God has a plan for your life and a purpose for your future.
No matter what you’ve been through or what’s been done to you, if you’re still breathing God isn’t finished with you yet! Sometimes we just need to be reminded. Other times we need to be persuaded to believe it’s true.
In her new book, Your Life Still Counts, my friend and author, Tracie Miles shares how she convinced herself that God couldn’t use her. There were too many things she had done wrong. But over time as Tracie came to know Christ she realized she was the perfect candidate for His transforming power. Through her brokenness Jesus could show off His grace and goodness. The very things Tracie believed “disqualified” her from ministry are now some of the most impactful parts of her life’s mission and message. Today, I invited Tracie to share some encouragement I think all of our hearts need to hear:
“Have you ever felt like you had nothing special to offer God? Like maybe He doled out the spiritual gifts to everyone else and forgot to give any to you? If so, I want to challenge you to think again.
God has divinely designed a unique purpose for your life. And, you are the only one gifted to fulfill it!
But, before we can discover and embrace what God has gifted us to do, we need to do a little looking back instead of just looking forward. The reality is that God has equipped us to minister to others through the experiences of our past.
But most of us don’t want to look back. We want the past to be the past, and keep trudging ahead. We don’t think about mistakes or hurts. We’d rather bury them in our hearts than talk about them with God, much less anyone else.
But when we do that we prevent our faith from fully blossoming, and we get caught up in trying to figure out how our skills and talents might serve God. What if instead, we look back and discover how our life can serve as a shining testament of His power?
We need is more than gift-assessment; we need a life-assessment to help us discover how our journey has equipped us for God’s divine purposes.
With each situation you have experienced or endured, you have been equipped to serve God.
Your experiences have been used by Christ to strengthen you and your faith. And now He is calling you to be an example of what He is capable of doing. Not just a witness for Christ, but a witness of His power in your life. Because your life matters to God, you do have something of great significance to offer Him – and it’s you.
No one can tell your story of healing, redemption, and purpose like you can.
Even if your experience is similar to someone else’s story, your perspective of what happened and your witness to the power of God’s intervention will be different and unique.
Second Corinthians 1:4 says, “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” Your experiences do not nullify your purpose in life; they prepare you for the purpose God destined you for. They do not void you from being able to participate in ministry, but instead they equip you for it.
Your life-change, healing, faith walk, and journey of transformation could be the story that reaches the broken heart of someone who has lost hope; someone who feels like their life doesn’t matter; someone who has never believed there is a God.
No one is equipped, trained, or qualified to share your story and your faith journey except you.
You are unique. Your experiences are unique. Your story is unlike any other.
Only you can glorify God through your one-of-a-kind design by bringing comfort to others as you allow your past to become the foundation of your personal ministry. When surrendered to Christ, your past experiences will become your most profound equipping and training.
As we gather with people this Thanksgiving and Christmas, let’s look for opportunities to love on them, share our hearts and our stories, and be open to how God wants to us for His divine purpose to bring hope, comfort and love to those around us. And let’s make our lives count for Christ!
YOUR LIFE STILL COUNTS
Enter to Win
We are giving away 4 copies of Your Life Still Counts! Two of you will win two copies (one to keep and one to give away)! To enter to win, simply share your thoughts about today’s post and let us know who you would give the second copy to! [If you’re reading this via email, please click here to enter to win! All entries must be on my blog under this post.]
This sounds like a great book. I often feel so unworthy and useless. I have an illness (severe asthma and IBS) and a lot of times people think this is just an excuse to back out of something I said I would do when in reality I would really like to not have these illnesses and not have to worry about where bathrooms are and if I will be able to breathe or end up on a machine. God can use me in many ways though by praying for others and being the encouragement to others when at times I can’t function. This is especially hard with extended family who do not understand at all. Going somewhere sometimes for 10 minutes pushes it let alone 4-5 hour trips. Very discouraging. I would share with my daughter who is often discouraged too and possibly my son who has made some poor choices and it would be nice to see God can start his life over whenever he truly decides to make the right choices and move forward.
This book would not only be useful to me but to a number of people I know.
