This morning I had the wonderful opportunity to speak to a small group of women from the People’s Education Organization in our community.

God never fails to humble me when He calls me to speak.

You should know that I much prefer to write because, for crying out loud, there’s a delete button. However, God is taking me out of my comfort zone and you and I both know when He does this, He’s going to do some pruning.

And while I will fiercely attest that pruning seasons are so worth the fruit they eventually bear, I will also fiercely attest that it just plain hurts sometimes to have those branches ripped right on out of my side.

Kind of like stripping a days-old bandage off a wound to expose virgin skin that hasn’t seen the light of day in quite some time? Yeah, that.

I was asked to speak on Heart Sisters so I did. Towards the end, I made mention of my somewhat crazy life story in a passing comment.

My testimony is a little wild, you know.  It’s hard to separate it all because my journey to writing Heart Sisters bleeds into the before­ – as is the case with everyone’s story, each experience creates the whole and they all impact each other.

A + B + C + . . .

So I shared my story, off-the-cuff because I was asked.

Off-the-cuff and unexpected is when the Spirit does His best work.

After sharing all the sordid details, I thanked them and because the meeting was continuing, I left a bit earlier than the rest.

On my way home, I began to digest the story I had just told.

It seems like a lifetime ago yet I remember the pain as though it happened just moments ago.

When we walk through fire, God leaves a mark within us so we can use the pain from the heat as a way to help others run through their own fires.

I felt sad and grieved for the girl who was so lost.

But then.

I wonder if God reminds us of how far we’ve come by asking us to tell our stories now and then?

I wonder if, on those days when lies are louder than truth, we could stop those lies by looking at it as an opportunity to examine how far we’ve traveled instead of how far we fall short?

As a third grader, my daughter is currently in the thick of standardized state-wide testing so the state can assess it’s own performance as well as give the teachers a glimpse of what their own students know or don’t know.

I can’t help but think that maybe when my story comes to mind or lies creep into my thoughts that perhaps it gives me a chance to assess where I am and where I’ve been.

Progress isn’t always measureable in the form of percentages and standard deviations.

Sometimes progress is just looking at how far you’ve come since you took that first step.

And I’m guessing if you look back, you’ll be amazed at where you’re standing now.

Let’s keep going. We’ve got this.

We are overcomers.

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