I believe that one of the most powerful ways that we are attacked as women is through our self-image and our self-confidence. In our heads, we know that we are the daughter of the King, but for some of us (me!!!!), I am quick to see my failings and am uncomfortable with the Truth that God has spoken over me. I can easily believe it is not true. I look at my circumstances or at my weaknesses as failings. I was so frustrated when a pastoral counselor said that it was not an improper self-image but an improper view of God. I felt I was doing good enough to believe what I did about who God was. I had grown from believing that God was waiting to strike me dead to believing that God cared what I had to whether praise or about my struggles. I just never thought of it in the context of my identity in Christ.
I had the pleasure of being able to share a small part of my testimony at our gala, but to do this, I wrote out a lot of my testimony and went over it with another Christian woman who I liked but had not met. God also brought people from my past into my life at moments that could only be orchestrated by Him, and I started to see a bigger picture. I thought that I had grown a lot. I thought that I had proper view, but in revealing who I was to a complete stranger and then again to someone who had known me when I was young, I was given a beautiful picture, not of me, but of God.
I saw where He worked in the most horrible situations of my life, where He shaped and molded me into who I am today. I am writing this with tears in my eyes and singing His praises, and the most amazing part is that He is not done! He has started something amazing!
In February 2016, I began to pray most of the day and night for a program that would give families a chance. I had experienced homeless, addiction, hopelessness, abandonment and the gamut of emotions that span from that situation. I met with other nonprofit leaders, formulated my plan further but I just saw no solution as I felt like I had no ability to be someone I am not- a leader. At the same time, I formulated what I thought was a good idea (and kept it to myself). I kept praying and fact finding and recording all of it.
I had been told about the Safe Families program and was there when our director revealed her plan for GLR for the first time. I had actually been unable to attend the two early sessions that I had signed up for, but this session was where Michelle first told of her vision and what she wanted to have in GLR. I had no ability to host and my reason for wanting to help was about giving the parents hope as I thought that the only way for the kids to receive real help was for the parents to be able to receive the help that I had- mentorship by multiple godly women who I believe God used to give me tools to learn to be able.
I further benefitted from multiple members of my church who stepped up to be my support and friends. I had never had the group or even family-to-family experience that these people brought to me. I never had the support of sending an SOS to a friend just saying, “Pray for me! I’m crazy!” or getting a group of ladies praying for my son when he had medical issues or having friends offer to bring meals to help my husband when I was in the hospital. I am overwhelmed by just how wonderful this is for an isolated individual who didn’t allow anyone close.
More than anything, I saw His love. It was amazing and honestly, I see these people as messengers of God, special angels to help lift me up when I was down. It made me see the truth in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
9 Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
And just little by little, I can see more truths about who He describes Himself as- Love. Even on my worst days, may I always exhibit this!