Strong Like Woman

Devotional

Acknowledge Your Potential 


Beginning early in life, society puts certain expectations on females. In my experience, I was directed toward more support type roles instead of roles involving strategy, planning and organizational success. I don’t think anyone realized the barriers those expectations could eventually become to the plan God had for my life. 


Looking back, the ideas, education, extracurricular opportunities, even jobs I’ve held previously all had the underlying social stigma of male strength and female weakness. When I graduated from University with a healthcare related degree and got my first job as a professional, I became more aware of the “man-woman divide” in the workforce. It became the norm to see my male counterparts advance more often than my female peers. Even ideas and opinions presented by men were frequently better received than those of women. I became frustrated and often crushed by the lack of respect. 


But I knew God had given me specific leadership gifts and was calling me to more than where I was currently. So I prayed asking Him to show me how. God began to reveal truths about me and thoughts that had to change in order for me to fully step into the role he had prepared. They were such a part of my life that I hadn’t realized I needed to confront them. I believe that due to society’s expectations, many of us may identify with these revelations. If so, God’s Word can help us acknowledge and overcome the lies we are believing. 


Stepping into the role of Director in a large healthcare organization, I faced what seemed like mountains of opportunities, responsibilities and challenges. My lack of self-confidence and feeling inadequate to lead was a huge barrier. I began by focusing on 2 Corinthians 6:18, which tells me I am a child of God. I had limited leadership experience, basically leading only women and I struggled with fear of failure on a daily basis. Another promise God makes to us is in Deuteronomy 28:13 which says, “The Lord will make you the head, not the tail”. I chose to stand on those verses. They gave me a newfound assurance. We all need to find verses that give us strength and save them in our phone, put them on a sticky note, a make-up mirror or a chalk board sign for our work space! 


God promises to equip us with everything we need to accomplish the plan he has for us. The reality is we are not battling against earthly societal barriers. Our struggle is against the rulers, authorities, powers of darkness and spiritual forces of evil (Ephesians 6:12). The devil wants us to believe that we are weak and ill-equipped. But in Philippians 2:13 we are told, “it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” 


I encourage you to try cognitive recognition. I practice it to this day. It means to “think about what you’re thinking about”. When a defeated thought comes to mind, recognize it as the lie it is and speak victory over it in Jesus’ name. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5) 


Paul tells us in his second letter to the Corinthians that in our weakness, God’s power is made strong. So step out in faith, don’t wear yourself out with analyzing and planning. Let thankfulness and trust be your guide, they will keep you close to Jesus. And choose joy every day! Romans 12:12 says to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 


-Lori