Clothed in Strength

9:53 AM

Eva Vaughan

We all have a picture of how we want our lives to be. For some, that image is implanted through the dreams we have as children, or the influence of someone we look up to and admire. When we see their triumphs, we rarely consider the struggles they also faced. Hardly ever do we think that we might also face many of those same storms, but sorrow knows no age, race, or gender. It is not limited to a certain financial status. We will all face moments or seasons of sorrow, pain, or loss of some kind in our lives. 

 Proverbs 31:25 mentions the woman clothed in strength & dignity. When you see a woman clothed in strength, you may not realize what is underneath. If you knew what she has walked through, you would understand why she is able to laugh at the days to come.

Through various seasons that have brought sadness, I have learned to dig deep. I have embraced the difficult task of sifting through my emotions, allowing myself to feel the hurt, and then walking through the process of healing. I have had moments when I did not want to share those feelings, and decided to trust them to a loving God, who carried me through the deep wanderings of my own heart. I am thankful for a God who teaches us how to trust Him fully, and who is patient with us when we fail to believe. He has never failed me, even at times when I thought He wasn’t near. 

Psalm 34:18 says, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; 
He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.”

Facing temporary struggles is never easy, but the hardest thing to walk through must be those seasons of life when there is a need to constantly renew your hope. Proverbs 13:12 tells us that “hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” It is in those times of waiting and trusting that we sometimes become weary. When a husband is praying for his wife to be healed of cancer, and there doesn’t seem to be any improvement in her health, he may feel as though his prayers aren’t being heard. In situations that dim, our hope can grow weak and we can begin to lose faith in God and His promises for us.

We must realize that our hope is not built on circumstance or what we can see, but it is built upon Jesus. He knows our life from beginning to end. The strength we develop when we walk through dark times must come from Him. He will give us strength and joy that will sustain and renew us.

One particular season that was incredibly difficult for me and my husband, was the loss of our first baby. I had a miscarriage about the 9th week of pregnancy, after we had seen the heartbeat at 6 weeks. Since then, I have talked to many ladies who have gone through the same experience once, twice, or multiple times. I cannot explain the hurt that is felt, or the months of grief and sadness that seems to naturally follow. After trying for years to conceive, my heart was beginning to wonder if we would ever have another chance to have a child. I wrote a portion of my story in my good friend’s book, Barren Among the Fruitful, Navigating Infertility with Hope, Wisdom, and Patience, by Amanda Hope Haley.

During the miscarriage and the next few years that followed, I learned to entrust my dreams to the God who loves me, created me, and continues to bless me in the most beautiful ways. Never could we possibly imagine the good things that He is preparing for those who love Him. Our hearts would leap with excitement if we could see a glimpse.

I kept hoping, but at times it was with reservation. I didn’t know what God had in store for me, but I knew I wanted to remain full of faith and perseverance. I wanted to be strong, even if I didn’t always feel strong. At the lowest moments, I knew He was my source of strength. Sometimes just holding on to the promises we have has to be enough. Even if things do not work out like we planned, we have to trust that He is still good. God’s goodness and mercy is new every morning, and from Him and through Him come all things. This means, despite the pain I feel, I must choose to reflect on the blessings He has already brought into my life. When I do this, I will not despise Him, or my current situation, or others around me, but I will see His goodness and His plans. He will lift my head when all seems lost, and set my feet on a firm and steady foundation. 

My strength and stability is found 
in my relationship with Jesus.

In September of this year, we found out I am pregnant again. I am now in the 2nd trimester and we are ‘over the moon’ with excitement for this new and bright season of our lives. I give any past fears to God, my Father, and I continue to trust Him. He knows what will come tomorrow, and I rest in the knowledge that He will be with me through every ebb & flow of life. I am hopeful for the days ahead.

A woman who is clothed in strength must not look at her future with fear because of things experienced in her past. 

Instead, she must keep her eyes on the horizon, and look to the sunrise, waiting for the next opportunity to unfold. 
Her tears will fade, and she will develop a resilience that says, ‘never give up!’ No matter what you face, never give up your faith, hope, and love. Do not let anyone, or any circumstance steal them away. These are the things that will bind you together when you feel your world is falling apart. They are the things that will remain.  

Photo Attribution: Katie Kowalsky
Special thanks to Eva Vaughn for sharing part of your story and the strength behind your smile. 

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  1. Thanks Eva and Laura for sharing these wonderfully encouraging words, my favorite part is "We must realize that our hope is not built on circumstance or what we can see, but it is built upon Jesus." I just wrote a post for next week based on a passage in John and it talks about how our faith has to be in Jesus Himself not just in answered prayer or miracles. Sharing!

    1. Toni can't wait to read your post, I love when He puts similar stories in the heart's of His people to encourage and confirm what He is speaking to us!

    2. I meant Tobi, obviously I cannot type this afternoon! :)

  2. This is beautiful! "Our hope is not built on circumstance or what we can see, but it is built upon Jesus." That really spoke to me, today! Thank you for sharing.

    Anastasia Rose

    1. Yes, I loved this post. Eva did a remarkable job, she is a treasure!

  3. Seems we all stopped on that thought: "Our hope is not build on circumstances..."! Thank you for sharing these words of hope!

    1. Thank you for taking time to read, I am so glad she was able to encourage your heart and renew your hope!

  4. This is beautiful and hopeful! Thank you for sharing your story! Blessings of great on your amazing journey with Jesus!

  5. changes everything! I am so happy for your blessing. Such joy!

    1. Thank you, I am rejoicing with Eva as well! I am so happy for her.


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