Beauty from Ashes

Pearls of WisdomWe ladies often think “I cannot do this,” “I don’t have the ability to do that,” and “I wish I could but I can’t.”  God does not see us as limited; He says just the opposite. Jeremiah 29: 11-13 bravely states, For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. ‘Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. ‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”

That is not how I felt in 1988 when I became a young widow with the responsibility of caring for my son John in a wheelchair due to an automobile accident.  I felt that God did not know about this world of mine; did He understand?  So I prayed!  I told God he made a really big mistake.  I asked if He could see me crying when my son was injured – when my husband was dying.

Looking back from where I stand today, God equipped me to complete all the things I needed to do.  God gave me wisdom and strength to face each day; He gave me hope and a future, God put laughter back into my life.

God gave us examples of women in the Bible who encourage us through their faithful actions and deeds:

Esther who risked her life to save her people.  “. . . .you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:13-14) God had plans for her.

Leah was weak eyed, very deceptive, and not Jacob’s favorite wife. Leah was the mother of Judah, ancestor to the house of David, the kingly line, which included Joseph, husband of Mary, who birthed Jesus our Christ. (Matthew 1.16) The Lord was looking out for Leah, He had plans for her.

Rahab, the prostitute, had struggles. Rahab wasn’t perfect, yet I’ve learned from Rahab that faith, courage, commitment, obedience and God’s grace are key factors in our walk with God.  God had a plan for her.

Bible_handsWhen our hearts are tuned to the Word and our minds filled with the Word, we know God’s guidance. We study the Word, we grow to think as God thinks, and then we see things from His perspective. Our attitudes, our opinions, our goals, our ideals, and our values become more like His. When we face decisions and tough times, we can evaluate them with the mind of Christ rather than with our own thinking.

– Judy Hyde

The Bible verse Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

These verses have comforted me often in my life, whether it be during a season of grief over the loss of a loved one, or following three miscarriages. He heard, He listened, He knew and He loved me through it. The same verses have also been a comfort in seasons of joy following the adoption of three daughters in a five year period; I had asked for eleven long years. He heard and He answered.

When I have asked, and His answer was very clearly “No,” or “Not now…,” I knew He heard me and that He knew what was best for me even when it hurt. I don’t believe that we are to get all that we ask God for; I do believe, however, that He knows what is best for each of us. Our hearts, open to Him, are being prepared to accept His answer for us. He knows everything about us from before we were even born.

-Mary Howell Cromer


IMG_20150215_093635486 (1) copyLike pearls on a necklace, the Wise Women Sunday morning class at SCC represents a beautiful gathering of women who love the Lord and desire to glorify Him in their lives. They write from experience; lives that have known both sorrow and joy, and a hope to encourage other women along the journey. The Wise Women class meets at 9:30am each Sunday morning in the Fireside Room (and yes, they get the “fireplace”!).  
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