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Reflection: The Resilient Woman

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Today is my wife’s birthday.

So I have been meditating, today, on the Proverbs 31 description of the virtuous woman, the wife of noble character, the archetype of womanhood that King Lemuel’s mom, the Queen Mother, shares with him in describing the queen he should have in his life.

That in itself gives me pause. Taking the text at face value, these are not the words of a man. Nor are they the thoughts of an unseasoned woman. Here, the matriarch, tells the King who may have power, but will always be her baby boy, who he needs in his life to rule well.

She describes this virtuous woman as trustworthy, diligent, compassionate, strong, enterprising, resilient, and rare. And the value of being associated with her is immeasurable.

And one of the most compelling descriptions of that value comes in verse 25.

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.

I love this verse’s connection between resilience and rejoicing

My wife’s laugh is music. It is insistent joy. Not a joy that has never sorrowed, but one that has sorrowed and survived. Not a laugh absent tears, but one that contains them, honors them, envelops them, and transforms them.

The Bible says they that sow in tears shall reap in joy. And it speaks to a people chosen by God, but enduring captivity.

And while it speaks in a specific historical way to a people in bondage, it also describes the path many of us, men and women alike, travel from bondage to freedom.

Our prisons, whether physical or mental, whether imposed or partially self-inflicted. violate the image of God in us. They treat us beneath the people we are.

But they cannot destroy that image. They can kill the body, but not the spirit.

I do not know what you are facing today. I don’t know the battles you’ve won and lost. I don’t know the price you’ve paid for the wisdom you’ve earned.

But I know, since you’re still reading this, that it’s not over.

You may have fought longer than you felt you could.

You may have lost more battles than you’d like to admit.

You may still be healing from trauma

Your past may still trouble your dreams.

But the fight is not finished. You are not finished.

And I believe you’ve got one more round.

(Photo Credit: Jill Wellington)

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