At the Women's Retreat last week, I borrowed an idea from Jeremiah Burrough's work on contentment and gave the following definition to the ladies.
The quiet strength of a godly woman is that sweet, submitted, grace-reliant determination of the female heart to honor Christ without comparison or complaint in all the relationships and situations of life.
On Friday evening we did a character study on Martha & Mary, looked Saturday morning at the devotional nature of Mary as revealed in her Magnificat, then finished up Saturday afternoon with a "girl's talk" that addressed everything from depression to mission work. As soon as the talks are available, you can find them at the RP Women's Retreat website (just ignore the pictures of the goofy guy you'll find there).
In the meantime, how about three stories of women exhibiting this quiet strength? They demonstrate what I could only preach.
First is Audrey Joseph, who is planning to join an orphanage devoted to caring for the children of lepers in northern India. She has been working on raising her support, and we are excited to hear this past week she reached her funding levels and will be leaving at the end of the month. The Lord answered many prayers and did much in a short amount of time. Her pastor and our fellow blogger Jared Olivetti just sent out word they will be sending her into this service on the Lord's Day evening of October 30th. Praise the Lord of the orphan and widow!
Next is Katie Long, the daughter of Pastor Dave Long in Lafayette, Indiana. Katie went through three back operations in six years to straighten her severely curved spine. The agonizing pain she suffered through from the surgeries, medications, and mistreatments was unbearable, and seeing her suffer was heart wrenching for those who love her. Dave & Katie have put together a testimony of this journey. I have listened to it twice - first at a Father & Daughter banquet, then on this webinar. Hearing of how Christ came to Katie through His means of grace will leave you humbled. Praise the Lord who identifies with us in our pain! (You may have to sign up to Fuze to listen to this.)
Finally is a story you may have heard, but it bears repeating. Stacie Crimm was pregnant when she found out she had head and neck cancer. Rather than take treatments that would harm the life of her child, she chose her child's life over her own. Even the _Huffington Post _was amazed, as this video shows. Praise the Lord who gave His life for us!