I love that the first tenet of focus for the year is “We believe in God and are women of faith.” This tenet was something that really drew me to this organization when I was first introduced because my faith gives me strength and is what guides my life. I am so thankful for my relationship with God and my faith traditions that help me navigate the world I live in. I know that this is the case for many women, and I reached out to a few of my friends whose faith has inspired me over the years to share a small peak at how their faith has helped them in their lives.
Elizabeth is a dear friend who was a mentor in mothering and homeschooling to me when my children were very young. When I asked her how her faith has given her strength or guidance in her life she shared:
“Matthew 11:28 says ‘Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,’ This scripture has carried me through many a trying day of teaching and caring for my five sons and husband. I would visualize opening up that verse and climbing into where I could be at peace. As life changes, again and again I am reminded of how God and His word never change. His commands and promises are the one constant that anchors the soul.
Knowing that there is a jealous but loving God who wants me to be with Him, has given me meaning, purpose, and hope. Faith in God demands obedience. Which in turn has motivated me to seek His will for my attitude and actions in everyday life. When I stumble, I am so thankful for His forgiveness and long suffering. I earnestly pray that one day I will hear ‘Well done My good and faithful servant. Enter into the Joy of your Lord.’”
Susan helped me feel welcome to a new community and shared her faith and values openly in her daily conversation and in her example. Her response to my question was:
“As a daughter of a Heavenly Father who loves His children, I can rely on His guidance in all matters personal and concerning my family! I have been entrusted with the great responsibility of raising six children. In Hebrews 10:35 we read ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.’
What a great reminder that we do not parent alone! We can go forth even in today’s chaotic turmoil with confidence that as women and mothers, God is with us! And with God with us what does it matter who is against us? We can speak out and stand up for truth with God given confidence!”
Maja is an example to me of doing what she feels is right, even when it isn’t easy. She shared with me how she came to become a woman who relies on God to guide her path:
“When I was 23 years old, I was traveling and going on so many solo adventures; which sounds pretty amazing. Yet, for me, this was the definition of lost, lonely and wandering without a purpose. I constantly prayed for guidance, strength and for God to create a path that allowed me to dedicate my life working through him for others. My path opened up when I least expected it. This was the day I met my now husband and we soon became pregnant with our beautiful little girl Ella, who is now seven years old.
At 23, I was pregnant with a man I barely knew. I felt shameful, embarrassed and I could not believe how I had gotten myself here. I had no education or money to my name. I cried more than I can say, but I never lost my faith in God. I knew in my heart that there was a reason for this path. My faith in God has always given me the strength to get through those dark or hard times and to never give up. I wanted to hide from God because of where I had gotten myself, but all I could do was cling more to him. There is no doubt that God held on even tighter to me as well and has blessed me with the life I have now.
I am now a wife to a dedicated husband and mother of two, with a master’s degree. I have a flexible job as a medical social worker that allows me to still focus on my family while giving to others, a roof over our heads, and food on the table. I owe all of these blessings to our heavenly father who never let go of my hand even in my darkest times. God continues to provide and I thank him every chance I have and more! Life can be tough, and it can be wonderful; but I know that my strength and drive each day as a working wife and mother comes directly from my faith!”
I am thankful for these and many other friends who have shared their examples and beliefs with me through my life. I hope that I can also help others to know God and feel his love through their interactions with me. I truly believe that God knows and loves each of us and wants us to find peace in service, confidence in His promises, and faith in His guidance of our lives.
I didn’t realize that January was named after the Roman God of beginnings, transitions, passages, and endings. But it makes sense. I am feeling myself analyzing what I accomplished this past year and wish to continue while also trying to decide what to let go of or build upon. I also know that taking on too much new or carrying over too much old can feel overwhelming and make me run faster than I have strength.
Being a woman of faith, for me, entails lifting where I stand and trusting that my effort is blessing someone. My heart believes that God is aware of my personal struggles, and that He will lighten my burdens as I seek to ease others’ struggles. I love how faith gives you strength, Lisa Bjornberg, as it truly does for me too. I honor your friend, Elizabeth’s faith, her stalwartness and trust in teaching and being there for her husband and five sons. Your friend Susan’s reliance on Heavenly Father for guidance in her parenting, inspires me. Maja’s tender desire for God to create a path for her to dedicate her life to serve others, through Him, is so admirable to me. I reverence her faith through her pregnancy and her perseverance to her master’s degree and social work service.
Thank you, Lisa, for helping me feel God’s love through this piece you have written and compiled.