Women of Fury

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In just a few weeks, right here in Denver, at the Pepsi Center, I believe, the annual Women of Faith Conference will take place.  As usual, they are sold out and women's ministry leaders from various churches are frantically making phone calls hoping for a few extra tickets from some one who had the foresight to purchase extra.

I would love to hear Beth Moore on Friday night of the WOF conference, because she is, besides being a trendy Christian icon (not of her own choosing, I am certain), a true lover of the Word of God and He has given her great insight into His heart.  She communicates it well.

But I am not going.  I am not against it at all, even if I am afraid of what might happen to a person squished in to an arena with thousands of church ladies.  There are probably nice women there, too, but I'll guarantee you there will be church ladies.  Somewhat frightening!

No, I won't be there, but the impending event has been making me think.  Here is something I've been chewing on for a few days ~

My friend Amanda Ottaway posted a blog last week of a list of good advice to live by.   "Wear sunscreen" was the first piece of advice.  "Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but in your living room," another read.  I love lists.  I actually own books of lists.  So, this post was fun for me. 

But right at the end, the list said this: "Be careful whose advice you buy…Advice is a form of nostalgia.  Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth."

I started thinking of myself years ago as a young minister's wife, 3 really small children and another on the way (there was always another on the way in those days).  I remember attending a "ladies retreat" our church sponsored and we had the neatest speaker.  I was amazed by her because she could expound on any number of scripture passages and was a personal friend and Bible study leader to the wives of a professional football team.  She talked about how to really know God, you had to spend time with Him early.  She painted the picture of getting up before her family and sitting at her kitchen table with a cup of hot coffee just having some "quiet time" with Jesus. 

I was awestruck.  I wanted to be her.  My life was chaotic and consisted of spilled milk and cereal all over the floor and nursing and diapers and OB/gyn and pedriatric appointments.  I couldn't get up before my family because with babies in the house – you were already up at 1…and 2:30…and 4:47…and…  When I got the kids down for a nap in the afternoon, I'd say, "This is Your time, Lord," but could not keep my eyes open.  I just wanted what that speaker had.  I wanted to just have this perfectly beautiful life of faith. 

Funny – now I actually do get up early and get to have coffee at my kitchen table, but I nearly killed myself to get here.  I didn't come by choice.  I lost a lot.  I lost almost everything.  There are still things I am losing. "Pride comes before a fall'?  It's true. I can tell you this from personal experience.  Nothing about me actually turned out like the speaker – at least what she presented to us. 

Who knows?  Maybe her road was tough, but what she told us wasn't.  It was sweet and very lady-like and Christian and serene and gentle.  I could tell her house was spotless, her husband adored her and her kids were on the honor roll.  It was once my great goal.  Life doesn't always turn out just like that.

I have mulled over the quote from Amanda's blog, "Dispensing (advice) is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth."  And I have started thinking how much I don't want to do that.  I have daughters who are the age I was when I heard that speaker – who was the age I am now and the things I tell my daughters and the MOPS mommies I speak to and any of the women God puts in my path – they should be real and true and the truth is I have not always been a "woman of faith."  In fact, sometimes it seems I rarely have. 

I feel more like a woman of fury – a woman who wrestles with her faith and her God and whose life hasn't been wrapped in a tidy package.  To be honest, to be true – I need to pull the the rotting junk from my garbage disposal (because of course, a woman of fury's disposal is not working correctly) plop it on the counter and allow you to see, really see.

Did that speaker go through times of hell to have the time of plenty she was in?  Probably.  Did she keep vital information from us, though?  Did she forget to mention how tough marriage can be and almost losing a child to drugs?  Did she ever contemplate suicide, have a bad body image or deal with depression and self-hatred?  Did she struggle with sin she could not get past- lying or pride and arrogance?  Is it fair for us to tout blessing without telling you the price we paid?

So here I sit – thinking about an upcoming conference where women will gather and the chance to bring hope through truth will be huge; pondering the garbage disposal quote and thinking about the Christian women I know.

And I am thinking perhaps I will start a new movement: Women of Fury, real women who wrestle with their faith and if you want their advice – it's coming straight out of the garbage.  I already know a bunch of these women – they have pain, they go through hell and being misunderstood and diappointment and rejection and work hard through family problems and hang in there through church problems and defy the images of the day to dictate who they are.  They are fighting the good fight.  They are Women of Fury and I want to be just like them when I grow up.

My dear friends who are Women of Fury, you know who you are, you amaze and inspire me!  Blessings…Jeanie

NOTE TO SELF: I promise to tell the truth, the real truth and nothing but the ugly, disgusting, embarrassing truth, if You help me, Lord.  The truth hurts my pride, but it will set me free…and others, too, I hope!

10 thoughts on “Women of Fury

  1. Stormie says: Dad's going to leave a comment as long as the blog post! I don't know how she could say something about me because if you know me, you know I'm a man of few… (thousand) words. So honey, I think you have something here. Women of Fury. Because I know these women that you are talking about and they are truly Women of Faith and Fury. Women that HAVE been through hell and are still here, still standing, still faithful, still loving Christ, still serving Him and still steadfast. And you are one of them. Go for it! You've got your finger on the pulse, like always… xxoo me

  2. I definitely think some of the strongest women I know have a faith born not of things that have gone smoothly, but of pain, and ugliness, and frustration, and sin.  I know my life certainly echoes that.  God has been there for me always, but boy is He is a big, big God… a God I am dying to share with people… when life is at its worst. And some days, like today, it's hard not to stare up at the heavens and cry, "Why are we doing this?  What is your purpose?  What is MY purpose?  Why is this so hard?"  Not perfect.  But His answer, as always, will be. Can you ask Him to hurry for me?

