God has been tugging on my sleeve lately. Not like a sullen child who wants candy or to play or to sit on mommy’s lap. More like a friend who has been patiently waiting their turn to spend some quality time with you but is feeling a bit left out by your lack of attention to them. It’s been a gentle tug, a quiet reminder of promises not being kept, a conviction I haven’t been able to get away from.
So today I sat down and opened a book I thought would be a great way to reawaken my faith, to fortify my heart for the upcoming birth of our son, and to shed some light back into the place in my heart that was previously flooded with eagerness for quality time with Jesus but has since lost a bit of its luster and shine. The book is called The Resolution for Women. For those of you familiar with faith inspired movies, it was written a few years back to dovetail with the movie Courageous. I watched the movie with my boyfriend (now husband) and his brother and sister in law. His sister in law, one of my dearest friends at the time, and I were so inspired by the message the movie presented that we went to the bookstore shortly afterward and bought ourselves each a copy of this book and also bought our husbands the counterpart book for our men, The Resolution for Men.
We talked about how we would read it together over coffee, how it would inspire us to draw closer to God, how it would drastically change us and our relationships. We had the best of intentions. But then life got in the way. She had two babies to care for, a job, a house, and all the responsibilities of being a wife and mother. I had school, a job, my boyfriend, my friends, and a whole host of other things that I let get in the way of reading this book.
Enter me 5 years later; feeling frustrated, anxious, discontent, harried, stretched thin, and lacking the fire for Jesus I had just months ago. I’ve been feeling like something hasn’t been quite right in my spiritual life for a few months now, and as the due date for our second child draws nearer, I can’t help but worry about my capacity to be the kind of mother I want to be, the kind God wants me to be. So this morning, I dusted off my copy of the Resolution for Women, turned some toons on for L, grabbed a pen and a cup of coffee and dove in.
I don’t really know what I expected from this book this morning, but I know I was not expecting it to break my heart in just the first 30 pages. But that’s exactly what it did. So far I’ve only gotten past the intro and first chapter, but already I know my life is about to change radically. Already I know that God placed this book in my hands five years ago for this exact season in my life right now. Already I know that I have been severely neglecting my relationship with God, my husband, my child (soon to be children), and the other people I care about most in my life.
The author Priscilla Shirer, who has become one of my favorite christian women speakers since reading Armor of God with my M2M group last fall, has this way of being so honest and transparent in her writing that there is no way to deny the truth of the message she is relaying. Right away I knew I was in trouble when I read her introduction and after reading the first chapter I am a little afraid to go on and let God open my heart up in His hands and work through all the yuck I’ve been feeling lately.
In spite of my hesitation, I know that I am meant to be reading this book right now, in this season of hectic responsibility and anxious anticipation. I know that God has a purpose for what the words on these pages will do in my heart. I reached the end of the first chapter to find two scripture references: 1 Timothy 6:6-9 and Hebrews 13: 5&6. After reading these verses and reflecting on them I am sure that I’m pretty much doomed. God is going to use this book to shatter me and put me back together. Ever question Priscilla asks, every resolution she lays out for us women in the first chapter, and every feeling she delves into so far has been exactly what I’ve been needing, but did not want to hear.
So my resolution thus far is to finish this book. To work through my hesitancy and reluctance to have my emotions laid before me open and raw so that God can do whatever it is He needs to do in my heart. I hope to make this journey with my readers as well, so I will be sharing the best morsels of insight Ms. Shirer gives in her writing, the powerful scripture woven throughout, as well as presenting her end of the chapter questions in every post so you all can reflect on them as well. Hopefully this is a journey I can take alongside you all and a few of you might get to experience a newfound faith and resolve as well. I am praying for myself, that I stick to my resolution and keep my heart open, as well as for you my readers, that through these writings of mine and Priscilla’s God will speak to you as well. So whether or not you have a copy of the Resolution for Women or intend to get one, I pray we can connect with God, our families, friends, and each other as we go on this journey together.
Chapter 1 Reflection Questions:
- What have you been hurrying through?
- What have you been hurrying to get to?
- What are some of the good parts of your experience that you’ve missed in your attempt to rush through the difficult ones?
- What can you do differently today to “scrape the plate”- to gather up all the good things around you and begin enjoying the journey of your life?
The Resolution for Women, Shirer