I started Virtuous in the fall of 2009 in my living room to give Christian women a voice in mass media and me a creative outlet, as my husband had just been diagnosed with cancer. I wanted to help encourage and uplift the sisterhood.
And for a time I did just that. This November marked seven years, but somewhere along the way I took a detour. Perhaps it was all of the business classes, marketing gurus or pride, maybe it was a combination of it all.
But somewhere I started striving. Seeking more, bigger, faster, better and sure enough I burned out. I was so influenced by our culture's talk of empires and girl bosses that I lost sight of my original intentions. And so many times I wanted to give up, but my faith wouldn't let me.
And still not understanding that striving harder wasn't the issue I pressed on with more things. Seeking fulfillment everywhere but in the One who offers it so freely.
These last six months I've found myself in a difficult season. And when I found out I was with child again, I all but threw in the towel. I told myself there was no way I could successfully raise two children, be a godly wife and build that blasted empire.
So I decided I had to let go of striving and accept that I had made the choice to be a wife and mother and Christian and with those choices came certain responsibilities. And in that moment I chose to let go and just give it over to God and trust His word.
I'm tearing up as I type at the sheer relief that came over me in that moment. I apparently was waiting to exhale and the Lord was waiting with open arms.
I felt like Paul on the road to Damascus when it says in Acts 9:4-6, "Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord? Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?”
I wasn't persecuting Jesus but I was fighting against His will. Our culture's burdens are heavy and hard to bear. They set impossible standards and when you don't reach them simply say you didn't try hard enough.
But when I finally stopped striving and chose God over guilt, my life immediately became easier. It reminded me of Matthew 11:28-30. "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
I am no longer caught up in our culture's desires of bigger and better. I only want to be a girl serving her Lord. A mother rearing her sons and a wife reverencing her husband.
I am by no means perfect or have all the answers but if you've been striving in some area of your life and wondering why things aren't working out, take a step back, check your heart, seek God with your whole heart and see if the culture around you hasn't influenced you in some way.
Remember that you have the power to choose. God has given us all free will. You may feel stuck but it's never too late to turn the ship around. You get to choose everything and every choice can lead you in a new direction.
I am but a humble servant of the King and I appreciate you encouraging, growing and learning with me. Your regularly scheduled weekly Thursday Thought will return beginning next month. you may occasionally get a messy email like this one, but I hope it helps to encourage you on your journey. I'm going to take December to make intentional plans and set purposeful goals.
Let's all let go of anything keeping us from fully giving ourselves to God and following His will. And as we all think back over this last year be mindful of things that worked out well and things that didn't work out so well so that we don't repeat them.
With Deepest Love,
P.S. Share this with your friends and encourage someone in their walk with our Savior!