There is eternal truth in the ancient African proverb, “It takes a village.” Though sometimes we desire to be an island, that’s not how God created us.
Michelle’s blog series has revealed many incredible women who introduced us to their faith heroines. But what if it took a whole village, like me? I wasn’t raised going to church regularly, and willfully tossed my curls and walked away as a teenager.
At 23, a friend invited me to church. What I didn’t know then, what I couldn’t see, what I didn’t care about, was that those women would become my Jesus village. In various stages of life, God gave me these beautiful women to increase my faith and bless me in countless ways. Picking one just did not seem right. Their mentoring and friendship carry equal, precious weight in my soul.
I lacked confidence and spiritual wisdom, so God gave me Kathy Graumann. Her gentle patience erased my fear of fitting into the church crowd. With twinkling eyes, earnest words, and the heart of a pastor’s wife, she made me feel comfortable in my own skin, even when I didn’t. I have never heard a harsh or negative word pass her lips. She encouraged me to study Scripture every single day, a gift that thankfully stuck. She introduced me to a group of mission-minded ladies whose blessings in my life prompted me to begin a Bible-teaching ministry.
I lacked leadership and balance for ministry so God gave me Eloise Kuhlmann. Her words carry immeasurable wisdom both from Scripture and experience. Her words are carefully filtered through Christ’s love and a heart of encouragement. Her easy smile, witty humor and intelligence make her a natural leader whom I eagerly follow. Her love for cooking inspired me to balance work and home life in an age when working women focused solely on climbing the corporate ladder.
I lacked experience to handle spiritual warfare and the storms of life, so God gave me Pat Bokenkamp. Through trials I could never imagine, including cancer, Pat demonstrates a faith that penetrates skin, bone, marrow and soul. God used her to strengthen my faith to handle the storm of divorce with Jesus at the center.
I lacked gentleness and discernment, so God gave me Luanne Walling. Where sarcasm easily slips off my tongue, her words never fail to encourage, build up, and give confidence. Her love and devotion to Jesus plunge to the depths of her soul, continually pointing people Christ. Who doesn’t need someone who tirelessly points you to the One who loves you most?
When it comes of faith heroines, my cup runneth over. For decades, God has used these women powerfully in my life, along with many others. I was a stubborn nut to crack, so God used a Jesus village.
My prayer is that He has given you a Jesus village of faith heroines, too. Whether they reside in your church, home or circle of friends, villages keep us in relationship with each other and with Christ. God never intended us to travel our faith journeys as an island. We need a village, because together we can accomplish much for His good purposes.
Author of the recently released Quenched: Christ’s Living Water for a Thirsty Soul, Donna Pyle lives amidst beautiful countryside in Texas. She is founder of Artesian Ministries, where she has authored 23 Bible studies and travels regularly to teach God’s Word. She blogs at Hydrated Living, and you can connect with Donna on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
This post is part of the My Faith Heroine Series in conjunction with the release of 50 Women Every Christian Should Know: Learning from Heroines of the Faith. Click here to read other posts in the #MyFaithHeroine series.