I love surrounding myself with other women who not only exude passion for their beliefs, but who act on them through service.
Through advocacy and service for others who are hurting, or who are less fortunate. For those who just need a confidant, or who need outreach. As a former journalist for decades, I’ve been fortunate to meet many women who have tackled issues and brought out solutions – as well as a renewed promise for many.
There are women in our community who serve the homeless: they feed them, clothe them, pray over them, and provide them hope. There is a woman who oversees a food ministry that provides both hot and frozen meals to homebound seniors – and who not only receive food, but a human touch.
And there are the women who have lost children to drunk drivers, suicide, and domestic violence – and whose ongoing passion to help others developed from unspeakable pain. They do this for one simple reason: to help others through their own pain. Their own heartache. Their own blurry days.
“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
1 Corinthians 15:58
It wasn’t long after my sister died in 2015 that I sat with my pastor and friend who encouraged me to use my pain in the best way I knew how: through writing. So I did: through newspaper articles focused on mental health, a book about suicide and faith, pieces for magazines and online publications. I spoke on television, gave presentations, spoke to civic groups.
And when I saw how the outreach was helping others, I couldn’t stop. Further, when I saw the conversation surrounding mental health and suicide, I wouldn’t stop. And that’s how and when I felt connected to these other women who had a fire in them to make a difference.
Have you ever asked God to place people in your lives as examples? To show you what is possible? I’ve met those women for a reason.
When my daughter was in middle school, she came home one day and we began talking about our purpose on Earth. And her 11-year-old self said she learned in her Bible class at school that our purpose is to serve others through God.
“God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”Hebrews 6:10
We play for Him on the field, we praise Him in our every waking moment, and we serve Him, my daughter and I discussed, in how we help or even treat others.
That discussion six years ago would lend itself into a further conversation of how we could do that: she could do that by helping others with homework at school, by mentoring those younger than her who needed help with reading or math. I could do it through my writing.
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10
These are the women I strive to surround myself by. Who pull from meager resources – or none at all, and with nothing but their voice – and reach out to a community that needs help. This is what I want for my daughter, too, who learned at a young age her overall meaning in life.
We have been given a greater purpose here on Earth – far greater than us – an assignment to use all we have of ourselves to help others. And to trust that God will use us in ways that provide hope for others.
It doesn’t mean we have all the answers. But it does mean we have our passion and stories that remind people they are not alone. That they, too, are heard.
And cared for. Loved. Through us – and through us, through God.
How can you use your voice or talents to serve others? What is your passion that can be used in a way that serves your community? Or a neighbor? A friend?
What passion do you have? Find that. And use it.