By Nora Tatina
God's Brave Women - Nora's Story
Everyone loves a superhero. There’s something empowering and magical about wearing an 8-foot red cape and saving the world. The moment you reveal your superpower, the world looks at you differently. In the blink of an eye, you become a hero, capable of doing anything!
Now, it’s one thing to see a man saving the world. Men have always been a butt-kicking, bad-guy-fighting symbol the world naturally gravitates to. However, the world is stunned when a woman emerges from the ashes, empowered, and crowned with destiny. To see a woman who can transform, dominate, and rule the world is breathtaking and inspiring.
As a society, we live in a world that tends to allure, lust after, and elevate the concept of the “superwoman” as a symbol of power and beauty. You can be everything and anything. You can wear multiple hats, have a hot body, be a fashion icon, run a business, raise children, be there for family members, mentor, lead a ministry, and even have dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes! To perform anything less would be downplaying your potential. After all, you were born for greatness with a crown on your head and a cape around your neck.
"As a society, we live in a world that tends to allure, lust after, and elevate the concept of the “superwoman” as a symbol of power and beauty. You can be everything and anything... To perform anything less would be downplaying your potential."
I was this girl.
I was the girl who was obsessed with being busy. I viewed my worth through my accomplishments. I felt like if I did more, I'd gain more - more recognition, more affirmations, more friends, just more of everything. I threw myself into my work. I signed up for everything and said “yes” to everything because to say "no" was to deny I was superhuman.
Then there was the outside world, advertising what I should be and convincing me of who I was. I was strong. I was brave. I could be anything and do everything. The more I believed in myself, the more I was capable of. There were days when I was tired, but I kept going because superheroes don't take the day off. There were days when I felt worn out, but I would never admit it because I was a strong woman. After all, I was taught never to let them see you sweat, so I pulled up my boots, tightened my cape, and kept doing all the things because that's what everyone expected from me - a superwoman. Sadly, this way of thinking spilled over into my walk with Christ.
As a Christian, I believed I could do anything as long as it meant loving others and living for Jesus, even if it cost me sleep. I had no boundaries. I didn't understand that I, too, had limitations. In some ways, I was hiding from the truth, which is that I am weak and that's a good thing! It took years to realize this. When I finally did, it was as if Wonder Woman had met Jesus!
"As a Christian, I believed I could do anything as long as it meant loving others and living for Jesus, even if it cost me sleep. I had no boundaries. I didn't understand that I, too, had limitations."
I'll never forget the day it happened. I had spent the entire week saving the world (or it felt that way). I had a friend whose world was crumbling before her eyes. Despite being left alone, she was expected to take care of her children and continue to live her life without her husband. During this time, whenever she would call, I would answer. She needed help with her children, and I helped. She needed me to run an errand, and I ran the errand. Whenever she needed me, I would show up. I did it because I felt like I needed to. I didn't want to let her down.
In some ways, I felt her salvation depended on whether or not I was there when she needed me.
"I felt her salvation depended on whether or not I was there when she needed me."
Then one day, while I was sitting in my small group Bible study feeling depleted and exhausted, God spoke. He used a sweet, bold lady to do it. As I was explaining how I had been helping my friend who was going through a challenging time, this lady stopped me and graciously said, "Nora, if you keep showing up at this woman's doorstep whenever she calls, she'll never find Jesus because you keep showing up."
"If you keep showing up at this woman's doorstep whenever she calls, she'll never find Jesus because you keep showing up."
I swallowed the lump in my throat and sat there, completely stunned. How dare she judge me. She doesn't know what my friend is going through. How heartless can a person be? In the days that followed, this lady's voice and words repeatedly played in my mind like a broken record I couldn't turn off.
Her words, along with the Apostle Paul's in 2 Corinthians 4:7, "But we keep this treasure in clay jars, to show that this power belongs to God and not to us," was the truth I had been running from all along. We were never meant to be superheroes. God's intention has always been that we would depend on Him and not on ourselves.
"God's intention has always been that we would depend on Him and not on ourselves."
God chose to convey the Gospel through broken, fragile, forgettable vessels called clay pots. If the world looked at us and saw our gifts, abilities, resumes, accomplishments, and everything about us, how would they ever see their need for Jesus, the One who came to save?
"God chose to convey the Gospel through broken, fragile, forgettable vessels called clay pots. If the world looked at us and saw our gifts, abilities, resumes, accomplishments, and everything about us, how would they ever see their need for Jesus, the One who came to save?"
We will never be enough. We are limited. We are fragile. We are weak. We are not superheroes! The best part is that it is ok! There is One who is greater. He is stronger. He is limitless. He is faithful. His track record is outstanding, and His resume compares to no one's. He is Jesus, and He is the real superhero.
I've decided to stop showing up (all the time). I've learned to say “no” and be ok with that. I remember that I have limitations and I need sleep. Although I've disappointed some people, I am no longer the superwoman I thought I was or the world wanted me to be. I've hung up my red cape and traded it for God's immeasurable grace.
Brave Woman Manifesto
Make sure to check back next week as another courageous Sister shares her story. And by the way...
You are Brave!
No matter what you are facing, God has made you in His image, which means He equips you with His courage, strength, and power. I would love to connect more and give you a FREE gift - the BRAVE WOMAN MANIFESTO: Five Things to Tell Yourself When Life Gets Hard. Click HERE to sign up for my monthly newsletter and you’ll receive the FREE Manifesto, as well as recent blog posts, updated resources and personal details delivered only to my empowered email tribe.
AS A BONUS… Subscribers will also be the first to receive news regarding the book I am writing with Moody Publishers! SIGN UP for more info on my book’s release and availability.
Nora Tatina was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. She came to Christ at an early age through the influence of her mom and dad, Pastor Duwayne and Patricia Darby.
Her desire to be used by God led her to do both her Bachelor's and Master's degrees at Moody Bible Institute and Moody Theological Seminary. She also holds a MA in TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) from Biola University. Nora has a passion for studying and teaching God's Word as well as helping others cultivate a passion for God's Word. Her husband Rick is the pastor of New Life Community Church in Brookfield, Illinois. They are blessed with the honor of raising two wonderful children, Summer and Christian.