Women are exceptionally resilient creatures, aren’t they?
The weaker sex are contrarily strong, often possessing a tenacity seldom seen in men. Women walk through battlefields to save the ones they love. We are lashed by many storms and somehow still manage to keep going. We seek to give comfort even when our hearts get broken over and over again.
We, the daughters of Eve, have been assaulted by the enemy from the moment of our conception. And just like she was, we often stand against that onslaught alone.
And we survive. Oh, how we survive.
We fortify our walls and make our armor strong, and who can blame us? We’ve needed something to protect our tender hearts from getting devastated beyond repair. Because like Eve, we’ve come to believe this lie: “You are alone. No one cares, nobody can help you. You need to take care of yourself because no one else is going to.”
And just like Eve stretched out her hands to take the fruit, we strive to take matters into our own hands. And all the while, as God had warned Eve, we are dying inside.
We build our our self-made fortress of religion, achievements, entertainment. And in there, safe and protected, we stop hoping, growing, breathing. We stop living.
Because the problem with surviving, you see, is that it’s not at all what the Lord planned for us. He made us to thrive, not merely survive.
There is a message of comfort that we need to hear. I’ve found this comfort in the darkest moments of my life, and oh how we need it.
So come on in, mighty woman of valor. Lay down your sword and shield, sit awhile. Let the Spirit of the Lord comfort your weary soul and bring healing to your battered heart, and let new hope arise as the sun rises with healing in its wings.
“O afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted,
I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with sapphires.
I will make your battlements of rubies,
your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones.“
(Isaiah 54: 11 & 12)
The message of comfort is this: I will.
God speaks to the barren woman/widow and tells her that He will fight for her. He cuts to the core of the problem – Adam’s failure to protect Eve, resulting in womankind’s fundamental belief that we need to fight for ourselves – and redeems it.
Adam stood passively by as Eve reached out to take the fruit. He didn’t fight for her; he abdicated his place as leader and instead took the place of accuser, “THAT woman made me do it…” and that betrayal served to solidify the seed of the doubt planted in her heart by the serpent. God and man had abandoned her; she wasn’t safe and needed to defend herself. And she passed on that belief to her daughters and their daughters..
But now Jesus, the second Adam, has stepped into time to redeem what had been lost in Eden.
His promise to the barren woman/widow is that He will fight for her. Though she’s been in a continual state of affliction, He is going to step in. He will make things right; He won’t stand by and make her fend for herself.
And aren’t we all, on some level, like the barren woman or widow? There are places in our lives that feel like they will never bear fruit. There are areas of futility. We sometimes feel so alone and defenseless. There may even be seasons that we feel like everything within us is failing. We need to carefully guard whatever resource is left in us, lest others take even that away.
He says, “I will rebuild you. I will build your foundations and your defenses. I won’t leave you alone and without protection.”
That is the comfort, beloved. That we can love and forgive yet still be protected/guard our hearts.
He will build the walls. He will build the defenses.
We don’t become passive, weak, or play the damsel in distress. We just let God be God so that we can let ourselves be women.
One of the biggest questions I’ve ever asked has been, “Lord, how do I forgive yet guard my heart?” I knew that the Lord wanted me to forgive those who had hurt me, and I was terrified that doing so would allow them to keep hurting me.
I felt vulnerable, exposed, and desperate to protect myself. But like the fig leaves were a singularly feeble attempt to hide Eve’s shame, so were the myriad ways I tried to keep myself covered.
One day the Lord gave me a vision. I was a little girl dressed in a rich velvet gown of deep red, and on my head was an intricate gold crown with a beautiful red Ruby in the middle. I danced freely before the throne of God, hands lifted up and my gown twirling about me in a perfectly delightful manner. I felt the pleasure of God flowing toward me as He watched from His throne, and I knew in that moment that I was irrevocably, unreservedly loved.
Why was I wearing a crown of Ruby and what did it symbolize? I kept this in my heart, not understanding the fullness of what the Lord was saying. A few years later, the Lord answered me in a time of great distress from Isaiah 54, “I will make your battlements of rubies.”
This time, I understood a little more (God’s Word is living, active, and possesses so many layers that we can never stop discovering new depths of meaning to them).
Battlements: defense walls. the distinguishing feature of a royal castle.
Vision of Rubies: worship. royalty. daughter of the king. favored.
The Lord showed me that as I worshiped Him, healing & strength would wrap around me like a protective covering for my heart. My identity as the beloved, favorite daughter of the King would be my shield and protection. These walls would be built by Him as I kept my eyes on Him and they were sufficient for me.
And I have found Him true to His word. In moments of great pain and vulnerability, I have found deep healing and peace in worship & dance. Healing flows as I lift my hands toward Him. Strength and peace wrap around my heart. Every little gem stone of Ruby comes together in His hands to build a battlement
Beloved, God is saying to our hearts:
“I will build the walls. I will build the defenses.
I will protect you. I will fight for you.
As you grow in the knowledge of who you are – the beloved, favorite daughter of the King – that identity will be your shield and protection.
