Working in higher education, I have been really lucky to have some snow days recently and it has given me a chance to actually get started on this blogging-thing. Having never blogged before, I find it a little intimidating to just start writing. It is definitely frightening to commit to being so publicly vulnerable, and I am feeling a little insecure about what I have to offer. Am I “cool enough” to blog? Will my stories be interesting enough? What if I my writing style isn’t catchy? What if I am severely criticized for something I write? I mean, we have all seen how hateful comments on blogs can sometimes be. However, I know that the Lord has done great works in my life and maybe there are some women out there who would be encouraged by it.
I believe that everyone has a story to tell and it is important to share your own story. Not to be boastful, but because we can all learn from each others’ stories. I also love words and believe in their power. One of my “love languages" is “Words of Affirmation” (reference: Dr. Gary Chapman’s “The Five Love Languages”). This means that kind words, encouraging words, helpful words leave a greater impression in my heart, than say, a boxed gift (don’t get me wrong-- I like getting gifts too :) ) Because of the power of words and sharing stories, I love the concept of bringing together women from all walks and stages of life to share through this blog.
I especially appreciate being asked to contribute to this blog, because I feel there is a real lack of encouragement out there for married women with no children. Too often, I have found that women’s ministry is centered on either being single or being a wife AND mom. I am not trying to put down women’s ministry, because when I was single, I so was grateful and appreciative of all the resources out there. I also know that being a mom can be really, really challenging and someday (Lord-willing) I am sure I will find all of the mom-resources really helpful. Until then, I am in between. I am a wife, but do not have any children. I work full-time and give a lot of time and energy to my job.
So, my hope in publicly writing is two-fold: to offer a place for women in a similar life-stage to identify and relate, and to encourage women who may be approaching this life stage. I really want women like me to know first and foremost that this life-stage is perfectly acceptable. In fact, it is an incredible blessing! Not because of what we do or do not have compared to others in different life stages, but because God has us just where He wants us in this exact moment of time. Each and every day, God renews His grace and mercy for us and it is sufficient for that particular day (Lamentations 3:22-23 and 2 Corinthians 12:9). Daily our Father is guiding us. My life verse is Isaiah 42:16,
“And I will lead the blind, in a way they have not known, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.”
My goal should be to embrace each and every unique day. I do not know what my life situation will be tomorrow. I am not promised children. I am not promised that my marriage will last forever. I am not promised that I will continue to have a job. I am not even promised tomorrow! Today, however, I have a husband to love and serve. Today, I have employment of which I am called to be a good steward. Today, I have a house to tend. Today, I have friends to care for. So, “As it is said, ‘Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion’” (Hebrews 3:15). Instead of envying, despairing or feeling guilty for our life-stage, let us share in Christ-- His likeness and the journey that He is taking us on. Of course, we will struggle and wrestle and feel confused and have hopes and desires. That is being human. Embracing today and being content are much easier said than done. But let us know, first, that is okay to just be where we are today.
See you in the Round!
“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”