“She is clothed with strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future.”
I caught sight of it for the first time today!
If you’d have blinked you’d have missed it, but it was definitely there.
There was strength, there was dignity and there was laughter.
Physically I’m the strongest I’ve been in a long while. I’m heading into the fourth day of the final Level of the 30 Day Shred. As I said at the start of this process, this isn’t a vanity project. The aim has always been to look after my body in a way that honour’s God and become stronger rather than slimmer.
Mentally, I feel like God is growing my core strength like I’ve never experienced before. The endless spiritual plank exercises have been painful and at times I have wanted to collapse on the floor in a heap of sweat and give up. As my core strength has started to grow, I have had to reluctantly acknowledge that God’s workout plan is beginning to reap rewards.
Alongside a stronger spiritual core, God is working on my emotional response to situations. Since starting this project there have been many opportunities to reduce myself to petty jibes and harmful words but at those moments I have asked God to help me respond in a different way. In the past, my motivation to improve in this area has been to prove to others that I am not weak or emotionally unstable (there I said it). Not anymore! Wise choices are being made because they are wise choices, not so you think I am wise. Harsh words are being silenced because it’s the right thing to do, not so you can marvel at how self-controlled I am. The shift is negligible but even at it’s earliest stages it feels liberating. The fear of the future is lifting because my focus is shifting. It’s not about what you think, it’s about what God thinks.
I spent the evening with my sister. There is always laughter when we are together, usually uncontrollable and often accompanied by our Mum saying, “they’re off!” Was I laughing without fear of the future? Hmmm, I’m not sure. But there was definitely laughter and with that came a hope and joy that I haven’t felt for a while.
During the Royal Wedding frenzy I watched a documentary about the Windsor’s and discovered that Cecil Beaton once described the Queen Mother as “a marshmallow made on a welding machine.” I’m not sure if it was meant as a compliment but the image has stayed with me. The Proverbs 31 woman is kind, warm, loving, compassionate, and cares deeply for those around her. She is also intelligent, wise, hard-working, full of integrity and confident in the skills and abilities God has given her. To me, she is a marshmallow made on a welding machine.
So, for one brief moment today, with God’s strength and dignity running through me, I was a steel marshmallow…and I loved it!