Healing and strength comes as you worship Me.
Trust me. Reject Eve’s doubt in your life.
I am not like your father or your husband, or any other man that has hurt you;
Even though your father abandoned you, I will never turn My back. I will never leave nor forsake you.
Even though your husband rejected and shamed you, I will never disengage. I will pursue your heart and have great compassion on you.
Even though men use you and abuse you, I will never do anything except for your good.
I AM, and I WILL.
No weapon forged against you will prevail.
O afflicted one, lashed by storms and not comforted,
I will build you up
and what I build will never be shaken.”
Its like what God said to the children of Israel. ” I will fight for you. You need only be still”.
Truly enjoyed and so much did resound in my soul! for instance, the “We don’t become passive, weak, or play the damsel in distress. We just let God be God so that we can let ourselves be women”. Great job! thanks for taking the time and sharing!
Thank you for this! My trials over the last few months have been difficult for me, even if they seem trivial to others (they’re not, they are foundational life things). But remembering that God has me in His hands, and that He is confident I can become the woman HE wants me to be gives me strength. Great post, so encouraging!
Good reminder that as women we need to take the time to breathe and not fight so hard all the time.
Thank you. Happy Thursday!
Lovely post and great reminder that God is not passive.
Thank you for sharing – very moving post.
Oh, this is so incredibly true and powerful, and I had not thought of how Adam set the Eve-can’t-trust-men thing in motion. I loved this: “We build our our self-made fortress of religion, achievements, entertainment. And in there, safe and protected, we stop hoping, growing, breathing. We stop living.” You are so right! I am sharing this. Much-needed word! Blessings from “Espressos of Faith”!
This was lovely and such a needed message for so many women who don’t always see their self-care as spending time with Jesus and resting in Him. You’re right … we’ve forgotten how to lay down our weapons, take off our armor, just be His bride and let Him fight for us.
Very nice and informative post. Your pictures are stunning!
powerful word – i think i needed to hear it too
I like thinking of us as ‘daughters of eve’. I love the parallels you draw between her story and the story of every woman’s heart. Our hearts long for the safety and love of the Garden that was lost. But praise God, that he can sustain us and protect us. Beautifully written.
Such encouraging words! Women are so strong, but even the strongest woman needs God’s hand in her life.
I’ve written a lot about the walls in my life, too, and this spoke to me.
I love this line:
“That we can love and forgive yet still be protected/guard our hearts.”
Oh what a timely Word! I shared! I’ve been so needy for His comfort and reassurance, trying to fix things all by myself… Not sure if anyone will step in. Thank you!
Wow. Such a powerful and filling post… full of such wisdom and inspiration!! Thank you for filling me with such confidence in God and reminding me how much he adores me! It is so hard to trust and rely in His Power and not our own!
Loved this. <3
Very powerful words. I feel like a stronger woman after reading your post.
This is beautiful! Thank you for sharing.
Nice reminders in here. Thank you for sharing.
Beautiful post. I believe all women are powerful and strong in their own right.
I love reading your post. I especially liked the part where you wrote:
“So come on in, mighty woman of valor. Lay down your sword and shield, sit awhile. Let the Spirit of the Lord comfort your weary soul and bring healing to your battered heart, and let new hope arise as the sun rises with healing in its wings.”
I think sometimes we think we need to do everything on our own being that we are strong women that will do anything for others. But we do need to realize that there are time we need to be still and sit in the presence of God. I myself, often get so busy helping others that it is hard to just stop and be still and spend that time by myself and be quite before God. Thanks for writing your post!
The longer I’m here on earth, the more I realize how strong women and not in the most obvious of ways. Great post.
I like how you emphasize how vulnerable we feel…but we can rest in our Lord’s faithfulness, even as everyone else around us fails!
This post is actually what I need right now. I pray that God will help me to start with him afresh.
I have to share with you how much this blog post spoke to me. For years and years, Isaiah 54 has haunted me. To try and give a little back story, I was praying about a relationship I was in and praying about marriage when I felt like God gave me the chapter of Isaiah 54. That chapter haunted me because at the time I felt like God was telling me that I would never be married because he is my husband and that I would never have kids. Fast forward about 8 years to where I am currently at. That same relationship I was praying about ended abruptly and my ex that I spent 10 years with has already moved on within a month. The devastation of this has been great, but God has been so faithful to bring comfort and healing even in these short 6 weeks. Isaiah 54 keeps popping up again for some reason. When I read it this time, I don’t feel like God is telling me I am never going to get married, but I feel like he is telling me that he has always been the one who is with me, providing and protecting me. He cares and provides for my future, and he defends me when others have hurt me. He is restoring so many beautiful things in my heart that have been taken by fear. I have totally been that woman my whole life who has tried to do everything on my own, but now I see that I was never on my own. God was always with me. He really has been both my husband and my father. This post helped me to further see Isaiah 54 in a new light. I still don’t know if I will ever get married, that is a fear I still struggle with, but I am learning to just trust God with that one hour at a time. No matter what happens, I am going to be okay because of who God is.