You have a dream, a vision, a calling from God. But discouragement, setbacks, and unforeseen challenges have caused you to question yourself . . . and maybe even God.
Three years ago, Ivy was diagnosed with breast cancer, a diagnosis that threatens the dreams of over 600 women each day. Today, however, after many weeks of chemo, multiple surgeries, and months and months of sickness, fatigue, and uncertainty, Ivy is seeing her dreams come true – and I’ve got the pictures to prove it.
But before I share them, I want to ask you something: Are you feeling a little down or discouraged today? Does it seem like your dreams are fading? Or, are you, perhaps, even suffering?
If you answered yes to one or more of those questions, I pray that the faces in the following pictures — these dreams come true — will encourage and renew your trust in the One who says, “I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV).
These are the faces (l-r) of Noemi Moreno and her daughter Valerie, me, Manuela and her daughter, Cristina, Ivy Posada and her daughters Talia and Leah, and Marisol Zita and her daughter, Damaris – the mother-daughter Beauty by The Book/ Beauty by The Book for Teens small group that Ivy recently led cancer-free!
And that’s not all . . .
It’s a room full of women and girls who came together this past weekend for the first-ever Girls Night Out scholarship fund-raiser for Hinsdale Adventist Academy. The event included lots of fun, food, fashion (in the form of a what-not-to-wear, modest vs. immodest runway show), fund-raising, and a message (from me) about biblical beauty. And can you guess whose dream and vision made the entire evening possible? That’s right, Ivy!
You know, if there was a sign-up sheet for suffering, none of us would volunteer. But meeting Ivy this past weekend and witnessing the passion and power of God upon her life reminded me that suffering doesn’t mean the death of our dreams, and discouragement cannot deter God’s plan for our lives. In fact, the opposite is true: discouragement and suffering are the pathway to His passion and power.
“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness . . . For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 1 Corinthians 12:9-10 ESV
Thank you, Ivy, and thank you Hinsdale Adventist Church and Academy for encouraging me and every glo girl who sees your sweet faces today to trust God whose grace is always sufficient and whose dreams for us are always good.
What are you dreaming about through your discouragement? How have you experienced the “when I am weak, then I am strong” grace of God?