EarthBasic. Take care. Bless many.
Have you ever felt as if your circumstances were mocking you? Like everything in your environment was conspiring to highlight your weaknesses? Well that's how I felt every time I tried to exit through the storm doors of one of the many towering structures in Lower Manhattan-mocked. In fact, for a long time I was highly convinced that the early developers of this towering City had conspired to trap women in buildings by sealing them with weighty doors.
But soon my mind would change on the matter. I got to thinking-what if my daily encounter with these doors was not an exercise in my being ridiculed, but an invitation to build strength and capacity? I realized that I had, in this small instance, cultivated a mindset with far reaching consequences. I had assumed a victim mindset, which positioned me as helpless with respect to my circumstances. But, when I remembered who I was in Jesus Christ I started to see the weighty doors in my natural and spiritual environment differently. I started to get excited by what God might have in mind for me. If God was not removing the barrier, surely He would provide strength to push through it. I started pursuing ways to build strength and capacity. However, in my pursuit of answering the call up, I found that there were other barriers. I found I had to overcome the false notions I had about strength-who could possess it and what it looked like for me as a woman.
Does God wish for me to be strong?
"Beloved, I pray that in every way you may succeed and prosper and be in good health [physically], just as [I know] your soul prospers [spiritually]." (3 John 2, AMP, emphasis mine). Here we see a concern for the health of not only our spirits (made strong in God), but for our physical bodies to be counted as well too. And Beloved, a strong body is a well body. The Mayo Clinic states that strength training for women is essential as it helps to protect against excessive loss of muscle mass as we age, strengthen bones, manage our weight, enhance quality of life in the face of chronic illness and ward off diseases connected to bone density, i.e. osteoporosis.
What does being a strong woman look like?
This is not a high point of confession, but even after knowing the benefits of building strength and capacity my first concern was about how this pursuit would impact my dearly held ideas of femininity. In my mind, a woman was to be soft and always touchable and strength training ruined that-it made you hard and bulky. In full conviction that strength training would improve my health, I still found myself becoming shy in my pursuit because of these vain ideals. Every thing starts on the inside. The lies we hold stand face to face against the transformative embrace of the truth and we have to choose. We have to choose to give up our vain comforts to embrace what will make us more of what we were always purposed to be-strong in body, soul and spirit.
As a gracious aside, apparently strength training does not automatically lead to bulking. Bulking is a consequence of specific dietary adjustments coupled with intense lifting. (Mayo Clinic Radio). But that's not the point. We want to be healthy and a healthy woman is strong, so we reject anything-even the things we once held dear-so we can be well.
Beloved, strength is meant for you. Join us this month as we share resources to help you make strength training a working part of your sustainable wellness journey.
Happy temple building!
Take care. Bless many.
Jeanette Bailey is a believer in Jesus Christ, who believes that health, wellness, healing and wholeness is obtainable with a Christ-centered and evidence based medically sound approach. Her life's mission is to help individuals, families and communities
Carolyn Sinclair McCalla is a lover of Christ with a passion for sharing her gifts and happy findings with others. She is so excited about this addition to Be-Held, which will provide practical, sustainable, Christ-centered and well researched resources to support women in cultivating a life of holistic self-care: spirit, soul, and body.