I had the privilege of hearing the testimony of a friend recently. She phoned me the night before she was coming to our ladies group, and told me she had never really told her story in front of a group before. She had actually only told parts of her story to people who needed to know that they were not alone. Even her family doesn't know everything. I told her that we only needed to hear what she was comfortable with. And I explained that we have had other women share marriage advice, crafting passions, parenting tips, and baking recipes.
We are there to enjoy getting to know the, better in whatever way we can. And that we will love her no matter what she decides to share with us.
We should feel honoured when these women choose to trust us with the details of their life. These are the very things that have shaped them into who they are today. And not all of the shaping has been easy, or is something they really want to re-live. There's bravery in their willingness to bare their souls to us. And we need to respect and realize that.
We are there to enjoy getting to know the, better in whatever way we can. And she needs to know that we will love her no matter what she decides to share with us.
Now, I won't go into details, as it is her story to tell, not mine. But I will say that it was heartbreaking, beautiful, and inspiring all in less than 1 hour. This woman told us how she has walked a long, difficult road, but she has felt His presence each and every step of the way. And she knows that she has only made it through because of His strength, not hers. She offered no explanation of why she had to walk this path, but was grateful that she always knew she was not alone, and that she was loved, no matter what. There is no shame in her story, only faithfulness and perseverance.
Ladies, I want you to consider two things.
1) That you never know the story behind the woman in front of you in line at the grocery store, or the woman ringing in your groceries. Her story is unique, and beautiful in its own way. And no matter what it may seem like, she is doing her absolute best to get through each and every day. She needs understanding and acceptance.
And 2) Your story matters. You are never alone in whatever you are going through. He is using you in ways you can't even imagine. And in sharing a part of your journey, you are an inspiring example of his love.
I see so much judgment every day. And I'm just as guilty of doing it too. But unless you've walked their path, right beside them each step of the way, then you can't offer ways to have done it better. Because it isn't your story. Just like they can't tell you what you should have done. But maybe we can help make the journey a little better by offering grace. Understanding. Love. And maybe one story at a time, we can make our world a little bit better. One step at a time.
If you have any prayer requests, I would be honoured to lift you up!