This morning I finished the book of Proverbs.
Proverbs 31 is a well-known verse. It’s a reading of King Lemuel, but the most remembered part of it is what it says about women. The “ideal” woman, what women ought to be, and really, how God sees us.
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Similar to a lot of women, Proverbs 31 is one of my favorites. It is the Lord speaking life into us, saying that yes, we are fearfully and wonderfully made and that each of us is unique. And although I love this chapter so much that it even frequents my Instagram captions, I do not live by it.
I often forget who I am and who’s I am.
I allow evil to sneak in and I allow toxic thoughts tell me that I am not good enough. Pretty enough. Strong enough. Smart enough. There really is no excuse for these thoughts. I have a loving family. I have a loving boyfriend and loving friends. And yet, something always seems to be wrong.
Most days, I talk about how God has saved me and how much better my life is after giving myself to Him. Yes, my life is amazing because of that, but the daily life of any young woman is a struggle. We are constantly put under pressure to look good, feel good and act good. I am almost 25, I have my own car and apartment, a career, and someone who loves and cherishes me. This is fantastic and I am very grateful and blessed. However, society tells me that I should be married and that I should have kids and a house, etc. And my toxic thoughts tell me, “All of your previous relationships have failed. This one surely will, too.” I am extremely too hard on myself.
Living in fear causes me to push those that I love away. It is no excuse to be crazy, and yet I am. I am always questioning, always doubtful, and never comfortable.
For the first time in my life, I am in a relationship with someone who wants to be my teammate and partner in life. Instead of picking fights and doing things out of spite, he constantly works at how to be a better partner. He sees me. He knows me. He loves me. And most of all, he is patient with me. I fear that if I don’t get my act together soon, I will lose him, too.
So reading this chapter this morning came at the perfect time. It reminded me of how God sees me. These words motivated me to live more like this, to not care about what others think and most importantly, to be kind. Jesse constantly tells me to only control what I can control, and right now, being kind and patient are the only things that I can do. The rest is up to God.
Another thing that I am immensely grateful for are good girlfriends who also love God. One friend shared her devotion with me yesterday and it seemed to be a step-by-step on how to get rid of these awful, toxic thoughts.
- Identify the toxic thought patterns you’ve been nursing
- Confess errant thought processes to God
- Dismantle the stronghold by taking your thoughts captive
I believe that I am on Step 3: Dismantle. The devotion goes on to share that This is not a passive assignment. It requires forethought and proactivity. Basically, instead of just saying you won’t do it anymore, actually work your butt off to not do it anymore. Paul says to “take every thought captive,” (2 Corinthians 10:5), meaning to resist the urge to agree with or rehearse the negative thought (<<< THIS IS 100% MY PROBLEM, not being able to resist), and to instead, replace the negativity (GOALS).
So I guess what I’m trying to say is that the woman talked about in Proverbs 31 is who I want to be. Cheers to day one.