A Woman of Strength
"Woman are never stronger than when they arm themselves with their weaknesses."
~ Madame Marie du Deffand
“Why won’t you give me some more sugar?” angrily demanded a huge female inmate one time I was checking the inmates’ blood sugar level.
She was talking about the packets of sweeteners we, medical staff, tried to give whenever we would do their Accuchecks. We usually had 2 packets ready for each inmate. But that morning, she was asking for more.
She made her question so loud, enough to make all the other women knew about her fearless demeanor. That she was that kind of woman: strong, tough, and was ready to show terror to any authority. Everybody started mumbling. I could have just called the Infirmary Deputy behind me. Easier than that. And she would have been in big trouble. The deputy glanced at me, waiting for my signal. But I motioned. For him to keep still on the male side as there were more male diabetics around that time.
“You don’t need to be angry!” I replied with a little higher tone than the usual. “If everyone gets 2 packets, it’s fair enough that everybody gets 2 packets. Do you understand?” I spoke with my voice piercing the thick, glass wall partition between us.
“God bless you!” she retorted back. To which I wasn’t thankful. The mumbling from others grew into a soft din, as if bees were buzzing.
“That‘s not very nice!” I yelled. “Because He is indeed good to you. He gave you those packets of sweeteners!” I replied back. The buzzing stopped. While she looked at me with a great surprise. Surprised that I knew what she meant. Surprised how quickly I understood her prison jargon, that she meant ill despite her nice-sounding words.
She grew quiet. Bowed her head low. The other women stopped mumbling. There was a deafening silence that ensued. I knew she felt that what I said was true. And I knew it penetrated her hard heart. Strong as she thought she was, there was no hard heart that would not be softened by God’s Word or truth.
Why, you may ask I got inappropriately upset this time when that woman just uttered “God bless you?” I always ask for the Lord’s discernment. Working in the prison now for 10 years, one inmate, many years ago, told me…that they say “God bless you” to staff when they couldn’t utter a profanity. Because they could be in big trouble for disrespecting the staff that way. So, just like that lady, she just cursed me and I sensed that at that time. I wouldn’t allow her to bully me. She might think she was a strong woman…
And to her, I looked like a tiny woman of weakness…But she didn’t know. I could be strong, too. But I would rather be a woman of strength than be a strong woman, like her. Strength that is not just given at birth. Strength, not just gained by terrifying others to gain power. Strength, arising from a big physique. No! I would rather be that woman of strength. Who had gone through the fires of trials in life. Who faced tribulations, over and over and beat me down. Trials that made me rely on the One Who was the true Source of strength. Yes, I would rather be that woman. With that strength that comes from knowing God.
For a woman of strength always realizes that it’s important to seek the Lord, not only on good times, but much more, during the hardest times of her life. Instead of falling away, she surrenders to His mercy, love, grace, power, wisdom, and strength.
And yes, I was a strong woman before but is now currently being molded to become what my heart desires: "to be a woman of strength".
“…the joy of the Lord is your strength.” ~ Nehemiah 8:10
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” ~ Psalm 27:1
“Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually!” ~ Psalm 105:4
“…fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ~ Isaiah 41:10
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.” ~ Ephesians 6:10
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The Attacker (5/15/09)
The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies.
Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.
Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.
All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.
When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.
The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.
When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himseld and ended up injuring his attacker severely.
[Source: Life Application Bible]:
We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.
“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14
Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].
Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.
Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.
Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].