we cannot go back and change our past, we can change the way we respond
to our past and determine how much power it has in our lives today.
Only God can take the broken pieces of your life and make something
beautiful out of each one. He is waiting for you to let go of your pain
and trust Him. And you really can. No one loves you like He does. You
may not always understand or even like His process, but you can always
trust His heart of love for you! Let’s Pray
Father, I choose to believe You are faithful and will do what You
promise to do in Your Word. I believe when I lay the pain and hurt of
my past at Your feet, You not only can but will transform it all into
something beautiful. I choose to believe You will turn the broken places
of my life into living illustrations of Your sufficiency and healing
power. I trust You, Lord.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen. Now It’s Your Turn
Isaiah 45:3 is one of my favorite life verses. Read it carefully:
Isaiah 45:3 (NLT) “And I will give you treasures hidden in the
darkness—secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the
Lord, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.”
What treasures have you discovered in the dark times of your life? What
tragedy has God transformed into a triumph that has changed your life?
Praise Him right now for doing so. More from the Girlfriends
Storms are a reality of life. If you need help facing and dealing with
the storms in your life, check out Mary’s E-Bible Study and video
download, Strength for the Storm.
Need help learning how to live a life of power and purpose? Check out Mary’s weekly online Bible Study, How to Dress for Successand learn how to live a life of victory. Connect with Mary on Facebookor through email.
Seeking God? Click here to find out more about how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
"Jesus replied, 'What is impossible with men is possible with God.'" Luke 18:27 (NIV 1984)
It was my senior year of high school. The grass was turning greener,
birds were chirping louder, and department stores were lining their
racks with beautiful formal gowns.
Spring had sprung and that meant just one thing to a senior girl: prom.
Taking my seat in my homeroom class, I began working on the previous
night's history assignment. The bell dinged and the redundant morning
announcements blasted over the loud speaker. I didn't pay much attention
until I heard, "Today in every homeroom class you will need to nominate
this year's prom king and queen."
Suddenly my stomach was tangled in knots. I knew never to get my
hopes up. After all, I was the athletic girl who was at church every
time the doors opened, not the socialite this honor required. While I
knew not to expect it, inside I still wanted to be worthy of being prom queen.
I couldn't shake the dreadful feeling as sheets of paper were passed around the room for us write down our nominations. Would my name be on any of them?
It wouldn't take long to find out. Our teacher took his place, front
and center of the classroom. As he collected the papers, he called out
the names written down. I waited on pins and needles. Thirty seconds
before the bell rang we'd nominated that year's prom king and queen.
Quickly I made my way to the only place a girl can get an ounce of
privacy in a large high school: the bathroom. I shut the rusted stall
door and wept.
It wasn't me ... again. No one picked me. I was forever an unlikely prom queen candidate.
That moment was defining. Looking back, I can see that I started to become unlikely in a different way.
It could have ruined me - and in a way it did. For good. You see I
discovered in Scripture there are many who didn't meet the
qualifications of society; great heroes of faith that were improbable
candidates. Men and women who faced impossible odds with the God of all
Moses was not an eloquent speaker, but he met with God and delivered the Ten Commandments to a generation of people (Exodus 19).
David was an adulterer, but is described as a man after God's heart (1 Kings 14:8).
The Samaritan woman was a repeat sinner, but her testimony led her
entire community to see Jesus (John 4). Jesus' very own disciple Peter
denied Him three times, but he went on to be the rock of the Church
God seemed to have handpicked and set apart these unlikely people. He used each of them for a redemptive purpose, despite their inadequacies. And turned their impossible, to possible.
I'm finding this is exactly what God wants to do through my own flawed life. He wants me to be unlikely.
Is there something in your past that you feel is too far a stretch
for God to use? Do you possess a quality that the world would look at
and say, "Nope, not you?" Have you ever felt completely unqualified, but still dream of doing impossible things?
If so, you should get ready. God qualifies the unqualified and He
deems the unlikely, likely. Never think your inadequacies are too much
He's called you. He's chosen you. Go ... do great things for God. You ARE qualified and likely. For "What is impossible with men is possible with God." Dear Lord, I am inspired by those You chose for such great
purposes. I believe You are choosing me, despite my inadequacies. Please
open my heart to Your movement through my life. In Jesus' Name, Amen. Related Resources: Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl by Lysa TerKeurst A Confident Heart: How to Stop Doubting Yourself and Live in the Security of God's Promises by Renee Swope
Visit Nicki's blog for tips on discovering your purpose in God's Kingdom.
