As I looked at myself in the mirror I thought “you’ve got it together, Misty”. I was a new single mom of 4 children, ages 2-13. I had lost weight, dyed my hair and looked better than I had in a long time. I felt pretty confident that I had it all together and could figure out this journey of single parenting. Then through the caverns of my mind I heard, “it’s time to grow up”. I decided to ignore the whisper because, after all, I was grown up. I was the mother of 4, home-schooling, and now doing it alone. What more did I need as a badge of honor that I was grown up; a woman and a mother. Then another thought raced through my mind as if out of nowhere. “when I was a child I thought like a child.”
I didn’t like where this was going because I knew that was a part of a passage from the Word, so I knew these thoughts about growing up were not my own, they were thoughts that the Holy Spirit was speaking, getting my attention.
When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 1 Corinthians 13:11
So, I began my dialogue with the Lord that morning as I looked in the mirror.
“What does it mean to grow up, Lord?” I inquired.
I heard in my mind, “it’s time to be a woman of God.”
At that moment, I kind of freaked out on the inside. I felt my temper rising as I pointedly asked the question; “And JUST WHAT does a woman of God LOOK LIKE LORD?”
In the flash of a moment, as I asked the question, images of every woman I knew raced through my mind. I searched to find ONE that I could look to that would show me, help me, lead me and guide me. Who was in my life that could show me what a real woman of God looked like. I obviously was going to need HELP.
Sadly, there was none. Not one woman I wanted to emulate. Why would God ask me to be something, do something and not give me the resources to do it, or become it. It seemed too much of a demand.
God knew my thoughts. He was in them, helping me navigate my emotions and frustration. I considered His request outlandish at best, and felt betrayed by the church, women, friends and God. Why would God ask me to be something when the resources didn’t seem available?
Then God began to speak to me about Naomi. I challenged Him because Ruth is the hero of that story. But He insisted that I study, and identify with Naomi to learn what it means to be a woman of God and grow up. God had the resources available for me; He wanted me to learn from the best…from HIM. He wanted to be my teacher and my resource before the things of the world. God would and is teaching me about true spiritual motherhood.
As I continued to gaze in the mirror, confronted with all of my shortcomings, knowing the Lord wanted more for me, with a heavy heart at the reality of lack in my own life, I asked the Father: “Lord, give me the grace to be a woman of God and a true mother, PLEASE GOD don’t let any generation coming up after me stand in the mirror looking for women they can call mentors and mothers and find none. USE ME GOD, make and mold me into the Woman you say I am.”
This request would lead me into the study of Naomi first, then an in-depth study of the Song of Solomon, Esther, Deborah and other such women. This request has led me time and time again to turn to Proverbs 31 and hold my life up against the Woman of Excellence mentioned there and study what her attributes mean and pray that the Father would make me this powerful woman who laughs at the future.
I believe God is calling the matriarchs, the spiritual mommas to arise in this time
and raise up a generation that KNOW THEIR GOD.
Unfortunately, some of us are still struggling with our own identity as children of the Most High God, and as children, we cannot raise children.
Let’s explore what spiritual adulthood is all about so that Mothers can and will ARISE.
Bob Sorge, in his book “In His Face” lays out the 3 stages of maturity that John points out in 1 John 2: 12-14
ii.Provision: they trust God for daily bread
iii.Identity: children take on the surname of their father. The emotional nurturing of a father gives a child a healthy sexual identity and a proper self-image
Unfortunately, because many of us did not receive this from our own fathers, we struggle to allow God-the Father be this for us. Many of us continue to struggle with our identity as children of God, resting in His redemption. The enemy continues to keep us tied to our past; guilt and shame keep us in bondage.
As LITTLE CHILDREN of God, we are confident and secure in these three things, even if we didn’t have them as a part of our past we can find them in Christ.
This is often seen as the highest goal, to attain Spiritual adulthood. Bob Sorge goes on to say, “it is sad to acknowledge that many believers never grow to this spiritual level, and it is not even the highest plane of maturity.” (pp. 151)
If we want to raise spiritual sons and daughters, our own in our house, we must set the vision before us of Spiritual Adulthood. We can’t be children raising children.
The journey into Spiritual Adulthood is not about defining our destiny
…it is about building a dynasty;
Learning to GROW UP IN GOD
1.Realize it is HARD
We are made for it but not trained for it. My story at the beginning of this article conveys what I have heard over and over from women my age. That was 20+ years ago. Paul told Timothy (his spiritual son)
For although you could have countless babysitters (tutors, teachers) in Christ telling you what you’re doing wrong, you don’t have many fathers who correct you in love. But I’m a true father to you, for I became your father when I gave you the gospel and brought you into union with Jesus, the Anointed One. 1 Cor 4:15
There are many who want to teach, preach and share the gospel, but not many who are willing to change dirty diapers, love through rebellion, believe in God’s faithfulness when things don’t look like they should. THIS is a spiritual mother/father.
There are stages of development for all things. We must be willing to acknowledge where we are at in the journey and ask the question, “Lord, where am I still behaving like a spiritual child, where do I need to embrace growing up?”
3.Understand the Journey
We must embrace the crisis and use the crisis to lead us to the Lord.
Bob Sorge says,” every new level of spiritual maturity is developed through PAIN.”
Shelley Hundley from the International House of Prayer once said, “allow your pain and suffering to escort you into His presence.”
Spiritual Mothers know that pain is God’s refining fire, they rest in the love of the Father during difficult seasons and understand that the absence of His presence does not always mean something bad.
Spiritual adults have walked through a season of darkness where the Lord has withdrawn His presence, not because of sin, or ignorance, but because of His kindness. They have walked through the fire and come out not even smelling like smoke (Daniel 3)
As we say yes to all God has for us, the journey won’t always be easy but the fruit (our sons and daughters walking with Jesus as spiritual adults some day) is worth the price we pay.
Let’s join together in one accord and raise a “YES LORD may it be unto me as you desire.” Let’s sign up for the journey of spiritual growth and be willing to let the Lord raise up matriarchs (Spiritual Mothers) that will in create the atmosphere for spiritual sons and daughters to arise.
Misty Honnold is the President and Founder of the international organization Mountain of Myrrh Ministry (M.O.M.). She is a Visionary Leader, national speaker, writer and transitional life coach. Her greatest life work has been loving and leading her family well. She has raised 4 amazing adults and is lovingly known as Grammy to her 2 grand-daughters. Misty has blogged for over 8 years on the triumphs and trials of being a single mom. She currently blogs for Crosswalk on all things related to our spiritual journey. Misty's passion for life is infectious. Misty loves to lead leaders, equip women and impart value to others. Misty has learned through experience how to dance through the rhythms of life and loves to invite others into the joy of learning how to celebrate in every season.