“Choose life in order that you may live” Deuteronomy 30:19
Have you ever lived through a season when it seemed like one trial after another rose up against you? Have you had times when you struggled to have faith and keep a positive perspective, despite the blessings you did have and your relationship with God? Have you ever wondered about your worth and purpose and whether you still have something to contribute? It can be very lonely and frustrating.
I went through a very difficult eighteen month season with many major changes and losses in 2012 and 2013. My faith was tested, I learned a lot about myself, my perspective was changed and my vision was clarified. Near the end of that season filled with losses, changes, and disappointments, I hit a very low point. I went to work each day, going through the motions, but felt a heaviness over me that I eventually recognized as depression. I would come home and think about things I should be doing but felt like a huge cloud weighed down on me and kept me from moving. My struggles and losses loomed greater than what I had to be grateful for; I struggled to find joy and anticipation for the future.
Then I decided I could not stay there. I wanted more for my life. I made a decision to choose to believe that God has a plan for good for my future and a way to help me live an abundant life, even if I cannot see what that means at all. The scriptures say to “choose life in order that you may live” (Deut. 30:19) and I decided I am choosing life! I have had a lifelong dream to write books and it is time to pursue that. I am believing for my last 1/3 of my life to be my best and that God will use all my life experiences to help others find their restoration in Him. I want to pursue my calling to help women, especially those hurting, to find their healing, identity, direction and restoration in Jesus.
As I shared with a friend about this decision and my revived hope, we discussed how many women are at a transition point in their life- empty nest, retirement, loss of a spouse and more. Many women in these situations question their worth, identity, and purpose for the next season of their life. It became evident that I could help encourage others by sharing my experience, what I learned through it, and how God is leading me forward with renewed vision and calling.
One of my life’s core beliefs is that helping others by sharing our experiences and what we have learned from them is how God fulfills His promise to “make beauty from ashes” (Isaiah 61:3). As I have shared with friends the renewed vision and purpose that I feel God has given me for my future, it has ignited a hope in them to find their purpose and calling also. My hope is that this book will stir hope, dreams, vision and purpose in you, too.
Our testimonies are so powerful when they are used to encourage another in a similar situation; imparting hope when it may be hard to see a solution, victory or an end to the struggle. Scripture tells us that the accuser of the brethren is defeated through our testimony: “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony “(Revelation 12:11)
Therefore, I have asked several women who have encountered difficult crises in their lives to share their testimonies here. I have limited editing their stories so that they are told in their words, their way. I am sure that you will relate to one of them and probably several. I have watched God strengthen them, comfort them, guide them and open doors, restore their identity and purpose, and provide in amazing ways.
Come, join us on our journey from a dark, difficult place, through questioning to acceptance, renewed hope and dreams awakened. Allow the words in the testimonies and scriptural truth to dispel lies, accusations, rejection, betrayal, discouragement and hopelessness that you may have felt. May your heart and spirit find healing and may your unique God-given identity and purpose become clear.
This book is for you . . . if you have questioned what you have contributed in your life or what you yet have to offer the world. If your identity and dreams got lost somewhere in the roles of motherhood, work, and other responsibilities. If lost relationships damaged your identity, security, and confidence. If you have had hopes dashed and dreams pushed deep inside, this book is for you.
As I share with you the renewed vision and purpose that God has given me for my future, may it stir a hope in you to find your unique identity, gift, and calling also.
Regardless of your circumstances, your age, your health, your finances and your past, you DO have a future and something to contribute. Just believe . . . and come along on the journey to delving in to reveal YOUR beautiful treasure hidden in darkness. Get ready to shine!