I don’t understand the meaning of “accepting Jesus christ” into my life. I want to learn
Tracie Miles says
Hi Kim – I am so excited that you are inquiring about accepting Jesus into your heart. I wanted to share this link below with you which gives more information, about why and how to make Jesus Lord of your life. You can also contact P31 or me if you need any other info or want someone to pray for/with you. Praying for you!
Linda Fern says
Thank you for sharing this subject with me today. I learned this lesson years ago, in my darkest time. I went through that dark time, so God could use me to comfort others. I can’t count how many times, my experience has been used by God to help hold someone else up. In a six-month period of time, my life turned upside down: my oldest brother was diagnosed with brain cancer, my aunt and grandmother died in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, my parents divorced after 27 years of marriage, I was reckless and totaled my car in a five car pile up, which resulted in losing my unborn baby, broke off my engagement, and my dog Maggie died at 18 yrs of age. You can’t make this stuff up! All through this time, I felt God’s hand on me and gave me strength that was not my own. Has God used my story, yes. Has God accepted all of me, yes. Has God ever turned His back on me, no, never. God has used me in quiet ways, to comfort others, probably more than I will ever know. I would give the book to my younger brother David, who is going through one of these difficult times. Bless you for listening. Amen
I would give a copy of the book to my friend Stephanie. We pray together every morning over the phone before work/school and we have read and done the Confident Heart Book online Bible study, twice. This is something we need over and over again, so much that I feel insecure and not good enough that I feel I keep going around the same mountain. How is it that I can know these things, but now KNOW these things to be real. I would love a copy of Tracie’s new book so Stephanie and I can go through another journey of healing, learning and believing in God’s love and promises for us. Thanks so much!!
Jennifer Chapman says
I would love to win this book. I am trying to find myself and my purpose. I have been very stubborn and have made many mistakes in my life. How can God use me to share with others and to use me? I want to be a woman after God’s heart.
It’s 3:00 a.m. I have been struggling with my past and thinking the worst.
I believe God woke me up to let me know He still loves me.
I also believe He led me to read your post at this exact timing.
I would give a copy to my friend who feels the attack of the enemy.
But, God is working in her life, too.
Several things from my past, combined with “feeling my age” lately, makes me think that I need to read this book. I would give a copy to my friend who was a scared & pregnant teenager many years ago.
So today I lost a job that I loved dearly, it involved ministry to others. Lots of circumstances involved, but it comes down to my insecurities and things that happened to me in the past and how I’ve dealt with it recently. Not so well, I’m seeking counseling, and I know that the Lord has a plan to use this for good.
I can totally relate to the blog. I know I have a purpose because I am still breathing but what that is, I have no clue. How I wishiI know my purpose. I hope this book can shed some light to my purpose. If I win, I want to share this book with my friend who has an amazing story of God’s Providence but still don’t know her purpose. It’s be a great journey for both of us to discover why are we still around
This is really speaking to me right now, esp. as we embark on Thanksgiving with family that sometimes dwell on those past mistakes and shame us with labels from those past bad decisions. I hope that I may win a copy to read all of your writing. Our family has been going through a tough time with job loss and waiting to hear if new job offer will be made; hoping for the best! Thank you.
Melissa Chambers says
A few months ago God put reaching out to women and sharing with them how loved, desired and pursued they are by Him. The message in the blog & Tracie’s new book is such an important one because women defiantly carry their shame and guilt as a force field around their heart keeping them from God’s best for them. I look forward to reading the book, it is in my Amazon cart save for later when the funds are available list and would share it with Jen, a friend who desperately needs this message but can’t hear past her stuff yet.
At 48 I still struggle with wondering how God can use me & my personal journey for His purpose & glory. I wonder what gifs & talents God has given me & how I could possibly help others.
Debbie Owens says
Life is full of so many challenges. Many of these challenges are influenced by Satan and not God. It was always hard for me to determine which, until the challenge was over – the feeling of shame and guilt. The topic is very interesting to me, as it focuses on so many areas of my life. If I win, I will read one and give the other to a dear friend who is still trying to determining who her influence is.
Teresa R says
Like the woman caught in the act of adultery and dragged before Jesus, we expect to be rejected, condemned, made to feel shame. Yet, like the woman caught, Jesus shows mercy and forgiveness. He likes to use broken vessels to shine His glorious light through.
