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by Hillary McFarland

Note: Recently I asked my readers on facebook what topics would be helpful for where you are right now in your life, in your faith, and your walk with the Lord as you sort through the sensitive issues addressed here at Quivering Daughters. I received excellent feedback and will be working on articles based on those suggestions for the future, but want to extend that request here, too. What topics would you find helpful, encouraging, or pertinent? Please leave a comment or email me at hillary @ quiveringdaughters dot com. 

Within the conservative homeschooling movement, women who stay at home until marriage are often considered “daughters-in-waiting,” while those who do not are sometimes considered rebellious or worldly. I know and respect many who are stay-at-home daughters and wrote an article entitled Daughters in Waiting: Adult Daughters at Home which is included in my book.
     But after a recent read of Isaiah, I want to encourage us all to think of ourselves daughters-in-waiting, especially when we face times of trial and difficulty in our lives. Isaiah 30, especially, shows us the benefits of this and reveals who the Lord considers rebellious.

      “Woe to the rebellious children,” says the LORD,
      “Who take counsel, but not of Me,
      And who devise plans, but not of My Spirit,
      That they may add sin to sin;
      Who walk to go down to Egypt,
      And have not asked My advice,
      To strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh,
      And to trust in the shadow of Egypt!
      Therefore the strength of Pharaoh
      Shall be your shame,
      And trust in the shadow of Egypt
      Shall be your humiliation....”

Scripture is clear that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. As daughters of God and indwelt by His Spirit, we must make our refuge not in the strength of Pharaoh or the shadows of Egypt in our lives, but rather in the shadow of the Most High where we are covered, sheltered, protected, and intimate. Consider how close we must be to be in someone's shadow! King David wrote,

 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me!
         For my soul trusts in You;
         And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge,
         Until these calamities have passed by.         
 I will cry out to God Most High,
         To God who performs all things for me.
 He shall send from heaven and save me;
         He reproaches the one who would swallow me up.  Selah
         God shall send forth His mercy and His truth. (Ps. 57:1-3)

Leaving Egypt

It might be shocking to us now, but the children of Israel grew to miss their shadow Egypt as they followed Moses out of bondage. Leaving the known for the unknown ~ the journey of faith ~ grows doubly hard when troubles arise.
Then they journeyed from Mount Hor by the Way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the soul of the people became very discouraged on the way. And the people spoke against God and against Moses: “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and our soul loathes this worthless bread.”  (Num. 21:4-5)
But He who became flesh and dwelt among us to heal hearts, proclaim liberty and good news, to heal the oppressed, restore sight to the blind and set captives free, who became Living Water and the Bread of Life, says:
      “...Now go, write it before them on a tablet,
      And note it on a scroll,
      That it may be for time to come,
      Forever and ever:
      That this is a rebellious people,
      Lying children,
      Children who will not hear the law of the LORD;
      Who say to the seers, “Do not see,”
      And to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us right things;
      Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits.
      Get out of the way,
      Turn aside from the path,
      Cause the Holy One of Israel
      To cease from before us.”
      Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel:
      “Because you despise this word,
      And trust in oppression and perversity,
      And rely on them,
      Therefore this iniquity shall be to you
      Like a breach ready to fall,
      A bulge in a high wall,
      Whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant.” 

Cause for Stumbling

The Lord contrasts “right things” against “smooth things.” Truth is, right things are not always pleasant to hear! Deceit can look delectable, righteous, even holy. It can appeal to our Egypt-flesh which Jesus came to save and to set free. It can draw us away from the narrow way, the narrow path that leads to life but that few find because they trust and rely on oppression, rather than the One who set at liberty the oppressed.
     Those who seek only to hear smooth things, and who suppress truth when it is unpleasant, set stumbling blocks before the very ones Jesus came to heal. But He gives us hope.
     For thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel:
     “In returning and rest you shall be saved;
     In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” 

Returning and rest.
Quietness and confidence.
Waiting. Trusting.

     Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you;
      And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you.
      For the LORD
is a God of justice;
are all those who wait for Him. (from Isaiah 30)

Daughters in Waiting

For those of you who are discouraged, in need of comfort and rest, wait on the Lord. He is near, and His salvation is with Him! Bask in His shadow and the truth of Psalm 91; be a daughter of the Most High who waits eagerly for Him.
    And He will lift you up!
 “Comfort, yes comfort My people!” says your God....
Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel: 
“My way is hidden from the LORD, and my just claim 
is passed over by my God”? 
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary.  His understanding is unsearchable.  He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall,  but those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. (from Isaiah 40)

Those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength...
Those who wait upon the Lord will not be put to shame...

For among My people are found wicked men; They lie in wait as one who sets snares; They set a trap; They catch men. As a cage is full of birds, So their houses are full of deceit. Therefore they have become great and grown rich. They have grown fat, they are sleek; Yes, they surpass the deeds of the wicked; They do not plead the cause, The cause of the fatherless; Yet they prosper,  And the right of the needy they do not defend. Shall I not punish them for these things?’ says the LORD. ‘ Shall I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this?’ “ An astonishing and horrible thing Has been committed in the land: The prophets prophesy falsely, And the priests rule by their own power; And My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end? (Jeremiah 5:26-31)


  1. This is beautiful, Hillary. Yes, sometimes the journey God has us on is not smooth and easy. But we don't have to panic. We can rest in His love even when we have to fight to take each next step in obedience.

  2. Precious Hillary, Jesus knew I needed to read this tonight! Thank you for writing from the heart to the heart these truths which are liberating. My heart is finding refuge in my Lord and knowing that the path He's had me on and the journey ahead have and seem to be challenging and not what I would have expected... it's good because of what I'm finding to be true of HIM! And I love what I am knowing of Him all the time! Bless you for sharing! ~ Danelle

  3. Thank you so much for your book and your posts...I am a quivering daughter of 22 who just left home for the first time 2 weeks ago and moved in with a friend. This weekend I was dealing with forgiveness and receiving/embracing truth to combat the voices of religion...fear inducing and binding. Your book has been a huge encouragment in my life. I want to encourage any other "q. daughters" out there to keep waiting on the Lord...He WILL show you the path of life. In His presence there is fullness of joy. Don't panic. He has led me faithfully and amazes me constantly in this journey, and it isn't becaues I am good but because He is. Take His hand. Fear no evil, and only because He is with you. He is a faithful Shepherd and He will lead you.

  4. Hillary, I have an idea or two that you may want to do a post on:

    The quiverfuls tell women that they are inferior if they are not married with a lot of children, and you may want to do posts on a) where a woman should find her value (not in a man or children, but in Christ) ; or
    b) the complete unbiblicalness of a doctrine that say a woman's prime value lies in raising children. Corinthians 7- the whole chapter- say it is better to stay single and live for God. By extension, it would also mean a woman's prime value in the kingdom is not in having children.

    They also say women should not be strong and independent. Nobody- man or women- should be independent from God, but why should a women not be strong in the Lord (the Bible commands us to be strong in the Lord); and why should she not heed 2 Thes 3:12, that tells believers to provide their own livehood?


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