Sometimes, life doesn’t always go how you had hoped. But honestly, it always goes exactly how it was intended. Each of our lives are filled with their own unique challenges and opportunities – challenges where we come to learn that it’s ok to not be in control and opportunities to learn more of how God cares for us and works through us in those times. And it’s those very moments that give us a platform for touching other people’s lives with the hope we have in Jesus as we share our stories.

She’d battled through four different kinds of cancer – and claimed the goodness of God in letting her live another 7 years and counting.

One struggled through the pain of infertility – and saw how God had already been preparing her heart to be ready to adopt from Africa.

Another knows what’s it’s like to feel caught up in the world that’s swirling ever towards a darker pit – and what it’s like to feel the refreshing peace of God wash over you in the midst of it.

These are just some of the stories that were shared during our Let’s Get Real event last Saturday in front of over 50 women. And these are the stories that touched our hearts, connected with our own experiences, and reminded us of the power of our simple words to show the power of our great God.

lets get real promolets get real painting

Can we get real with you too? In preparation for this event, quite a few hurdles were thrown in front of us. If we can be really honest, only half the number of women we were hoping for decided to come. Some of us battled physical ailments; others decided they wouldn’t be able to make it at the last minute. And to be truly real with you, we were feeling discouraged. Why wasn’t this turning out like we had hoped? Why did everything seem to be falling apart? Then, like always, God reminded us – it was because He had greater plans.

He wanted to remind us that no matter how much preparation we put into the event, how many drafts we went through of what we were going to talk about, and how many times we met to plan what the art sessions were going to look like, this was His event. He would connect with the people who came no matter what. And, actually, He showed us how much better smaller groups can be to promote a greater movement of authenticity {you may see more about this from us in the coming months, so stay tuned}.

The old cliché “less is more” never felt so true. So when the 50 women showed up, the 4 vendors arranged their booths, and the opening strains of “10,000 Reasons” led by Rebecca Jordan met our ears, it was easier to realize why God’s peace filled the room as we lifted our hearts and hands to praise the Author of our stories.

10000 reasons

Sometimes we think sharing our stories is too complicated for us. But what if we just shared how God is working in our own stories? If, as Rachael shared, her mom’s simple words as she lay in her hospital bed “Honey, do you know Jesus?” could stir up His work, and if, as Jennifer shared, her friend’s simple invitation to spend time with some women at church while living in Panama could strengthen her for the days ahead, what are we waiting for? It’s time to let God encourage others through even little old you and me.

Dear friends, let’s never forget to be real.