Hands #2 photoI had the opportunity to speak at a women’s retreat last weekend. The theme was renew. When I first arrived, I looked around the room with a smile on my face. The women laughed with one another in pure joy. It was easy to tell their hearts were woven tightly together. They were connected just as sisters should be.

Jesus renews our hearts. From the inside out He restores brokenness and refreshes our weary souls. Sometimes, He uses other women to help in the process. We serve each other through listening, laughing, and sharing our own stories of renewal. One of the women there told me, “I started attending my church because of these women. Women’s Bible study brought me to church on Sunday.”

The women in that group worked as the hands and feet of Christ as they ministered to her broken places and brought her into the fold. She attends church because of a faithful group of women who supported her. And now they take joy in watching her grow in Christ.

Last weekend was also the (In)Courage event entitled (In) Real Life. Through an online conference, women all over the world shared their stories and encouraged one another as they, together, watched footage of story tellers who shared the accounts of God’s unique plans for their lives. It was beautiful. And I hope it doesn’t stop there. I hope we all begin to share our stories for the purposes of building each other up.

As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

-Proverbs 27:17

Iron sharpens iron. One heart at a time, one life at a time, one story at a time, we can encourage and help renew a broken place in the heart of another sister.

All too often, we become wrapped up in judgment. As women, we’ve become so used to others judging us that we assume the same role. We become the judges because we feel as if we must play defense. We think we have to defend ourselves against other women just like us. It is a sad truth. We forget there is room enough for us all. For. Us. ALL.

At one time or another, we have all allowed jealousy, fear, guilt, or anger, barricade our paths to knitting our souls together with other sisters. We’ve all found ourselves caught in the trap of feeling as if we aren’t enough. Insecurities such as weight, complexion, how far our educations stretch, and even financial statuses have plagued our relationships. And we’ve all hurt someone because of our own sin.

But do you know what? It doesn’t have to remain this way. We can change it. He can change it! Christ can renew us and regardless of our weaknesses, He can, and will, use us in the process of renewal in someone else’s life. Our God is a God of freedom, and He has the power to release each of us from every lie we’ve ever chosen to believe or even live out.

In case you’re wondering if this is supposed to be a RAH, RAH cheerleading sisterhood type post to make you feel better about relationships. It’s not.

I write today to remind you of the truth woven into the fabric of who God intended us to be. We are meant to live lives of love. And we are meant to not only love, but to love well. I don’t aim to stir your emotion; I aim to remind you of the truth we have in our Savior.

This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

-John 15:12

It is time to let fear dissipate and allow walls to fall down.

It is time to share our stories free from shame and guilt.

It is time to not only love, but to love well.

If you’ve grown up in the church, then you probably know that we’ve been trained to remember Jesus loves us. And, yet, we seem to forget that we are meant to take His love and give it away. So what do you say we start doing that?

Let’s give His love away. And let’s not only love, let’s love well. And, just maybe, we can become part of the renewal process in another sister’s life. Wouldn’t that be lovely?!?!

It is time!



Coffee-for-Your-Heart-150Today I’m linking up with Holley Gerth for Coffee for Your Heart!





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