I am blessed with great friends; Godly women who set their sights on things higher than the chaos of this world. Forget Desperate Housewives. These don’t have time for the neighborhood gossip, or the silly shenanigans around them. These are women who inspire me to want more for my own life. These are not death defying women, these are Life Defining Women. Let me introduce you.
Lisa is a Life Coach. She has always been a Life Coach, only now it’s official. She used to work on staff in women’s ministry at her church. She would meet with women all day long to encourage them, inspire them and pray with them. I know. She used to meet with me. Lisa went through a time when she no longer felt she was supposed to be on a church staff, but she wasn’t sure what God had in store for her. I would periodically ask her, “What’s God doing with you?” For a while, there was no clear answer. Yet over time, doors began to open for Lisa to reach across racial lines in her city and love women of a different race. Then He opened doors for her to love people on another continent. Now in addition to being a wife and mom, Lisa is a full time Life Coach and part time missionary. Lisa is a compass for me.
Debbie is fighting in the war against human trafficking. She didn’t intend to. She was a wife and mother of three who headed up the prayer team at her church. Through this she met someone who counseled people with the love of the Lord and helped them find their way out of dark places. Together, God showed them the plight of many of His girls. He spoke to Debbie’s heart and led them into a ministry called Compassion to Act. They just hosted the Restore Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina where, with hardly any advertising, over 500 people attended to hear about human trafficking. They have a dream of seeing many other Compassion to Act ministries popping up all over the country to join in the fight to rescue and restore these precious women. Debbie is the best example I have of knowing that “Its not about me”, and also knowing apart from God, none of it would be possible. Debbie is my prayer warrior and truth teller.
Catherine is a marketing guru and big picture visionary. But she is much more than that. She is a wife and mom, but also, Catherine has a heart for the disenfranchised and the unwanted. She opened her home up for a small group of women to come and learn how much God loves them. They came from every background you can imagine. Catherine spoke to them out of her own life experiences of walking both apart from God and then alongside him. She called her group, Soul Sisters. Like Lisa, Catherine has coached many lives, again including mine, and is now a Life Coach and an author. She is transparent, often brutally honest, (I love that) and doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty… so to speak. Catherine is my visionary.
Tammie is also a wife and mother. Her oldest child is a special needs super star. I give she and her husband great credit for just how special he is. Tammie is a nurse, but her heart is with women. She hosts small groups at her home to encourage women from all walks of life and every stage of life to press into God and walk in his ways. Tammie’s heart breaks for the things that break God’s heart. Tammie coaches other women’s small group leaders through her church to make sure they have the support and encouragement they need to keep leading others to Jesus. She speaks truth into my life on a regular basis. Even if the truth hurts. I love living life with this woman.
Each of these women would not want the accolades I am giving them. (Compliments on their hair and shoes, yes, but accolades, no.) Yet I tell you a snippet of their lives to show you what I have learned. It’s easy to get caught up in the trappings of this world. To spend time in gossip, or slander. To struggle for more or better. To seek after things that do not concern you and are not for you. Those are distractions put in our paths to keep us from doing the things He has called us to do. Set aside pettiness. Turn away from gossip and back biting. Close your ears to that stuff and open them up to what God wants most for your life. He will take you places you never dreamed you could go, and apart from Him, you couldn’t. Surround yourself with friends like mine. They will lift you up and encourage you. They will help you set your feet on solid ground.
Tammie, Catherine, Debbie, and Lisa– I love you.