[she walks in grace and beauty]

she-walks-in-grace-and-beautyI have debated for months about sharing this. Mostly because what I’m about to talk about is really special to me and I always have the hardest time explaining myself. But God has been making it clear that I need to share this, and I want to encourage my sisters in Christ with this so here goes…

Over my life, I have often had certain words or phrases pop into my head that are relevant to what God is teaching me/challenging me on during that particular time. This past spring, right around the time that I finished my semester of school, I started having the phrase above play over and over in my head. She walks in grace and beauty. I think that it may have started after meeting with one of my mentors who embodies this concept. Anyway, I have searched high and low for these words in the Bible, or as a quote somewhere else, and I can’t find it anywhere. I know that it’s fairly similar to the passage in Proverbs 31 that says “She is clothed in strength and dignity,” and it is definitely not contradictory to Scripture. I have searched and tested this, because I know it can be really easy to just latch onto something without testing it with a basis on truth.

She walks in grace and beauty. For the past 4-5 months, I have been praying through what these words mean. It has been and continues to be a journey as I try to understand what this concept means/looks like in everyday life. One of the things that I have grown to understand through lots of prayer is that this is an action, not a passive description. This is something that I can DO, that can be physically seen. In this itself lies the difficulty in explaining myself. When I say grace and beauty, I’m not talking about physical beauty, but rather an inner strength and grace and beauty that only comes of genuinely seeking after Christ. I’m also not talking of a physically graceful person. If that were the case I would be hopeless, because I can definitely be a klutz… during most of my waking moments. So, while this is an inner beauty and grace, it can be physically seen. I have some dear friends that I would describe as absolutely gorgeous because they embody this truth. I think that when a woman lives this out, people notice, maybe because it seems to be a bit radically different than what society tells us as women to be. And while I speak specifically to my sisters in Christ here, I think that there are definitely ways that both women and men can embody this concept.

Sometimes it’s easier to explain what something does not mean. Embodying this phrase does not mean weakness, but instead strength of character and faith. This does not mean subservience, but rather humility and truth. This does not mean being a pushover, but rather being an embodiment of Christ’s beautiful grace. 

For me, these past couple of months have been a time of growth. When unexpected challenges have come up, God has used these words to question my response. I have grown accustomed to responding with “Ok, Lord. What does this look like here? How can I walk in grace and beauty right now?” I had a friend ask me if it was difficult and painful to be challenged in this way, and to be honest I was completely surprised. It had never occurred to me to look at this process as anything less than loving refinement. I have been feeling incredibly cherished and loved in this process of growth.

Challenge/Prayer: I challenge my fellow sisters to consider this concept. For some of you, this is not a new idea, but for others, this may be new. I would love to hear your thoughts as well. What does this look like in your everyday life? How can we pursue God’s definition of womanhood, and does this concept play a role? Also, what is God teaching you right now? How are you seeing Him taking a personal interest in your life? Is there an area that you are feeling convicted to pray about, and focus on and learn about?