IWD 2016: Vessels of Gold and Silver

About the Blogger: Andreea Ratiu lives in Sandymount with her husband Cris.  A native Romanian she relocated to Ireland two years ago  and now works as a Legal Assistant for a multinational company. Andreea is passionate about her Christian faith and is an active member of South Hill Evangelical Church in Mount Merrion. For this special International Women’s Day blog post Andreea shares her journey of womanhood and how women of faith helped her along the way. 

One of the most beautiful journeys a woman can take is her journey towards embracing womanhood. A few days ago I started thinking about my own journey and realised  that God has worked at multiple levels. There have been so many significant experiences both joyful and painful and there have been so many people who have influenced my life.

God does not waste anything!  As I look back on things I did on a whim, I can now see how they were preparing me for what was coming later. At times, our lives may look like the back of a cross stitch fabric, twisted strands, loose ends and messy starting and stopping points, but, when you turn the fabric over, you can see a beautiful pattern. One of the ways God makes this beautiful pattern happen is through His people and His word.

As girls and even as women, we may not fully appreciate the immense privilege it is to have role models to help us on our journey.  As I look back, I can see that God has been so very gracious to me and used women of faith to teach me  important lessons about womanhood.

  1. My Mother: When I was 10 years old my mother had cancer. Doctors sent her home with three months to live but God healed her! She is my best friend and I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without her. My mother is a wise woman and I believe that God has answered her prayers for my sister and I.  When things did not turn out the way she hoped, she never lost her faith, she kept praying for us and always trusted God’s faithfulness.
  2. My Grandmother: My grandmother’s place has always been a place of refuge, peace and calmness, where stories of wisdom are told and a good sense of humor could cheer the grumpiest person. My grandmother is now 83 years old and after two cerebral concussions she is no longer able able to read her Bible. The last time I spoke to her, she cited many verses from the Bible including Psalm 119:11 that says,  “I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You”.  My grandmother has encouraged me to memorise God’s Word in the same way she did.
  3. My English Teacher: In 1987, just before the fall of the communism in Romania, I was 6 years old.  I clearly remember my English teacher in kindergarten and her kindness and thoughtfulness for the 20 children in her care. When the kindergarten closed she took us into her home and  continued to teach us  until we were old enough for school.
  4. My French Teacher: Aurelia had the courage to buy her students colouring books and to play French songs in the classroom in post-communist Romania. Thanks to her commitment to her teaching role, many doors have opened for me on my own journey. I will always remember her integrity and strength of character.
  5. Dyna:  Dyna was a brilliant, intelligent women with a great job, yet, she still washed dishes at my youth camp. She was constantly smiling! As a teenager I did not like washing dishes! I was intrigued by her attitude and one day I went to the kitchen to ask her how she could smile when washing dishes.  She said “Someone has to do it, right? I am so happy to do this job so that other leaders can do their jobs as well. We are a team. And there is no such a thing as important jobs and less important ones.” Dyna’s example during that camp helped me to understand what the body of Christ looks like at a practical level.
  6. Katarina: Katarina was a missionary from Switzerland. Looking back, I believe God used her as an important influence in my life. We shared a home for  five years. Each morning she would sing praise to God and spend her days serving others. On bad days she found refuge in God’s Word. I got involved in some of her missionary activities. Unfortunately, I didn’t fully appreciate her kindness at that time; but years later I remember her as a compassionate woman, eager to serve others and full of genuine joy.
  7. Cristina:  Cristina is a wife and a mother of three children who rejoices in her role! She is valiant, gentle and quiet in spirit.

For me these women are strong and  inspiring women of faith, beautiful vessels of gold and silver and vessels of honour in God’s house.

“But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.” (2 Timothy 2:20, 21)



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