SHE HEARD is the first for-purchase devotional published by Deliberate Women. Over the next several weeks, we'll be reading reflections written by our readers of the eight Biblical women featured in SHE HEARD. Up today: ABIGAIL
I have a picture in my home that serves as a great reminder. The setting is beautiful, a lake without ripple, with the sun setting at the horizon. The simple words written at the bottom speak volumes to a woman on a pursuit to engrave the Lord’s Righteousness in her heart. She seeks the purity of unwavering righteousness to be continually displayed through her words, responses and actions, regardless of the situation she faces.
Don’t allow others to pull you into their storm, instead draw them in to your Peace” ~ Unknown
When I look to my younger self, I see how I allowed my emotions and circumstances to determine the outcome in many situations. As a result, I find great importance in holding firm to the Peace of God. When we allow a negative emotion to move us, our actions tend to follow… often resulting in an unfavorable outcome. In learning to live from the inside–out, we realize that what we have on the inside, the very gifts God has equipped us with, are far greater than any pull we can face from the outside.
I see Abigail as an unmovable woman. If she would have been one to allow fear to overtake her, it could have turned the course of her victory. Abigail was an unwavering righteous woman, on a pursuit for good, regardless of the storm around her. She held firm to who she was, regardless of the circumstances. She didn’t allow her actions to be driven by anger, selfishness or fear. She was not drawn into the negative situation; instead she boldly set out to bring good to it. Abigail’s actions showed a reflection of who she was. Her favorable actions created a favorable outcome.
Abigail’s heart was purposed to do the right thing. She could have responded in various ways, but she wisely set her heart to act quickly to diffuse a difficult situation. Her mission was to promote peace, and to create a favorable outcome for all concerned.
Abigail’s actions revealed her true character. The servants chose to approach Abigail, instead of her husband Nabal, with the news of the imminent threat. Abigail's character was surely known to the servants, leading them to trust her to respond to the situation with wisdom. In her actions that followed, we see a beautiful picture of who she was by how she handled the situations she found herself in. She acted with bravery and quickly brought peace to a volatile situation. She was gracious in her giving, and humbly offered her honor and respect to David. Her heart of compassion was shown as she placed her own life at risk, to protect the lives of many. Her heartfelt care was shown as she shared her desire with David for him to be spared the guilt of bloodshed. She also knew the importance of addressing her husband & carefully considered when & how to do so.
My heart's biggest desire is to live my life according to His Will. The Lord has brought me through many trials in my life. He has shown me the importance of resting in His peace, obeying His promptings to walk out His plan appropriately. His plans are perfect, although I fail at times. I realize that I am perfectly imperfect & strive with my whole heart to become more like Him daily. Although my heart is surrendered to his Will, there is room to perfect my actions. As displayed by Abigail, our true character is not shown by what we say we believe, or what we want to believe. It's shown by our actions. I believe our emotions can play a large role in responding appropriately, but only if we allow them to. When we allow our hearts to ride a roller coaster with our emotions (as seen with Nabal), our hearts become hardened & rarely respond to situations appropriately. It is important to take notice of the ways we respond when faced with a situation. Do we hold firm to our peace and practice wisdom, or do we allow a negative feeling and impulsive reactions determine the outcome?
Abigail, undoubtedly was a lovely woman to be admired. In thinking about her life, I began to wonder if she was always so wise? Were the unpleasant circumstances she encountered the very things that molded her? Was her unwavering drive to do the right thing birthed through facing challenges? Are the things that challenge us to be the very things to mold us?
Leaving my comfort zone… and quickly?
I laughed as I read the last question [in the Digging Deeper section after Abigail's chapter]. Really… I have to answer this? I don’t know if I should thank God, the writer, or both for this one. In all honesty, I have thought of many ways to avoid answering this question.
To do so, I must be very transparent here… this is not fun for me. I don’t want to do it. I want to stomp my feet and plead... “Please Lord, don’t let writing be what you are calling me to do!”. The request to write this came to me a day after It was requested of me to give a sermon to our youth at church. When God calls, it is in very clear terms. For me, it’s usually more of a knowing than a wanting, and a push to step out of my comfort zone.
My comfort level in ministry has always been one-on-one, or in a small group with people I know and feel comfortable with. I am drawn to mentoring relationships with youth girls, young women and single moms with hearts that are hurting. The Lord has shown Himself so greatly through the way He rescued my life and transformed me into the woman I am today. My heart is driven to share His love & bring hope to those in need.
God has been stirring my heart for months. It may sound strange, but months ago I shared with my husband that the Lord had shown me that something was coming, and to be prepared & obedient when it is presented to me. I still do not know His plan. The requests to write & preach a sermon are both entirely out of my comfort zone. I LOVE sharing about the greatness of our Lord, but if I had a choice I would humbly hide in doing so. The recognition of being on a platform holding a microphone, or submitting a photo & bio for my writing is uncomfortable to me. In all honesty, I feel way out of my league. My options were to be terrified and say no, or to boldly step forward in obedience… so here I am. If for no other reason, acting in obedience is more than enough!
The silver lining in obeying both requests is the personal growth I have discovered. I have found great freedom in not-so-simple acts of obedience. The comfort-zone wall built with fear has been removed, and can no longer limit the plans God has for my life.
I encourage you ladies: If God is knocking, answer the door. If you are directed outside of your comfort zone... go for it! I believe we are presented with a choice when God knocks. If we choose not to answer, there is no doubt that God will continue to bless our lives. But, in answering, the walls fall down & the door is wide open for the Lord to lead you to the greater blessing he has prepared for you.
Join me in believing that the situations we face & the challenging things around us that require our attention, will be used to help us grow into the Righteous Women that God has called on us to be.
Connie Kriegel is a wife, mother & owner of a small Real Estate Firm just outside of Austin, Texas. She enjoys spending time with her family, whom the Lord brought together in 2010. She & her husband together have 5 children, ranging in age from 10 to 21. Life is busy, but she wouldn’t have it any other way! She enjoys Christian concerts, watching her children play at sporting events, and spending time soaking in the presence of God. She has great compassion for hurting hearts & Loves to share the Love of Christ.