Ten thousand women packed the Qantas stadium in Sydney for a weekend in March. Most men would have run for the hills! But this Hillsong Colour conference for women was special, touching the hearts of most, if not every woman there.
As I listened to speakers – including Brian and Bobby Houston, Dawn Cherie, Sheila Walsh and Christine Cain – I was touched by their candour, their honesty and their courage.
Although these were very successful people, they spoke from their darkest times. Some have come through those times to their present situations, and others are still in the midst of hard times and spoke of the daily strength they are receiving to step through each moment.
None of these stories were easy to tell. They came from brokenness and total surrender. But power was in their testimony and that’s what cut through to the hearts of the listener.
As Revelation chapter 12 verses 10-11 says, “For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.”
There is power in the testimony.
Each and every person has a story whether they know it or not.
Throwing my gaze across the sea of women, I was struck to think of the stories each one brought with them. Stories of pain, heartache, joy and love. The places and situations they came from, the turmoil they may have endured, the challenges they have overcome. Some would return to homes of love, and some would return to homes of emptiness or challenge.
I think women are pretty amazing (men are too of course – some of my favourite people are men but for the sake of this article I will address my thoughts on women).
Whenever a group of women get together, you just have to mention ‘childbirth’ and stories of surviving extreme life and death experiences emerge. Bring up a topic on sickness and you will hear of trials, pain and miracles. Bring up the topic of children and you will see straight to the heart of many women. Bring up the topic of life in the workforce and you will hear stories of strength, endurance and overcoming.
We may sometimes look like delicate or weak creatures and, although we feel things deeply, we are strong.
I have seen friends get knocked down repeatedly, suffer physical challenges day in, day out. I see them carry heart-burdens for their friends and family to help carry the load, and I see some wrestle to keep their households together – and though they are knocked down, they rise up again and again to face another day.
These women are heroes in my eyes, these women make me proud to be a woman.
Sometimes we feel like there is not a lot going on, but God is leading us to a destination and one day we will look back and see there was purpose in it all.
Most of us have been through, are going through, or will go through times that shape, mould and renew us, and one day we will emerge refined, shining bright like a diamond.
‘But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.’
(Job chapter 23 verse 10).
(c) Rebecca Moore 2015
First published in Christian Today Australia 13th April, 2015