Tuesday, March 1, 2011

"pour yourself out"

To me, Elizabeth Elliot is one of the most incredible women! She has lived through singleness, marriage, death, being a widow and single mother, marriage again, death again, being a widow again, and then marriage one last time. Add to these credentials the fact that she has written numerous books that encourage and strengthen women from a Christ-focused perspective, and you have a winning and quite formidable combination. She is an amazing woman.

Currently, I'm reading "Let Me Be A Woman" which is a book that she wrote to her daughter a few months before she was married. It's not just focused on those about to be married but on women as a whole. I've read it before and I'm finding more and more gems within it this time as well. In a chapter I recently read she explained that single women have found full and filling lives from the simple truth of learning to "pour yourself out". I want that. What better thing than to be about the work of God?

I think this has to be taken into careful consideration though. I mean, a single woman could become so focused and so busy that she could become overwhelmed or that she could find herself as self-sufficient when the Lord would not desire that for her. I don't want that to be the case, of course, but I do want to be so focused on the Lord that He is what is filling me. I desire for His purpose to be my purpose. For His love to be what I show to others.

Within the context of all of this, another book that I'm reading entitled "Becoming God's True Woman" is also helping me to see that, no matter where I am or may be in my life (single, married, widowed) I am to seek after what God calls me to be as a woman. I think of 1 Peter 3:3-4 that says, "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight." I desire for the Lord to cultivate a gentle and quiet spirit within me now. I don't want to wait for some appointed time or marriage or anything but instead be about His work NOW. As Elizabeth also says, singleness is a gift (and she reminds us that we do not choose our gifts) and that while you are gifted in that way, you must use the gift and exercise it to the best of your ability until God sees fit to change your situation (and gifting).

I may become weary at times and I may have a lot on my plate, but I wouldn't give any of it up for a more comfortable existence filled with a lot of free time and no direction or purpose. I know that God will give me strength to make it through and that is what matters.

Make sure that, in whatever situation you are in, you are learning to "pour yourself out".