Not long ago, (or so it seems) I entered into a season so dark and lonely, I did not think my soul would survive it.
A betrayal so deep – that at the time, I felt my heart could never overcome it. I cried out to God in deep anguish, and sleep never came to me.
I could not eat
I could not rest my mind.
I was full of anger and, bitterness and fear…
…for an entire year, I was in a deep state of grief like none I had ever known.
It was during this season of grief that I found a truth so beyond the truth of this world. I found a strength within myself that I never knew existed. It was not my own. It was true strength that only God can give us.
I was always a self professed ‘strong woman’.
But it took this long dark year in order for God to transform me into a ‘woman of strength’.
In this time of transforming, I learned the difference.
A woman of strength relies on her Lord for all her needs. A strong woman relies on herself, or the tangibles of this world.
A woman of strength runs to the protecting wings of Gods tender mercies, and there she is refreshed. A strong woman runs to worldly comforts and comes back empty and alone.
A woman of strength will never feel alone. She will endure every trial set before her with her grace and poise intact, because she trusts in God and not her circumstances. She does not need to ‘feel’ His presence to know He is near. She believes in His presence regardless of her ‘feelings’.
A woman of strength is created by a loving God, through her trials tended with hours of solitude spent in His presence. A strong woman is created by this world…through her trials and moments of chaos, spent alone in her own spinning thoughts.
I am not the woman who began this journey. no.
…I am a new creation.
I was broken by the trials of this world. But when I brought my heart before my loving Saviour, I was transformed into something beautiful. I now look back at that dark season and am thankful. It birthed a refreshing into my soul…and created within me a deeper faith and unshakeable trust.
If you are in the dark hours of your life today, allow yourself to be a woman of strength. Put the ‘strong woman’ aside and run to the loving arms of God. Allow Him to hold you, heal you, transform you.
Beside my cottage door it grows,
The loveliest, daintiest flower that blows,
A sweetbriar rose.
At dewy morn or twilight’s close,
The rarest perfume from it flows,
This strange wild rose.
But when the rain-drops on it beat,
Ah, then, its odors grow more sweet,
About my feet.
Ofttimes with loving tenderness,
Its soft green leaves I gently press,
In sweet caress.
A still more wondrous fragrance flows
The more my fingers close
And crush the rose.
Dear Lord, oh, let my life be so
Its perfume when tempests blow,
The sweeter flow.
And should it be Thy blessed will,
With crushing grief my soul to fill,
Press harder still.
And while its dying fragrance flows
I’ll whisper low, “He loves and knows
His crushed briar rose.”
-F. W. Robertson