Become a Strong Woman Who Rises to Fight
- Whitney Hopler Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2007 9 Sep
Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Holly Wagner's new book, Warrior Chicks, (Regal, 2007).
Life is full of crises that can defeat you if you go through them passively. But no matter what type of crisis comes your way – a scary medical diagnosis, an unexpected financial burden, a painful broken relationship – you can emerge victorious if you rise to fight.
Here’s how you can become a warrior who taps into the power to overcome anything:
Believe that you’re beautiful. Combat the lie that the culture often perpetuates – that you’re not beautiful enough and must constantly work to hide your flaws. Embrace the truth that you’re beautiful just as you are, because God made you that way on purpose. Ask God to help you see yourself as He sees you. Instead of comparing yourself to others, be grateful for your uniquely beautiful features. Live in the confidence of God’s love for you.
Don’t concede to your circumstances. Whenever you encounter a challenge, don’t let it overwhelm you. Realize that you can trust God to lead you successfully through any situation. Don’t take challenges personally; remember that they happen to everyone and they’re a normal part of life in our fallen world. After you experience failure, ask God to show you what you can learn from it and to help you move on. Rather than focusing on the negative (such as by complaining, blaming, or feeling sorry for yourself), focus on the positive by rejoicing in how God is using your experience to make you a stronger woman.
Stay at your post. Don’t abandon your responsibilities in the various roles you fulfill. Remember that, if you keep working at whatever you’re doing – as a wife, mom, employee, friend, volunteer, or in some other capacity – God will eventually bring about valuable results from your efforts. Realize that the contributions you make to the world through your faithfulness will encourage not just people you know, but also future generations.
Focus on your ultimate goal. Don’t allow the battle you’re in to cause you to lose sight of your ultimate goal – to fulfill God’s purposes for your life. Pray for God to regularly remind you of His vision for you. Make decisions based on God’s unchanging truth rather than on your changing emotions. Eliminate activities that distract you from devoting your time and energy to what’s most important. Look beyond disappointments to where you want to go, and keep moving forward. Shift your focus from your own needs to the needs of others to get a fuller and healthier perspective. Instead of becoming preoccupied with what you need, remember what God has done for you so far and trust Him to continue to do what’s best for you. Ask God to regularly remind you of your destiny so you can keep in mind why it’s important to do what He calls you to do.
Pass the baton. Share the wisdom you gain from your own experiences with other women who are younger than you. Aim to equip, motivate, inspire and train younger women. Ask God to show you which life lessons you can best share with others. If you’re a single mom whose children have become faithful adults, let a single mom whose kids are still young know what you know. If you were in debt but broke free, share how with someone who’s currently struggling financially. Know that you likely have learned valuable insights after many different types of experiences; consider how you can take all you’ve learned and use it to help others. Remember that at any given moment you’re both an older woman and a younger woman to other people. Listen carefully and humbling to older women when they share their wisdom with you; learn all you can from them.
Fight alongside others. Realize that God never intended for you to wage your battles in isolation; He wants you to connect with others and work to overcome challenges together. Ask God to help you love other people the way He wants you to, despite how different they are from you. Find a healthy church and actively participate in the life of it, building meaningful relationships with others. Discover your natural talents and spiritual gifts, develop them, and use them alongside others to bring glory to God together. Don’t compare yourself to others or compete with them; instead, focus on your common goal of serving God. Understand that you are each significant because you each have an important role to play in fulfilling purposes greater than yourselves. Acknowledge that you and your fellow believers need each other. Do your best to listen to each other when you each face challenges, and to look for evidence at God at work in those situations. Encourage each other, support each other, hold each other accountable, forgive each other, and pray for each other.
Get dressed in spiritual clothes. Put on your helmet of salvation by guarding your mind with the confidence you have in Christ. Wear the breastplate of righteousness by living with integrity, always choosing to do what’s right even when you don’t feel like it. Put on the belt of truth by grounding yourself in God’s truth (through church, the Bible, the Holy Spirit, and the advice of believers you trust) and constantly seeking God’s guidance before making decisions. Wear the shoes of peace by refusing to allow your emotions to guide your decisions and letting God’s peace rule every step you make. Put on the shield of faith by combating evil lies with biblical truth and placing your trust in God and His promises. Pick up the sword of the Spirit – the Word of God – by getting to know the Bible well and speaking relevant Scripture to the problems you face, declaring that God’s truth will prevail in those situations.
Use the authority God has given you. Make full use of the authority you have as a Christian: such as the authority to follow God’s guidance to make wise choices, the authority to rely on God’s help to forgive, the authority to sow seeds that will grow into healthy results you can reap, and the authority to line up your thoughts with the truth. Know that once you’ve listened to God about how you should fight each battle you encounter, success or failure depends on your own faithfulness. Make use of the all the power you have at your disposal to fight faithfully.
Train for battle. Be sure to prepare for the battles you’ll face so you’ll be ready. Practice doing what’s right – like loving your husband even when he’s difficult or being health conscious even when you’re tempted to eat too much dessert – over and over until it becomes a habit for you. Ask God to help you be aware of what most needs your attention every day. Once you’re alerted to those situations, pray about them. Do your best to be faithful in the little tasks God calls you to do so He will entrust you with bigger tasks. Persevere through your training, realizing that it’s a process that takes time. Gradually increase your capacity to serve God, and invite Him to increase your spiritual maturity as a result.
Move from a victim to an overcomer. Decide that you won’t let any situation – no matter how challenging – destroy you. When you’ve been wounded, seek healing from God to move from being a victim to being a survivor. But don’t stop there; take what you’ve learned from the experience and use it to help other people. When you do that, you become an overcomer. Pray for God to reveal and remind you of His purposes for your life. Then do all you can to fulfill them.
Be brave. When times get especially tough, don’t give up, but keep your focus on the great cause for which you’re fighting – God’s kingdom. Pray for the courage you need to keep fighting boldly. Make the very best contributions you can make to the world while you’re here. Ask God to keep you from getting apathetic and regularly stir your soul with fresh passion for fulfilling His purposes for you. Aim to give your best until your life here is over and you meet God face to face.
Adapted from Warrior Chicks, copyright 2007 by Holly Wagner. Published by Regal Books, a division of Gospel Light, Ventura, Ca., www.regalbooks.com.
Holly Wagner co-pastors Oasis Christian Center in Los Angeles, Ca., alongside her husband, Philip. She oversees the women’s ministry of Oasis – GodChicks – which has grown beyond the church walls to reach thousands of women each year. Holly is a popular conference speaker know for her challenging, humorous style of addressing real-life issues. She has written three previous books: Dumb Things He Does/Dumb Things She Does, God Chicks and Daily Steps for GodChicks. Holly and Philip have been married for more than 20 years and have two children.