A Prayer for Fiercehearted Women
By Holley Gerth
“Be strong, and let your heart be courageous, all you who put your hope in the LORD.” Psalm 31:24 (CSB)
I didn’t know loving people would be so hard.
I silently say this to God in a coffee shop on an ordinary Tuesday morning. I’m sitting at a table with a scratched wood surface and above me folk music comes through the speakers. My latte is half-cold and my mood is threatening to become lukewarm, too.
Haven’t we all been there?
I think back to another moment in a coffee shop when I was around 30 years old, wide-eyed and naïve, full of dreams. This is the age where I was both tender and ambitious. I thought I could save the world and conveniently forgot someone already had.
I’m looking 40 in the face now, and I have a few more wrinkles around my eyes. A few more scars on my heart. I also have a wound still healing from recent words that cut like a sword all the way down to the bone.
For a long time I didn’t understand that broken people have sharp edges. And if we dare to love, to make a difference, to put ourselves out there, then inevitably we will sometimes end up startled and bleeding.
I wish someone had whispered this in my ear years ago, leaned right in and said, “Oh, yes, a lifetime with Jesus is going to be a wonderful adventure. There’s going to be joy and hope and beautiful relationships. But, listen, there’s something else you need to know: You’re not going on holiday, you’re going into battle.”
I imagine I wouldn’t have liked or understood this at the time.
I probably wouldn’t even have believed it, or I might have told the person they needed to be more positive.
But later when the arrows started flying, I would have suddenly thought, “Oh, yes, I’m glad someone warned me.”
Perhaps that’s why today I’m writing all this down … to remind myself and, in case you haven’t heard yet, to gently tell you, too: We need to know we’re in a battle, because otherwise we’ll become disillusioned and discouraged.
We’ll think we must be doing something wrong or even that God has tricked us. We’ll retreat when it’s time to advance. We’ll hide when it’s time to charge. We’ll be caught off-guard instead of guarding our hearts. We’ll even misunderstand who we’re fighting. It’s not ever other humans; it’s always the darkness itself.
I recently saw the movie Wonder Woman and in one scene, she crosses a space called “No Man’s Land.” She walks with her head held high. She deflects the gunfire on behalf of others. She does what no one else has been able to so far.
As I watched, tears came to my eyes because I know what this is like, how it feels. There is beauty in the battle. There is strength. There is victory. “Be strong, and let your heart be courageous, all you who put your hope in the LORD” (Psalm 31:24).
But it’s okay if sometimes we still need to whisper to Jesus, “This is harder than I thought it would be.” If that’s you today, then know you’re not alone. Also know feeling this way isn’t failure; it’s confirmation you are a warrior, mightier than you know, stronger than you’ve yet to see.
Love is a soft word in our culture. But in the Kingdom it’s a war cry.
And so we fight on — we serve and encourage and work and pray and change diapers and change the world. Because we are women of God, and this is what we do; this is who we are. We are a beautiful, fiercehearted force. We cannot be defeated.
Lord, You know how hard it is to live and love in this world sometimes, because You’ve been here, too. Thank You for Your compassion toward us and Your promise to bring us through whatever we may face. Through You, we have strength, grace and victory. I pray You will empower me to keep fighting today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Editor’s note: This content was adapted from the original article “You Are a Fiercehearted Woman” from Encouragement for Today.
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Originally published Wednesday, 01 July 2020.