Pioneer Women: Driving Forces & Landmarks

To read the first installment of the Pioneer Women series, click here.

What drives women to action? Many worthy causes have inspired women in history to discover a cure, fight for a cause, become an entrepreneur, and become an example and inspiration to us all. But I just can’t believe that every woman who is now dubbed a pioneer in her field started out a brave, confident lady who fearlessly took a risk.

Sometimes it’s fear that drives us. We’re afraid of being hurt or abandoned so we run away from the root of the problem for as long as we can.

Sometimes it’s grief. I can easily think of a myriad of organizations that have been founded by someone who was struck with the pain of losing someone they loved more than anything in life.

Sometimes it’s love. For what other reason does a mother take care of a sick child in the middle of the night without a second thought? Or do three thousand loads of laundry and sinks full of dishes in any given week? Or challenge unfair treatment of her child at school?

So many times it’s a need to belong to a cause greater than ourselves. When we begin evaluating our worth in this life, we naturally start to size up how much of a difference we’re making. Are we making the world a better place?

Those strong women who blazed the Oregon Trail had to be driven to action in order to willingly take the journey. Some of them were running from something; some of them loved their men so much they would give up everything to follow him to the ends of the earth; some must have looked at the life that they had and wondered what more they could do to better life for future generations.

Whatever their cause, they pushed through the brutally difficult and dangerous circumstances to reach that beautiful piece of land they made into their new home. This new home was not free of its own challenges, but it was a landmark to them – the physical proof that they had accomplished something great in life.

Isn’t that what all of us want? To reach a goal that brings a deep fulfillment, no matter how hard it was to get there. I wonder if this isn’t one of the reasons why maintaining a close relationship with Christ is so frustrating for us. We want to just reach a place where we can relax and comfortably cruise through the rest of our lives. The reality is, we’re never going to “arrive” at a place of complete perfection this side of eternity.

Thankfully, God uses our often-times flawed driving force to bring us to a place of repentance or a realization that something’s got to change. Whatever the vehicle you used to get to where you currently stand, I challenge you to get out, look around, and find some sort of landmark to symbolize how far you’ve come on the journey.

When you get frustrated with the next leg of the pilgrimage, you can look back at this landmark and know that you may not have arrived “home” yet, but God has empowered you to make some serious progress. The pioneer women who settled the West did not single-handedly establish all that was necessary to make it a thriving part of our nation, but they did not give up on doing their part to make a happy home out of the landmark they’d created. Neither should we give up on our journey through life.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. – Galatians 6:9

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