one foot in front of the other in service to Him.
BIO :: I'm Crys...or Mrs. House to my students.. I feel I should tell you that I'm much funnier in person, but I'm also a whole lot more awkward. I call people "dude," laugh in really inappropriate situations and believe that if someone has to use an AED machine on me in my classroom, they should at least have the decency to leave my bra on my body and spare me any extra humiliation. Sarcasm is my language of choice; English is the vehicle through which it arrives. I don't like to mint my chocolate; I love anything in shades of yellow, and I don't have Facebook. (Best. Decision. Ever.) You can learn more about me on my blog, A Life In Ordinary.