I love passports. It’s exciting to see the colorful stamps randomly placed in that tiny book, representing destinations from all over the globe. Each one of them tells a unique story of a vacation, business trip, or some other adventure. Even the empty pages are thrilling to me because they give me hope that I’ll get stamps in those spaces someday (and stories to go with them).
While looking for some important documents this week, I was reunited with my passport. I hadn’t paid notice to it in a while, and I seized its invitation to look through every page and reminisce about the trips I had taken. I’ll admit, I got sidetracked in an If-You-Give-A-Mouse-A-Cookie kind of way as I sat on my closet floor enjoying the nostalgia of my adventures, replaying story after story in my mind for more time than I could afford that day.
Why are passport stamps such a beautiful treasure to me? Because they say “I’ve been there, and I’ve done that.” They bear witness to important experiences.
Even if you don’t have a travel passport, each of us has a personal passport book we hold in our heart, with a collection of “stamps” that reflect our life events. They are the happenings that make us who we are. They shape our character and provide us perspective. Some of my memorable events are good; a few are not as wonderful. Flip through the pages of my life passport and you’ll see these stamps: grew up with an alcoholic father, married an ambitious man, taught school, started a small business, faced divorce, survived raising teenagers, etc.
Those stamps in my heart’s tiny passport book enable me to connect with other women who are experiencing the same ups and downs in life. Although the specifics may differ for each of us, here are three must-have stamps for every woman. Are they in your heart’s passport?
Stamp of Sacrifice. Jesus was the most beautiful example of sacrifice. He laid down his life for us. When we show the same attitude of giving up something we love for something we love more, we follow His lead. When have you made a deep sacrifice for someone you loved—one that reflected the heart of God? Was it for your children or your parents? Or perhaps a neighbor or co-worker? Our lives are richer, our friendships are deeper, and our character is stronger when we understand the beauty in sacrifice.
Stamp of Suffering. John 16:33 tells us we will have suffering in this life. It’s not a matter of if, but when. Difficult seasons stretch and grow us. Without them, we might all be self-centered and shallow. If you’ve endured hard times, especially as a single mother, reflect on how your experience equips you to share God’s faithfulness with other women. Your lessons learned in suffering can be used to minister to someone else’s brokenness
Stamp of Joy. James 1:2 instructs us to consider it pure joy when we face trials. I’ve faced a lot of trials, and consequently I’ve stamped a lot of joy in the pages of my passport. Not every situation brought blissful happiness, but in all circumstances the joy of the Lord proved to be my strength. There is no shortage of women in this world craving an experience with joy. Why not share yours with them? Jesus is the true joy giver.
What stamps will your personal passport of life contain? Will you look back and see empty pages, or will you see the footprints of your walk with Jesus threaded throughout your life? Share your stamps with someone and point them to Jesus if you’ve
About Kim Heinecke
Kim Heinecke wants to live in a world where children listen to the advice of their mothers without question. As a former single mom she’s been encouraging women using her life experiences in parenting, growing in the Word of God and everything in between. When she’s not negotiating with a teenager or wrestling a pre-schooler, you can find her camping in the family RV or pretending to understand sports with her husband and four sons. Read more from Kim at www.TheMomExperiment.com.