I work at a motel and one of our long-stay guests could really use this book. She judges herself to be unwanted and unloved, and she needs Jesus
Michelle Renee says
Thank you for this reminder. I am the best me I can be and by the grace of God, may He work in and through the me He created!
If I win, I know who I’d give the second copy to – a special friend that God would want me to bless with it. I’d also share my copy with a friend when I’m done with my copy!
Susan G says
Such an awesome post Renee and Tracie! This is exactly what we are studying in our women’s small group at church. I see lots of positive reinforcements to share with the group. The book sounds terrific. I would read one book and share it with my group and my daughter. The other book would go to my friend Gloria.
Thank you and Happy THANKSgiving to you!
Dee Trollip says
As I am lying in the hospital bed trying the very best to recover from a breakdown – I received your devotion this morning. I am not inspired to be a better person for God but to help others in the same situation as me. Thank you for your wise words and inspiring prompts!
Tammy Warren says
I know God has a purpose and a plan for each of us, and that each of our days are numbered. Lately I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit, as the quality of my father-in-law’s life seems to be diminishing day by day. Yet, he keeps on keepin’ on to the best of his ability. My mother-in-law and I chatted about faith tonight. We both believe God is taking care of everything. We trust God one day at a time. She is praying to be able to be the caregiver as long as she can and for clarity to know when she cannot do it anymore. I’m praying the same prayer along with her. Yes, each life counts, even if it seems the person in the shell of a body has no quality at all, only God knows the plan. Sometimes I think it’s to give us a glimpse at a life that is completely dependent upon God to provide for every need, as he does. Our God is so good.
The past 4 years I have struggled with addiction. The end of October I admitted myself into an inpatient treatment facility to receive help and I was there for 3 weeks. I received my “30 day” clean/sober chip TODAY! I’m still in early recovery but I already feel better in all aspects of my life. I would LOVE to win this book! I absolutely believe God puts us in certain situations that we don’t understand and we ask ourselves why me? But I have come to learn first hand it’s not to hurt us or make us pay any negative consequences for the choices we’ve made in the past. It’s to make us learn that we have to help ourself before we can help others. Our PAST makes us the women we are today and it allows us to help other women that have been in or going thru similar situations. No matter the circumstance you can make it and there is LIGHT at the end of the tunnel!
I’m so excited that this book is about overcoming our past and turning everything over to Christ! If I win this book I would give the other copy to a friend that is struggling with overcoming the shame and guilt of her past decisions. I hope I have the opportunity to share this book with other women, thank you! LG
Tracie Miles says
Lesley- congratulations on completing your 30 days of sobriety! Praying God gives you great strength to continue on this past towards healing and recovery, and that He fills you up completely with passion and excitement to see and pursue the special plan and purpose He has for you!
The same month that I was informed that I had breast cancer was also the same month that my divorce was final. Six years later I am still single and now an empty nester. While I know that I am not alone, that I have family and friends surrounding me who love me, I still struggle with my self worth and insecurities. I fight depression at times that comes from “being alone”. A lot of times I feel like there is no way God could use me let alone love me even though I know He does. It is a constant struggle.
Erma Rolle says
I love this post… really ministered directly to ME. Dealing with what I have been struggling with… I am blessed to lead the Sunday morning worship service opening with a decree… I always. Pray before selecting, being ever so careful not select based upon what I’m going through at the moment… I usually shun what may be transparent to others…. I am human, not perfect, but God choses for such a time as this…. telling myself time and time again, I can do all things through Christ, it matters not what they think… No One but God knows what my yes has cost me. Eager to read more. What a right now WORD, for right NOW! Bless the Lord… I AM WORTH IT! 🙂
I know I am a work in progress! I look back on my life and wonder, how did I get here! By the Grace of God and when He forgave of my sins! I am still growing and Pray that God will use me for His Glory! I Pray that my life will always be pleasing to our Lord and Savior and that I might be able to help other women!!
Jeanne Doyon says
The older I get the more I see the wonderful weaving God has done in my life. He continues to heal areas I thought were over with as He continues my story within His-story.
I will share the second book with someone the Lord lays on my heart – it may be a friend or someone at one of my speaking engagements.
