Proverbs inspiration leads to book journey
Carla George imagined she needed a husband to make her happy but God had a different plan.
Much to her surprise, He encouraged her to write a book.
Proverbs 31 Woman: More than the Good Wife explores what holy femininity looks like and how we can strive to be more of who God has called us to be — with or without a wedding ring.
“Growing up in the church I heard about the Proverbs 31 woman as a virtuous and pious wife and mother,” Ms George said.
“I always felt intimidated by her and thought becoming her was unattainable. In addition to that, as a woman you quickly learn that people voice their expectations and opinions on you with respect to marriage, careers, motherhood etc. The older you get and don’t meet these expectations, the more pressure you feel and find yourself not making the best decisions just to relieve some of the pressure.
“For some it can be the pressure of school, a career choice, taking care of others or relationships. For me, the pressure was being married and having children.”
Unmarried and without children in her thirties, Ms George got involved in meaningless relationships only because they filled a need for companionship.
She was reading chapter 31 of the Book of Proverbs when something clicked. The passage describes the attributes of a virtuous wife or ideal woman, as told to King Lemuel by his mother.
“I realised this woman was more than just a good wife or mother,” the 40-year-old said.
“She was an entrepreneur, an investor, a thought leader and an agent for change. She is trustworthy and serves and encourages others. Basically, she was created to be so much more while maintaining her Godly attributes.
“I began to see her as the foundation of our community, which was especially encouraging to me when I found myself single and without a child at 37 years old. If we aren’t careful we can find ourselves trying to live up to the standards of others — society, social media, family, naysayers — when it comes to our relationships, careers, education or finances.
“ What we must realise is that it is God’s standard we must live by and the only standard that matters.”
Ms George felt marriage was in her future but the real test was being OK if that didn’t come to pass. Surrendering the parts of her life that were out of her control but holding her back and stressing her out, was an extremely peaceful process.
“When I accepted it and gave that part of my life over to God I found being single easier,” she said.
“This is why I always call my husband, Marcus, a gift from God. He respected the vow I had taken of celibacy and, more so, loves God more than he loves me.”
The couple met in 2014 and were married two years later.
Although becoming an author hadn’t been on her bucket list, once the message was downloaded into her spirit she decided she had to see it through. Not doing so would have meant disappointing God and anyone else who needed to hear her message.
So she hired a book coach and began a 12-month writing process. A Bible challenge at her church, Mt Zion AME, also helped.
“What I learnt was that the Bible truly addresses every aspect of your life — if you take the time to study it and apply it to your life,” she said.
“Writing the book became a self-reflective exercise and brought me closer to God as I became more exposed to His promises and direction for my life.
“I decided that I would not look at writing this book as a challenge but as a character-building moment. It was an opportunity to share the word of God in a unique way that could empower those who read it to change the way they saw themselves, and others to be more as God sees us.”
The publishing stage taught her patience; friends and family helped with proofreading and she is now extremely proud of the end result.
“I am glad for the pauses, the checks and rechecks that all contributed to the final product,” Ms George said, describing it as further proof of what can be accomplished through God if you believe.
•Carla George will launch Proverbs 31 Woman: More than the Good Wife at Brown & Co on Tuesday at 5.15pm. The book is also available on Amazon, Kindle and www.iamcarlageorge.com /i>
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