As women, we need space to be beautiful and whole as well as fragile and broken. Throughout history, and literature especially, women have been portrayed as either completely angelic or decidedly evil temptresses. This lack of middle ground still resounds in society today and even seeps into the Christian community. We wonder, “What does it mean to be ‘pure’?” “How can I focus on inward beauty over outward beauty?” “Where is the grace for this sin habit I just can’t shake?” And at the root of it all, “How does who I am and how I live affect the way Jesus sees me?”
All of these questions come from an unstable framework of “How can I create my identity to be what a Christian woman should be?” We will never have a complete, gracious, or possible answer for this question. In truth, we must ask a different set of questions entirely which flow from a whole new framework of mind. We must first ask, “Who is the Lord?” Then ask, “Who has He called me?” From there, our previous armory of inquiries is whittled down into one question, “How can I completely trust in and believe in the Lord’s identity and mine?” We’ve all heard that our beliefs shape our character which shapes our destiny. It’s true.
Enter the Purposefully Paradoxical woman and the Lord who chose to create her in His image.
We’ve been encouraged to “stop and smell the roses,” to soak in the beauty of life, to be available to those we love, even to add that extra half hour of exercise into our routines all for the purpose of living life to the fullest, becoming our best selves, and finding satisfaction. But have we been encouraged to stop and consider the paradox of life?
We see that the Lord is both merciful and just, forgiving and righteous, holy and intimate. He is the pairing of words which the human mind cannot comprehend together. This is the image we were created in. We are nothing and everything, sinners and loved, ugly and beautiful, helpless and held.
To think, that the human is a paradox manifest.
To think, that we share the nature of this mystery with our Creator.
To think, that the woman may call her paradoxical self a wondrous reflection of her King.
What happens when we add “Purposeful Paradox” to our already long list of God-given identities?
Heiress to The Kingdom
Ambassador of the Gospel
We experience a new freedom when we accept our purposefully paradoxical selves.
We are free to stumble and accept forgiveness because we are both Stumblers and Forgiven.
We are free to pursue Jesus and repent when we fail because we are both Righteous in Him and in need of continual grace.
We are free to both doubt truth and speak truth because we are Fallible and Renewed.
And we are free to believe that Christ understands our messes and our triumphs. For He knows what it is to be a paradox: 100% man while 100% God. He has gone immeasurable lengths to reveal Himself as trustworthy and empathetic even amidst the paradoxes. We can rest from all the striving to become what the Lord has called us and can begin to step into the belief that we are already named with names that cannot be earned. And we can wonder at our identities so majestic and undeserved: A consistently beautiful paradox.
Founder and leader of Going Beyond ministries, Priscilla Shirer, asked one of the most convicting, thrilling, and influential questions for Christian women today, “When is the last time you let God stun you speechless?”
As women who “live with heart and soul” in all we do, may we begin to be stunned speechless by the Lord as we embrace and walk this paradoxical identity that brings so much freedom. May we choose freedom as we accept the Lord’s love for the paradoxes He chose to create.
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Cornel Warren, Managing Editor of Live with Heart & Soul, shares her heart as she reaches Christian women with timeless, beautiful content to encourage and inspire their walks with God, themselves and those around them.