God often uses our deepest pain as the launching pad for our greatest calling.
October 11, 2016

“She knew that she was formed by God’s hands, dreamed up in his heart, and placed in this world for a purpose.” Everyone has a purpose.

 

At any given moment you have the power to say, this is not how my story is going to end. Make sure that you’re living a GREAT story! Life is in session.

 

After attending Sparkle Women’s Conference  for the first time last weekend, I walked away more compelled than ever to share the wisdom that I soaked up and what God has put on my heart. I was completely blown away by the experience River Valley Church created for women to come together for worship.  It was a sold out conference filled with Jesus loving women of all ages. If you’re a fan of Jesus like I am, I’d encourage you to click on the link above and register to attend the next Sparkle Women’s Conference in 2017. Invest in yourself. You deserve it!

 

The focus of the conference was to anchor your soul in a solid foundation with Jesus, firm and secure.  Be prepared in your spirit for when storms come. We learned about virtuous women.

 

Are you a virtuous woman? The world needs more virtuous women. Virtuous women are a force on earth. What’s my definition of a virtuous woman? (Proverbs 31:15).

 

She knows who she is. She’s resourceful.  She rises regardless of circumstances.  She chooses to shine, even in darkness. (Isaiah 60,1-3). She is royalty because she’s the daughter of a king and wears her crown proudly. Her confidence comes from the word of God. She has divine perspective. She offers her wisdom, not just opinions. She uses her voice fearlessly because she knows that sharing her own story can give someone else a brighter future. She creates her own circle of influence. She lives freely running the race that she’s been assigned.  She pours into others without expectations. A virtuous woman always rises.  I bet that you know a virtuous woman! Be a virtuous woman. LOVE a virtuous woman!

 

Find strength in your sisterhood.  Virtuous women flourish in community. Here comes the “Find your tribe and LOVE them hard” part. It’s true! You need your tribe just as much as your tribe needs you. Don’t get sidetracked by comparing yourself to others. Comparison only takes away your joy. You were created uniquely. Virtuous women embrace their vulnerabilities.  They encourage others and don’t gossip. They uplift others with their words and actions. Iron truly does sharpen iron. Virtuous women step into awkward places boldly with confidence. Surround yourself with good people. You can choose to run the race of your life connected with others who come along side of you, and cheer you along! (Proverbs 18) Stay connected!

 

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

 

Express gratitude daily. Do you have a plan to be more grateful? Here’s a fun way to create gratitude! Get yourself a gratitude jar. Put notes inside that jar every single day that remind you of what you’re grateful for. Be grateful!

 

“The small steps you take today will determine the big stories you tell tomorrow.”

 

Allow Jesus to be your source of life, not anyone else. Stop looking to other people to be your source. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything flows through it. (Proverbs 4:23)

 

Turn tragedy into opportunity. Life’s junk happens. Tragedy’s never good however it gives us moments for bravery. You’ve got to go through the junk with an eternal perspective. Have courage!

 

All things work together for good. You were created to be God’s masterpiece. (Romans 8:28)

 

Trust God in the unexpected places. There is power in hope. Hope is a sure expectation that God will do what he promises to do. Awkward races create interrupted paces that lead us to unexpected places. People are carefully placed in our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Speak life!

 

Iron sharpens iron. Did you know that you become like the average 5 people you spend time with? It’s true! Surround yourself with people who see greatness in you, even when you don’t see it in yourself. If you find yourself surrounded by negativity, I would urge you to reevaluate what you’re accepting and create a positive environment. It’s not easy but it can be done. Stay positive!

 

God can restore, ANYTHING. In the middle of a crisis, I challenge you to be completely at peace. Fear and faith are incompatible. Always choose faith. Don’t allow fear to weigh you down. Listen to what you know, not what you fear. Have faith!

 

Focus on serving others. It’s far easier to focus on others than to identify with our own pain. Your story isn’t necessarily being written during amazing circumstances either. Don’t get overwhelmed by the obstacles along your journey to the promised end. This life demands responsibility, consistency, reliability, and dependability day in and day out. Don’t get discouraged. Do your best!

 

Spread Encouragement. Isn’t it funny how we feel better about ourselves when we’re helping someone else? Be quick to lend a helping hand, a listening ear, or simple words of encouragement. You never know who needs your encouragement. God has a purpose for your life. Be an encouragement to others!

 

October has been a difficult month for me since the loss of my son in 2005. He died at birth. Writing is like therapy for me and helps me work through the grief process, even over a decade later.

 

“I believe that God often uses our deepest pain as the launching pad for our greatest calling.  I want to inspire others to keep chasing their dreams no matter what the circumstances in life may be.”

 

No matter what tragedies you’ve experienced, or hardships you’ve faced, you can choose to shine. You may experience betrayal or heartbreak but you always have the choice to be grateful. I hope you choose to smile through whatever life throws your way. Shine on! 

 

Have you ever found yourself seeking answers that you may never get? Sometimes we simply don’t get the answers that we are looking for. You don’t have to try to understand everything.

 

Whether you’ve experienced a  storm that was related to your finances, or your health, or in the form of your relationships, you’re not alone.

 

Sometimes storms are self made because of our own bad choices. In this case, own up to your decisions and be mindful of how your choices effect other people. I challenge you to flip your perspective to think differently.

 

We live in a fallen world and I believe that is why we have storms. Good and bad happens to all of us. When was the last time that your life was interrupted by the decisions of other people’s storms?

 

My Words of Encouragement For You. Identify with your pain. You were assigned this mountain to show others it can be moved.

 

I keep my son’s name alive through this blog. He would be turning 11 years old on October 17, 2016.

 

“Some say that you are too painful to remember…

 

but I say that you are too precious to forget.”

 

There are moments in life that can change people forever.

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things that I can not change, Courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

She rises. Listen here!

Shannon Stapleton

Shannon Stapleton

With a background in marketing and design from DCTC, Shannon considers herself a lifelong learner. She makes investing in herself a priority and prides herself in helping others do the same. She thrives from surrounding herself with good people, good energy, doing good work, and giving back in the community.