possessing or exhibiting courage or courageous endurance
Here's what I know. The word of God changes lives. Hebrews 4:13 says
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
How often do we harden our hearts to the this truth? How often do we think we are too far gone to really remember and walk in this truth? How often do we deem others as lost causes, too far gone to change or find freedom? Too often, friends. Too often.
This summer, I had the incredible opportunity to meet and befriend women in Uganda and Kenya. The Lord gave me the opportunity to sit with them, listen to them, and to realize that they are really not that different than me. Our day to day lives are quite literally worlds apart. But deep down (or maybe not even that deep) we have the same struggles. We have the same hopes and dreams. And we have the same God. We are sisters, all of us, and we have been placed where we are for such a time as this.
While in Kenya, I had the privilege of watching my dear friend Jennifer host a women's day for a group that visited to receive teaching, training, and most some good ol' TLC. Thirty women came and journeyed with their children and their hearts ready to receive whatever we had for them. Some of these women are ministry leaders within their communities. Others are women who are HIV positive and have been otherwise ostracized from society. We didn't know the difference between the two. We just greeted them in love, welcoming them for a day of rest and restoration.
This day proved to be life-changing. The women came, timid and unsure, and at the end of the day, they were laughing and beaming from ear to ear. They had been served by men, which is unheard of in a culture where women are subservient and not valued. They had been loved on, fed spiritually and physically, and set free. They discussed how they would meet together to continue to go through the materials they had been given. But most of all, they were empowered. Empowered to walk in truth and enable others to do so.
There are so many things going on in the world right now that are cause for tears and grief. The political situations in other nations where our brothers and sisters in Christ are trying to spread the joy and good news of Christ are unreal. There is war, violence, hate, and unbelief. There is darkness and evil.
But there is also hope. And hope is an unwavering anchor for the soul. There is a movement of women who are ready and willing to rise up and give in ways which we haven't before. There are people who are making big waves and changing lives, and they're doing it not knowing if they will fail or succeed. And what's most wonderful about all of this amazing change is that God gets all the glory. Always.
Silence in the face of evil is itself evil; God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Inspiration for this post:
What No One Tells You About Fear and Comfort Zones and How to Change. the. World by Ann Voskamp (so.many.tears)
You Make Me Brave album by Bethel Music (still on repeat these days)
And Finally I Give You..."Interrupted" by Jen Hatmaker (on the growing list of books to read these days)
She Reads Truth Hebrews study, day 4
The Esther Initiative through End Bible Poverty
*All images courtesy of friends on the Kenya team.