Uncommon is defined as “not ordinarily encountered”, “unusual”, “remarkable”, and “exceptional” by Merriam-Webster. A hero is defined as “one who shows great courage”. The heroes I am talking about do not usually make the news. If they do it is often because they have been associated with a high-profile person or, sadly, been killed in action. Their acts of heroism, courage, and bravery are unknown by most people, even those closest to them including their faith families, yet they make it on a list of statistics for all to see. When they do become known, often those who do not understand the significance of the trauma they have endured don’t know how to support them well, leaving more wounds. It is a lonely life except for, perhaps, a few understanding helpers, friends, and family members.
Who am I talking about? Have you guessed who these uncommon heroes are yet? How could someone so courageous and remarkable not be honored and recognized? These uncommon heroes are well acquainted with fear and somehow have learned to live life looking that fear straight in the eyes because, as Franklin D. Roosevelt has said, “Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” That “something else” is a safe place for themselves and their children. That “something else” is the deep need to feel alive again and to feel whole and emotionally healthy. They have walked in darkness and brokenness desperately looking for the light of hope and the healing that only Jesus Christ can offer. And when they find it, they emerge as women of God who have been refined by a great fire for a purpose unlike any other that only they can fulfill. They are ready to help those walking behind them to offer that same helping hand. These are women with a heart of compassion for others who are still in the battle, offering them a cup of cold water in a desolate, hot and dry desert. They are the hands and feet of Jesus reaching out to those who are often suffering in silence.
Who are these valiant heroes? These are the exceptional women I am privileged to walk along side of through Living Waters of Hope and the Oasis Bible Study. They have endured many losses due to the controlling and abusive behavior of their husband or boyfriend. Love and trust has been replaced with pain and sorrow. They have worked so hard to overcome impossible obstacles through a God who works miracles on their behalf (Luke 1:37)). They have lived with hopelessness and despair only to find God’s hand reaching out to gently grasp theirs with words of wisdom to guide their many difficult decisions (Psalm 73:23, 24). They live out Ephesians 3:20 when they experience first-hand a God who is able to do immeasurably more than they can ask or imagine. They learn to trust again in a God who is for them, wants to restore their dignity and calls them His precious and beloved daughter.
Today, you have the rare opportunity to look into the life of one of these uncommon heroes who is an Oasis overcomer by the power of God:
“God is against all abuse, lies, and neglect. Our husband is to be our protector and rather he crushes us with his power and control… Honestly, I was so in it – deep- that I didn’t know I could ever be rescued. Felt I’d never escape. But God made a way. I’m forever grateful… I have had to surrender control and trust over and over again to God. He is my shield. He has pulled me from that lion’s den and put me on solid ground. He has provided a home and my children are healing… and growing in truth and much wisdom. I still am fighting post-traumatic stress and in counseling but every day learning to take my thoughts captive and redirect them to remember whose I am and His plans for me. Worship is such a help to provide peace and encouragement to move me forward… to not remain a victim and to move ahead as a daughter of Christ. I trust His plans are higher and His timing best.” (Linda, used with permission)
So, this Thanksgiving, I am grateful for these uncommon heroes who have touched my life in a beautiful way whether it is through the Oasis Bible Study or through other connections. I have learned so much from them, even though I am supposed to be the teacher. My life is richer and deeper because of my time with each one whom God has brought into my path. Ladies of honor and dignity, I commend you for your bravery and courage in the midst of abuse and beyond the abuse. You are each truly remarkable and exceptional. I count it a privilege to be walking with you and to call you my sister in Christ. May God continue to lead you into a place of full healing, peace, and joy. As we celebrate Thanksgiving this year, may we remember these uncommon heroes and thank God for the amazing ways He works in all of our lives!
Living Waters of Hope
Oasis Bible Study
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