I have also found it so encouraging to learn not just of the Fathers of the Church, but also the Mothers. As a female it is wonderful to have the examples of powerful women of God such as the prophet Anna, deacon Phoebe, apostle Junia, Abbess Hilda, Julian of Norwich, Teresa de Avila and Terése de Lisieux. God has revealed himself to men throughout the ages (hallelujah!) yet much of the time His communion with women has been glossed over, for reasons one can only assume to be political (meaning to do with the balance of power). Growing up in the church a girl could be forgiven for thinking that God doesn’t talk to women very often, and isn’t particularly interested in using them for His purpose (unless you’re simultaneously both a virgin and a mother – that dichotomy has been long-promoted).
Yet God is gracious and loving and bountiful and He has used women throughout time. This has been an amazing discovery for me, especially as someone recovering from abuse. God has a plan for me and for my life. He values me as a woman. May it be as He intended.
“Since it is so likely that children will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage.”
—-C S Lewis
Not just children, but all of us need to experience brave knights and heroic courage. Every follower of Christ experiences difficult and dark times and without the encouragement of seeing others overcome adversities, we will fall utterly exhausted. With so many cruel enemies that prey upon the people of sincerity and faith, it is necessary that believers see and experience the stories of the giants of the faith.
For far too many years I neglected to acknowledge the suffering of my soul. Somehow I thought that if I lived a holy enough life, won enough spiritual victories, and just closed my eyes and prayed hard enough all things would be well. In Hebrews Chapter 11 we are given a long list of the behaviors…
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