This book sounds like an excellent tool to find my way to God’s calling. I ended an abusive marriage with an alcoholic 6 years ago. I’ve tried not to look back as mentioned above but found comfort in talking with people who were in the same situation I left. The second copy I would give to my ex-husband (as strange as that may sound). He has come through a tragic motorcycle accident that should have been fatal but I believe God saved him. I would like my ex to learn what I am learning. Do not be ashamed of your past. God loves you for who He created you to be not what you’ve done in your past and He will guide you through healing if you let Him. Thanks for writing this book…..so many will benefit from it. God bless!
Helen Ree says
I need this book
This book would be helpful. I so would like to share my story; 10 years ago our 13 yr old daughter was killed in a wreck. God has walked with me thru some very dark days and has taught me so much. When I think of sharing, it is so very difficult. I feel God wants me to share and help others but I don’t know how to start.
Susan Lynch says
I think as women we all struggle with self worth. I have several of my friends in mind for the gift of this book if I was to be lucky enough to win.
Elena D says
This is a great message for me. I have a lot experiences that I could regret and at times I do. So many things that make me feel unworthy of being used by God. I need to read this book. And I would share it with my friend Becky, who is an awesome small group leader.
The sounds like something I should read, I feel sometimes like God past over me. I know that’s not true.
I give the other book to my daughter or a friend.
This post, and the book topic as well, makes me think of Romans 8:28. We rarely see it at the time, but things we go thru in life always have a purpose, and that purpose is ultimately something good. I will give the second copy to the mother of my daughter’s best friend.
I loved reading your blog today. I do often feel that I haven’t fulfilled God’s plan for my life and sometimes I feel unworthy to be used for his glory because of my own past and recent mistakes. I became a young unwed mother, for one, but by God’s grace and the help of my loving husband and family and friends, I was still able to graduate from college and become a nurse.
I’m hoping and believing that God CAN use the brokenness from my life and my daughter’s “to make something beautiful, as only He could (Steven Curtis Chapman).”
(I would give a copy to my daughter.)
To say that the last few years have been challenging for us would be a gross understatement. My daughter suffered some trauma that only came to light in recent years. She also suffers from mental health issues, including cutting, which she is just starting to overcome. She often believes that she is unworthy of love and acts out impulsively as a result. But all thanks and glory to God, she has been spared from harm when she has put herself in potentially very dangerous situations. But she has a beautiful heart and is a wonderful big sister to her nonverbal Autistic brother. I want her to know that her experiences can be used by God to bring hope and healing to other young ladies and maybe even young men in the future and that God loves her as much and even more than her parents do. Thanks for the encouragement, Tracie and Renee.
You and your ministry is such a blessing. The Lord has been so good to me. He rescued me out of a pit I dug from the choices I made. I felt I was not worthy to be used by Him.
I keep feeling Him leading me to share how the Grace He has lavished on me is meant to be shared.
I have a genetic skin disorder that is progressively getting worse. I feel God telling me His Grace is sufficient and He will guide me. I need to share this. God’s Grace will get me through. I feel I have two choices to cry out in despair or cry out to God to pour out HIs Holy Spirit on me to get me through.
Please pray for God to sustain me. The enemy sometimes attacks and tells me horrible things about how I look and how others see me. I need to remember how GOD SEES me!
God Bless you and Have a Very Blessed Thanksgiving Holiday
My life counts?
Of course your life counts! It wasn’t by chance that I read this. Invite Jesus in right where you are. He loves you! God bless you sweetheart.
Tracie Miles says
Doris – your question is the same one I asked many years ago – I honestly couldnt believe my life mattered to God, or that God could love me. But He does. He loves you, and you did not see this post by mistake. Your question does not surprise God either, in fact, I bet He is rejoicing that you finally began to wonder if your life counts! He has a plan and purpose for you, because He loves you, He just needs you to believe it. Praying for you and that God will make His Presence and love known and felt in your life in the coming weeks!
I have much thought on this book. I as a survivor of abuse can certainly identify with what she talks about in the her book. I feel that I often don’t have something to offer in God’s eyes. I always felt like damaged goods and that God would never use me in any type of work in his eyes. I have stepped forward to become a leader for what is known as LACE ( Ladies After Christ’s Example) . I am so nervous that I am not going to do well in this role. But my friends have assured me that I have the skills to lead this group. That God has placed this challenge in my path for a reason. So, now my challenge begins.
