Sitting in the Worthy Movement conference at Hillside Church in Hollister, I was deeply moved by an auditorium full of women, with all living generations present; newborn to great-grandmothers. We opened up topics that have been taboo for so long. It struck me how each generation deals with the same issues. Though the weapons fashioned against us change with the culture, the results are the same. It’s humbling, disarming and shocking to see the hoops we women jump through to meet someone’s subjective idea of success and beauty or to gain approval… or worse, to simply survive and protect our children.
The level of harassment and abuse women suffer due to a perceived sense of worthlessness affects more women than it doesn’t. Rare is she who never brushes up against this thorny bush. However it is we arrive at that place of feeling utterly worthless, it always leads us to a feeling of isolation, a place of aloneness, even in a room full of people. Once we internalize the aloneness it takes a great amount of intention to work against it, to rebuild the bridges to fellowship. Shame takes hold and we see ourselves through it’s deceptive lens.
I know I am not alone in truly wanting to see my sisters [and myself] continually released from the grip of these lies. The good news is, once we recognize that it is the enemy at work, using these weapons against us and against our children, we can through the power of Christ in us, move against it and destroy those strongholds.
There is immense value in acknowledging our shared struggles and acknowledging the epidemic levels of abuse, learned helplessness, self-harm, et al running rampant in the lives of women. This is step one. Now where do we go from here? A seasoned mentor or counselor is very valuable right now. If God has given you the revelation that there is a way out of the crazy cycle, God has also placed people in your life, people to help you move forward. Pray. Stop-Look-Listen. Pray. Reach out to that person. Know this and take comfort: The Holy Spirit goes before you and the Holy Spirit goes with you.
The Holy Spirit is the one true Witness to what you have endured.
The Holy Spirit will help you separate the soul from the spirit, the truth from the lies. Let the Holy Spirit be your counselor. First and foremost, pray through the Word of God, let it minister to you every day, and then add to that the wisdom and perspective of mature Christian women in your life. Read God’s word when you pray and pray when you read God’s word.
Jesus’ plan for your life is victory to the glory of God the Father through the power of the Holy Spirit.
As Paul instructs us in the letters to the Corinthians, “that we would not be outwitted by Satan’s schemes for we are not ignorant of his designs. [2 Corinthians 2:11]. It is important to remember that the enemy of man did not create anything. He is not the creator of this universe or its principles. He is not creative. This should be comforting news to you friend, as it is to me. The lies he whispers are not new every morning (unlike God’s mercies which are!). He recycles the same arguments, fits them to the contemporary culture and injects them ad nauseam. This is why being in the Word of God and wearing the full armor of God becomes so important. The sooner you can identify the lie repackaged the sooner you can quash it.
The famous fighter, ‘Smokin Joe’ AKA William Joe Frazier, who bested Muhammad Ali, is quoted as saying: “You can map out a fight plan or a life plan, but when the action starts, it may not go the way you planned, and you’re down to your reflexes – that means your [preparation:]. That’s where your roadwork shows. If you cheated on that in the dark of the morning, well, you’re going to get found out now, under the bright lights.
So let’s get real. This is a battle and we need a plan.
In the parable of the Ten Virgins from Matthew 25 we see 5 wise and 5 foolish virgins. The virgins represent the church waiting for their bridegroom (Christ) to return. They go out on the news that His arrival is imminent, but the five foolish virgins take no heed to what they will need to wait it out. They assume it won’t be long and take no provision, just the oil in their lamps with them. While the five wise virgins take the extra oil, the provision to wait out the arrival, should that be necessary.
Many folks who take a high-level view of this parable see this as a contradiction, they ask ‘where is the Christian charity you speak of?’ Why are we not helping the ones with less? Why aren’t we taking from the ones with more (or why aren’t they giving their oil to their sisters?). Does this line of questioning seem vaguely familiar to you? Well, for the same reason Smokin Joe uttered the quote above, the simple lesson in this parable is this: We Cannot Share Our Preparation. There are things we can share, but we cannot share the work in our hearts, our personal sacrifice, our personal journey, what we have done to prepare our hearts for the Bridegroom. Christ is coming!!! Your mom, your sister, your best friend, your children cannot prepare you for this moment. Only you can do that.
Supernatural healing is real. The work of the Spirit is mysterious and God’s grace knows no bounds. This truth is empowering and comforting to know. However, also know that God is not co-dependent on us. God will not do for us what is good for us to do for Him. It is good for us to grow in wisdom and grace. It is good for us to seek Him daily through His word and prayer. It is good for us to humble ourselves, confess our sins. It is good for us to receive His forgiveness and learn to forgive others. Growth and struggle are good for us.
So Sisters, let me leave you with this encouragement from our Brother Peter: “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. [2Peter 3:18] And our Brother Paul: “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. [Philippians 1:6]
If you would like to pray with someone. If you are looking for a place to find good Christian mentorship. If you just want someone to talk to – check out our blog at worthymovement.org and look into the resources there. We are powerful together. God made us for relationship. You are not alone.