My very dear friend Laura Cabe was asked to write something for a women's group in Kenya. These women are ostracized, shamed and persecuted for being single mothers. Often times, these women were raped and or the father left the women to raise their child(ren) alone. Regardless of the situation, these women are being made to feel that they are ruined, shameful and not good enough. Laura shared her heart and her own testimony to show how God can overcome all and heal a broken heart--teaching that every person has worth and is made new in Him. Once I read this, I knew I had to share it here. How many women feel this way? How can we better rise up and support these women and let them know they are made new and share the love of Christ with them? ~Mandy
Here is Laura's story:
In Jeremiah 29:11 the Bible says…For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
In my Bible it captions saying that [we are all encouraged by a leader who stirs us to move ahead, someone who believes that we can do the task he has given and who will be with us all the way. God is that kind of leader. He knows the future, and His plans for us are good and full of hope. As long as God, who knows the future, provides our agenda and goes with us as we fulfill His mission, we can have boundless hope. This does not mean that we will be spared pain, suffering, or hardships, but that God will see us through to a glorious conclusion.]
I wanted to share with you a little about myself. I was raised in a non-Christian, single parent home. My father left when I was very young. We were poor and many times people would bring us food and clothes because we had none. When I was 5 someone asked me to come to church with them and I accepted Jesus as my savior. So here I was, finding my way to God, without my mother or father’s direction. My mother had many men, some were not nice, some were dangerous and my mother chose to be with these men anyway. This put my brother and me in some serious situations and for many years I was angry with my mother for not making better choices. Then I grew up and got married. To a man very similar to the kind my mother was with. When I got married, I was thankful that someone loved me, even if he wasn’t a nice person. We had a child and he was even more angry and abusive and then he chose to be with another woman. I was very hurt, and made me feel like it was true, I wasn’t good enough, for even someone who wasn’t very nice, to love me. I must be a terrible person. It was during this time God spoke to my heart and the spirit told me…”You cannot base your worth on the values earthly men put on you.” My father, my mother’s men, my husband…I need to see myself as God sees me.
Psalm 139 says
1 You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand--
when I awake, I am still with you.
Ladies, That is a lot of love. We must be worth A LOT to God! He knows ALL about us; everything! And LOVES us anyway.
Luke 12:7 says
Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
He cares so much he knows how many hairs are on our heads and we are worth more than many sparrows. Stay with me…there is more.
So then I re-read Psalm 139 again and I begin to wonder how can God, who knows every day of my life let so many bad things happen to me. I have been a Christian most of my life, and where was God during those difficult times, and honestly, I was a little angry…And then the spirit instantly revealed to me…
“You can see the trials that were placed before you, you had hardships and struggles and difficult people. If your life was easy would you need God? If you were born with lots of money, would today, your heart ache for those who have little? If your mother were not so broken and your childhood so painful, would you love the mothers and their children of this world so deeply? If you grew up feeling the worth of men, would you feel such desire to share the awesome amount of worth that our God feels for us?”
I have a purpose. And every bit of pain was God leading me to something beautiful. And you have a purpose. It doesn’t have to be grand…it can be simply to reveal God’s love and to love. Raising your children in God’s will is a huge purpose, for they will grow to find their purpose and God’s kingdom will grow. We may never see the fruit of our purpose in this life, but that makes it even more important to stay focused on God’s will.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
So I leave you with a final verse ...Jesus said this.
Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life[b]? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
We are more valuable than the birds, and God cares for them and He care for you and his thoughts of you are greater than the grains of sand.
And I pray.
“Our Heavenly Father, each woman you placed on this earth has Your value, open our eyes to see it, show us our purpose in your plan and give us the peace and comfort to not worry when we are struggling but shift our focus to you, the provider of our needs, the lover of our hearts. Provide focus on our lives that will bring glory to you. We know that where our treasure is our heart is also, give us a heart for you. Teach us to love you the way you love us. We are thankful for all your provisions and thankful for another day to draw nearer to you. In Jesus’ name. Amen