Hello, I’m Rebekah and Saff has asked me to do a guest post – who could resist a request like that from such a beautiful person!?
So after agreeing to write a post, I’ve decided to write about inspirational women. I’ve nearly finished my degree, and throughout the ups and downs it’s been an encouragement to be surrounded by amazing women of God, who show strength and beauty in the way they live.
There are a few amazing women I can think of, and all of them are God-fearing people who won’t walk away from a difficult situation. So here are three examples:
My Mummy J This is her with my Dad:
My Mummy is one of the most self-less people I know. When I was ten I moved from England to Germany with my parents and my two brothers (yes, I’m the only girl, which can be so annoying at times, absolutely amazing at others!!!). It was my Mummy who kept it all together; helping us learn German although she couldn’t speak it fluently herself, offering the emotional support when it was needed, being the pillar of the family upon whom everyone relied on. Even today, she is the one who will make sure we’re all ok (even though my brothers and I have all moved out); she looks after the house and the dogs and my Dad! She’s the one who’s efforts often go unnoticed and are taken for granted, but who carries on nonetheless, all born out of complete unselfish love!!! It must have been hard for her when we lived in Germany; it’s a completely different culture and mentality to the one we were used to. But she never complained, or gave up, and she was always there, despite her own fears and doubts. My aim is to become such a person – ok, maybe not in everything (she is my Mother after all, most people don’t want to become like their mothers :-P) – but in the way she’s raised her family based on her fear of God, hard work and just getting on with things and not dwelling on her troubles in hard times.
Then there’s Esther. I don’t know her personally, only through someone at church. She has five children, one of which is seriously ill and has been in hospital for a long time now. This is her blog: http://fullhands.blogspot.co.uk/. When I read some of her posts, I was overwhelmed by the way she writes, because she is so honest but at the same time so trusting in the Lord. To hear her story, thoughts and emotions will lead you into a devastating world of deep sorrow, shock and questions. But in the complicated rainbow of emotions there isn’t a hint of despair! This woman is a true woman of God: she acknowledges her pain, speaks of her desires, questions her wants. Yet she does not question God or His love, and recognises where she needs to be. Her faith shows a strength that is unbelievingly beautiful, which will shine in the blackest night and not flicker. To know that she is rejoicing in her sorrow because so many people have heard about her story and are coming closer to God through prayer as a result is just mind-blowing! I want to be just as free from resentment and bitterness as Esther is, knowing that God, in His almighty love and power, will know exactly what to do, even though we may have other expectations. Esther goes beyond her emotions, but she doesn’t ignore them. She feels them as they were made to feel, and lays them down before the Lord, trusting that He will lead her and her family to a better place.
Finally, let me tell you about Corrie ten Boom. Corrie ten Boom was a lady from the Netherlands, who was put in a concentration camp in the second World War because she was a practising Christian, hiding Jews and helping them escape the country so they wouldn’t get caught and killed. She and her sister smuggled a Bible into the concentration camp; it was a miracle for that to have even have happened, as all prisoners were usually searched through thoroughly and all their belongings were taken away from them. During the time Corrie was in the concentration camp, she and her sister did secret Bible studies for the other women, and many Jews came to know and accept Christ before they were killed.
Corrie was released from the concentration camp because of a simple clerical error – she hadn’t actually meant to be set free! And for the rest of her life, she travelled the world, helped the lost and the hurt back on their feet, and lived as a ‘tramp for the Lord’. In one of her books, she describes how she meets one of the guards from the concentration camp, and her struggles with forgiveness. Her passion for God shines throughout her life and is an inspiration to anyone who hears about her. I strive to become more forgiving, just like she was. I want that same passion she has for God; a passion that stems from within and grows and bubbles up and flows out from her heart into her words and smiles and good deeds. (http://www.harpyness.com/2010/04/01/harpy-hall-of-fame-corrie-ten-boom/)
Of course there are a whole load of other amazing women I could talk about – there are at least five at my church who are absolutely incredible. Everyone is unique, and as women, God created us with a purpose – in His great love He has a role for us; to carry others when they are too weak to carry themselves, to be that quiet light that will lead others to God, to be strong for them, even when we feel like breaking apart and giving up. And this is what all these three amazing women have in common: A love for God, a love for others and that “gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight” (1 Peter 3:4).
These women have inspired me to search for the God who showed His love in quiet, humbling ways. The importance of His sacrifice was unseen by many, but God sees everything. When things go wrong, I want to be strong, knowing that my light will effect others in ways they may not even be aware of. This is what I want to live by: “An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit” (1 Corinthians 7:34). I guess that means following God instead of my emotions. It means giving up my dreams if needs be, and trusting that God’s will keeps me from evil, even if that involves being disciplined and sacrificing my time, money or energy. Looking beyond my own situation because I know God will get me there with the help of others, just as others may need my help to get to where God wants them. Rejoicing in every trial because it will help me grow spiritually and give me an opportunity to learn so much more about my awesome Creator (James 1:2-4)!
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17). YOU are a good and perfect gift, because God created you! God made you just as He intended you to be. He would not have created you if He had had other plans – doesn’t that show just how much we can achieve in this life if we actually believe that?! So let yourself be inspired by the women around you, so that you can inspire others. You’re never alone – just look around, see the tiny bright lights that are scattered the world over. What a beautifully bright place this is because of them. What a wonderfully awesome God we have, because He made them!