An Open Letter To Myself, Concerning Faith

An Open Letter To Myself, Concerning Faith

God has a reason for every season of our life even if we cannot see it for ourselves.

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Maybe the empty pages of your journal were meant to be filled in this season of your life. Maybe this is the time where you write everything out, trying to understand the days that are ahead of you. Maybe this is the time when you pour your heart out to God, with the few words that you have, and all the tears that have been bottled up. God knows your heart, and He knows your deepest desires because, after all, He is the one who put them there. Take your fears and your hurts and lay them down. Learn to lay them down at the feet of Jesus. Surrender. Learn to surrender those feelings that you don't want holding you back anymore. God is there to take them from you and help you carry every burden that you have right now. Be thankful for this season that God has you in. Allow yourself to learn from it, and grow from it.

God has a reason for every season of our life even if we cannot see it for ourselves.

God has big things planned, that exceed our realm of understanding. He doesn't do anything on accident. That major change. It was on purpose.

God knows that you are going to be far more successful in a different degree, and even though it is scary right now. He is begging you to trust him. Because He knows that you will be happy with the outcome. Be thankful for the people in your life.

God has them all there for a reason.

The best friend you have? God knew that she was going to be able to help you grow in your relationship with God.

Your God daughters mom? God knows that He is going to use you in big ways in her life, and in the life of her daughter.

Don't give up when things get hard. The people in your ministry? Pour into them. Be a light in the struggles that they may face in college. You have a lot of life under your belt, that God is waiting for you to pour out into other people. Keep going. Keep trusting. Keep surrendering.

"You have definitely had your share of unknowns this past year, and at times you wondered how there could be any hope for this. But your ever-Loving God has kept you and He will continue to keep you, no matter the uncertainties you are faced with this season" — Morgan Harper Nichols

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Just For Clarification, It Is Possible To Be BOTH A Christian Woman And A Feminist

A clarification of God's intention for men, women, and their value.

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I read an article recently about a young Christian woman who said that she didn't believe that God intended women to be equals. Here was the Title, "I'm A Christian Girl, And I'm Not A Feminist, Because God Did Not Intend For Women To Be Equals."

I read the article, mostly because the title was a little unsettling, and understood where she was coming from. It held a great intention and standing in Scripture coupled with a passionate affection for Jesus, which I adore. However, the language and word choice could be used to reinforce the notion that Christians and God view women as lesser than men.

And so, I wanted to clarify a few things to ensure clarity. The idea that God views women as less valuable than men is truly and wholeheartedly not true. There is so much significance, value, intention, meaning, and need for women. And men, equally are as vital, so valuable, full of meaning, and so uniformly needed. And to put both of them on a scale to weigh out our equality in significance and value almost feels... completely unnecessary and out of place. Both men and women hold an equal degree of worth as persons, as they have both been made in God's image and are heirs together of eternal life.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1: 27
There is neither Jew nor Greek, thee is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:38

We cannot reproduce one without the other. We depend on each other for the very carrying on of our beings. And we depend on each other in a lot of other contexts too.

I'd like to open this up to a little bit more of a dialogue because I think there's some disconnect between how feminism and equality are understood and defined as in today's context. So just to be clear on exactly what we're talking about, here are some definitions from dictionary.com of the key terms that this topic revolves around:

The definition of equal: being the same in quantity, size, degree, or value.

The definition of equality: the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, and opportunities.

The definition of feminism: the advocacy of women's rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.

The definition of a feminist: A person who supports feminism.

Just a quick disclaimer, people have adopted various definitions of these terms in today's culture. For my purposes, I will be referring to the definitions listed above.

So, essentially a feminist is someone who supports the state of equality in status, rights, and opportunities relative to men. Under that definition I, a Christian woman, would define myself as a feminist. In a general view, I support and encourage the state of being provided the same opportunities, rights, and status as a woman, and essentially as a human being.

With that being said, however, I also believe that men and women are different, and have been given roles within the family setting to fit those differences. Here is one passage that describes a woman's particular role in a marriage.

"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands." Ephesians 5: 22-24

I think the word submit immediately scares us as women. It scares me a bit, to be 100% honest. But after being married and realizing that leadership is so important, and us working as a team together is hugely vital to our marriage, the roots of this message are being realized and understood further in my own life and as a wife.

The type of submission described here is not the obedience children owe to their parents. Nor is it stating that all women should submit to all men. This submission is in a specific marital context for the work of a harmonious and healthy marriage. It goes on to command the husband to love his wife as Christ loved the Church. The husband is to be a leader that loves, cherishes, listens to, and protects his wife. We have both been given a responsibility and a role to ensure that our marriage is working toward one common goal. That we are on the same page because ultimately we are on the same team.

So although men have been granted a role of leadership within a marriage, this should in no means imply that we are not equal to them. Equal in quantity, quality, degree, or value. There are millions of angles and coatings to this subject, so please forgive me for the gaps that I haven't addressed in this small fragment of writing.

I feel like there are millions of layers to how God sees us as people, too. He has created us, putting pieces of Himself of infinite worth and value into our the heart of hearts knitted in each of us, both male and female.

I hope you know that we are valuable.

You are valuable.

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A Prayer For The Future Husband You Can't Wait To Meet

I pray that he knows our marriage is already covered in so much prayer.

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Dear God,

Thank You for this life that You have allowed me to live. Thank You for the opportunities that You have placed in front of me and the people I've encountered along the way. Thank You for the people that are still here, encouraging me and always lifting my spirits, and for the people who have left because they taught me everything You intended for them to.

Even though I sometimes don't like to admit it, thank You for constantly showing me that everything is in Your will and Your timing. Thank You for always showing me that Your will is always has been better than mine, and it always will be better than I could ever dream of. Thank You for every failed relationship. While it was painful at the time, You always showed me that there is someone better suited for me somewhere out there. Through all the past, present, and future frustrations, I know that You are preparing the man of my dreams, and he's just not ready yet.

I pray that he is constantly seeking You in all that he does.

I pray that You get all the glory in His life.

I pray that You are preparing him to be the leader of our family, leading us to You and leading us down the paths that point back to You.

I pray that he loves me like You love the church.

I pray that he knows our marriage is already covered in so much prayer. I can't wait to meet him.

All my love,

Ally Mishell

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