by Alli Worthington
One of my favorite things about God is that nothing ever surprises Him. I take the greatest comfort in knowing that no matter how crazy the world gets, God is in heaven saying, “Yep, I saw that coming. I’m still in control. You’re okay.”
Knowing that the creator of the Universe is in control reassures me that I don’t have to be. No matter what the world looks like.
And yet, even though God is totally in control, totally capable of handling things all on his own, he invites me (and you) to join him, to share the journey. In fact, he created us for that reason. It’s one of the great mysteries of God.
Just as he created this world with such beauty and diversity, God created us, each with different personalities and the will to make our own decisions. He could have created us to blindly do his bidding, but he didn’t. He made us unique and then gave us the option to use our gifts to serve alongside him—he gave us a purpose, and then he planted within us a deep desire to live out that purpose alongside him.
One of the most talked about women in the Bible is the Proverbs 31 woman. Talk about a woman of purpose! That girl had it together.
She got up early, prepared food for her entire family and her employees before the sun came up; was wise with her money and knew how to maximize her Amazon Subscribe and Save. She ran a business, a household, had a great marriage, and was such a great mom her kids called her blessed.
Sometimes when I’m feeling a little less than the Proverbs 31 woman, I do try to remind myself that according to Proverbs 31:1 this was a mother’s dream wife for her son and not an actual woman! “For King Lemuel, an inspired utterance his mother taught him.” Nonetheless, although the Proverbs 31 woman isn’t an actual woman, we can glean so much from this God-breathed description of her.
First, she is a woman of noble character. Her character is deeply rooted in the character of God; and therefore like him, she has incredible value, she’s wise, diligent, generous, and intentional. For her character to be deeply rooted in the character of God, she has to know him, intimately.
As strong women of God, called for a purpose, we likewise must develop deep roots in our relationship with God by spending time in his Word and by talking to him through prayer. Our noble character comes from his noble character.
Secondly, she is trustworthy. In the setting of the Proverbs 31 woman, it speaks specifically of her husband trusting her, “The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.”
To live out our purpose in this world, not just in marriage, we have to be worthy of trust.
· Perhaps it is holding the confidence of a friend in crisis.
· Or maybe it believing the good you know about someone despite what you might hear from others.
· Or perhaps it is something as simple as doing what you say you are going to do when you say you are going to do it. Maybe it’s as simple as keeping your word.
For me, the most notable attribute of this woman is how intentional she is with her time. The entire remainder of the passage is filled with a description of how she spends her day. Yes, she is busy, very busy, but she’s busy doing the things she has been called to do.
She partners with God to be about the work he has called her to, and because of her obedience to that calling, she makes such an impact in the world that her husband is highly praised.
This is the one that gets me. It is easy to be busy, and it is easy to be busy doing good things. Throwing your preschooler a Pinterest-worthy birthday party isn’t a bad thing. Volunteering at every event that comes up at your church isn’t a bad thing. But when we are so busy doing good things that we aren’t available to partner with God to do the great things he has called us to, we’ve gone too far.
The greatest lesson I have taken away from God’s description of the Proverbs 31 woman is that she spends her life in pursuit of her purpose, doing the work and the will of God.
Your life is part of a big beautiful story, and the impact you are making might not even be something you see. In the season you are in, it may seem like the work you are doing is nothing special. But you may not know the full impact of your calling until you’re in heaven, when you discover how your work, your yesses, and your partnering with God changed the world.
· You may start a Bible study that changes your community for generations to come.
· You may raise a child who discovers a cure for a type of cancer—or teaches kindergarten, because Lord knows that’s a calling.
· You may help a woman rebuild her life after her marriage disintegrates in her hands.
· You may write a book that comforts someone in a season of loss or inspires someone to run for president.
No matter what season you are in, no matter how you have questioned God, no matter how often you believe you’ve messed it all up, God still wants to partner with you.
He is continually calling you into your future. The world needs you to answer that calling.
God is standing on the other side of the open door to the next season of your life. And in his hand is an invitation to a great adventure. As women of God, strength and dignity are our clothing, and we can laugh at the days to come.
This is an excerpt from Standing Strong: A Woman’s Guide to Overcoming Adversity and Living with Confidence. Read Chapter One here.
Alli Worthington is an author, speaker, and business coach. Her goal is to help women reach the next level. Alli co-founded Called Creatives and has helped individuals, small business owners, and Fortune 500 companies reach new levels of success. Alli’s no-nonsense, guilt-free take on business, family, and balance led to appearances on The Today Show and Good Morning America. Alli, her husband, Mark, and their five sons live outside of Nashville, TN with the only golden retriever who refuses to retrieve. You can connect with her at AlliWorthington.com and on Instagram at @AlliWorthington.