Louisa

Louisa May Alcott- author of one of my favorite books, Little Women– was the woman who said, “I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship”.

We all have storms in life, this much is obvious. But I love this quote because Louisa faces the storms with courage. I am not always so courageous. I find myself often fearful of what storm might lie ahead. Storms in my past have hit me out of nowhere, and left me half drowning in a sea of pain. I’m worried about becoming lost in that kind of storm again.

Yet, I know that storms have also been tremendous times of growth for me, and that healing from each storm has left me a deeper and more compassionate person. In thinking about “sailing my ship” into each storm now, I realize that I can make it for two reasons- One, the strength I have in me and Two, the hope I have in a life better than this one.

We’re currently doing the book Redeeming Eve by Heather Webb for our Monday night women’s group. In it, she talks about becoming “women of healing” after going through storms in order to help others through their storms. I’d like to think that I am on a journey towards becoming a woman of healing.

Here’s an excerpt:
What does a woman of healing look like? …While she is capable, she is also more than the work of her hands. She is able to work hard, but she knows a deep place of rest in the midst of the demands of life. Her self-awareness is evident in her bold laughter at the furture. She is willing to face what life brings. She can stand up to the storm because she knows how to admit her need, to be weak as well as strong, to rejoice as well as mourn. She has achieved wisdom that comes from a life of loving and being loved–God’s greatest gifts… She hopes for the day her desire will find its fulfillment in God’s gracious good.

The woman of healing is aware of her need for God. She sees her sin, yet she is a prodigal daughter because she has experienced the overwhelming gift of grace, new life, and compassion for others. She is willing to fail and bear the price of fear, anxiety, as well as the wounds of others’ harm. She knows the weight of being misunderstood, overlookd, ignored, even hated. She responds by weeping for her enemies. In situations of abuse, she refuses to stand in the path of destruction to comply with others’ evil. From a distance, she prays and hopes for the day of the abuser’s change of heart and glorification. She refuses to belittle or prejudge others, knowing the continuing darkness in her own heart. Her sin awareness allows her to offer grace to others in their darkness…

She refuses to allow her heart to become hardened. She embraces tears, yet remains open to those who wound. But she still refuses to be battered by others’ aggression…She allows God’s Spirit to supply the needed strength in her present circumstances. She nourishes relationships. She values the closeness of being known and knowing others.

The woman of healing is not afraid to face the storms when they come. She can surround herself with loving faces to support her, she can tell her story even when it is difficult, and she can relax in the knowledge that she can do more than pretend with those close to her. She can risk being authentic and honest about her life. She recognizes that as part of a balanced, restored, healing life, there are moments to be with community as well as times to be alone with God.

Tomorrow’s Women’s History Month Trivia. Who said, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

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One thought on “Louisa

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