There. I've said it. It's no secret now. I know, it's a bit scandalous - publicly admitting that I am not the picture of the Proverbs 31 woman and I am definitely not the godly woman, wife, mom, friend, or mentor that the church expects me to be or thinks I am. Oh, it's not that I don't long to be all those things, it's just that I fail in a thousand different ways every single day. While my list of transgressions is endless, here is one example:
I get together with a friend about once a week to talk about a book we're reading. When deciding on a book, we both made suggestions and I asked her to select one she was most interested in and she chose "Helper by Design" by Elyse Fitzpatrick. [Let me first qualify my comments by saying that of all the "Helper" books out there, I think this is probably one of the most gospel centered books on the subject - not because I have read everything on the subject, but because everything Elyse Fitzpatrick writes is drenched in the gospel.] My initial response to reading this book with my dear friend was "great - another helper/design book that will once more remind me of all the ways I fail at being a godly wife, mother, employee, etc. Reading about the unique ways God has made me as a woman to love, nurture, comfort and encourage others will yet again be a blinking neon billboard shouting out in a never ending repetition "you don't love like that, you don't encourage like that, you're not submissive like that!". Even in the contemplation of studying a book about being a godly woman, I fail! The irony did not escape me.
In all the ways I fall short in thought, word and deed; in all my imperfect attempts in my roles as wife, mom and friend; in the countless times I don't even come close to making the mark as a "christian woman"; I rest completely and utterly on the fail-proof, mark-making, perfect record Jesus maintained on my behalf. It is only as I remember all Christ is for me that I can rest in the mess I've made of me. As I walk through the various places God has called me to, I find that my desperation for the gospel increases. I am not talking about more religion or even a more disciplined spiritual life necessarily. I am talking about a desperate foundational plea that cries Christ is all for me! He alone is my anchor in the vale, my refuge in the storm, my peace, my rest. He accomplished the great exchange for me - taking all my sin and giving me his righteousness.
When satan slings his weak attempts to crush me, I can say "this is an opportunity for me to remember my Savior, my Rescue." I can tell him "You are right in what you say - I am not a Proverbs 31 woman, I don't have it all together and all figured out - but my Savior does! It is his victorious and perfect life that covers me. I am blameless and perfect in my Father's sight."
These are the precious truths that cover me...
"For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners." Mark 9:13
"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20-21
"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father" Galatians 1:3-4
"Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God." Romans 5:2
"For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace." Romans 6:14
"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9
"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace," Ephesians 1:7
"To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood" Revelation 1:5
Hallelujah! What a Savior!