  3. W.O.F.F. Unite!  :-)  WOFF has a ring to it, doesn't it.  Now if we just refrain from "WOFFleing"…okay, that was really lame…but it's all I got today!  Seriously – I amen your choice to learn from Women of (Faith) Fury – I learn more from these type of women than the pristenely – put -together – sweet – "my life is perfect" – women any day.  Life get's VERY REAL and we must all be VERY REAL in seeking God together to figure out our part in His story.  It's definitely not always easy, but having the comfort of other like-minded companions along the way sure does help!  Thanks, my like-minded friend – I love you tons!

  4. Lord – I do ask you to hurry for my friend Stephanie – bring HELP from the sanctuary!

    Carol Ann – WOFF has the ring of a Christian women's wrestling ferderation or something???

  5. Women of Fury, I love that! I think I'd like to make a t-shirt with W.O.F.F.  God gives us the fury to become the faithful. Any women that says they haven't seen fury… well I have to question that. We cant become strong women of God without trials. And its always good to know, HE WILL always pull us through! Ditto to Dave you are one of us and Im glad you are! 

  6. I also ask you to hurry for Stephanie, God… and help her until You help her… So totally have been there. And Jeanie? I believe being called a WOFF is probably one of the highest compliments you can give to a woman who loves God. It means her faith is real, tried, true… it means that she has something valuable to offer, and that it was specifically given to her BY GOD for that express purpose… sharing. I mean, in the story of the Phoenix rising from the ashes, we never forget to mention the ashes, do we? How come there is such a temptation to leave them out of OUR rising again stories? 

  7. Grrr…..I sit stewing. Why does this affect me so? I find myself angry, internally ranting and feeling like I shouldn't HAVE to be a woman of fury, if only those around me would step onto the battle field, pick up their sword and actually use it to fight with instead of basking in the "thought of" being a soldier. (Yes, as I see my thoughts typed out I see how one could interpret them as judgemental). I don't think they are. I unearthed a bit of fury this last week as some issues were brought to the table. Issues that need attention & action, courageous action I might add. It is not easy to be a soldier on the battlefield. I know this. But why is it that I see fellow soldiers unwilling to do the right thing? I've had almost a year and a half in the cave, & he's calling me out. His timing is ALWAYS perfect. I know not everyone will be at the same place at the same time in their journeys. I get that. But why are we still struggling with such sinful issues, things that are soooo clear in God's word that, we should be RUNNING FROM these things, yet we are simply passively sweeping them under the carpet time and time again? We are not infants, we’ve heard the Word and walked for long enough to know better. If we aren’t mature enough, then who will show the babes in Christ and the little children the right way? So I've picked up my sword, stepped out and what do I see? Others around me, dragging their lazyboys onto the battlefield, with pride holding up their swords, while reclining back with feet in the air. Basking in the idea of being a warrior for God, and condescendingly cheering on those who are bloody from battle. It sickens me. I am so done with it.I am not bloody. I was, but I am refreshed. I am clear of many things I struggled with a year ago, yet humbly aware of my arrogance and pride and ability to go back to those ways not pleasing to my King. I am armed. I am ready. I am a woman of fury. I am standing in righteousness with my creator and looking at the battlefield within my eye's view. He's called me out, but is it to rally the troops around me? To drag a few soldiers out of their easy chairs to fight alongside me? Nope. I am to pray and to wait. Can you believe that?! I am called out of the cave to pray and to wait. I am eager to fight. Probably not a good thing. Probably need to check my heart. Definitely need to obey. Yup-I’m a woman of fury. I know it is righteous anger, (maybe a drizzle of pain mixed in too). God is angry too, angry with the sin. But he’s promised me that he will be my defender. I will wait on Him and pray. He is moving and all things will come together (or fall apart as it may be), at the appointed time. Okay, I do believe I have just shared the depths of my garbage disposal. And this was a “rant”, not a comment. I will work on that.

  8. I'm blessed to know most of the founding members of WOFF. I can tell you as a husband it can be both painful and rewarding to see. I see the pain caused by the trials of life and try to help comfort Pearl anyway I can (usually falling short). But, I also get the joy of seeing the defining moment when she says " thats enough" and that is very uplifting to see. I get to see the growth firsthand. I think I'll start a WOFF support group called WHOWOFF(Whipped Husbands Of Women of Faith And Fury).

  9. Women Of Fury, I too love it.  Women Of Fury, I definately am one, and I have seen my share of fury.  I feel that every episode brings me closer in my walk with the Lord.  I am so thankful that He is always with us, no matter what.  I am also thankful for all my sisters in Christ, and the support and love they show me.

  10. Huh. Going back and reading this post and all of its comments riles me up a bit! I see that I am still a WOFF. Woo Hoo!

    I have WOFF-led though. Sure have. But I didn’t admit defeat. Don’t know any of my WOFF sisters that have.

    LOVE you guys. So blessed to have you guys in my life. We stand together, WOFF’s!!

    HUUUAHHHH!!!!!

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