Sometimes you just end up being a really bad blogger. Every 1st and 3rd Monday we gather here to search out stories of women in the Bible and see how they impact us today.
But the 1st Monday of November (!!!) came and went. It’s now the first Wednesday of the month and I’m typing these words, and isn’t it funny that just days after being honest about the grace I struggle to give myself on a daily basis, I find myself here, trying to tell myself it’s really not a big deal.
Because it’s not. Tonight I’m giving myself a little extra spoonful of grace because this isn’t a new story – it’s more of a recap and little bit of a new spin on a couple different stories.
I’ve had a lot – A LOT – going on in my life the past few weeks, this past week especially. I’m in the middle of a 12 page paper on barrenness in the Torah, among many other huge projects and heavy deadlines for the rest of this week. Honestly, I don’t have time to be writing…but here I am.
And because I’ve spent hours upon hours upon hours researching barrenness, it should really be no surprise that I want to look back at a few women we’ve already learned from.
So. Enter Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel & Leah, and Elizabeth.
The structure is different this week. No outline, no plan to follow. I just want to look at how these women were strong against opposition and fought for a right to be somebody.
Through my research, I’ve learned that a woman without a child in this time period was as good as dead.
I know. It’s incredibly harsh and it hurts my stomach to even think about. But in this time, the most important thing was the family line and to carry on the name. If a woman wasn’t able to do this, the husband could continue the lineage through a concubine or through another wife. This would keep his name going, but it excluded the wife who couldn’t conceive.
Children were everything, they were the hope for the future. There were all sorts of strange (to me) things that they would do back then in hopes of having children.
There were ceremonies where childless couples played a specific role (that was supposed to increase their chance of having a child), there were items to hand in their tents, and so much more.
And it honestly seems so silly to me.
But when I stop and think about it, it hits me that I do this too. It sure looks different, but I’ve faced some battles and challenges and learned that if I want to get through it, I need to be strong.
The world has taught me that I can – and should! – do it all on my own. Be independent, a go-getter, strong and capable.
And yes, there’s a hint of truth in that.
But I’ve also seen so clearly through my own life and these women’s stories that we can be strong and face each new day head-on, but it’s not going to ultimately change the circumstance and we’re only going to wear ourselves out by wearing ourselves thin instead of running to Him who moves mountains and gives the barren woman children.
I try to be strong and sometimes He gives strength and it’s good, it’s so very good. But when I try to be strong in my own strength is when there’s a problem – because then I’m doing it out of my own “power” instead of leaning on Him.
Ultimately, these women had to come to the understanding that they could do nothing. The best place to find strength is down on our knees, asking for grace and guidance.
He comes to our rescue and His plan is always – always – for good. These barren women carry a story in them, much like a child.
You and I do, too. We carry with us a story every day and we can share it with the world or we can keep it for ourselves.
I want to challenge you today to share it. Find one person and choose to open up just a little. Allow yourself to be honest, give yourself permission to be vulnerable and see, just see what God does through it.
We need each other’s stories, and by the legacy these women have left, countless women have been encouraged that nothing is impossible with God.
If you have posts to link up this week, won’t you leave them in the comments? I’ll be sure to click through and read what God is teaching you through all these stories. And if you step out in faith and share just a little piece of you with someone this week, won’t you please come back and share the story with me? Tweet me about it? I would love to hear!