I got the message. How about you? I can bring home the bacon. Fry it up in a pan. Hammer a nail. Put air in the tires. Pump gas. Make bread. Mow the lawn. Walk the dog. Build a fire. And all the rest of that real life stuff. I’m an independent woman!
My independence. Yes, that’s what I depend on. I have for decades, by the way.
After all, who can you really count on but yourself? You know what you like better than anyone else does. You can keep your finances in order. You can cook your eggs just the way you like them. You can take your vacation when you want to and go where you want to go.
Yes, I’m the only one I can really count on.
Oh, there’s a time and a place for relationships. But they tend to get kind of messy. When I depend on me, I can fit whomever I want into the available slots in my life.
Faith? Well, there’s always Sunday morning. Plenty of time to fit in God, the Bible, praise songs, and prayer between 9 and noon.
Actually, I love my independence. Making all my own decisions and choices. Watching only the movies I want to watch. Listening to the music that suits my current mood. Filling the frig with the foods I like. Driving the car I want to drive. Stopping and going when I want to.
Yes, my independence makes life much better, much easier. I think I’ll just depend on me for the rest of my days.
But what happens when I get sick? Or lonely? Or run out of money? Or need help with something I can’t do? Who am I going to depend on then?
My husband is gone. And never coming back. My kids and my sister live far away. My friends have their own lives. Oh. I forgot about that. People die. People get busy with their own lives. People leave. People ignore. People hurt. People forget.
Maybe this independence thing isn’t so great after all. Maybe those songs about powerful women who don’t need men – or anyone, for that matter – aren’t really true after all. Maybe that women’s liberation we’ve heard so much about since the 1970s isn’t so freeing after all.
I’ve always taken pride in my independence. I’ll admit it. Thought of myself as a shining example of a woman who has figured out how to survive on her own. Asked for help only when absolutely necessary and then from only a few people.
I think I’ve done well when it comes to independence. Any woman would consider me a winner!
But valuing and maintaining my independence have blocked something crucial. Have I forgotten to be dependent in the most important area of my life? Have I tried to avoid my dependence on God?
Haven’t I learned by now that I can do nothing without God? He gives me the strength, the power, the will, the desire, the focus I need to do everything in my life. The harder I work at being independent, the more I block him from my life.
Dependence on my Father, Savior, Teacher is better than any independence I will ever have. That is the dependence I want to tell others about. To show and share with others. To use as an example for how to live a Godly life.
No matter how much bacon I bring home or fry, nothing will ever replace my freedom in living as a child of God. I will depend on him, call on him, trust in him, look to him. First. Always. No matter what situation I’m in.
And I might be surprised how he works through people. To help me just when I need help. To encourage me. To share their strength with me. To teach me more about him.
You can depend on that.
“So now, come back to your God. Act with love and justice, and always depend on him” (Hosea 12:6).
Laura Warfel is a widow, writer, and follower of Jesus Christ. Her greatest joy is to bring others along with her on her faith journey. In 2015, because of the encouragement of the Launch Out Conference and Jon Acuff, she launched More Than A Widow on Facebook and Twitter. Today she blogs, tweets, and posts to help widows (and those who know them) find encouragement, hope, and resources for the journey. Her goal is to help all widows live beyond the label and live as more than a widow.
Copyright © 2017 by Laura Warfel