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.]
Krista tancredo says
I have often wondered this myself and my prayers are now being answered.
I have always believed God had a plan for my life, but at 38 I am struggling bd I don’t see the purpose. I am looking for any and all guidance to help me truly hear Him and see Him!!
Geri Taylor says
I remember when going through a very painful time I believed the events taking place had robbed me of my future. It took a faith loving friend to sternly yet lovingly tell me that God was my future! That while all hope seemed lost, darkness loomed, finances depleted, confidence gone, identity shaken to the core, the truth remains that God is over it all and Lord of the second chance and new life.
I am sure this book will help remind me, lift me, and encourage me to stay focused, as to passing on a copy, well I will commit that to prayer and let the HOLY SPIRIT lead- I promise to be lead and obedient in that.
This sounds like a book I must read. Thanks for sharing it, and this post. What a wonderful book to win for your library.
Delia Macias says
I would love to win a copy of this book, but if I am not a winner I pray that who ever does will be blessed! Thank you and Bless You!
Shelly Green says
This is so true! The past has been full of happiness and sadness both, as well as regrets. But there has been good to come out of it all. I think the worst was a very abusive relationship that I was in, which lasted nearly a decade. I was able to get out and I feel like that is my ministry to other hurting and scared women. Truly satan was at work in that relationship and tried his darnedest too keep me down and feeling unworthy. God, however, had better plans for me. Praise the lord.
Susan K says
My college roommate and I just reconnected after almost 20 years. God must have brought us together, possibly for her 20-year-old daughter, who has an eating disorder. I am a recovering anorexic. When I saw the guest post, confirming how I already feel… and I share my past when appropriate…I thought maybe that would be something for her daughter to pray about, as she doesn’t have the will to improve. She hasn’t the will, the focus she needs.
Maybe, just maybe, this is a trial for her now to share with others later, like I have done over the years, to bring light of hope and Christ to others who are suffering from the same type of disease. She needs to find the drive to save herself… no one can do that except her, and God. In His great wisdom, I believe He has brought us together again to bring His Word to her through suffering and trial. To grow, and to help others.
An excellent devotional. I am 77 years old and I don’t think I can help anybody or comfort because myself needs comfort. My only testimony of my past life experiences is that that Christ saved me in spite of myself, no because I wanted to change but my circumstances did not allow to do what I wanted, I wanted, fun and pleasure and riches, I made the mistake to leave my native country, to live a very sad and poor life in the States, but God was merciful to me and give two precious sons through them He gave a lot of joy on them, when they were home, Then He gave me a wonderful daughter in law a Christian girl like the one in Proverbs 31, and three precious very beautiful grand children and allow me to take care of the three of them for 4 years and one year for my beautiful youngest grand daughter. If the Lord gave talents I buried them. The only thing I am doing is work in my church nursery once a month. That’s nothing.
Tracie Miles says
Cintita – in my opinion, serving in the nursery and loving on children is one of the greatest ways to serve! Don’t ever think what you are doing for God is nothing. I so admire the people who serve in church nurseries, maybe because I dont think I have that gift for serving in that area. I love kids, but nursery is not my calling! So be proud of the love you are pouring onto these children, and how you are teaching them about Jesus through your actions and your words. I pray God blesses you abundantly in every way and helps you see the value of what you are giving to Him – the gift of yourself.
would love to win this book
I have been struggling with my self worth as well. I have made several bad choices in my life. I have raised 4 kids pretty much on my own but feel as if I have failed them in many different ways. I am thankful that I read this email and know that I am not the only one with struggles, and things that I have done that I am not proud of. I have a daughter that is going to be 18 next year and am worried that I have not equiped her enough for that milestone.
I would give my second copy to my friend Ashley who helps keep me encouraged. Thanks
Wow! Sounds like a book I need to read!
Nancy Getbehead says
This is the valley that I am in right now. So glad I read this email!
