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Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Many Hats of Womanhood

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women

by Cyndi Coleman
As a woman, I wear so many hats: wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, co-worker, church member, neighbor, teacher … and just maybe, one or two I am not aware of. I earnestly desire to excel, not just survive, in all of these areas. Of course, that is impossible and comparing myself to others is a one way street to depression and unrealistic expectations of self.

In the current Bible study I am going through, I was prompted to pray over the struggle for direction in my life. My many life-roles were at the forefront this particular morning, so they were my prayer focus. As I closed my eyes in prayer, I began to pray over all that I desire to do well. I heard God whisper to my soul, “Please, me first and everything else will fall into place.” This is such a simple and beautiful truth. Often, God is not only Savior, but the ultimate relief-giver. By nature, I am a worrier - I tend to worry ahead of where I actually am in life, contemplating the future and the problems it may or may not bring my way.

Three verses floated to my heart’s surface as a result of this prayer time:

“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:33-34

“Am I trying to win the approval of men, or of God? …  If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of God.” Galatians 1:10

“Love the Lord your God, with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And … ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the law and prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40

I must admit some of my desire to excel comes from the evil shadow of my soul - pride. It craves recognition for a job well-done as it shuns mediocrity and disappointment. The paradox of this pride is that as I seek to excel in a multitude of areas, I inevitably end up with the mediocrity and disappointment I seek to avoid. It is impossible to accomplish everything I have to do in a day, let alone excel in each area. Who set the bar so high anyway? The world and its Beast, Comparison.

However, when I take the focus off of myself - I know! GASP! - and choose to focus on God and seeking and pleasing Him, I will find rest for my woman-wearied soul and the strength to pursue what He has called me to. Does this make me instant Betty Crocker, Martha Stewart, or a Pinterest-worthy woman? No, it makes me become the woman God has called me to be. God has appointed me - not a super woman - to fill my shoes with the promise that He will help me.

When I focus on God, and my worth in his eyes, the unrealistic bar set by our competitive world disappears and the true reality, God’s bar of grace and mercy, becomes visible. 

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13). Yes, even the laundry. Yes, even soothe my children - again. Yes, pray for my friend, listen to my mom, spend time with my husband. Yes. When I seek God first, all else shall be added unto me.

God overwhelms my soul with his vast love and tender, intimate care. He chooses me to fill my life-role. I need to stop desperately grasping after the flawed and phony lies of the world of what a woman should be. This will lead me out of the shadow of pride and re-focus my gaze on God; and the perfection of Christ who loves me and gives me the only worth that matters - my worth in Him. In Him, we can discover what He is calling us to do.

Reflect back on the three primary verses above.  In what way, do these verses apply to your particular life-struggle?

How can these verses help you resolve some of the pressure set on you by the demands of your busy life?

What area of your life do you need to dedicate to pleasing God first?  How can you allow God to fill your needs as you seek to please Him?

I pray you can relinquish the need to control and replace control with a desire to thrive on resting on God’s provision. It is a daily decision to offer your efforts up to Him. The responsibility to do well and to “please” then lies in His capable, loving hands.

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For more about Relevant Women -

The purpose of Relevant Women:
Relevant Women exists to train women to minister relevantly, to discover and grow in God’s call in their lives and to serve in their churches as godly leaders.

RW accomplishes this by:
•Teaching life changing truth
•Building significant relationships
•Practicing spiritual disciplines
•Defining our personal stories
•Developing our personal ministry

At Relevant Ministry, our vision is to equip leaders to minister relevantly in churches that will be healthy and thriving.

Our mission, to fulfill this vision, is training future leaders - building healthy ministries - and serving on the Gulf Coast. 

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