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{Week 8} WIWW Link-Up Party… Finding a Strength That Lasts…

{Great girlfriends from the Caston High School Class of 1992… 20 years later!}

I drove down the country road, taking in familiar houses and farm land.  This night I drove a little slower than usual as thoughts and memories swirled through my head.  At one point a smile came to my face, and I laughed out loud – even though no one was around to hear it – as I mentally compared the eighteen year old me to the thirty-eight year old me.  Would they even recognize me?  Twenty years ago, I walked the aisle to my high school graduation ceremony ready to take on the world (or at the very least, ready to take on my teenage dream of finding a cure for cancer…).  But on this night, I drove up to the reunion in my lived-in minivan full of baseball equipment and baby dolls, thankful for what God had done.

It was the early 1990′s, and I was trying to find my identity.  I watched as my two amazing sisters – the very cute and petite cheerleaders -  were crowned homecoming queens and went on dates every weekend.  I thought strength was found in the number of crowns a girl earned or in the number of guys’ heads she turned.  “0″ for two.  I was the too tall straight “A” girl who played flute in the band, longing to be prettier and funnier than I actually was.

In college I thought I would try my hand at being assertive.  I joined the student government organization, helped kick-off the first ever “Earth Day” on campus, and spoke up for what I believed in.  I thought strength was found in positions and leadership that would build my resume.

Following college graduation, I longed for that perfect job.  Surely the Salutatorian of her high school class should have something to show for herself.  I had dreams of wearing business suits and driving a company car.  And I did.  I thought strength came from being smart and achieving success in the working world.


As women, it’s easy to let the world define our strength. 


Years went by, I excitedly changed my last name, and babies came.  Four in a little over six years, to be exact. 

And my worldly strength faded.

My definition of beauty changed along with my stretched, sleep-deprived and aging body.  Committee titles were long gone; my impact shallow and fleeting.  And those business suits and that company car?  They had long been traded in for shirts covered in spit-up and a messy, all too predictable Honda Odyssey.

And on one deep-in-the-trenches kind of day, God, through His Word, gently spoke to me about a different kind of strength entirely.  A strength that won’t fade with time, or depend on human accomplishment or what others think of you (no matter if you’re eighteen, or thirty-eight, or seventy-eight).


It’s an inner God-given strength that comes from finding your identity in Christ. 


John Piper says it this way: “In other words, women, young girls, dream of being so confident in God, and who you are in God as the daughter of the King of the universe, and what he has done for you and promises to do for you and be for you in Jesus Christ, that you fear nothing but God and laugh at the time to come – no matter what it holds.  [Physical beauty] – I promise you will lose it – and the man you get with it is not the kind of man you want.  Assertiveness, you will alienate the very kind of people you want to be around.  Halls of power, they are like grass: the wind passes over it and it is gone.  But the strength that God gives through the gospel abides forever.  The substance of this strength is faith in Jesus Christ.”

So which is it… faith in yourself, or faith in Jesus? 

My thoughts were interrupted as I parked and my eyes met a familiar face in the car next to mine.  I stepped out of my van, wearing a four-year old sundress (with a stain or two that I hoped no one would notice!) that I had thrown on just in time to welcome the babysitter, and I felt stronger than I did twenty years earlier.  Because this time, it wasn’t my strength at all.


In Jesus, you can find a strength that lasts…


She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.

~Proverbs 31:25

At His Feet,


Women around the world are IN THE WORD!

Every Wednesday we will have a link-up. If you are a blogger we invite you to link-up any blog posts that you have written about your quiet time that week. We ask that you put our button in the post or on your sidebar so we can find each other. We do not have code for this link up button. Just right click and save as. Then link it to http://www.goodmorninggirls.org



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  1. The girl I was at Graduation in 1988 seems LIGHTYEARS away from who I have become in Christ today. May God Bless you and thank you very much for letting us share OUR thoughts today! Happy 4th of July! :)

  2. WHITNEY! What beautiful words this morning from a darling friend. It is shocking how quickly beauty, success and status fade. How tiring it is to keep up with it. A timely word that strength comes from letting the fleeting go. Thanks for your transparency and truth.

  3. it wouldn’t allow me to right click on the image, so I just linked your URL…:)
    Thanks for this awesome study. I am finally caught up and really beginning to get what Gd has in this study for me!

  4. Christine says:

    This is a great post. Thanks for sharing your heart with us. It is so freeing to know that my strength is in God alone.

  5. That is beautiful, Whitney! How different it was 20 years ago for me too! I am glad to say that I have a deeper relationship with God and am so glad at the path God led me on even though it has had it’s ups and downs. I need his strength every day.

  6. Great post, Whitney! Thanks for sharing. What an important reminder that we need to be clothed in Christ, not in our flesh.

  7. Love this, Whitney! Thank you so much for sharing wisdom, your heart, and your story!

  8. So beautiful. Such truth. I needed this. Thank you!!

  9. Oh my goodness- what a beautiful word – so real and true. Thank you Whitney – you are beautiful inside and out and I’m so thankful for you! Your writing is a blessing!
    Lots of Love,

  10. Finding our identity in Him…Oh yes! Years ago as an insecure young bride that reality changed my life and started the process of shaping my mothering…a painful journey at times…I am such a slow learner…but thankful for grace. I don’t recognize the girl I was those years ago!

  11. Jen Thorn says:

    Love this post Whintey. It is beautifully written. Thank you for sharing your story and reminding me what is really important.

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