When each new year arrives, I like to select a life verse to focus on throughout the year. It’s typically a verse that catches my attention in the weeks leading up to the beginning of the new year.
Choosing a verse for 2016 was easy. Proverbs 31: 25 started popping up everywhere as 2015 came to a close. As I reflected on the meaning of the verse, it became even clearer that it was the perfect verse for 2016. I love how one small verse of scripture can speak volumes. The verse sums up exactly what I need to change in my life in the coming year.
The year of 2015 was one of the most difficult years of my life. I’ve felt beaten down spiritually, emotionally, and physically. My health issues escalated, making it difficult to keep up with my work at times. I often found my self-confidence shot as I continued to wonder why my husband left me. Due to my health issues, I was not as productive as I needed to be with my writing, which caused me to worry about finances and what the future might hold if my health continues to decline.
A major computer crash a few weeks ago stressed me out so much that I ended up at my doctor’s office getting an EKG. Why was I suddenly finding it hard to deal with a small issue like a broken computer? While minor annoyances can be frustrating, I typically handle them much better than I handled this incident.
As I took inventory of my life during 2015, I realized I had gotten careless with my daily time in prayer and scripture reading. Way too many days began with me rushing to my home office to start the work day and fitting my quiet time in later, which never happened many days.
I also realized I had neglected my health a lot over the past year. Eating out of control, eating junk food, eating too much fast food, drinking sugar-laden sodas, and not caring about what I put in my mouth has taken its toll on my physical health. I gained weight, which made my other health issues even more noticeable. My physical stamina and strength continued to decline due to lack of exercise. Most days I hurt too much to move. By the end of 2015, I felt like I was in a downward spiral in all areas of my life. I knew I needed to make some drastic changes in the upcoming year.
As I began to reflect on Proverbs 31:25, I thought about what it means to be a woman who is clothed with strength and dignity and who can laugh without fear of the future. Looking back at 2015, I lacked a lot in the woman of strength department. I felt weak and powerless most of the time. At times I felt defeated, depressed, and discouraged about the circumstances in my life.
I certainly didn’t feel very dignified as I watched the numbers on the scale go up and as I continued to base my self-worth on the fact that my husband left me. Instead of laughing without fear of the future, I was worrying about how I was going to survive.
What does it mean to be a woman who is clothed with strength and dignity? It’s a woman who is strong because God is her strength. A strong woman gets her power from God. She does this by nurturing her relationship with God on a daily basis. She is a woman who consistently prays and opens her Bible to seek God’s truth. She puts God first, not work or the million other distractions that compete for her attention.
Dignity means the state of being worthy, honored, or esteemed. God loves us and desires what’s best for us. I believe a woman clothed with dignity is a woman who lives out her life in a manner that makes her worthy to be called a woman of God. A woman of dignity strives to live in a way that honors God in every area of her life. She doesn’t let the opinions of others determine her worth. She takes care of her body and her appearance. She manages her household and finances well. She is a good steward of all that God has entrusted into her care.
Being able to laugh without fear of the future may seem like a rather arrogant verse of scripture, but it has nothing to do with being boastful. Being able to laugh without fear of what the future holds means you feel joyful and at peace. You trust God with your future. You are confident he will work all things out for your good. When a woman’s relationship with God is first, and she is living out the Christian life in every area of her life, she feels at peace about what tomorrow will bring. There’s no need to worry about money, health, or even death, because she knows her future and eternity are secure with God.
As I begin the new year, I’m going to focus on Proverbs 31:25 and rebuild my life. I need to get back to putting God first every morning. I truly believe when God is not our priority, things begin to fall apart quickly. I got off track in a lot of areas in 2015, and the state of my health and well being at the end of the year revealed the path of self-destruction I was on.
I can’t change a lot of things in my life, but I can choose to change the things that matter most. I can choose to be a woman who is clothed with strength and dignity and who laughs without fear of the future.
Do you have a life verse you want to focus on this year?