In case you haven’t noticed, I shut down my Etsy shop.
It was great for a season – I feel like I learned so much! But after much prayer and rationalizing, I’ve decided this is just not the right season. In addition to keeping me so busy and introverted that I had no time for friends or fellowship (a very serious problem, in my book), I was also having less and less time to make things for the people around me that I care about, which is something that brings me great joy. It was also severely limiting my creativity– as I had to make what people ordered and they kept ordering the same thing. And while the supplemental income was nice, it wasn’t worth the trade off. Because while all these more tangible effects were plenty reason enough to close shop, there was even more going on beneath the surface.
You see, ever since I’ve come to know the Lord and seen what biblical womanhood looks like, I’ve wanted it. I’ve read Proverbs 31 and Titus 2 and 1 Peter 3 and others until the pages are so worn and marked that you can hardly read them anymore. I’ve spent countless hours with women in the church who have proven themselves to be biblically beautiful and I’ve been so blessed by the time I’ve spent learning from them. I hear the call to be the kind of counter-cultural woman God wants me to be and have tried to respond in obedience.
These were all good things. But they became a sort of trap for me.
I became so focused on the external things. On the cooking (Pr 31:14), on the crafting (Pr 31:13, 19, 21, 22), on finding a way to bring a profit with the things I make (Pr 31:16, 18, 24)– all the while growing increasingly more proud and bitter and ignoring the heart issues.
Look at me! I’m a REAL Proverbs 31 woman. Why doesn’t some godly man notice me and make me his excellent wife?!
Lately, the Lord has shown me how arrogant, foolish, and blind I’ve been. And that while I’ve been so busy trying to make sure my willing hands are working, I’ve allowed my heart to grow sick with hope deferred. I’m afraid that the way I’ve tried to pursue Proverbs 31 womanhood has been a bit premature and mostly only surface level. And while I do believe someday, if the Lord wills to provide a husband and family for me to love and take care of, I could run this shop on the side and bring some sort of supplemental income– that day is not today! Right now, whether I like it or not, I am called to lead the life that the Lord has assigned to me. (1 Cor 7:17) And right now, He’s called me to be single and He’s called me to serve Him and be a godly woman in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation.
Honestly, I have very little idea what that means. But I know there are many heart issues I need to deal with and I know there’s plenty of things I can be working on right now as a single woman in Proverbs 31, 1 Peter 3, and Titus 2, not the least of which being modesty, humility, faith, laziness, and getting my health and weight under control, as they are totally not at this point. And the Lord has given me a whole book’s worth of teaching on what it means to be his daughter that I’ll never be able to exhaust.
I can’t do any of these things on my own. But I know that because of the Gospel, Christ is for me and with me and in me. And all my hope and trust is in Him.