I will give You thanks with all my heart; I will sing praises to You before the gods. I will bow down toward Your holy temple And give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word according to all Your name. On the day I called, You answered me; You made me bold with strength in my soul... And Your right hand will save me. The LORD will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Your hands. Psalms 138
There have been times in my life that I have wondered, “Where is God?” “Where WAS God?” As I have been praying that God would bring to my remembrance those women in my life who have poured themselves out in my life God has been gracious to show me where He was. He was busy accomplishing HIS purpose in my life regardless of the hard circumstances of life.My heart sings. My heart is steadfast. My heart gives thanks.
Last week I shared how Gina had introduced me to Jesus. I was 15 and really had no clue about the Christian life. There was so much I didn’t understand. There is so much I still don’t understand! But my God is faithful, He brought women into my life to show me the kind of woman I should be. The kind of woman I wanted to be.
Valerie: He brought a tender, loving and grace filled woman who co-taught Sunday School. Both impacted my life greatly. Together they poured the truth of God’s word into my heart and life. Through the next few years Valerie would mentor me just by the way she lived. I watched her with her children. I watched her with her husband. I watched her live her life. There was love and grace like I had never seen before. Even when I would totally mess up and make wrong choices she showed me love and grace. She showed me His love and grace.
Deborah was a young mom and wife. I would often baby sit for them. I spent nights and weekends with them. At times I practically just lived there. I was accepted. Loved. There was tenderness and at times tough love. Truth, hard truth, spoken with much love. I could tell her anything. I pretty much told her everything that was going on in my life and what had been in my life. She shared her own struggles and how God brought her through them. She constantly pointed me to Jesus. And even though at the time I didn’t believe it she often told me that God had created me for His purposes. He would use me. He would use my life. She showed me acceptance and truth.
Connie: Sometimes love comes from places you do not expect. I met Connie at school. She was a young teacher. I do not remember exactly how but we became friends. I would spend many hours staying after classes just to talk with her. I only knew her for one school year, she would move away at the end of the year. But her impact on my life would be great. Before she left she wrote me a note. I found it a couple years ago tucked away in a yearbook. I kept it as a reminder that someone found me worthy during a time I felt unworthy. Here is part of what she wrote in 1979, “I cherish the talks we had…It is friends like you that will keep my memories of Handley and teaching beautiful. I believe- truly believe-that you are a terrific person, a worthy friend…I care very much about you. What happens to you and your inner struggles. Wherever we find ourselves in the future, I want to always be friends…Remember, because you are you, you have claimed a part of my heart and will always be special to me.”
Theses words were balm to my wounds at that time. God used her in my life to show tenderness and love. I would lose contact with her after she moved. I would think about her often through the years. Recently, through Facebook we found each other again. She was and is a precious friend. She showed me that I am worthy. I am precious.
Much of what these women showed me I didn’t believe at the time. Today God uses it show me He has always been working in my life. Coming into touch with these women kept me from giving up on love or hope. Hope. That is what they all gave me. Hope to become something better than my circumstances. Hope for the future, for my future.
I am deeply grateful for these women. God brought them into my life when I couldn’t see beauty, grace or hope. He used these women to teach me.