Hey girlfriends, today I’m sharing an excerpt from a draft of my very first book. The style is poetic, deep and full of storytelling based on biblical truths. I wrote it during a season of suffering and transition in my own life. My hope is for women to be inspired to follow God’s call over their lives.
Belinda, The Image Bearer
There is another sister I want to be like. Belinda was a candle maker for the temple. Candles were more like torches in her time. Her hands originated the light for the daily worship and teachings in the temple. I imagine she created some candles that glowed warm, low ambient light; and others that fired up and convicted the temple worshipers. Belinda was so good at creating light that some say her husband was nicknamed Torch as a compliment to her handiwork.
I want to be like Belinda because I think she understood mindfulness. I see her melting wax over a fire, pouring in essential oils, taking in the warmth and smell as the wax became liquid. I imagine she laid the wick into the mold and poured. I think she prayed and meditated on the Word as she melted and poured and waited. She waited in stillness for the wax to cool. She did not check her texts or respond to email. She didn’t chuck another load in the laundry because she had a moment. Be still and know that I am God. Belinda knew how important it was to be still. I admire Belinda for this.
Father, as the candle brings light in the temple, please let it bring about a spirit of conviction that leads to repentance. God, it is your kindness that leads us to repentance. Let Your Light shine among men so that they will see again your good works and glorify you in heaven.
We know from experience that God doesn’t usually move when we are behaving frantically or running from rest. He usually moves when we are still. He usually moves when we make time for our friend and master Jesus. Belinda understood the importance of still. Daily, she met her God in the stillness of her handiwork. In the stillness, she could hear the voice of God moving in her heart. The Potter does not forget the destiny of any of His children. In His faithfulness, He began to whisper Belinda’s deep side destiny to her.
Belinda’s destiny was to minister to her people, save her people from their enemies and to lead them home to the God that loves them so. Belinda reminds me of the cousin of Jesus. She was burdened by the evil taking place in her generation, by her brothers and sisters. God led Belinda into nature where her people would be outside of their comfort zones, with hearts a little more open than closed. God made her a voice crying out under the palm tree.
Belinda, I know you are a woman and you may feel limited in your culture. But, I have heard you as you melted wax and prayed for the repentance of your people. I have heard your prayers as you breathed in the oils and tossed up your faith to me. Belinda, to the Palm Tree. Your people will come.
Belinda began her public ministry at the palm tree. It was under the palm tree that her brothers and sisters came to her for wisdom, for the settlement of disputes and for a word from God. She would go on to far surpass the expectations of women of her time. She would eventually be so burdened by the oppression of her people that she would successfully lead her region to battle for its freedom. Belinda’s still spirit – – our modern day understanding of mindfulness – – led her from candle making in quiet places; to ministry under to palm tree; to leader in a battle that freed her people from two decades of enemy oppression.
If we are honest with ourselves, Belinda’s linear life should not have lent itself to leader, judge and prophet. Belinda created handiwork that was delivered by her life partner Torch. My soul sister created light for a temple she was not able to enter. Her husband’s nickname tells us that Belinda’s reputation was well known at the city gates. I suspect that her culture honored her for living out Proverbs 31. Frankly, Belinda didn’t really need to do anything else according to her culture and time. But. The Potter does not forget the destiny of any of His children.
God is not concerned about cultural norms or labels. He is not convinced to stay within the lines of humanly possible by conflicting voices in your head or in your community. He doesn’t worry about what you were not able to do yesterday or get held hostage by the memory of repeated failures. He did not create you or Belinda with limitations in mind. He created Belinda to be a leader, judge and prophet. He created you to be something too.
God formed Belinda to do the work of her hands in the candle shop, the work of her heart under the palm tree and the work of freedom on the battlefield. He planned for her to be a catalyst for change. She obediently did the work she was given to do. In the candle shop. Under the Palm Tree. On the battlefield. At just the right time. In the fullness of who she was. At just the right time. Under the wings of the shadow of who He is. God led Belinda in the stillness that she offered Him on a daily basis. Belinda gave what she had until it was time to give in another role. Faithful Belinda. Faithful God.
You go where you’re sent and you stay where you’re put and you give what you’ve got. -Jill Briscoe.