We start this Woman's Life as beautiful and bubbly little girls with dreams of love and goodness and fairy tales.
Then hard things happen and break us.
"Sometimes they happen when we are yet very small children and our innocence is shattered, our peace is stolen, and our hearts take on heaviness long before they were meant to.
Sometimes we are fortunate enough to survive childhood with our innocence intact and it's our adolescence that brings heartache and despair. Or, maybe we make it unscathed through childhood/adolescence through Godly Parents who shelter us only to enter the cold adult world on our own; where heartache and despair have been waiting for us to leave that protective sheltering just so that they can finally crush us. Sounds horrific, but it's true.
The fact is, we cannot escape heartache and despair, God Himself told us that while He was down here.
John 16:33 tells us GOD HIMSELF prepared us for this by stating: "These things ( meaning the truths about Salvation that He spoke to the Disciples) I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In this world ye shall have tribulation (meaning heartache, despair, persecution and criticism for believing the Gospel, and just hard times in general) but be of GOOD CHEER, I have overcome the world."
You see, Jesus never presented that idea that by following Him your life would be all butterflies and rainbows. Yes, very much indeed, there are blessings reserved for Godly Women and God does indeed show favor to those who follow Him....but He does not ever, EVER, remove your humanity. You will indeed face HARD things in Life, even as a Proverbs 31 Woman.
I have faced many hard things in my Life, some of I speak of publicly and some I keep hidden in my heart for only God to help me through. Some of the hard things have placed me in situations where I must choose either personal revenge or laying the problem in God's hand to avenge. And I have not always chosen well throughout the years, which made my hard things even harder. May we never forget that vengeance belongs to the Lord, He will not forget who has done you wrong (Deuteronomy 32:35), it's taken a long time for me to completely trust that He really will right a wrong, even if I never see it happen the way I assume it should. The need for immediate justice is a very human reaction. But God is all seeing and all knowing, so don't steal his vengeance because He knows how to properly teach lessons, and all we humans know how to do is properly hurt others in return.
Some hard things involved dreams shattered so badly that they lay in glittery broken pieces on my heart's floor as a daily reminder that Life is often times much harder than the bubbly 8-year-old little I once was dreamed it would be. Hard things, we are talking about HARD things.
I have faced death's door far more times than I truly ever thought I would by 39 years old. Each time reopening my eyes to both how truly short and hard Life is and how much I need to prepare my son for his adulthood.
Do I love God? YES. Do I try my best to follow Him daily despite my ever-present human flaws that trip me up constantly? YES. Does that keep me from experiencing hard things? NO.
Regardless of how closely I follow Jesus, even if I was able to be closer to Him than any other human being ever was, I am talking downright absolute pure holiness with my humanity tightly tamed ( what a far fetched dream!), I'd still have to go through the hard things.
But what does that scripture in John 16:33 mean for a Proverbs 31 Woman?
Well, its simply another path to help you understand Probvers 31: 25 " Strength and Honor are her clothing; she shall rejoice in time to come. " You see every hard thing I have gone through, from childhood to present time, I have gone through with Jesus. He has overcome everything already, there is not a hard thing down here that is beyond His Abilities to see you through. Even when my relationship with Him was as undeveloped and tender as a newborn baby, He has been my Strength and Honor.
He has whispered Peace to me in unsettling times, He has held me throughout the years when my heart broke so badly and so deeply I felt I could no longer go on living. He has given me wisdom when I was so brutally attacked my people I loved that I did not know how to escape. He has been still waters to me when other "Christians" cornered me and beat me down emotionally; then He strengthened me to walk away in order to seek healing as they turned to pick up more stones. (You see, Christians are humans, they will never be our Strength and Honor, and if we place our identity in each other, we run the risk of being stoned emotionally to spiritual death. Your identity comes from God, and no one else.)
And He has restored the dignity and respect that those hard things took from me over the years; and He has been the voice that answers me when no one else would.
You see, He never once spared me from the things that bruised me in this Life, and He won't spare me from every hard thing coming, but He made sure I overcame them through Him and grew through them..
He became my Strength and Honor, He made those hard things mold me into the woman I am still choosing to refine day by day, year by year. A Proverbs 31 Woman.
We will all face hard things, and one day we will all face one last hard thing. Maybe it will be cancer, maybe it will be a heart attack in our sleep, maybe a stroke, maybe it will be a terminal illness, or a car wreck or any other ending of Life, but we will all have one last hard thing to conquer and when it's over we will not return to this side of Life; we will stand on the other side in Eternity. I need you to understand Ladies, that only a heart surrendered to God Himself and robed in His Salvation will go through that very last hard thing with success. Once that hard thing ends, your eternity will be decided and a soul that stands by God during that last hard thing will reap the ultimate Strength and Honor for eternity; because we will have made it. I don't think I need to elaborate on the danger of facing that last hard thing without God, but in case you cannot picture it, the ending to our last hard thing, if done with God, will place us in an eternity of heartache and despair. That choice is 100% ours to make, and since we never know the timing of that one last hard thing, the best time to make that choice is today.
So let us Speak Up and Rise and raise our children to face the hard things in Life with Jesus as their Strength and Honor and our lives as the living templates; because they too will one day face their very last hard thing and as Mommas, we want them to face it well.