Saturday, January 26, 2008

I am persuaded

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

“…firmness of character, a woman that knows her mind, without timidity or feebleness of purpose. Nor a weak spirit that is easily persuaded and cannot be relied upon.” This was the line spoken by Captain Fredrick Wentworth, a character from Jane Austen’s book “Persuasion”. I love Jane Austen’s and the Bronte’ sisters books, they were women that lived in a era when women were considered very low on the totem pole if they were not from a family of wealth and married or engaged at least by the age of 20. Basically a woman should be “seen and not heard”, so these brave women wrote their messages of the unfairness of this sort of class-ism into their novels, wrapped their intolerance of the treatment of women of that time around characters that captured the people of that day as well as hundreds of years later.

The heroine of “Persuasion” a plain, spinster of 27 years old, Anne Elliot, is at a dinner where Capt. Wentworth is also attending. It is there where he makes this speech about the kind of wife he would like to have. You see Anne was persuaded 8 years earlier by interfering relatives and acquaintances to break her engagement to the Capt. Wentworth because he had no money or position. They both were brokenhearted by this decision that Anne made and since that time neither have married. Now 8 years later the Captain returns, wiser, richer and of high position. He and Anne still yearn for each other, but at this point he is still angry with her for being so easily persuaded to “dump” him 8 years earlier. So he states the line above at the dinner table making her think hmmmmm.

This line he spoke made me think “hmmmmm” too. Wow, firmness of character, know your mind, no timidity or feebleness of purpose, not being weak or unsure of myself. To be determined about what I believe and want and not changing when a wind comes and blows the opposite direction. HMMMMMM indeed! Isn’t that what God wants for me??? Isn’t that what I want for me??? Through out the Bible there are scriptures that say these same things. God wants us to be strong, confident, no fear and determined in whom and what we believe and not to be easily swayed from that.

The character Anne finally sees the error of her weaknesses and yes there is a happy ending. And what about my story? Well I will say this, my desire and focus is to be a strong, determined woman of God; knowing who I am in Christ and persuaded and led only by His Holy Spirit.

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