In our lives, we are not promised protection from pain, but as Christians we are given the beautiful gift of hope. We know that no matter what we walk through in life that there is hope that we will never be alone, that God has a purpose for our lives, and that although this life may be full of disappointments and heartbreak, we only have a short time before we experience an eternity of joy and perfection.
It is hope that genuinely sets us apart. When I walked into my first LeadHer meeting, I was barely holding it together. I was broken. Hurting. Vulnerable. Hopeless. Listening to the teaching video, I was absorbing the material with a wall of doubt. Although I desperately needed this hope in my life, there was a piece of me that struggled to believe that I could actually own this truth. I perceived the smiles and joy of those around me as the result of perfect lives and I did not fit in.
Immediately following the teaching, I was instructed to engage in discussion in my group. My expectations were shattered when these smiling individuals began sharing stories of personal pain, heartbreaking mistakes and deep, penetrating wounds. They too had been through the fire and for the first time in forever, I realized that I was not alone and my life was not too broken to receive God’s love. Their ability to share their scars influenced my ability to break down a few walls and share my own scars and recent cuts. At that time, my story ended abruptly, completely void of a smile. I had no hope. And so, I borrowed some of theirs.
Almost two years later, I am now a coordinator of my Local LeadHer chapter and one of the principles that I lead by each and every day is to share my hope with others. Today, I can end my story with a smile because even though there are still rough days and still so much uncertainty ahead, I cling to the promises I know God has given me. I hold fast to the truth that He has set me free from so much bondage and He can do it again and again. My life has become one of victory because each battle ends with God’s glory shining through. I have found that when I share my pain with another, I speak to their hearts, “I understand,” “I’ve been there too,” “You are not too broken,” and “You are not alone.” Then when I share how I have overcome, or how I am still working to overcome the struggles I continue to face, I speak to their hearts, “You will get through this too,” and “I know that you are struggling with hope right now, so here, borrow some of mine.”
Because of my experience in borrowing hope through my local chapter, I am excited to bring more LeadHer chapters to women all over the nation, to provide a safe place where hope can be both borrowed and shared.
Dear friends, I challenge you to share your stories. Share your hurts, you heartbreak, your mistakes; but also, share your victories, your promises for what will be, and your hope. If today you are struggling with hope, then here, borrow mine. There is plenty to go round.