It was December of 2004. Three days before Christmas our son had his first surgery to make an opening from his bladder to the outside of his belly. Three months prior he had been born and we went through an emotional hurricane just hoping he'd live. It was soon 2005.
I've always made a habit of starting the new year in prayer and contemplation. While in prayer I distinctly heard the Lord pose a question to me. I don't know about you but I like answers from the Lord. He knows everything. A question is a harder thing. It means He knows something I don't and He's asking me because He wants me to work at it and find out the answer.
The question was, "What is an authentic woman?" The second part of the question was, "What is an authentic Christian woman?"
I had just finished the lousiest year of my life, my son's health was in constant limbo, and there were extenuating family circumstances bringing stress into my life. And as much as I love a good thought pondering question to mull over, what I wanted and what I thought I needed then were some kum-by-ya's and Psalm 123's and some spiritual hugs. I knew that if this was what God was asking me - "What is an authentic Christian woman?" then it must mean I didn't know and that I wasn't her.
Looking back now, I know God saw my complete brokenness and saw an opportunity to reform me and strengthen me with the basic thing - my identity in Him. At that time I was so broken, everything about my "la-la" life in a bubble had been burst. You can't be rebuilt or restored if you haven't been broken.
And so over the next year I felt so challenged to find God's definition of an authentic Christian woman. It is a continuing journey and one that I'd like to share.