I would share with my boss who has had some tough medical issues. I needed this post as having family home has been difficult this week.
Lilian Andersen says
I just turned 60 this past summer and am really go through a slump where I feel like “How can God use me” and how does my life still count? I worked for many years for the telephone company and was laid off due to a merger and downsizing. Then I sold real-estate for eight years and gave up my license a few years ago. I also battled breast cancer and know that God must still have a plan and purpose for my life because I’m still alive. But I’m just not sure what that plan is right now and I feel like I’m just coasting along these days.
My entire life has been one big soap opera !! And I say it all was and still is a blessing !! I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior in 2010 after loosing my job,home ,family & getting cancer.5 years later I’m still sick , unable to reconcile with ex husband , entire family divided & I’m the one who causes this because Iam considred one of those born agains. The Lord has blessed me with endurance and I will continue to Praise God for all he has given me & I will keep praying for my families salvation! Not seeing my children & granddaughter is so painful. But I know God is Good & he has shown such mercy . I would love to get the books ,I would give the copy to my mother & my daughter after I finished reading. Thank-you & God Bless
Sorry Pat T. my above comments were not meant to be a reply. Didn’t realize I had clicked reply. Sorry for confusion. I would love to read and share Tracie Mills book.
Pat T says
What a wonderful reminder that God is always in control of our lives. I am searching for my purpose and gifts and knowing I need to use my hurts from my past to help out to others is very hard and scary. To be strong enough to share my past is not an easy step. Lord, help me to be the daughter you want me to be.
This definitely sounds like a book that I would love to read. I have several friends who I think would love to read your story and be challenged to share theirs as well. Thanks
Tia James says
I too feel as though my past disqualifies me for all that God has. But I refuse to believe that everything that I have been through is in vain. I want my experiences to help someone else over the mountain they really struggling with. Each and every day I pray for God to place me in front of people that need to hear my testimony. If I win the drawing I would share the other book with, Pat, a dear friend and sister in Christ that has the same trouble of believing God still has a plan for our lives no matter our past. We stand together in prayer all the time and I feel this book will propel us into the destiny God wants us to take. Thank you and everyone have a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving.
Kymberlie Stefanski says
I would love to read this book, together, with my friend, Heidi. I gave her my copy of A Confident
Heart Devotional when she needed it. I know I have issues that I get stuck in and this book would help me. Sharing it with a friend is a double blessing.
I REALLY need this book! I would be sooooo excited if I won! It would be a great help to me in my daily struggles, and also for one of my close friends!
thank you for this! I feel right now so unqualified! Thank you for turning my thoughts around!
What a powerful testimony. I can so relate to Tracie’s story. For most of my life I felt like I had no value. Thankfully, God put an inspiring Sunday School teacher in my path that taught me the value in being transparent about those ugly parts of our life. When we get the courage to finally start “speaking out loud” about these not so nice parts of our past, it opens the door for God to not only heal our heart, but it gives others around us the courage to start speaking about their personal hurts….so God can then start the healing in their life. I am continually amazed at how God speaks through me to touch other hearts (as He continues to heal me). Would love to share the book with another sister-in-Christ in my “Forgiveness” bible study group.
I struggle with this every day and do brogue that one day I’ll tell my story but I haven’t seen victory yet. Praying for that!! I’d give the second copy to my sister 🙂
“Your life-change, healing, faith walk, and journey of transformation could be the story that reaches the broken heart of someone who has lost hope; someone who feels like their life doesn’t matter; ” is something that really struck me. I am currently on a very difficult healing journey and many times I have felt that my life doesn’t matter. I hope at some point God will use my unique experiences to help people through a tough time in their life.
Loretta Pearson says
This resonates with me and where I’m at now
Thank you so much for this encouraging post, Tracie and Renee. I’ve been really struggling with what purpose my life has, so the title and description of this book really draw me in.
I would give the second book to someone who, like me, still struggles with past abuse and feels so insignificant.
Jessica F says
I need to know that my life still counts and can be used for sonething good. I still struggle ti forgive myself from past sins even though I know He has forgiven me. Thank you for the book, looking forward to reading it. Blessings!