I hear voices....No, not THOSE kinds of voices! (At least those aren't the ones I'm talking about today...) I hear voices--we all have them. Voices that speak truth and encouragement. Voices that lift up and push onward. Voices that impact our lives so strongly that we will never be the same. Whose voices are they? For me, they are the people in my life who matter most... Each one for the individual unique things they bring to my life and hopefully what I bring to theirs too somehow. Their voices stay with me, making me stronger, and laying my paths straight. And sometimes even holding me back or barring my way when I try to get ahead of myself...or God.
I hear the voice of PERSISTENCE--Chad...One of the single most influential voices in my life. Why? Because he believed and persisted in reminding me, "There's a reason you are here." And he helped me find that reason.
I hear voices of my PAST, PRESENT, and FUTURE--my children: Brittany, Mikey, Andy, Elias, Zachary, and Kaci. And my newest plus-kids--Larry and Megan. Each of them fill my life and give me strength in different and unique ways, adding dimension with laughter, an unexplainable kind of love, so much joy, and blessed memories of good times and hard times. They remind me that through it all, they still need me...even when I'm not so perfect. And I need to be needed. I hope they realize how much I need them too.
I hear voices of HOPE--women walking through their own struggles but making each other strong as they share their experiences, their encouragement, their laughter, and their tears. They are the living example of the strengthening strands in that 3-ply cord, each one making the other stronger together as they press on toward God's goal.
I hear voices of WISDOM that have proven true to me again and again--Jeff M., Tom, Paul, Lori, Latimer, and Susan. Though they are not constant, their words rise up to remembrance when wisdom is needed most, pointing me in the way I should go.
I hear voices of SURVIVAL both near and far--Geana, Amy, Emily, and Mary. Their perseverance in the midst of formidable circumstances amazes me. They are overcomers, reminding me that I can overcome too--I can make it. Their stories prove that God IS able and ready to stand in our defense.
All of these voices build me up, shape me, and give me purpose...So I'm not ashamed to shout it from the rooftops, "I HEAR VOICES!" And through each one of them, God also speaks...Telling me that I am His...That "neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither my fears for today nor my worries about tomorrow, not even the powers of hell... No power in the sky above or in the earth below--indeed, nothing in all creation can ever separate me from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus..." (from Romans 8:38-39) The love of God that is revealed...HIS love revealed through each of these voices.