Perhaps you’ve asked that question. . .
Does my life still count?
Have I disqualified myself from your plan for me?
With vulnerability and insight, Tracie shares her own story of how God answered that question with a resounding yes.
Today Tracie joins me to share a little more about her story and her powerful new book, Your Life Still Counts: How God Uses Your Past to Create a Beautiful Future.
Interview with Tracie Miles
author, speaker, and woman whose life counts
Q: You are vulnerable in YLSC. How hard was it to share your story?
Tracie: It was hard at first, I’m not gonna lie. Especially years ago, when the first time I ever shared my story was when while speaking at an event. I didn’t really want to, but God had impressed upon my heart that I was supposed to.
I’m sure it wasn’t an eloquent message from the stage, but God changed my heart that day as I saw women’s hearts being changed as a result of my transparency. I realized that my willingness to share my own mistakes and brokenness somehow gave permission for others to do the same, without fear of shame or judgment.
Q: You say: Christ doesn’t want anyone living in the shadow of their past, but in the light of His future for them.
What does that mean for the women who made a mistake and felt like God didn’t want her anymore?
Tracie: What it really means is that God wants us to all embrace the truth that He loves us more than we could ever understand, and that nothing we have done affects our value in His eyes. Instead of judging for our past mistakes or hardships, God sees a beautiful future ahead, IF we are willing to let Him use it to glorify Him and give us a special purpose.
I’ve found that we have so many benefits by living in God’s light instead of the regrets of the past. To name a few:
- We benefit from being fully healed from the pains of our past through seeing God using them for something amazing, and seeing that our pain has holy purpose
- We gain a deep personal satisfaction knowing our life matters to God and always has, and that we matter in this world.
- We have the blessing of doing something we are passionate about, and seeing God change hearts and lives, including our own.
- We will have the privilege of seeing how God uses our past to create a beautiful future we would have never imagined.
Q: How has God used your past to create a beautiful future?
Tracie: The day I walked out of the abortion clinic, was the day I decided God could never love me or use me. I spent 14 years believing that lie, and I know so many other women do too which breaks my heart.
Now to see how God had used that very experience to speak healing and truth into my spirit, and to give me a passion to help other women overcome the heartaches of their past, is almost hard to believe. He used that one mistake to really draw me to Him and give me a purpose I would have never imagined. I never wanted to be a speaker or a writer, but God had different plans.
Q: Why do you think we hide our struggles from other believers?
Tracie: There is a part of us, especially as women, that will always fear being judged or criticized. We want to be liked and approved of and accepted and we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t worry about judgment from others, especially if what we have to share is not too pretty.
But God can help us have a faith that will overcome that fear, and it starts by realizing how precious we are to Him. Once we recognize that His approval is really all we need, and we see how powerfully God can use our story to impact hearts for eternity, the fear of other people misunderstanding you takes a back seat.
Even though that fear may always stay in the back of our minds, I speak from experience that once the passion for doing what God calls you to do really takes off, the anxiety about what some people might say seems much less important.
Q: What if you share your struggle and you are judged?
Tracie: It’s a sad reality that there will always be people that judge. Even believers, who think their heart is in the right place.
But what I’ve experienced is that countless more people love on me and connect with me, through my willingness to be vulnberable, than do people who judge me. In fact, I’ve never had anyone rebuke me or dislike because of a mistake I made. Not saying that could never happen, but when we are willing to trust God, I think He protects us as well as we walk the journey.
And even if someone does criticize, its easier to let it roll off our backs when we have seen proof of the power of Jesus at work in us and through us and helping others come to know Him.
Q: What is one thing you want women whose past is painful to know about themselves?
Tracie: That they are adored and treasured by God, and that nothing they have done or anything that has been done to them makes them any less worthy of God’s love and forgiveness. I want them to know that no matter what their past holds, God has a purpose for it and that their lives have been divinely designed since the day they were born.
I also long for women to open the door for God to show them how He can use what the devil meant for evil something good, and that when we witness that happen, it changes our perspectives entirely and gives us an incredible passion for a purpose we didn’t even know was tucked into our spirits.
Q: What is one thing you want them to know about God?
Tracie: Its hard to believe that God is so merciful, and that He forgives our sins and doesn’t hold them against us. But Jesus died on the cross for us to enjoy that grace. Not because we deserve it, but because we are that valuable to Him. I want them to know they are precious, and that God’s heart broke when they went through difficult times, but that nobody is beyond His ability to love and forgive and use for mighty purposes in His kingdom – from the biggest dream, to touching a woman’s heart that you bumped into in the grocery store and shared honestly.
Once I realized that Romans 8:28 had come true in my life, which says “we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them”, I became passionate about wanting to helping women learn that the pain of their past was not for nothing either. God can and will use our past for His purposes if we will only say yes.
If you need prayer, Tracie and I and a strong group of praying friends will circle around you with prayer.