“Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty that depends on fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should be known for the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” (1 Peter 3:3-4)
Growing up, I usually felt pretty good about myself. Then I got to high school.
I wasn’t exactly on the fast track with the popular kids. I would have been the least likely to be selected as Prom Queen or Valedictorian and more likely to be voted the nice girl who worked in the cafeteria. I was shy and definitely lacked self-confidence.
These feelings followed me to adulthood. I avoided situations that required me to mingle with large groups of people I didn’t know. If I did find myself in these situations, I often clammed up, shut down, and prayed for the minute I could escape without being seen.
But God knew what this daughter needed in order to come out of her shell. He showed me how He equipped me with a few significant gifts He wanted me to use. He did that through some beautiful women of faith.
My first earthly example of a strong, faithful woman was my mother. And as an adult, God gave me several “Esthers”: Pam Pugh of Women Doing Well and Lacie Stevens of Generous Giving, in addition to several women in my city who have mentored me. Like the biblical Queen Esther, they are inspiring, wise, gentle, and courageous women filled with the Holy Spirit. Through their encouragement and love, I grew from feeling like a worthless orphan to feeling like a queen. They helped me acknowledge my lack of courage and pushed me to, step-by-step, overcome my fear and live a Spirit-led life.
Recognizing that God is all-powerful and has promised to never leave me is now tattooed on my heart. I have been redeemed inwardly and outwardly.
He didn’t stop there. As if the blessing of these two women weren’t enough God has surrounded me with a multitude of sisters in Christ. They are a source of encouragement and they inspire me to live a life of purpose and diligence. They help this woman of faith continue to grow into a woman of substance.
I now follow in their footsteps as encourager to others. God is choosing to work through me because finally, praise God, I am willing to act for Him. Through the Holy Spirit I am using that gift to reach out to others.
As women we can get so busy being everything to everyone that we lose sight of things God has planned for us. I am a miracle because a handful of women thought mentoring me was worth the investment of their time. Don’t miss an opportunity to impact the life of someone who may be standing right in front of you. God will use you and your gifts.