I'm not sure when my fascination with Deborah began. You can find her story in Judges chapter 4, in a nutshell, she led the country of Israel at that time in history; she was considered a prophet and full of wisdom. The king of Israel would not go to war unless she went with him. I have always pictured her sitting under her palm tree (verse 5) calmly listening to the voice of God as people came to seek her counsel. I have always wanted to be a woman like her; wise, discerning, kind, close to God, recognized by others as someone with answers. I always thought it was a very vain dream.
Another interesting thing about Deborah is that her marital status was in the forefront of her description. She was married to Lappidoth; I wonder if she called him Lappi in private. "Lappi darling, I'm getting ready to go to my palm tree. I'll be home in a few hours." I think it is obvious that she had the support of her husband and in order to have his support she must have been a really good wife. She must have honored her husband and her marriage in order for the Lord to set her in such a high position. She must have had her home well established. It is not recorded as to whether she had children or not, my guess is that she did not but I could be wrong. Maybe in her God given wisdom she was able to raise her children to be resposible God fearing adults who did not need to be 'mothered' once they were on their own. Could be. I would like to know her secret.
Anyway, I have shared in past posts that I have been going through a bit of an identity crisis since leaving my position on staff at my church. My children are grown, grandchildren abound and my family has consumed alot of my time over the past 18 months. I have always had a longing to do and be more for the kingdom of God; I want to be a Deborah and the time I have spent ministering to my family has felt trivial.
Don't get me wrong though, I know it is not trivial and God has spoken to me about this. The conversation went something like this:
Me (in a whiny voice): "Father, I want my home to be a sanctuary, a resting place, somewhere for people to come and find peace and acceptance. How can that happen with a house full of family?"
God (laughing, yes, laughing at me!): "My sweet girl,(His patience with me is unending) isn't that what is happening? Isn't that what your family needs right now?"
Me (still whiny): "But I didn't want it to be family!!"
Yes, I really was that ridiculous!
So, for the past five months (while my daughter and her family are living with us and trying to restore their relationship and re-establish their family) I have spent alot more time in my room crying out to God for strength and compassion. Lamenting what I see as a major detour on my road to being useful to God and His kingdom, asking for direction and wisdom. Where do I fit? What do You want me to do? ect, ect.
Enter my wonderful husband with a book he bought for me called 'Introverts in the Church, Finding our Place in an Extroverted Culture.' This book has been life changing for me! Imagine my delight to find out that it is okay to prefer interaction with one or two people, to long for solitude, and to have a burning desire for wisdom and to know the secrets of God, to be so close to Him that I am His words, His actions. These are things that God has made a part of who I am, I am an introvert. What I had always thought was a self-conceited desire for fame is actually a deep desire for God's presence and knowledge and to be able to minister to others by passing it on. It is okay for me to want to be a Deborah!