Friday, February 17, 2017

Lighting the Spark: Heroines Volume I (Stephanie McGraw)

A little girl sits cross-legged while playing with her beloved stuffed bear, Fuzzy. Her mother is in the kitchen making pancakes while her father sits on the couch next to her flipping through channels on the television. Little girl is content. She loves Saturdays, and pancakes, and Fuzzy. Father’s program cuts to commercials and little girl looks up. On the screen is what appears to be a flawless woman with long legs and yellow hair. She is being chased by a handsome gentleman. They embrace each other. They look so happy. In that moment little girl becomes aware of her undeveloped body and curly brown hair. She will forever associate beauty with the flawless couple that frolicked on the screen.
We were children when we first started to build our definitions of what womanhood meant. While the television was often a dominant educator, we also watched our mothers, and older sisters, and friends to understand who we are, and what we will be. Some images empowered us, and others crippled us. And at some point in our lives we must choose the kind of woman we will be. Some will fixate their eyes on beauty, and others wealth. Some will use their womanhood to birth a lineage, and others will dedicate their lives to seeking justice. For each of us, there is a deep sense and longing for more. Unfortunately, some women have been told to, “be quiet,” or “let a man do it” for so long, that they have become lost to this calling.
It is extremely easy to get swept away in the noise and let false perceptions define you. That is why we want to go to the source of our womanly nature—the author of our very being. Through this series we will be unleashing the vast ways of being a God-authored heroine.

Heroine. The word is literally defined as, “A woman noted for courageous acts or nobility of character.” She is strong. She is fierce. She is unstoppable.

Contrary to popular belief, God loves using women in His story. Scripture is filled with examples of this—Esther, Ruth, Rahab, Mary, just to name a few. He loved using the unlikeliest of people to carry out His will and to be heroines in their time. They defied cultural norms, risked their lives, and took immense leaps of faith to fight for what they believed in. They embodied courage, bravery, and spirit.
It’s easy to look at these women and marvel at their stories and how the Lord used them to make history, but dismiss that same possibility for our own lives. However, there are endless doors of possibility waiting to be opened by the girl who unlocks the potential that God has given her.
She who sees her womanhood as a gift and not an obstacle. She whose character surpasses her beauty. She whose spirit lights the way for others. She who believes the Lord can use her. These are the heroines of our day.
I truly believe that God deeply enjoyed making the woman. Woven in our personhood are the sincerest and most loving characteristics of God. The Lord delights in using the woman. She is His secret weapon and one of His most treasured creations. He grieves when she is oppressed. He rejoices when she is glad. He loves her and is for her.

A God-authored heroine is a woman of enormous character. She loves life, yet holds it loosely. She is always receptive to learning and is always searching for the Lord in every corner of her life.

“She is clothed with strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future.” Proverbs 31:25
As God-authored heroines, it is important that we believe in each other and encourage one another. We must highlight more than our sister’s cute shoes, and instead, note her character. We must search deep within our sisters to see their unique strengths and gifts, and lift those up. We must build up what was torn down. When we begin to reconstruct our views of our own womanhood and the women around us, we free ourselves to truly loving one another. We rid ourselves of envy and jealousy that has so often robbed us of our joy and confidence.
It is time that we stopped looking at our womanhood as a curse, or an excuse, or an obstacle, and instead saw it as a gift from the heavens. May we not get stuck looking back that we never move forward. May we use our words to lift up and heal one another. May the Spirit fill us with dreams bigger than our fragile frames that they may overflow into the hearts of others.
We invite you to explore what being a God-authored heroine means in your life. It is our prayer that you would be open to hearing from the Lord to see how He can use your story and womanhood in this world. May these words light a spark in your heart. There is unimaginable adventure in store for she who embarks the life of the God-authored heroine.
It is written: ‘What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived’—the things God has prepared for those who love him” 1 Corinthians 2:9

I am a girl, growing every day into shoes too big. I’m a dreamer, always have been. I’ve loved many art forms, but the written word is by far my favorite. I have come to adore the infinite possibilities that characters and syllables and punctuations strung together can become. I believe we are all storytellers and that we all have very special, very unique perspectives begging to be shared and heard. Words have the power to inspire us to do remarkable, courageous things. They sometimes lift our spirit and make us laugh. Other times they make us cry and see the world differently. Words can help us heal and grow stronger.
Just like I am a young woman becoming my own, my story is unfolding with the passing days. I don’t want to miss a beat. I want to savor every word on every page of this story that is my life. I want you to be part of it. To hear my heart. To laugh with me, cry with me, grow with me. I want to hear your story, too. Let’s have a conversation. Let’s love each other well, and use our words wisely to change our worlds for the better.
For me, I believe that this life is far too complex and beautiful to not have an author. I adore my Creator, and am learning from Him and about Him each day. It is for His glory that I write. He’s the truest inspiration.

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