In honor of National Women’s History Month, EmpowerMoments is featuring a special series called ‘She is Me’. Each writer will parallel her own life with that of a Biblical woman to enlighten and EMPOWER you. Cheers to being a WOMAN!
Standing Firm on Purpose
Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time…She sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, “The LORD, the God of Israel, commands you: ‘Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead them up to Mount Tabor. I will lead Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.’”
Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.”
“Certainly I will go with you,” said Deborah. “But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the LORD will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.” So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh. (Judges 4:4, 6-9 NIV)
Oh, the power of being a woman centered in her relationship and purpose in Christ! I have a confession to make: I am not there, just yet. I grew up with a traditional-minded father and a very untraditional-minded mother. What seemed like an odd mix to the world (and probably to my parents) produced a pretty even-tempered child. My dad said that there were certain jobs that a man should do and my mom challenged most of those views. For as long as I can remember, my mom has worked two jobs and she will spend her very last if she thinks it will be of benefit to her family. She’s strong, goal oriented and a bit stubborn. And in many ways I am just like her. With this dual dynamic at home, I grew up wondering how to balance being strong yet submissive.
I shied away from things that seemed more like what my “man” would handle, which has been to my determent. I am a firm believer that you can’t always wait on a man to be there or do something for you. You need to make sure that if and when the time comes that you need to, you can take care of yourself. That’s being a responsible steward. But because I didn’t want to come across as too “bossy” I tried to stay away from things that might make me seem like the stereotypical, ‘I don’t need a man’ Black woman. What does that even look like anyway? I’m still unsure, but that fear has now led me to being hesitant about what I know God is trying to do in my life. There are certain things like purchasing a car or home that I thought I would leave up to my husband to make the final decision. I mean, I am a woman and don’t guys know about all those technical things? I’ve used the ‘I am a woman’ phrase to get out of anything that seemed bigger than me or anything that didn’t seem to fit with the “traditional” views. Yet, my Father kept placing me in leadership roles. At first I shied away from these roles. I mean being the head of a household leading a small child (a boy nonetheless) was a daunting enough task. Now, God was placing me in leadership roles at work, among my peers, and in my graduate classes! The more I resisted, the more God kept pressing into me until I could do nothing else but submit.
See, like Deborah there are people in my life that will not go on without me. They need me to stand up with them. They need that encouragement, that prayer, that one person who believes in the impossible for them. For many people in my life, that person is me. I am unsure of how I get the positions that God has graced me with; I don’t strive for them. In fact, many times the very idea of the task shakes me to my core. That is when God gently reminds me that I glorify Him when I step out on His Word. I glorify Him when I don’t let my fears, my gender biased ideas or doubts stop me from standing on purpose.
You have to be brave with your life so that others can be brave with theirs.
– Katherine Center
Thank You for blessing me with the gift and purpose of being a woman. I was created at such a time as this, there is purpose hidden deep inside. Bring me closer to You so that I may become closer to finding myself. Gift me with the spirit of love and peace and help me to be unafraid of the path laid out before me. Give me Your strength to stand confidently in my purpose. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Ladies, I EMPOWER you to seek and embrace your purpose. Do not let fear, stereotypes, or doubt hold you back from your true destiny in Christ.
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Ms. Renee` N. Chaffin is a single mother who has a heart for helping those less fortunate. She has been active in the non-profit sector, whether through volunteerism or professionally, for the past six years. She is passionate about sharing the love of God, her testimony and empowering people to discover their true potential that was bestowed on them by King of the Universe. Renee` is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration. While on her pursuit of higher education, she is on a seven year journey to challenge God to do ‘exceedingly and abundantly above all she can imagine’ in seven areas over the next seven years. Check out her journey at http://radical7even.wordpress.com. Her favorite scripture is I Peter 5:6: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”