In your 20s or love someone who is? Visit She Seeks, our division for 20'somethings! Reflect and Respond: What are some unique qualities or life-situations God has given you?
How could God use those for a redemptive purpose in your life? Power Verses: John 10:10, "The thief comes only
to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and
have it to the full." (NIV 1984)
1 Corinthians 1:25, "For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's
wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength." (NIV
2 Corinthians 12:9, "But he said to me, 'my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'" (NIV 1984)
By Rachel Olsen" ... a sweet friendship refreshes the soul." Proverbs 27:9b (MSG)
Years ago I would've told you that I don't much like women. I counted
a few as friends, but the rest I dismissed as too much trouble. Never a
"tomboy" by any stretch of the imagination, I just found guys easier to
deal with. They generally say what they mean, let you know where you
stand, and never size you up to determine who has the better haircut.
I didn't want to distrust women, but the majority of females in my
life at the time evoked that response. They were catty, competitive and
conniving. They gossiped, backstabbed and manipulated. I have to admit
that I often responded in kind. Isn't it strange how addictive
relational drama can be?
I'm told you can put a frog in a pot of cold water on the stove and
gradually turn up the heat, and it will stay in the pot until it reaches
a fatal boil without attempting to escape. Evidently the frog doesn't
realize how unhealthy the situation is slowly becoming. I can't vouch
for the accuracy of that fable - I'd never boil a frog! - but I've been
in a few friendships like that. I stayed way too long in the pot before I
realized this isn't healthy for me, and I got burned.
So what lead me to flip-flop my position on having girlfriends?
First, I decided to become friends with God. This sparked beneficial
changes in my mind and spirit. Where I had been cynical and guarded,
God's love penetrated and softened my heart. I learned the meaning of
Proverbs 18:24, "A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother" (NIV 1984). Christ was now my forever friend who could be trusted completely.
I also made changes in my choice of girlfriends. Through the Holy
Spirit and lessons on character in the book of Proverbs, I learned to
recognize which people and relational patterns were unhealthy for me.
I was ready to be rid of the drama! The Bible teaches, "He who walks with the wise grows wise"
(Proverbs 13:20a NIV). I wanted to walk with wise women through life.
Many of my current-at-the-time friendships ran their natural course and
dissolved. A few transformed along with me.
But there were a few I deliberately phased out because my own
character wasn't strong enough yet to remain Christ-like in their
Meanwhile, I prayed for quality friendships with women of faith. God
heard my prayers. Fun-loving, God-loving, gracious women at my church
sought me out and invited me out. And I made the choice to trust and
invest in them. I discovered how beneficial it is to surround yourself
with women who inspire your walk with God.
Over time, God birthed in me a huge love and great compassion for
women. I began seeing them through His eyes and not just the lens of my
own hurtful past. I realized that not all women are like those I had
known. I also learned to forgive and pray for those who've hurt me.
Today I cherish my friendships with the women in my life. Dear Lord, I want to have good friends, and to be a good friend.
Help me to develop godly friendships that honor and draw others to You.
In Jesus' Name, Amen. Related Resources: Do You Know Him? It's No Secret: Divine Truths Every Woman Should Know by Rachel Olsen Connect with Rachel today on her blog. Reflect and Respond: Study the book of Proverbs
and learn the traits of trustworthy character so you can develop them
yourself and recognize them in others.
Is there someone you can befriend? Striking up a friendship can be a great way to introduce a gal to Christ.
Do you find yourself entangled in an unhealthy relationship? Are you
in emotional hiding after being burned? Take that to God and ask Him to
heal and bring restoration to your heart. Ask Him to send godly, wise
women into your life. Then muster up the courage to respond and befriend
them. Power Verses: James 2:23, "And the scripture was
fulfilled that says, 'Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him
as righteousness,' and he was called God's friend." (NIV)
Proverbs 22:11, "If you love purity of heart and graciousness of speech, the king will be your friend." (GNT)