There is a popular show that judges singing talent purely on a person’s voice. The judges do not even look at the person until they have heard their voice alone and want to hear more from them, and then they take their first look.
As a believer, I hope to take that same approach with people I meet, only instead of hearing a voice, I want to see the heart.
In the Old Testament, when the prophet Samuel was looking for the next king (1 Samuel 16), he came to the house of Jesse and thought that each of his seven strapping sons could surely be the next king. However God was searching for His man, unlikely to the naked eye.
7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees;[a] for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
Now I know that the Word says that it is God that looks at the heart. He alone knows exactly what is happening in the heart of men and women. But I believe we can take that same attitude or approach regarding discernment of the people who we interact with. We might not get it right all the time, God’s own prophet kept getting it wrong, 7 times in a row. But if we take a step back and think of the actions that are showing the heart of someone, we may become better judges of character. So the old saying says, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, this is wise, and even Biblical in this example. Sisters, I want to challenge you, the next time you meet someone and are tempted to make a snap judgment based on their outward appearance, or better yet, tempted to stick with that snap judgment, take a moment to seek God’s wisdom. Ask God for “heart goggles”. I believe He will honor your prayer.
It’s hard to believe that is has been five years since I got the call from Trish asking me to be a member of the Ladies on Life team. I told her “yes” right away and then after we laughed at my quick response, I told her I would pray about it, you know, just for due process sake. It was not a difficult decision to make at all because I trusted Trish as a friend, and I was so humbled by the opportunity to be a part of something that would extend beyond me. It was right in line with what I knew I was made to do, and judging by the many trials I was facing and had already overcome, I knew I had plenty to write about.
Once she made the call to assemble the team, we were off and running, writing two articles a month on any topic of our choosing. Everything was going great and the excitement was truly palpable. As the years scurried along and we began to receive feedback from ladies all over the country, I think each member of the team while elated, began to feel the intensity of writing something that could possibly help free another lady. Personally, I started to write from a place much deeper than when I started out. So much so, that there were many nights sitting at my laptop that tears streamed down my face as I typed each word. Something incredible started to happen. God was ministering to ME as my desire increased to minister to others.
Those moments have greatly added to my life and I would have been satisfied with them alone, but there is more to this story. Not only was I gifted with a chance to express myself through the ministry of writing, but I also gained new sisters in the L.O.L. team. The reason I say “sisters” instead of “friends” is for a particular reason. When I think of friends I think of people who, as the Bible would say, tend to love you at all times. They are your friends because you have something in common and it just works. However when I think of a sister or family, I think of people that were chosen connections for you before there ever was a “you”. It is a bond that is much stronger in the sense that you choose your friends, and at any point you can un-choose them, but with family, there is no undoing that tie. That is what the Ladies On Life team has been to me, family. My sisters. We have been through thick and thin and have gotten so close over five years even though our connection was chosen for us. We are all so different but we have been able to agree on one thing, women need love, encouragement, and a place to unwind, grow and learn in Christ.
I thank God for Ladies On Life and the members of this team. As we celebrate 5 years, I look forward to the many more to come, and knowing that I get to do this alongside my sisters, helps make for one amazing journey.
I still remember getting that first call from Trish telling me about starting and joining Ladies on Life. I hung up in shock telling myself, “She’s got the wrong girl, and surely God didn’t tell her that I was a part of this group of great women!”
These past 5 years have proven to be faith building. Little did I know that I would even be here at this moment writing this in celebration of all that God has done! Through these years I have faced so many, many hardships. I thought that I might not make it through in one piece let-alone have something encouraging to share with someone else.
God’s plan and timing are so perfect. He has plans beyond our wildest dreams! God knows my heart. He knows that I love to be a part of things that are so much bigger than me. I love to be an encouragement. He knew that I would need sisters to back me up through my hard times. Overcoming times of deep depression, an eating disorder, and a horrible divorce. Even though my L.O.L. sisters were not by my side every day physically, I knew that I could count on them to lift me up in prayer and encouragement. My most memorable time thus far was when I called up Trish one hard night. I fought through the tears as I told her that I had nothing to say to anyone, that I had no encouragement because I was so empty and full of pain, and that I should not be a part of L.O.L. any longer. Her response was “I understand if you need a break from writing, but Bombi I’m never letting you go.” WOW! Incredible!
This team has echoed that same message to me. The power of agreement and unity, my goodness it’s a force to be reckoned with! To know that I have sisters backing me with the attitude of “Satan, you’ll have to get through us if you think you’ll destroy my sister. We are our sister’s keeper!” The scripture that says the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man/woman availeth much? Psssh, this must have been written for Kenika, Devon, Sonya, and Trish. I am so full of gratitude to them more than I can express. I am thankful to God who is the author and finisher of my faith who knew JUST what I needed so that I can be held up, and then in turn hold others up. Thank you Lord for the first five. To you Lord, be all glory, honor, and power.
There is a short song called – “I Want To Be More Like You”, and in one part it says, “I want to be a vessel you work through”. My favorite memories over the last 5 years of Ladies On Life include when a person was touched!
Several years ago when my mother-in-law was getting ready to leave her job and relocate to another state, she shared with me that she was touched by something Kenika wrote on the site. She was really ministered to in a time of transition when she needed guidance and peace.
I personally remember two different times Sonya’s articles on parenting seemed tailor written for me. It’s like we were having a follow up conversation online after a phone chat! I was so blessed to have some questions answered through her article and also to receive encouragement as a mother!
One time Trish prayed over me, the words she uttered still ring in my spirit, and I am continually uplifted as I go about my daily routine as a stay at home mom.
Last year when I was seeking God as to what to share at our L.O.L Push and Deliver Conference, I felt He gave me some specific verses. Afterwards, a couple people came up to me to ask me about those verses. Praise God! I want to be a vessel you work through, I want to be more like you.
I know as many of you read this, memories from the last 5 years come to your mind of how you were touched or able to touch another life. Ladies, shine on, you are beautiful and God needs each of us to be His hands and feet as He is the head and we are the body. He works through us each as vessels of His love as we draw close to Him.
Lord, I want to be more like you! I want to be a vessel you work through, Lord I want to be more like you!