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Saving Superwoman

He touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she rose and began to serve him.

Matthew 8:15
Saving Superwoman Book Cover

Life is a marathon. The moment our feet hit the ground, we’re running. Cue the never-ending to-do list of workout routines, Bibles studies, new dinner recipes, work emails, social activities, and family—and don’t forget quiet time with Jesus.

superwoman syndrome

It’s not hard for us to imagine how Peter’s mother-in-law must have felt when Jesus and the disciples arrived at the house. It’s our worst nightmare—having a house full of guests and not being able to serve them.

We’re daughters, mothers, sisters, wives. We run hospitals, classrooms, boardrooms. We carry the world on our shoulders—day in and day out—without breaking a sweat because, as everyone loves to remind us, this is what it means to be a woman. So, when we read that when the fever left her “she rose and began to serve him,” we’re not surprised, because we think we get it. It’s what we would do if we were in her situation. It’s all part of the myth: the myth of the Superwoman.

If anyone felt the pressure to be a productive member of society, Peter’s mother-in-law did. All the odds were against her: she was a widow and possibly had very few family members to care for her. As a woman, she was limited and she was vulnerable. And though we don’t care to admit it, we all know that feeling. It makes us feel small. It makes us feel exposed. So we run from it. We hide it. We’ll do anything to convince the world, and our selves, we’re invincible. We’re Superwoman.

saving superwoman

Try as she might, Peter’s mother-in-law couldn’t hide her vulnerability. Not anymore. In these two little verses, what we catch is a glimpse of a quick but tender moment wrapped in a seemingly ordinary act of recognition. Jesus saw her and, in a time when men and women had clear and defined boundaries, he reached for her hand. He recognized her weakened state, with all its cultural baggage and, because of his compassion, made her well. So she got up, and we’re told she served Jesus, but everything must have been different now. She wouldn’t be able to hide her weaknesses anymore. Everyone would have known now. She would have to own her vulnerability. Her limitation. She still served, but she could now do so not out of pressure to prove herself, but out of gratitude for the one who noticed a weak and vulnerable woman and did something about it.

And the thing is, Jesus has done the very same for us. God sent Jesus to do for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves. We don’t have to bear the weight of the world on our shoulders, because Jesus has done that for us. So, as we move throughout our days, working and serving, we can do so knowing we have nothing to prove. We don’t have to be Superwoman.


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Daily Question

Are you still trying to live out of your own strength ? What’s standing in the way of owning your limitations before Jesus and before others?

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Comments (10)

Yes, I also try to be a superwoman. Trying to please & serve all I come in contact with. However, I love to help others but probably try to do too much & push myself until I’m worn out. This has also caused me to spend less time on Bible reading & a quiet time with Jesus. I really need to focus on spending more time with Jesus, who is always there for me whenever I need him. He’s probably looking at me & saying “Slow down & seek me first”.

Sometimes, but I truly have spent the last couple years trying to rewrite the negative narratives that play on loop in my head. I don’t have to be perfect, seem perfect, or do all the things. Furthermore, there are many things I cannot do without the Lord’s help. I can deny it and ignore that fact all I want, and I can be incredibly lazy and/stubborn, but it is taking away from time I could be enjoying what was truly meant for me to handle, and letting go of the things that the Lord can/will take care of.

This passage spoke right to me! I’m learning to lean into God vs what society projects woman to be , which is SuperWoman!

A huge struggle for me! I wake up and immediately run through the list in my head of all the things I need to accomplish and in my mind I will accomplish and don’t rest until the end of the day when everything is complete then I turn to exhaustion and frustration and sometimes get angry because I’ve done so much and I don’t see others doing the same it’s a struggle and I would love to know a little bit more how to slow down how to pace myself I really love the study because it’s stopping me from doing other things and focusing on Jesus my list got bigger and bigger and Jesus got further and further to the bottom and it’s not gonna be that way anymore

Wow, this choice of word – Superwoman, is a big hit to me. At work this has been a common word used by others and though I looked at it as good, this opened my eyes to the strength I have been leaning on is on my own, not his which is why I’m exhausted. Instead of getting up early and being in his word, I rush to everything. School drop off, work, kids activities and feel accomplished that I made it, but I’m exhausted because I didn’t sit before my King and pray for his strength. I didn’t ask him if I should do this or that, I just did, because I think I can or have to.

I feel like I do own my limitations. I seems everyone knows about my addiction and broken relationship with my daughter, and my anger.

If I’m honest yes I think I still sometimes live out of my own strength. Understanding that God will have me and has a better path always is true and sometimes hard to believe. When the path in front of me seems good and true. The devil and his pushy thoughts are standing in the way for me. And I allow it sometimes. I don’t want to and I do not bind with that.

Yes, I’m living out of my own strength. I always priced myself as being a "tough chick’. I find that it’s easier to own my limitations before others. But I just thought Jesus knows my limitations.
Praying now.

I own my limitations. I’ve prayed and prayed and praised God for deliverance in my current situation. I know my options are limited and God has this. The hardest part is waiting on God to answer.

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