Now, in my 6th month of pregnancy, waiting to meet my little girl, I have felt such a deep sense of responsibility about the kind of life I live. Every time I feel her kick I swell with joy and excitement at the thought of meeting her. We dream of who she will be, whom she will look like. More than anything, I pray that she would have a deep sense of purpose in the One who calls her by name even before she is born. The weight of bringing life into this world is profound and utterly amazing. It's inspired me to pave a road before her that displays strength and trust in the identity our Father gives us. Something I have to admit doesn't come naturally to me.
I've been thinking about the character of women, and how often in our society we have two extreme opinions: a traditional, subservient woman who should stay at home and serve her family, or an extreme feminist few that encourages a woman to break free of any mold and stick it to the man. When I look at Proverbs 31, I see a harmony of the two.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. 15 She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. 16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. 17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. 20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. 21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. 25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. 26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. 27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Her family has confidence in her. She works hard. She gets to work and does business. She takes care of her household. She is gracious and helpful. She is fearless. Strong. Wise. Faithful. Worthy of praise. What a beautiful and perfect picture of a woman who can be both a servant and a leader.
There is a penetrating beauty that can be found in the secure feminine soul. Captivating talks about the longing that every little girl feels to be swept up in romance and to play a role in a great adventure. The author says, "Your heart matters more than anything else in all creation. The desires you had as a little girl and the longings you still feel as a woman are telling you of the life God created you to live. He offers to come now, as the Hero of your story - to rescue your heart and release you to live as a fully alive and feminine woman. A woman who is truly captivating."
This is the legacy I hope to leave. Not only for my daughter, but for other girls / women who are living in a society that has so blurred what their identity is or where it is. In Christ. It's not in our job, our relationships, our family, where we live or how we look. It's in Jesus. There is so much freedom in that! A freedom I am still trying to live in everyday. It's alarming how easy it is to slip back into the comfort of a husband, a boyfriend, a good job and forget that none of those things will give us what we really need.
So far, 2016 has been a tough year. God is moving and doing something great I'm sure, but the process is difficult and at times painful. This morning, I read something that resonated deeply with this current season. This blog writer said, "We can't escape God and His stormy gale of purpose. He pursues us with love that is filled with a beautiful intensity unlike anything we have ever known." I feel grateful despite the pain I am experiencing because I can see glimpses of what He's doing in my heart. I can see Him trying to answer the questions I've been asking for a while now: "What is my purpose?" "What are you calling me to?" "What is my role in the great adventure?" I see Him creating something new in me through the storm I feel like I'm in. There's nothing like bringing a life into this world to make me start asking some big questions. To make me take a serious look at myself and say, "It's time to get it together." I mean, seriously Vittoria get it together. (And then cue a good cry, because #hormones.)
Often, I feel so alone when it comes to this concept of "calling and purpose". As believers, we are so focused on that (as we should be), but it's so easy to slip into the comparison game and feel like I'm missing out on something. Now, working at a church, it's even more difficult for me at times feeling like I must be the only one around here who has no idea what God is calling me to do with my life. Sure, I know that I've always loved writing and now I'm entering this new season of motherhood, but what does it all mean and how can I make a difference? I'm surrounded by a lot of people who are relentlessly pursuing the callings on their lives and I find myself feeling like I should really have it together by now.
My prayer is that if there is anyone else out there feeling a little lost and like they don't have it together, that they know they aren't alone. I also hope that as a community we can enter into a season of finding beauty in the purpose of simply being that "Proverbs 31" woman that we hear about all the time. Maybe one of the greatest legacies we can leave the next generations is finding security in who God says we are. To being bold and courageous, quiet and confident, and trusting God to use us, simply by being faithful in those small things.
The invitation to this year's Colour Conference reads, "Be found so that others may find hope through you." I love the simplicity in this statement. The focus on our identity as a woman and making the world a better place by being found in our Savior. I don't want to get so wrapped up in doing something BIG that I forget about being faithful in the small. I'm beginning to see that it is in those baby faith steps that we can be led into our big moments
What do you think? How does your identity play into your purpose? What, in your opinion, is the greatest way we can leave a legacy as women?