Jan 24

In Other Words: Open Heart, Open Hands

“We are women, and my plea is
‘Let me be a woman, holy through and through,
asking for nothing but what God wants to give me,
receiving with both hands and
with all my heart whatever that is.’ ”

~ Elisabeth Elliot

So many years of “Women’s Liberation” conversations have distorted the image that women have of themselves. Not that we shouldn’t be introspective about who we are and what our tasks are here in this earthly life, but the confusion, I think, has not been always helpful. There were many years as a young wife and mother, when the messages that bombarded my brain were, indeed, quite confusing. And not just from the “worldly” voices that grew increasingly agitated over the years.

As women through the ages have discovered, our voices are frequently ignored and our ideas are dismissed. So, women have taken various journeys to discover if there were ways in which we could be heard and yet still be respected; is it possible to have an opinion, speak that opinion with confidence, and retain some semblance of dignity? Too often women have found themselves in a situation in which, after having presented their ideas, they are then labeled as “too assertive” or “aggressive,” or even worse. Who are we? And what words are we allowed to speak, all within the context of God’s plan for us as individuals and as a body of women who love the Lord?

Sadly, this predicament exists within the Christian community still, and women find themselves quite confused when the spoken or even unspoken message we hear all around us is “A woman’s place is in the home . . . . . ” but the end of that statement which is never spoken out loud, is “We really don’t know what you do there, just be still and do it.” I am grateful that this seems to be changing in many Christian communities, but the damage is evident all around us, even if we would rather not admit it or discuss it. Sometimes the hard things need to be said, and I guess I am now old enough to have the courage to say a few of them   ;o) 

In the words this week of Elisabeth Elliott, I find great encouragement that, as women, we must be willing and determined to seek only that which God has for us, and open our hands and our hearts to whatever that might be. We must have not only a willing heart and an obedient spirit, but we must have the courage to step out in faith and walk the pathway before us, even if others in our world do not completely understand. If we wait for “permission” from someone else, besides God, to start that journey of obedience, we will wait a very long time.

If you are facing a difficult decision, and you feel that God has called you to a task that may not fit within the “traditional” and accepted ideas of those around you, I would encourage you to be respectful and humble, and pray sincerely about what you believe to be the door that God is opening before you. I would encourage you to search your heart and be completely obedient to God’s Word and those in authority over you. And in the end, I would encourage you to obey God. Do not wait to be understood, do not wait for “permission” or acceptance of those around you who may not truly comprehend the calling that God is putting on your life.

Be brave, be bold in the power of God’s love, and be determined to obey. Seek nothing but that which God wants to give, receiving it gladly with both hands and a heart filled with humble obedience. God will speak to the hearts of those who do not understand. That is not your job. Now, get busy!

If you would like to join us this week for “In Other Words,” please link up below to your blog post on this quotation. We would love to visit you and read your thoughts on this topic. Hope to see you soon!



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  1. Tami Boesiger

    Interesting post, Nina. You prick my heart with your admonition to do what God has called you whether others approve or not.

    You got my wheels turning with this quote. I look forward to seeing what others have to say on it.

    1. Nina

      Thanks for stopping by, Tami. I appreciate your kind words . . . . I feel that I have wasted many years and much energy in fear, and not doing what God has put on my heart because I was waiting for permission from someone other than God ;o) I hope you will post the linky code on your blog, too, so that we can reach even more women with encouraging words through the ministry of IOW! Have a great Tuesday, Nina

  2. Karen Gillett

    Be brave, be bold. I like that. Too often I’ve gotten scared looking at the things that a godly woman should be. I think there is no way I can do that. Well “I” can’t but with God He makes it possible. Thanks for hosting it was good.

    1. Nina

      Hi Karen – so glad you stopped by! God has placed in my heart a burden for other Christian women who might be struggling with this, and I know that there are so many women who desperately want to honor God and live a life of obedience to Him, but we do get confused easily ;o) With His strength and grace, we can do His work, whatever He brings to us. Have a great week, Nina

  3. Loni

    Thanks so much for hosting today. I am sorry I could not participate – not feeling well and too foggy of a brain! But I appreciate your boldness and sharing your heart!

  4. Cindy

    Great post Nina. I like the reminder to not worry with what others say, but to focus on God’s word. It’s not my job…

    Thank you for hosting today.

  1. In Other Words: Women’s Connection « Great Brain Ideas…

    […] in community with In Other Words. Please visit Nina to find other’s take on this quote and join in if you’re willing. Advertisement […]

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