Updated: Dec 16, 2020
By Becky Beresford
God's Brave Women - Becky's Story
I wasn’t planning on writing this to you, Dear Friend. At least not yet.
But as an unexpected slot for the series opened up, the Lord was, in fact, parting the sea. At first, I went into scramble mode, thinking about different women I could ask to write a piece at such late notice. Then He interrupted me.
“Now it’s your turn.”
I paused, questioned whether I heard Him, then jumped into negotiating.
Why God? I mean, I’m sure some of Your Daughters are ready to fill in the gap. Plus, I was planning on sharing my story at the end of the series. We already talked about this. Remember?
“You know what I want you to write.
Be bold. Be brave.”
And so, fellow Sister, I’m writing these words with timid fingers because I don’t feel ready, but I’ll trust my Father’s leading.
I need to tell you I’m sorry.
Over the past year, Jesus has taken me on a raw and revealing journey. I think most of us could collectively agree – 2020 has given us eyes to see the world in a new (and often uncomfortable) way.
But God has been asking me to look at the message I’ve been delivering to women – messages meant to inspire and encourage the hurting parts of the soul. I want to help women walk out their identities as God’s Daughters. I want to point them to the One who determines their glorious worth. And yet, as I’ve read through articles I’ve written in the past, I’m afraid I’ve empowered women (and maybe you!) in an inferior way. Let me explain.
"As I’ve read through articles I’ve written in the past, I’m afraid I’ve empowered women (and maybe you!) in an inferior way."
I will admit I’ve jumped on the cultural bandwagon and told women they are enough. I’ve told God’s girls they can do hard things – that they can believe in themselves and know they’ve got what it takes. And while these were good intentions, words of assurance for my Sisters and friends, these phrases are found nowhere in the Bible.
When I first started blogging years ago, messages like this were very much part of my vocabulary. Subtle lies from society had etched their markings in my mind, and I married them with my fear of rejection and need for approval. After being scared that I’d lose the acceptance of those I Ioved for most of my life, I shied away from communicating anything controversial or possibly hurtful.
It felt safe to let women know what was right with them, to make them feel good about themselves without any mention of weakness or sin. My heart still does not want to cause pain or offend. But when I look at the ministry of Jesus, He was never afraid to say what was true because truth led to freedom. And freedom led to life.
"It felt safe to let women know what was right with them, to make them feel good about themselves without any mention of weakness or sin... But when I look at the ministry of Jesus, He was never afraid to say what was true because truth led to freedom.
And freedom led to life."
This is why I need to apologize.
I need to apologize for feeding you a watered-down gospel.
For years I dished out a mediocre form of good news, one that would ultimately leave women feeling like they had the capacity to do everything by themselves. But they were never designed to carry the heaviness of life’s burdens. And they can’t.
Messages that tell women they are more than enough end up nurturing a mindset of self-dependence, when in reality, our Creator has made us to be dependent on Him. We need God, and He wants us to lean into Him. This realization doesn’t make us weak. Instead, being real with our weaknesses grants us access to the Spirit’s power.
"Messages that tell women they are more than enough end up nurturing a mindset of self-dependence, when in reality, our Creator has made us to be dependent on Him... This realization doesn’t make us weak. Instead, being real with our weaknesses grants us access to the Spirit’s power."
After such an uncertain year, I’ve been more determined to find steadfast truths in Scripture. Certainties I can cling to when our world is falling apart. And this is the honest gospel… the solitary promise our Savior died to give:
We are enough – in Jesus.
We can do hard things – through Christ who strengthens us.
We shouldn’t believe in ourselves, but instead, should rely on the power and sufficiency of our gracious God, who is able to accomplish more than we can ever dream.
As ironic as it may seem, the source of female empowerment starts with a man, and His name is Jesus Christ.
"As ironic as it may seem, the source of female empowerment starts with a man, and His name is Jesus Christ."
He went to the Cross for us.
He makes us perfect and righteous without blame.
He gives us full authority to put the enemy in his place.
He fights every battle and stands with us in each trial.
You are not alone. You do not have to be enough because Jesus is enough for you. As a Daughter of God, you do not have to hold it together because the Creator of the universe is holding onto you.
And I’m sorry for not telling you THIS truth from the beginning.
I realize we all grow and these past few years have been a hard gift of learning for me, but my prayer has always been that I represent Jesus well. I never want to play a part in leading you toward anything but the best in Him. As God is refining my heart and passion, part of that process involves confessing these words to you – my fellow Sisters in Christ who I value and love.
"My prayer has always been that I represent Jesus well. I never want to play a part in leading you toward anything but the best in Him."
I never thought an apology letter would be my contribution in this series. I had many other experiences I wanted to talk about, and in my mind, this one pales in comparison to other stories women have shared. But God does not compare our sacred journeys and neither should I. He asks His girls to follow Him. The rest is up to God.
In my opinion, confession is rarely neat. I don’t know the end of my story yet, and it’s not wrapped up in a tidy takeaway bow. I do, however, understand that it takes great courage to open your heart fully to someone – to extend your hands in repentance and not know what you will receive in return. God’s love never fails. Humans, on the other hand, have the choice of what to do.
"It takes great courage to open your heart fully to someone – to extend your hands in repentance and not know what you will receive in return."
And yet, our Lord wants us to bravely bare our souls – to share the light and shadow places, to tell where we have been and where we want to go. He desires for His children to unearth what’s been buried in order to bring our broken hearts back to life.
Confession takes courage, Dear Reader. It invites others into a deeper form of connection, one that draws us closer together and transforms us into the image of our gracious God.
As I write this, I’m looking at a sign my husband gave me when I first decided to become an author. It used to recite a popular saying: She Believed She Could, So She Did. A few months ago, with the Spirit’s leading, I took a permanent Sharpie to it and crossed out one letter. Now it reads She Believed He Could, So She Did. It’s my eternal anthem and salvation song.
"I believe this series is an anthology of women who are bold enough to believe God can and will."
I believe this series is an anthology of women who are bold enough to believe God can and will. They have faith in His goodness no matter what circumstance they face. They choose to place their lives in the kindness of His care. They’ve seen Him do miracles, comfort hearts, bind up wounds, save souls, provide portions and shine light into the darkest of nights. They believe God can, so they step forward and do – whatever He asks.
They listen. They love. They act. I am honored to share my story in the midst of these mighty women.
One day we will stand in heaven, our reward being the people we’ve pointed to Jesus along the way. I pray we’ll share testimonies like these and give glory to God for the faithfulness of His friendship.
Together our praises will showcase the One who is the true source of courage and the reason we call ourselves brave.
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 you are full of His strength and power. I would love to connect with you 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 lovely email tribe.
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Becky Beresford lives in Huntley, IL and is happily outnumbered by her husband and three wild boys. She is a writer, speaker and dreamer with a Master’s Certificate in Discipleship from Moody Theological Seminary. She is currently working on a few books, as well as a Bible Study devoted to God's Brave Women. Becky loves encouraging God’s Daughters to embrace their holy worth, walk out the gospel truths and live life fully loved by God.
When she isn’t at the keyboard, you can find her dreaming of sandy beaches, telling people about Jesus and drinking waaaaay too much coffee. She's so glad to connect with you online HERE at BeckyBeresford.com, and hopes you will grab a FREE copy of the Brave Woman Manifesto: Five Things to Tell Yourself When Life Gets Hard.