I have found myself using the term fearless lately to describe the women in my life. Most days I am privileged to hear women’s stories. Men have great stories too, but today I would like to celebrate the fearlessness of women in particular. I hear wide and varied stories:
- I hear from grandmothers, raising their granddaughters, wondering if they can pour enough love into them to help them believe they are treasures.
- I hear from women who have tended families, tended professions, and tended relationships with valor and perseverance.
- I hear from aunts who long to be mothers, daughters who ache for a baby to hold.
- I hear from college students trying to keep their head above water, searching for adult answers to this newly adult world.
- I hear from women searching the Word, searching their knowledge, searching the landscape of their lives for just the right path, riddled with uncertainty, but stepping out anyway.
- I hear from high school girls, worried that if their perfect veneer of grades, activities, and friendships slips for a moment, the entire tower of life will crack and they may just crumble.
- I hear from mothers working hard to instill values and character into their little ones and their not-so-little ones, and mothers wondering where they went wrong.
- I hear from women who have given their heart to countless men, hoping for one to love them in return.
- I hear from anxious women, stalwart women, hurting women, smart women, thrifty women, ambitious women, funny women, and compassionate women.
The more stories I hear, the more liberally I use the term fearless, because the tellers are brave enough to share their story. Satan would love it if we never shared where we came from, what has happened to us, and where God has worked in each step of our journey because then we would remain isolated, hurting, thinking no one cares, led to believe his lies that we are alone and no one wants our breed of weird.
Our Triune God also values stories. We can see just how much God values the stories of the women (and men) of the past and present through His enduring Word. The stories of the women in the Word give us license to call the stories of the women around me fearless. When we open the Bible, we hear the stories of hundreds of women who have also been riddled with worry, searched for answers, longed for something better, as well as tended and cared for relationships. Why do I find the use of the word fearless absolutely applicable to the lives of many of these women?
Because Biblically we aren’t presented with fearless as in “without fear” or “never touched by fear,” rather the Bible presents the fearless equation looking something like this:
Grit + Jesus = Fearless
See a few examples from the stories of the women in Scripture:
- Eve: tempted by fruit, receiver of Grace, clothed by God Himself, pioneer of marriage, mother of imperfect boys in a world as imperfect as ours (Genesis 3-4)
- Bathsheba: wife of a soldier, falling into bed with a man that was not her husband, mourning the loss of her firstborn child, honored to place the crown on her son, Solomon’s, head (2 Samuel 11, Song of Songs 3:11)
- Anna: young wife, widowed for many, many years, prayer warrior, sinner, her wrinkled, crinkled eyes beheld the cheeks of the newborn Baby Savior (Luke 2:36-39)
- Mary: not just the woman who peacefully proclaimed, “let it be to me according to your word. . . . ", but also the woman who watched her son die, helpless and heartbroken at the foot of the cross (Luke 1:38, John 19:25)
Do you see and hear the grit in there? Do you hear the perseverance and the endurance only possible by the grace of God and the hope found in a Savior who redeems? This is the same grit I see in the women around me.
When this grit is coupled with a relationship with Jesus, what I see is fearlessness.
Grit + Jesus = Fearless
With Jesus we receive eternity, but we also receive life and hope for today. He walks with us through things we never thought we could, because He gives us foundation in the middle of fear. He is the something we to cling to in the storm. He gives strength to plunge ahead, to mother and to work, and to give glory to His name.
There is a fearlessness to walking through a world that hurts, that requires strength and resilience most days. There is a fearlessness in raising up the next generation, as mothers, as grandmothers, as aunts, and as neighbors, teaching them to also know they are loved by a Savior who calls them loved, forgiven, and beautiful.
This brand of fearlessness might mask as ordinary, but in Jesus, because of Jesus, it is glorious and gives glory to God.
Who are the fearless women around you who combine grit and Jesus to bring honor to His name in their everyday lives? Consider the women who have gone before you, who are in your cloud of witnesses, who have shared their stories and helped you to see a Fearless God at work in them?
Proclaim this definition of fearless over the women all around you today, who have grit, but also have Jesus. Send a prayer of thanksgiving to the Father for these women who help us begin to understand God’s brand of fearless a little bit more.
Read Heidi's new Bible study, Altogether Beautiful.