So many times we hear about looking to women of the Bible as our examples. They overcame adversity in order to become strong women and to fulfill the purpose for which God had called them. When some folks point to some modern-day popular women, we look at their lives and think there is no way I can be, do, or become a woman like them. I would like to introduce you to some modern day women who are just like you with the same struggles, obstacles, and burdens. You may just find yourself in one of them. You may also find the woman you want to be in one of them. The are not famous. They are not wealthy. They are regular folk who are working to become better versions of themselves in order to line up with God’s vision for them. I am not using their real names but they are real women whom I know quite well.
The first woman, Selma, was raised in the church for part of her childhood, but always raised in the belief of God, HIS goodness, and to strive to do better according to the Word of God. When she graduated from High School, she turned away from all the good moral principles she had been taught. She became promiscuous and used alcohol as hydration. The folks who loved her most prayed night and day. One day she found herself in a situation she was unprepared for and turned to her parents for help.
Selma gave birth to a beautiful baby, but this was not the life-changing moment she thought it would become. She returned to the immoral lifestyle and sometimes put her child in harm’s way in search of her own fulfillment. Her parents helped her with her child and finances. They cautioned her with gentle wisdom, but she still pursued her own goals. One day, there came a threat upon her life and the life of her child. This moment, allowed through God’s hands, became a wake-up call for her. It was a very long road to where she is today. Many were praying and one person in particular fasted for three months. There were times when she slipped, but God never left her side and continued to tug at her heart. HE continued to call, continued to love, and continued to be faithful.
Her life took many detours over the next few years until she took that one step. That final moment when she realized she belonged to God and she gave HIM full control over her life. She now consults HIM over each decision she makes and HE has been merciful to restore her, rebuild her, remold her to the point when you look at her now, you will see Jesus at work in her life. Selma is a work in progress and is growing daily in grace and GODly maturity.
The next woman is Deidre. She had a crisis personality. She was not raised with GODly authority and was wild and unprincipled. As she grew, she became intolerant of others. She could not forgive mistakes. If folks did something she took offense to, she held a grudge like a cement wall. They were never allowed a space to repent for their misdeed, perceived or otherwise. She had two children but spent most of her time in bars with her girlfriends. God’s call on her life was the first thing that pierced through the fog of drunken stupor and truly got her attention.
She pulled out an old Bible she had and began to read. She turned her life over to Jesus and HE saved her. She had no direction, no one to guide her. She was trying to do it all on her own as there was not a solid Bible based church in her small town. She prayed and read her Bible. Then one day, God allowed her to meet a woman who mentored her in the ways of God. She shared scriptures with her and told her if she dedicated her life to prayer and reading the Bible, God would lead her into all truth HE had for her. She did devote herself to the Word but did so without a whole lot of prayer. Deidre still had that urge to judge, misjudge others, and expected everyone to go to hell and burn forever, when they wouldn’t listen to her witness.
She got caught up in some prophesy groups who focused on doomsday prophetics and lived and breathed that environment. She focused her heart and mind on “Jesus is coming now and you’re all going to hell.” Her mentor continued to pray and ask God for instruction and wisdom. One day Deidre opened the door for guidance again and her friend told her that the books of prophesy were written and intended for her to personally recognize the times, but not to think she could decide exactly when Jesus would return. Her mentor explained she should never judge others because according to scripture the same judgement she was meting out would be returned. If she continued to use her own yardstick for whom God would save, it would come back to hurt her, not them. Crisis averted.
Her next crisis was family related and as usual, she had blown things out of proportion in her own mind. Her mentor grieved with her and spent hours in pray for her and her family. Deidre’s own health was being affected by these issues, that seemed to compound daily. She would call for urgent prayer as someone was going to be arrested. She called for prayer because someone was about to be shot and killed. She needed immediate prayer because a baby was going to be snatched out of her arms. She always saw a problem as too big for even God to handle. It was going to come to pass and be very bad, in her own mind. She was looking through a distorted lens.
