Each New Year, I spend quality time with the LORD, asking Him to speak to me about how I might respond to His call on my life, a kind of what now, LORD? time for me.
He is always faithful to answer my questions like,
"What do you require of me this year?" "What should be this year's priorities?" "How can I make a difference somehow?" "Will I be a blessing?" "Where do you want to serve?" "Who do you want me to serve or help?"
Last Fall, Kathe Wunnenberg, author and founding director of www.hopelifters.com. told me that I am an "iron-spirited woman" with a "marathon mentality of faith to finish well."
In response, God has now set me on a path of ministry for other "iron-spirited" women of faith.
As I considered what it means to be an "iron-spirited woman," the following is the description and Scriptures that I have put together, as I come into fellowship with like-minded Christian women here in my home town of Ft Collins, CO, and online.
The Description of an "Iron-Spirited" Woman
An iron-spirited woman has solid values and opinions about life. She is not someone who wanders through life, but rather lives intentionally with a specific outlook on life.
An “iron-spirited” woman is a joyful, happy woman, desiring freedom, contentment and peace.
An “iron-spirited” woman is a multi-dimensional woman - she is never boring.
An “iron-spirited” woman is humble, yet a force for good in her family, group of friends, neighborhood, church, community, etc.
An “iron-spirited” woman is . . .
“Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30) It doesn’t really matter what this woman looks like or what she has, she is a woman who loves the LORD with all of her heart, soul, mind and body and that's what matters most of all to her.
“God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.” (Psalm 46:5) God is with us always, even in the most difficult and challenging times of our lives, and He promises to give us His strength for each and everyday.
“But, by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. (I Corinthians 15:10) We are made in God’s image and the LORD supports us when we work hard. He honors us with His grace.
“She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong.” (Proverbs 31:16-17). If an “iron-spirited” woman sets her mind and attention on something she will get it done. She never quits or lives in denial about the reality of her circumstances, responsibilities, challenges and/or opportunities.
“She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet.” (Proverbs 31:20-21) “She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” (Proverbs 31:27) Iron-spirited women are not lazy, indulgent or hesitant about seeing to the needs and affairs of her husband, family and home. She is pleased, obedient and happy to follow the LORD’s call on her life, and to help and serve others. Those in need are her priority and she expects nothing in return.
“I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well.” (Psalm 139:14) God created us and we are precious in His sight. For that divine love, we are most thankful.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
We are not afraid of anything, do not have a spirit of fear that troubles or torments us, because we know God is with us always and we can gain power from Him because of His love and protection. This is also because we have put on the full armor of God and are equipped to do battle in the heavenlies (spiritual warfare) rather than in the flesh.
“Nevertheless, in the Lord, woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God.” (I Corinthians 11-12) Men and women are intended to rely on each other as equal partners (co-laborers) in life. An iron-spirited woman respects her man and the role and God-given position of man, as providers, protectors, husbands, fathers and leaders.
“Do not let your adorning be external - the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear - but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” (I Peter 3:3-4). We are more concerned about being women of substance rather than outwardly beautiful. We focus on our heart and the hearts of others. Our beauty comes from being filled with the spirit of God and being transformed in the likeness of Christ so that our inner beauty will shine.
“She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her.” (Proverbs 31:15) We are more valuable than the precious gems and jewels on the earth. We should be treated well, loved and cared for, and we will return the love.
“Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.” (Proverbs 31:25) We have absolutely no reason to fear the future or life after death, because of God’s love, grace and gift of eternal life through Jesus, our Redeeming King.
“Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things.” (I Timothy 3:11) We are faithful in all things and to God, our husband, children, other loved ones, friends, careers, daily tasks, ministries and so much more.
“And, blessed is she who believed that there would be fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” (Luke 1:45) When we ask for anything of the Lord, He listens and provides according to His will and purpose for what is good. We believe and stand firm on this truth.
“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” (Proverbs 31:26). We think before we speak. When we speak, it is with kindness and good intentions. We are some of the first to spread God’s Word, especially teaching and fleshing out His Word to our children and younger women.
An "iron-spirited woman" uses her spiritual gifts to honor God and help others draw closer to Him. She never gives up, never quits on Him. She forgives and forgets the wrongs of others. She prays about everything large and small. She sits quietly in the presence of God and listens for the voice of her Shepherd. She doesn't wander away from Him or rely on her own understanding. She digs into His Word and makes sure it is the "lamp unto her feet and the light unto her path." (Psalm 119:105) She doesn't blame God or turn away from Him because of her circumstances, she trusts Him and looks for the good. She doesn't consider think or act like a victim.
An "iron-spirited woman" 'walks by faith and not by sigh' (2 Corinthians 5:7). She seeks out, walks with and builds up other like-minded women for encouragement and support throughout her walk here on earth.
An "iron-spirited" woman lives and acts like she will one day be a citizen and resident of Heaven. She lives in joyful surrender, anticipating the day when she will hear God say, "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things, Come and share your Master's happiness."
(Matthew 25:23 - NIV)
With Faith, Hope and Love,
Angie "an iron-spirited woman like you"