This post is apart of my 31 days of writing challenge where I am zooming in on the life of Leah. How she was unloved & hated, but God saw her. How she was jealous & fearful, but God honored her. We can learn a lot from Leah, join me? To stay updated, please follow my facebook page here.
The month of October is full of all kinds of joys for me. It’s fall, first off, leaves descending onto their winter home, the smell of pumpkin wafting through our entire loft apartment from the kitchen, the air fresh with the teasing bite of snow flurries. Besides all of that though, it’s also my birthday month! As a little present to myself, I am going to commit to jumpstart Just a Sparrow’s post frequency with a 31 day writing challenge! I came across The Nesting Place via Instagram (my favorite way to connect with people) and I will be linking up with my posts each day (hopefully!!) under their faith and inspiration topic.
What am I writing about may you ask?
I have recently (for the past year actually) been inspired by the life of the Jewish patriarch, Leah, the unloved. (Genesis 29 & on) My goal is to eventually write a book on her life (and it’s in the works, trust me) but through this writing challenge, I am going to be exploring her life in smaller segments, bettering my writing, & organizing my thoughts!
My biggest prayer is that I will connect with YOU, my readers, to get feedback and experiences from the ways that God has worked in your lives & how we can all learn from Leah! I am completely open to suggestions, critiques, and comments from anyone who feels led to be helpful. Please, share your heart as I share mine as we explore the unloved, the unwanted, and the redeemed woman who was Leah.
all writing is © Copyright Lilah Higgins, please ask permission to steal ;)
Here it goes!
A woman stands in the doorway of her home. Hands folded gracefully at her waist. She is quiet, meek, and she doesn’t see things the way God desires. Her long black hair is falling from her shoulder and she strokes it, wondering why it couldn’t be more smooth or soft. She looks out across the land that her father has cultivated and wonders if somewhere in her growth, something went wrong. Maybe somewhere she’d missed a few seeds or allowed the sun to burn her or didn’t spread enough nutrition in the right areas of her mind. Maybe she’d had too much famine or too much rain in her life. She saw the sheep and there purity in the wool, the ugly ones breed out. Maybe she was just a blemished lamb, waiting to die away to make room for the worthy ewes.
She often pondered why she was not as desired as the other women, with their long flowing hair, and their deep, enticing eyes. She carried a sadness and an insecurity in her heart that reveal itself through her eyes. She was run by fear as a young woman. She wanted acceptance, affirmation, fulfillment, much like we all do. She was plagued by the beauty that was encompassed in her sister Rachel. When the strapping man, Jacob came to town, every mouth was afflicted with the news of his proposal for her hand. Leah remembered feeling the strong sting of dishonor sourly mixed with a sisterly excitement when she first heard the news. No older sister should have had to watch her younger sister marry first, have babies first, grow a family first. To be the first married was not simply expected in her culture, it was her birthright as first born daughter.
Leah knew her father Laban to be a shrewd man, constantly weaving and manipulating things together for the benefit of himself, but Leah also understood the dynamic between men and women of her day. No woman questioned a man on anything. Did this make men wrong or evil? No, but it gave them the ability to easily become so, without the accountability and balance of another, equality intelligent person. Nothing is said of Leah’s mother. Maybe she was very submissive, to a fault, or maybe she had not lived long into Leah and Rachel’s lives. Either way, she seemed to hold no say in the matter which was about to become Leah’s new reality.
After seven long years of duty to Laban, Jacob was more than ready to marry the woman of his dreams, Rachel. When Laban schemed to have Leah switch places with Rachel between ceremony and honeymoon, pandaemonium must have broke out within the family. Maybe Rachel did not love Jacob and therefore did not care, or maybe she just had no choice in the matter. Maybe Leah asked to be married first because she loved Jacob. Maybe Laban forced them both into submission because it was the law of the land. Our knowledge of the situation is limited into too few verses. Regardless, the rejection in Leah’s story is magnified the moment Jacob realizes the deceit that has befallen him.
Many women face many types of rejection. Sexual, emotional, physical, spiritual, and so on. Leah faced them all. Even in this priceless moment, laying in bed together, breathing in the thick aroma wafting through the air from the celebration the night before, the floor covered by numerous layers of clothing and veiling, the rays of light that crept across the tousled sheets and disrobed bodies, the two of them dreamily brushing skin with one another, it was all broken by the sudden look of horror and utter rejection on Jacob’s face when he gazed at his new bride. Aghast, angry, and disgusted by the acts of the previous night, Jacob rushed off to confront Laban, leaving Leah behind to clean herself up, body and soul, all on her own. What defeat the woman must have felt in that moment, sexually, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
The hopelessness that could have been sown in her must have been unbearable, knowing that they were bound forever in marriage, in the sight of God, but knowing that her husband could forever hate her.
Leah’s life was defined by her search for truly belonging. Watch as we get into her story and uncover the beautiful gems she dug up through toil and rejection and join me in walking with her as her feet trod aside a God who saw her.
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I can’t wait to hear what you have to say!
I am linking up at The Nesting Place’s 31 day writing challenge: inspiration & faith.