The last few years have been an incredible time of growing and learning in my faith journey. I have learned so much that I want to share with other women to encourage and inspire them in their lives. Women are just such incredible people! We are CEO’s and writers and architects and teachers and wives and moms…and most of us, no all of us, will have struggles, uncertainty, tragedy, and hard times. We all have good days and bad days, hard seasons and seasons full of happiness. It is in those hard times we especially need each other. Support, a good laugh, honesty, someone to talk to…encouragement is something we all desperately need. In fact, Hebrews 3:13 says to “Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today,” and 1 Thessalonians 5:13 to “encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
Encouragement comes in the form of friendship, of course, but it also comes from hearing the stories of others. Psalms 107:2 says, “Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story.” So we tell not only to encourage and inspire but to help others know Christ or to grow in their relationships with him. We all have a miraculous story to tell! Those of us who have put our faith in Christ are being transformed and this is worth telling! This is how I feel that God is leading me…to encourage other women and help them to tell their stories, even as I am fumbling through the dark learning to tell mine!
Many of the difficulties and hard times I have endured have given me not only perspective, but empathy for others. This is such an important part of sharing our stories and providing encouragement.
A few examples of this in my own life that come to mind include tragedy and waiting. I lost a grandmother I absolutely adored to cancer when she was very young. I waited to meet the right person and get married for far longer than I expected. I have had change, uncertainty and instability throughout my 17 year pharmaceutical sales career. Most recently- as I shared in my previous blog post- I’ve struggled with the stress of moving from home to a different state. I have also spent time as a working mother and a stay at home mom and can relate to the joys and struggles of both.
Each of the experiences I mentioned have brought blessings as well as struggle. Each have also given me the opportunity to trust God and to grow closer to him. I know that there was a purpose in all of them and that part of that purpose is to relate to and encourage others who are experiencing similar situations in their lives.
I bet if you look back at your life there are ways God has shaped you and difficulties you have encountered, as well as amazing blessings, that could help someone else. So what obstacles are in our paths? What gets in the way of women honestly talking to others about how we began to have faith in Jesus or how he has used our mistakes and issues for our good and for his purposes?
Fear, insecurity or maybe feeling disqualified or judged are a few big ones. Or perhaps it’s because of a past we aren’t proud of or the fact that we think our stories are too ordinary to matter. Or maybe it’s that we know other’s lives have had tragedy and loss which seem much more worthy of sharing. Whatever the reason I want to encourage you (and myself) to tell your story! And to listen, listen, listen, when others tell theirs. Sometimes just listening is the best encouragement!
Your story matters. You matter to God. God knows your thoughts and identifies with your suffering. He wove you and your story together before you were created. The people you meet, your friendships, job, motherhood and life—-they matter to God! And I promise you that parts of your life and things you go through are meant to someday impact others.
According to Beth Moore in Praying God’s Word Day by Day, He is “the only one who can turn misery into ministry.”
“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.” Psalm 105:1-2
Grace Workman is a wife of 13 years and Mom to a 6 year old athlete and a 9 year old ballerina (or put simply, a 6 year old boy and 9 year old girl). She loves spending time with family and friends, running, decorating and being outside (but only if it’s warm). Grace’s passion is living out Psalms 107:2 and encouraging women in their journeys of faith.