By: Juliandra Durkin
Tell us about Bible Belles.
Bible Belles is a series designed to help girls battle back against what the world tells them they need to be in order to beautiful.
The series is based on five superhero women of the Bible: Hannah, Esther, Abigail, Ruth, and Deborah. Together, their stories represent the journey a girl can take to discover the true definition of beauty, God’s love, and her purpose in this world.
How did the idea of Bible Belles start?
On the way home from church, my husband and I were batting around some gift ideas for our niece’s birthday. We decided to make her a book about a woman in the Bible, and we were surprised that, when we gave it to her, she had no idea who the woman was. She and her sister could, though. name and tell us the story of every Disney Princess. We thought, if girls can get this excited about princesses, why not the women of the Bible? After researching several biblical women, we settled on five that represented inner beauty: prayer, patience, bravery, loyalty, and leadership.
Can you tell the readers a little bit about your story and testimony?
I grew up in the church, but I spent my high school years and college years decidedly separated from God. At 26, I was diagnosed with cancer, and it rocked me. It was the best blessing though because it was the “violent shove” that God knew would get my attention. After going through surgery, therapy, and then several recurrent diagnoses, I was confident that marriage and having a family wasn’t going to be part of my future. God had big plans though, bigger than I could have ever dreamed.
What is the central message behind Bible Belles?
The initials of the Bible Belles spells out the world “heard,” and our message is that it’s time for girls to make #adifferentkindofnoise. The world and its narrative is loud, too loud at times for girls to hear anything else. It’s time to quiet down the noise of this world and start helping girls hear God’s voice. It’s the voice that says, “I love you. I created you, and I don’t make mistakes. You are more than what you think about yourself. You are more than what this world tells you about you. I had something special in mind when I made you, so hold onto that truth when this world tells you different.”
What is one thing that you hope to tell your daughter when she is in high school or college that would encourage our readers?
Jeremiah 29:11 is the verse I will go to when her life gets hard. It’s the one I found myself sobbing over for the first time in a women’s study, the first time I ever felt a bible verse actually pierce my chest and enter into my heart. I broke down as I read it over and over. As women, sometimes we need to hear things several times before it sticks.
For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
I will tell her the story of how I thought my life was over, how I thought I would die, how I thought I wouldn’t get to do all of the things I wanted to do in this life. I’ll tell her how I told her dad not to bother dating me, that I probably wasn’t going to be around for very long.
We’ll sit together, and I’ll tell her how right I thought I was. I thought I had my life all figured out. But God’s plans are not our plans, and what we think can or will happen pales in comparison to what He has planned for each of us.
Juliandra Durkin is the manager for Wonderfully Made’s blog Know Your Value. She also writes at Written Jewels, a personal blog with stories and reflections on life. Besides writing, she spends her free time exercising or out in nature. Give her a beach or a mountain; sunrise or sunset, she loves it all, especially walking her dogs in the woods! A graduate of Westmont College, Juliandra was able to attend three study abroad programs exploring Spain, parts of the Middle East, and Mexico. These experiences gave her a heart for culture and travel and she hopes to get more stamps in the passport soon!