Life is not a test. It’s a shared learning experience. 

Over dinner one night, a friend I had known for more than a decade shared a private story that shook me to the core. I couldn’t believe there was such a painful chunk of her life that no one knew about. As she related the stickier parts of her story, I tried not to react. I knew it wasn’t easy for her to let loose of something that had been held private for so long. 

By the time she’d finished telling me the tale, I could see how God’s grace and redemption were woven through what would have otherwise been an impossible situation. As tears of release splattered onto my friend’s plate, my thoughts drifted to another sister who was going through a similar situation. Unlike my friend, who had reached the victory part of her story, this sister was still embroiled in the shell-shocked part of her saga. 

Before we cleared the dinner plates, I told my friend about the sister who was currently facing the crisis that she had already overcome. Without waiting for me to make the suggestion, my friend gently asked, “Would you mind if I reached out to her?” 

Tears of joy formed at the corners of my eyes. And that night I connected two new friends. I hope the healing that one sister experienced and shared has pulled the other sister away from the ledge. 

If we are not sharing the secrets we have learned along the journey, then our miracles begin and end with us. But our Father created us to be more than just consumers. We were meant to be saviors. We were created to rescue others who are hurting in a way that rings familiar in our own heart. Today, prayerfully consider whom you could rescue by sharing your stories of God’s grace and restoration when all hope seemed lost. Whom could you save by instilling hope and courage in her heart and warning her of disastrous outcomes if she stays on her current path? That’s what being a courageous woman is all about, and it requires bravery and vulnerability. And love.  

As God’s daughters, we were created to thrive, and not only personally, but as a testimony to other women who could use an example. We were each meant to leave our mark on the earth. To make fresh footprints so other sisters can walk along a clear path. We have a responsibility to lead the way. To go first and pull back vines that would entangle our gender. To cut down the brush that would tear at our flesh and be thorns in our side. 

When I think back over the most difficult seasons in my life, I understand those experiences weren’t just for my own spiritual growth. The stories that came from hard-pressed places would become life and breath to sisters who would walk the same road

From one woman to another, I promise you: there is great reward for those who will make the sacrifice and clear the path for others to journey down. There is a hurting woman coming along behind you who needs you to cut some things out of her way. Without you she may lose sight of where she is going and wander down a dangerous path. Somewhere, there is a young girl searching for someone to take her by the hand and lead her away from doing something she will regret. And there is a sister so blinded by her emotions she can’t see where to step next. Unless we sweep the path, she is in danger of sliding off a slope, and the fall may prove fatal. 

We are not to be held up by fear but to flourish so we can lead others in the faith. 

Dr. Tracey Mitchell is the author of The Invitation to Intimacy with God, a renowned and well-respected Bible teacher and international conference speaker. She travels 40 plus weeks a year speaking to diverse and cross-cultural groups throughout America and internationally, including South America, Africa, Canada and the Middle East.

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