For the last eight years of my life, that question has become more significant. Before then I was just a young adult, now out in the world, trying to find my way, not really knowing the plan God had for my life.
Then unexpectedly, after years of silly crushes and brief boyfriend/girlfriend relationships, I was engaged and three months after, married. I absolutely have no doubt that the man I married was the man God had chosen for me. Our personalities and desires for our life aligned.
There is a quote that I read on a poster once that reflects just that, it said “Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.” That’s just what my marriage has been; a partnership perfectly ordained by God. We fill the gaps where the other falls short, we complete each other in the things we love and where we differ does not cause too big a mess in the grand scheme of things.
In the beginning of my marriage, I didn’t know what it really meant to be a wife and if I had what it took. I think I was just happy to be away from the life I knew. I finally felt free to be the kind of person I always hoped to be. But when I read about this woman (Proverbs 31) I felt overwhelmed by her. I felt as though there was no way I could be that woman.
Within my first few months of marriage, I became pregnant with my first child and that’s when my journey to being a Proverbs 31 woman really began. During this pregnancy, I did a lot of thinking and God showed me the kind of mother and wife he wanted me to be, but I had no clue how the person I was, was going to become this woman he was showing me. Also I felt as though my dreams were over because I wouldn’t be able to be a parent and work towards my dreams at the same time.
In my first year of motherhood, I tried pursuing my dreams and being a mom, but things changed, our family moved away from my place of birth and I had to find new dreams; which I did, because I am a big dreamer, always have been.
Then two years later I became pregnant again and when my firstborn was three years old, I gave birth to my second child. I was a little worried about taking care of two children; a three year old and a baby. For a while, I had little extra help, my sister lived with us for the first two months, but when she left I was on my own to be a mother of two.
During that season, my daughter (my firstborn) was a little difficult to deal with for a while, because she was in that season of tantrums, but thankfully that season did not last too long.
God saw me through and I had successfully been a mother for five years, when I learned I was pregnant with my third. This time I was really worried and scared. A mother of two, that’s fine, but three, how am I going to take care of three children at the same time.
Here’s where the story takes a turn and changes my life forever. First of all, something about this pregnancy seemed different. I sensed it in my spirit. I began to fear that God might have been preparing me for something.
Then one day, at my fifth month (pregnancy) ultrasound, my worst fears came to be. I learned that it was a boy and there was a problem (click here to learn more about that story). To make a long story short, we spent months in and out of the hospital, talking to doctors, doing whatever we could to stop him from dying.
In the beginning, when the doctor was explaining the situation, he told us, with the seriousness of my son’s situation, it might be best to terminate pregnancy. He would either die before he was born, die a short while after he was born or be a really sick kid, who’d need surgery at some point in his life.
I listened to what he was saying, but my mind and heart told me that I had seen my son in the ultrasound; he is a living, breathing, moving baby. If he had to die, that was not my choice to make. I also thought, only God could make the final decision on this child’s life. He has a reason for all of this and He will work things out according to his plan. I was hoping for a miracle and I got one, but not in the way I had hope. My son died five days after he was born.
That is the season that my perspective on a Proverbs 31 woman changed. That was when I realized who a Proverbs 31 woman really was. She is not this unattainable person that no real life, modern day woman could live up to.
She was me and any other woman, who loved God with all her heart, trusts God, loves her children, fight for her children, love her husband and fight for husband. She takes care of her family, she is a hard worker, she is strong, she makes wise decisions and she is full of faith and hope but most importantly, she follows God’s leading and she is constantly growing.
The Proverbs 31 woman verse is not about the literal things that this woman does, but the characteristics she possesses. God used that hard year of fighting for my unborn child and then losing him, to help me realize how strong I really am. To realize the power of a mother’s love and that life and time is too short and precious to give any of it away to fear. So I fight fear because now I know fear is a liar and I am God’s warrior.
I also realize that I don’t have to be everything that the Proverbs 31 woman verse describes, because she is a depiction of all God’s women, she represents all of us and there are parts of her in of each one of us.
There is the Proverbs 31 woman who cooks really well, cleans and makes clothes and linen for the bed, my step-mom is that Proverbs 31 woman.
There is the Proverbs 31 woman, who is educated and wise. There is the Proverbs 31 woman who is a business woman and runs her own business or has a career. There is the Proverbs 31 woman who is not yet married and possibly may never be but she is God’s wife and she following God’s great calling for her life. There is the Proverbs 31 woman who teaches and one who counsels and gives good advice.
God has given me the privilege to meet lots of different Proverbs 31 women lately, women who have different back stories, strengths, weaknesses, perspectives, family life and responsibilities. The one thing that remains the same is that we are not perfect, but we love God, we are growing and He is using us to make this world a better, more efficient place than it would be if we were not in it.
Now, my perspective on life and who I am has changed immensely since my journey as a wife and mother began. Now I know I am a Proverbs 31 woman though I am not perfect. I know I am growing and God is shaping me everyday to be the woman he made me to be.
I am no longer a victim of fear. Even though fear, worry, doubt and anxiety creeps in now and then, most times I don’t give in because I know God will give me the strength, weapons and resources to conquer any challenge or storm that comes my way.
I am no longer worried about losing my dreams, because raising my kids to be excellent human beings is my dream. God has shown me that this is my season to focus on these children he has put in my care. To help to them grow physically, spiritually and mentally, then one day piece by piece my old dreams will come true but I would live them out with my children and husband.
Today I am a mother of five. A beautiful daughter who is eight years old and gifted in so many ways, a son who is five years old and really smart, my Angel in heaven, who would have been three, if he was here. There is also my last two precious additions to my family, two sons, one eighteen months old and the other three months old. I am a wife and a home school mom. God has blessed us in so many ways.
But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31 NIV
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