I recently wrote a little piece on social media which seemed to resonate with my followers. It included the admission that I had reached a meltdown mode that I hadn’t seen a long while. I concluded with words written that reminded women — mothers specifically — that they are amazing, fierce, and absolutely invaluable to their families.
A few days later, I was sitting in daily Mass listening to the first reading explain Noah, and how he went against the grain of society at the time. When everyone else was doing what they wanted, Noah and his family built an ark, gathered pairs of animals, and closed themselves away — to emerge over forty days later to a new world.
Most of us are intimately familiar with the story of Noah and the ark. From preschool, even the youngest of us are taught catchy little tunes that tell the tale and the moral of the story.
Yet, that day, mere days after my own tantrum, I felt a message placed on my heart.
Life is tough, dear reader. We can get the wind taken out of our sails at so many different times, and each time, we have to make a concerted effort to keep our eye on the goal of bringing ourselves closer to Christ. In fact, even writers who tackle faith-based topics have their own shortfalls, and their own derailments.
I recently sat down and counted — my family has had a total of six consecutive days of health for the entire family, in two months’ time. Those six days ended the night before this piece was due to the editor, with the baby randomly throwing up in the middle of the night. No fever, no other symptoms, happy as a clam, except throwing up everywhere. And, the message I had heard earlier in the day prior came back full force, as I rocked a fussy baby back to sleep, after cleaning myself up for a second time …
It reappeared as the baby decided to sleep the morning of my deadline away in my arms, rather than allowing me to type with both hands at the office, and became the cornerstone of this piece …
Our lives are hectic, busy, and at times, non-stop. We live in a world of instant gratification. We want to have everything at our disposal, right when we want it. We are led down a path which assures us the busier we are, the better we become.
And, yet, that is completely the opposite message God wants to send us.
He sees us in our hurried and harried states, and He loves us, and simply desires for us to have a relationship with Him. And, for the first time ever, I realized I have a new heroine from the Bible — someone to turn to, someone to emulate, and someone to appreciate.
Her name is …
That’s right. The message which weighed on my heart during daily Mass just a couple days ago, and the message that came to my heart as I recognized I was late for another writing deadline, was gratitude that I was not Noah’s wife.
There is some speculation that Noah’s wife had a name in the Bible, but I can’t find it in the Book of Genesis. Instead, I know her as “Noah’s wife …” She is a nameless heroine, but the more I thought of her, the more I realized I want to be like her!
“Mrs. Noah” was amazing! With her husband, she maintained devotion and loyalty to our Lord, following where her husband led, and guiding her children and their families.
She then also supported her husband’s decision to build an ark. Next, she welcomed animals, two by two, into a tight and crowded atmosphere. Then, the doors of the ark were sealed, and …
She was caught in the noise … the mess … the noise … the smell … the noise … the uncertainty … the noise …
for over a month!
And, while we don’t entirely know if she emerged from the ark with her sanity intact, I have decided to believe she did.
Because, in the midst of the mess, the smell, the uncertainty, and yes, the noise, she was still trusting God.
She clung to her vocation as wife, and her secondary vocation as mother, and even her other vocation as caretaker to all God’s living creatures, in a situation which did not even allow her to step outside for a brief breath of fresh air.
I realized I want to be “‘Mrs. Noah’ Strong.”
- I want to have the strength in my faith to never waiver from what I know God is asking of me — even when it sets me apart from my peers.
- I want to have the strength in the love for my God to pour forth every ounce of energy into being the healthiest, strongest, most independent wife my husband needs.
- I want to have the strength in my pursuit of holiness to recognize how my children need a mother who embraces their extroverted tendencies, when deep down, the introvert in her desires peace and quiet.
- I want to have the strength to embrace the hiccups in plans, the changes of schedules, and the last minute notifications.
“Mrs. Noah” was brave, fierce, bold! She kept her family, and countless animals in an ark alive … while somehow (I’m guessing) maintaining sanity.
And, she remained nameless through it all!
Every wife … every mother … should strive to be “‘Mrs. Noah’ Strong.”
And, I know, because she was strong, we have it in us, too!
In many ways our lives are more complicated today — and, yet, in other ways they are also easier. While we are being pulled in two hundred different directions, we have easier availability to access what we need to draw closer to Christ.
But, in order to be “‘Mrs. Noah’ Strong,” we must be willing to put God first.
We must be willing to tune out of the rat race we find ourselves in, and tune into God.
- It requires a radical shift from ladies’ nights out to a movie (or bar, or other venue), to ladies’ nights out with Jesus in Adoration.
- It requires us to stop getting together to gossip, and start getting together to pray.
- Being “‘Mrs. Noah’ Strong” mandates that we stop looking at ourselves the way the world says, and instead, requires us to recognize there is beauty and strength in each of us … even among the mess.
- “‘Mrs. Noah’ Strong” requires counter-cultural thinking, seeing the worth, dignity, and love of our husbands and our children, and perhaps most importantly, ourselves.
- God has made us in His image. He has known us, and knows us, better than we could ever hope to imagine knowing ourselves. He knows our fears and anxieties, but He also knows our depth, our value, our worth, and our strength.
He loves each of us tenderly, dearly, and fiercely. And all He asks is that we have the strength and courage to love Him back. He asks that we trust Him to see the beauty in the middle of the night throw up sessions, the middle of the day arguments between kids, the middle of the afternoon grumpy slump, and the middle of the morning coffee run.
He knows every one of us, individually, by name.
He finds each of us strong.
And, amidst the mess in our lives, He finds each of us beautiful.
So, I ask you today, dear reader, are you ready to join me in becoming “‘Mrs. Noah’ Strong” in your life?
Copyright 2019 Anni Harry