The Lord gave her friend a list of scriptures to claim whenever she felt these problems erupting again. Scriptures of peace, God’s sovereignty, HIS power, HIS authority over everything, HIS name! Deidre’s eyes were opened, her lens changed and brought clarity, to the fact that she had this problem and her journey became much easier and she was able to start her own business which is flourishing. Her family is now stable and she has a peace she has never known. She has learned to pray for herself in times of personal crisis and claim the scriptures she has learned.
The third and last woman is Seannah. Seannah was abused as a child which began a life-long journey of pain. She learned to pray as a very small child because prayer was the only thing that brought her any comfort. As she grew to a teen, the challenges in her life compounded and she was wheelchair bound for many months. She continued to pray. She met a young man and married very early on in adulthood. She had three children and each of them were by C-section. She had a brain tumor after her first child was born and through prayer God healed her. Next, she had a complete hysterectomy, due to massive tumors. She developed fibromalgia at the age of 27 before they even knew what to call this syndrome. She suffered from osteoarthritis from the age of 30 and needed joint replacements by the time she was 42.
Doctors refused to replace her joints then as she was just a full-time mom. They told her if she had been a soccer player or into any kind of sports, they would have considered it necessary, but she wasn’t, so she could live with the pain a few more years. She prayed for relief for her pain and prayed for others to forget her pain. Her pain never ceased. Emotional pain, physical pain, unending pain. Eventually, she stopped praying for herself and just focused on others. She started a prayer group on fb that numbered nearly 10,000 members and the only thing they did was pray. Nothing but requests and praise reports were allowed and folks would line up to pray for the posted requests. She also had an email prayer chain with over 100 members and each member would send the prayer request to five people, and those five to another five and so on, in the end a countless number of folks praying for each request. Seannah devoted her life to being the prayer warrior God had called her to as a child.
She was then diagnosed with cancer. She fought. Her prayer warriors lined up shoulder to shoulder with her, and finally, after almost 6 years she was cancer-free. She then found a doctor who said she def needed joint replacements and he did not know how she handled the pain as long as she had. She shared with him that it had been God’s strength that got her through each day and he said he believed it. He was a GODly man and even prayed with her before each surgery. Both knees and both hips were replaced. One shoulder had to have a reverse implant because it was too deteriorated to hold a normal replacement. The other shoulder was corrected surgically. After 4 years, she was fairly recovered from those surgeries.
Seannah felt quite certain that all that could be placed on her shoulders was coming to an end. She began to plan for a future. She had learned a long time ago to gauge her daily pain level and with God’s help, push through and do what she needed to do for the day. She had had all she could bear and she was assured by HIS word that it had ended as HE would not give her more than that load.
Then, she was diagnosed with a disease that would end her life as she knew it and ultimately end her life completely. She was told she had Early-onset Alzheimer’s. The pain of the diagnosis swept her off her feet. She spent months going through the stages of grief. She could not comprehend why God would allow this to come into her life. Why now? Why this? Why her?
Yet, there is one thing she never forgets. A prayer request. She still grieves with the person over their loss, still worries over their child who is ill, still asks God to protect those in danger. Folks who know she has Alzheimer’s no longer give her updates, but she continues to pray anyway. She still awakens in the middle of the night to pray for them. She still asks God to heal them. She is reminded daily of how many lives HE touched through the groups she had established, how many times HE healed diseases, finances, relationships, hearts. She knows this calling is still strong on her life and chooses to focus on her calling.
Each of these lives I shared with you have been directed by God, through prayer and scripture. If you are spending time conversing with God and studying HIS word, you, too will see HIS hand at work in your life. Your may lead a hard life, but I promise you, HE is with you. You may feel you are at the end of your rope, but I promise you, HE is upholding you with HIS hand. You may be struggling with what HE wants you to do and HE already has it mapped out and just needs you to focus on HIM to find your way.
If you desire to find your place in God, don’t just give HIM a couple of minutes a day or just read a couple of verses. HE wants, HE desires, HE seeks a relationship with you. Spend time with HIM. Quality time talking to HIM and giving HIM the time to talk with you. Spend time in HIS Word. And just as HE did with the 10 lepers, HE will heal you as you walk it out with HIM. HE will guide your steps, your heart, your life. I may have Alzheimer’s but I know Jesus and what HE can do if you give your life to HIM completely.
I love you but Jesus loves you even more!