It’s amazing how quickly we form an opinion of someone, based on what we think we know about them, don’t you think? In a recent conversation with a friend, we were talking about how we are both often seen as the “negative” version of being strong women who know our own minds, usually by people who don’t have that same sense of confidence.
From being seen as arrogant, to being accused of being rebellious, or stubborn, it seems there are people who struggle to identify with women who are confident and display an inner strength.
I had a conversation with a different friend of mine about 10 years ago, who said that her initial perception of me had caused her to feel threatened by me, and so when we started working together, she struggled. In fact, she just didn’t like me. But when she got to know me, she realised her perception of me was far from the truth of who I was.
And that’s the key, isn’t it really! We make judgements based on our perceptions, which come more from how we are feeling, as well as what we hear from others, and allow that to formulate our opinion of other people. Even though we know we can’t “judge a book by its cover” or that we shouldn’t judge full stop. We all do it.
My story has lead me through the fiercest storms. So when I step into my heels, and walk out of the house, I am walking in the confidence and assurance of years of digging my roots very, very deep into the source of my inner strength. Jesus. I can walk with my head held high, and not slouching, because I have chosen – in spite of what I am going through, or how I am feeling – to keep my eyes lifted and fixed on the One who sustains me. Jesus. And unless you really know me, you won’t have a clue of the story God is writing in my life. You might get snippets, or a brief review now and again, but you won’t really hear the full story.
I am not being arrogant. I am not being cocky. I am not being rebellious. I merely know that if I shift my eyes off where they are fixed, like Peter when he walked on the water, I will start to sink.
I am a woman. I am confident. I am strong. I cry. I stumble. I laugh. I make mistakes. I am sometimes prone to be emotional. I know who I am. I know where I am going. And I know Who will get me there. Don’t misjudge me based on what you think you can see, or based on what you’ve heard about me. If you don’t know my story and what I have endured, you don’t really know me.
Funny how it’s mostly women who are seen as intimidating and threatening when they walk with that inner strength. It’s like there are still so many people out there in our twenty-first century society who can’t handle a woman with inner-strength, or strength of character.
Ladies: be who you are. Be strong. And don’t hide away from who God has made you to be. I won’t, and I hope you can find some inspiration in following my example.