What happens when we begin to really believe who we are in Christ, forgive those who hurt us, find safe community, and learn to be truly authentic – growing BEYOND our wounds? For some it is helping others who are where they have once been or speaking up for those who have no voice in society.
It has looked different for each woman I know who is learning to grow beyond her wounds. Some women are counselors or coaches. Others feed the poor in their cities. Others write books or speak at conferences. Some just share it with the friend who has asks why they seem freer, more excited, and smile with ease. One-on-one or in larger groups, on paper or with their voice, women who are healing are reaching back with their new found voices to encourage those still in the valley that there is hope if they just keep trusting the Lord and take the next step in front of them.
My next step was a long time coming. It has been a bumpy journey to figuring out what I wanted to be when I grew up. Yes, I am 51, but growing up is much more than a number. It is knowing how what happened to you, how you responded, how God intervened, and the ways He is working to heal all your layers, has transformed you. That journey with God enables you to one day look around and say,
“Hey, I feel lighter, happier, and freer than I have ever been. This is a strange sensation. Now where do I go from here? What has all THIS prepared me for?”
My feet hit the floor lately and I am excited about the day – what opportunities does the Lord have for me today? Of course my joints don’t like me and I have gray hairs showing me I am getting older. But my confidence in God and the spiritual weights He has removed and is currently removing, is creating space in my heart and mind to believe I have a purpose and a voice. People approval, needing God to reaffirm His acceptance of me by some intangible standard of “earthly” success, and trying to fit myself into what I THINK I am supposed to be doing to impact the world for Christ – all these have been healed at certain levels and are being healed in newly discovered layers. Being in process does not mean we have to wait for complete healing to take to the world the truths He has poured into us and through us
You see, healing is never just about you. It is also about what God is preparing for you to become and do THROUGH Him and His power. He has always known what works He had for me to do when He called me to Himself. All the chaos was preparation for those works, not the outcome of some random chance that I now have to figure out on my own.
The Lord has used life coaching differently in my service to others than I had imagined He would. It seems I am much more of a teacher/mentor who loves to use coaching methods to help someone through the valleys, reassuring them of who God is IN them and His heart for them as they emerge out the other end. To that end, I journeyed through a program to discover what my message was, who my audience is, and how to speak to them in their words so they would get that I get them and have answers and a hope for their current problem. What I didn’t realize at the time is that the Lord was birthing a book. The very truths He had already taught me, and how He had always used me to love on women who needed to know His truth so THEY too could be free in Him, was now calling me to write a book.
“A book, Lord, I don’t want to right a book.” But now I had His message THROUGH me, sorted out and in folders, with resources and His Word. Why not make it a book that others can read and use as a resource to give them confident hope in what God has for them as He heals them? And now it is out for the world to know – or the readers who read this blog – that a book is slowly emerging from my head into an Open Office document on my laptop, one page at a time.
There is more…
I have a friend I met at a retreat. We are connected by our trauma AND our healing stories. She recently began posting about this company that sold jewelry, scarves, handbags and other such things. It was on the edge of my radar. I had been asking the Lord for a way to make a little extra money that would allow me to also continue writing the book and connecting with the women I was already ministering to with my blogging and Bible studies. Needless to say, the Lord brought Trades of Hope front and center. Their message was about helping woman and families around the world so their voices could be heard and their needs met – but with opportunity, not handouts.
Empowering women around the world. Helping them have a voice, a way to contribute to their families and communities. Showing women they have worth. The stories of the artisans who get paid fair wages – more than they can make in their own country – gets my heart excited. This company selling the artisan’s work saves them from a life of sexual slavery, workhouses where they are exhausted and unsafe, and having to put their kids in orphanages because they cannot feed or care for them. Bringing dignity and hope to THEIR lives and also making a bit of money to do the things I had asked the Lord for. God knew and His answer fit the pattern He already had formed in me – a passion to help women without hope or a voice, to find both.
I am not a book writer or a seller of things by nature. And yet the link between them has God’s fingerprints all over it. He is using me to help some women find His truth and their voice in the now through healing from their past. Other women I help are empowered by opportunity where He can use me to show He cares about their basic needs of food, water, clothing, and education, giving them a future and a hope. All I can say is that I would never have had a heart for either if I had not once walked my own valleys of brokenness and need, and found Jesus faithful through it all, bringing healing, hope, and a voice to pay it forward to other women.
How About You?
What are the things the Lord has taught YOU – or is teaching you – from the valleys in your life? I would make a list and then look for the ways you can let the Lord use you to pay that truth forward. Ask Him to show you what it is all about and what HE would have you do out of it.
The overflow of finding your way and your voice, will most likely send you in a direction of service and/or leadership for Him, if you surrender it to Him and let Him lead. He made you and He knows the way. Trust Him.
Please share with others how you see the Lord working to find your voice as you move through healing to wholeness. Let’s let others know what God is up to as He enables us to grow beyond our wounds.
Share your insights and encouragement in the comment section below – you never know how it may give courage to others to share theirs! Let’s have a praise God party!
If you aren’t there yet and would like to know more about:
making your way through the valleys of chaos to lie down your anger, fear, and insecurities
learning what it means to have a peaceful heart, healthy identity, and a confident voice
exploring how you can live God’s truth – learned and applied – forward into other people’s lives
Contact me and we can have a chat about how that can happen for YOU.