Story-Shaped Women –  Encouragement for Today – July 6, 2022

Iva MayJuly 6, 2022

Story-Shaped Women

Lee en español

"Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God's promises to be fulfilled." Romans 15:4 (NLT)

When my daughter was 3 years old, her grandparents gave her a video player and a handful of Disney videos. Cinderella was her favorite. I didn't realize the impact that Cinderella's story had on Jennifer until the day a salesman knocked at our screen door.

Jennifer was sitting in timeout (due to bad behavior) near the screen door when the salesman approached.

He asked, "Little girl, is your mother at home?"

Jennifer replied with "No, but my mean, wicked stepmother is!"

We are designed for story. Stories leave fingerprints in our minds and upon our hearts.

Until I read through a chronological Bible, it had never dawned on me that the Bible tells one big story. No individual book or narrative stands alone; all are part of the bigger story.

As I read the Bible chronologically, I identified patterns and made connections that I would have otherwise missed. For example, stories about courageous women permeate the big story:

  • The promise God made regarding Eve's seed (Genesis 3:15) animates the story of the entire Bible. It's as if God refused to redeem humanity without going through a woman's womb.
  • The book of Joshua begins with the story of the faith and redemption of Rahab, a notorious Canaanite harlot. (Joshua 2:1-21; Joshua 6:22-25) God's promise to Abraham to bless the nations began with a woman with a sordid past.
  • God turned sorrow into redemption through Naomi and Ruth's story, embedded in the Judges story. While Israel did what was right in their own eyes, God worked below the radar to give them a king after His own heart. He did this through two widows.
  • The story of Hannah's infertility marked the transition from the time of the judges to the Kingdom Era. (1 Samuel 1:1-2:21) God opened Hannah's womb to bear a son, who anointed the first two kings of Israel. She had no idea that God would catapult her son into His story in this way.
  • Huldah's counsel regarding the recently discovered Book of the Law found among the idols and rubbish in the temple invigorated both King Josiah's faith and Judah's revival. (2 Kings 22:14-20; 2 Chronicles 34:22-28) Her role in national revival is preserved in Scripture.
  • God positioned Esther as a queen, and Mordecai as an influencer and intercessor, for the Jewish exiles. God used a woman to preserve His people in exile.
  • Mary the mother of Jesus, and the many women spread throughout the Gospels, Acts and the Letters, show God's delight in women!

In our key verse, Paul refers to the value of understanding the Old Testament story and the many cherished stories within: "Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God's promises to be fulfilled" (Romans 15:4).

The story of Scripture teaches us, offers us hope and encourages us - all while we wait for the final chapter of Scripture to unfold in history.

Because God created us, He knows the impact a story can have on our hearts and lives. God wove His story throughout the Bible, knowing that we would see our reflection in it, and not only that but see His love for women just like you and me. How beautiful it is that we can be wholly shaped and transformed by the story of God's Word.

And sister, the best news is: Who God was for the women of the Bible, He is for me and you!

Heavenly Father, I thank You for weaving the lives of women throughout Your story. I thank You for the hope that wells up in my heart as I consider that who You were for women of old is who You are for me. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.


The One Year Chronological Study Bible divides the Bible into 365 daily readings arranged in chronological order. As you read, you'll discover how the narrative of Scripture fits together from beginning to end. Through the chronology of 14 historical eras, the Bible's magnificent story unfolds, harmonizing the narrative, history, teachings and redemptive covenants in a seamless account. Read the Bible as we're used to reading a story - from the beginning to the end. With daily study notes and devotional questions, you'll see the unfolding of God's work and discover your place in God's grand story. Learn more here.

The One Year Chronological Study Bible was created in partnership with Chronological Bible Teaching (CBT), a nonprofit ministry that specializes in building biblical literacy by equipping people to discover, understand and tell the story of the Bible. CBT believes Bible literacy drives evangelism, discipleship, missions and apologetics. They provide a 14-era framework of biblical history as a tool for achieving the goal of increased Bible literacy. Learn more here!


As the founder and director of Chronological Bible Teaching, Iva May directs the day-to-day operations of CBT. For nearly 20 years, Iva's work in creating the story concept of the Bible as a discipleship tool has served as an integral part of Bible literacy resources used to teach and disciple women all over the world. Follow CBT on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Enter to WIN your very own copy of The One Year Chronological Study Bible. To celebrate this book, Tyndale House Publishers will give away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We'll randomly select 5 winners and then notify each one in the comments section by Monday, July 11, 2022.}


2 Samuel 12:1, "So the LORD sent Nathan the prophet to tell David this story ..." (NLT)

How do you view your place in God's story today? How do you see God redeeming even those details you might want to leave out of your story?

© 2022 by Iva May. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
P.O. Box 3189
Matthews, NC 28106