Deborah Hall says
I am dealing with this issue right now. I feel like I am not worthy and of course the evil one is feeding things to me since I am at a really low point right now. I downloaded your book A Confident Heart last night and started reading this morning. Then came to your website and I am happy to have your resources to go along with my reading this book. I know that God will use your words in this book to help me get to where he wants me to be.
I would give the second book to Sheila, a friend of mine, that would also benefit from reading this book as she is growing closer to God.
Thank you for the opportunity to win these books.
Amanda Evans says
I’d share a copy with my sister!
My sister and I were both sexually abused in our childhood home. I am sad to say that in the past 2 years, we have each gotten divorced. I believe the emotional damage we sustained got in the way of creating lasting marriages. If we could each learn to turn our hurt to the good, not only would our immediate families benefit, perhaps, as this post says, some other woman will be helped on her journey of healing as well.
I am awed that God can use me despite all the sin and the way I sometimes take control instead yielding to God to work through me. It is wonderful that He can use us as we yield to His Spirit and walk in His ways. I would share this book with my sister who is going through a difficult patch in her life. Thank you for such beautiful words that give me hope that I can totally yield to the Lord that He might use me.
Elaine B says
I feel like I’ve been struggling forever to find out where I fit in and what I am here for or my purpose. This book will help me to answer those questions. I’d love to share this with my daughter who I have. Not seen in 3 years.
Cheryl Wa says
Thank you for the blessing of your writings.
GInger M. says
Thanks for the reminder. Would love to read the book.
I stuggle with this every day. I have a life that most women would die for, I am overly blessed, but yet still wonder what is my purpose, am I doing what God has called me to do? I pray daily that God will give me a sign that I need to change, that I need to do things differently, but I am not getting the sign, so then I question, am I missing something – UGH I am a mess on the inside…..
Tracie Miles says
Tracy – wouldnt it be nice if God would give us big neon signs to tell us what we are supposed to do? But since that cant happen, what we can do is to draw closer to Him through reading our bibles, devotions and spending time in prayer, and in doing so, He gives us subtle signs which catch our attention, or grow our faith. We’re all a mess! But God can do great things with messy people and their messes. Praying that feel and see God working in your life and that He gives you spiritual insight and vision to the special plans He has prepared for you. Just follow your heart and your passions and God will lead the way.
God has been teaching me a lot about grace recently. I think this book would be another one of those lessons. I would share the second copy with a local ministry for chemically-dependent women–I am sure some of them have the same feelings.
Kathy Van Gundy says
For over 25 years I lived with shame and guilt over one instance that destroyed my family. I couldn’t even speak about it. After going thru a Christ centered program, I was finally set free to the cage I had created. I still find it difficult to share but I know it is the story God wants me to share. Your blog and book has given me a new perspective. I would give the second book to my daughter, who is a little too much like her mother. I wouldn’t wish 25 years of wilderness on her.
Its so easy to focus on the future and not on the past. But I am so thankful to God for calling me out of the darkness into His wonderful light. Thankful that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Its not easy, but thank You Lord that I’m not alone, You are with me even till the ends of the earth.
I would like to give this book to my colleague, who needs a reminder that its not over only the beginning☺
Dian M. says
Thank you for driving home the point that it doesn’t matter how messed up you feel or how weak your faith feels, God can find a way to use you in His service. This lets me know that I could serve as a perfect candidate to do His bidding.
I, sometimes, fail to recognize my usefulness in the big picture, but God has a plan and a way for (even) me to be of use to Him!! What an exciting revelation!
I would give my extra copy to a dear sister-in-Christ who recently voiced her uncertainty about God’s purpose and plan for her life as well. Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to win such an great gift!
Kathy Grant says
I would like to give the copy to my pastor’s wife. She is young and still wonders about how she can be a better mom and pastor’s wife. She is concerned about what the Lord wants for her. Thank you!
Emily Duncan says
I would love a copy of this book & would give a copy to my mother who has turned her back against the Lord.