WELCOME TO CHOSEN 2021
THINKING BACK OVER THE LAST YEAR, I CAN SEE THAT GOD HAS USED MY WEAKNESS TO MAKE ME STRONGER IN HIM. WHEN I FELT STRIPPED OF CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS OR WEAK IN MY OWN PHYSICAL ABILITIES, I HAD TO RELY ON THE ONE WHO KNOWS ME (AND ALL MY INABILITY). HE SAYS THAT I AM MORE THAN A CONQUEROR WHEN I AM IN CHRIST JESUS. I AM BELIEVING THAT FOR MYSELF—AND FOR YOU. WHEN WE RELY ON HIM, WE CAN BECOME STRONGER, TOGETHER.
CHOSEN CONFERENCE DIRECTOR
THE SOVEREIGN LORD IS MY STRENGTH; HE MAKES MY FEET LIKE THE FEET OF A DEER, HE ENABLES ME TO TREAD ON THE HEIGHTS.
HABAKKUK 3:19 (NIV)
“I HAVE BECOME STRONGER BY ADMITTING THAT I AM NOT ALWAYS STRONG—AND THAT’S OKAY. ADMITTING MY WEAKNESS HAS LED ME TO DEPEND ON CHRIST AND TO ALLOW HIM TO WORK THROUGH THAT WEAKNESS. IT’S AN OPPORTUNITY FOR GROWTH. GETTING STRONGER DOESN’T ALWAYS FEEL GOOD, JUST LIKE GETTING PHYSICALLY STRONGER CAUSES PAIN, GETTING SPIRITUALLY STRONGER ALSO COMES WITH GROWING PAINS.”
STEPH BENTONSISTERHOOD COLUMBIA
BUT HE SAID TO ME, “MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR YOU, FOR MY POWER IS MADE PERFECT IN WEAKNESS.” THEREFORE I WILL BOAST ALL THE MORE GLADLY ABOUT MY WEAKNESSES, SO THAT CHRIST’S POWER MAY REST ON ME.
2 CORINTHIANS 12:9 (NIV)
In middle and high school, Harmony sometimes had to sneak to church. Sometimes, she even begged, but her mother’s most effective punishment was forbidding her to go. In their home, God got a mention at the dinner table, but he was rarely invited in as more than an occasional guest.Full Story
“WHEN OTHERS WERE BEING VULNERABLE, I USED TO FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE FOR THEM. MY OWN MOMENTS OF VULNERABILITY MADE MY BODY BREAK OUT IN HIVES. BUT THROUGH RECENT TRIALS, I’VE DRAWN CLOSER TO GOD AND BECOME MORE OPEN WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS— STRENGTHENING THE BONDS BETWEEN US. THERE IS STRENGTH IN BEING VULNERABLE.”
SISTERHOOD MOUNT PLEASANT
TWO ARE BETTER THAN ONE, BECAUSE THEY HAVE A GOOD RETURN FOR THEIR LABOR. IF EITHER OF THEM FALLS DOWN, ONE CAN HELP THE OTHER UP.
ECCLESIASTES 4:9–10 (NIV)
Saying goodbye to her family before moving from Puerto Rico to the continental States was one of the hardest things Suhey Torres has ever done. “Back home, you don’t leave your family, ever,” Suhey said. But moving was the best option for her husband’s engineering career. “I was always adventurous, so it didn’t surprise my family, but they were devastated.”Full Story
“AT AGE 50, I WENT BACK TO SCHOOL TO GET A MASTER’S IN EDUCATION TO TEACH. WHEN I FINISHED, I WAS TOLD BY ONE SCHOOL AFTER ANOTHER THAT I WAS TOO OLD FOR ANY JOB. I WISH THEY’D SAID THAT BEFORE I SPENT ALL THAT MONEY. SEVERAL YEARS LATER WHEN WE MOVED TO CHARLESTON, GOD GAVE ME THE COURAGE TO CHANGE CAREERS AGAIN AT 59 AND BECOME A REALTOR. IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO REINVENT YOURSELF! AND GOD HAS BLESSED ME BEYOND ANYTHING I COULD’VE EXPECTED.”
SISTERHOOD MOUNT PLEASANT
BUT THOSE WHO HOPE IN THE LORD WILL RENEW THEIR STRENGTH. THEY WILL SOAR ON WINGS LIKE EAGLES; THEY WILL RUN AND NOT GROW WEARY, THEY WILL WALK AND NOT BE FAINT.
ISAIAH 40:31 (NIV)
“NO MATTER THE PAIN OR STORM, GOD IS WITH US. WE ARE NOT ALONE. WHEN MY HUSBAND BECAME AN AMPUTEE, I HAD TO LEARN TO BUILD AND REPAIR THINGS AROUND THE HOUSE AND CHANGE THE OIL IN MY CAR. BOTH OF US HAD TO ADAPT. WE HIT A TURNING POINT WHEN I COULDN’T BEAR HIM SAYING, ‘I CAN’T DO ANYTHING’ ONE MORE TIME. I PUSHED HIS WHEELCHAIR FORWARD AND SAID, ‘LOOK, YOU ARE THE SAME LEVEL WITH THE STOVE. I’M GOING TO GET MY SHOWER AND YOU COOK DINNER.’ HE’S BEEN COOKING EVER SINCE. NOW HE COOKS BETTER THAN ME. GOD ALWAYS GIVES US A WAY. HAVING FAITH IN THAT IS WHAT HELPS US GET THROUGH THOSE STORMS.”
CONNIE DAWKINSSISTERHOOD COLUMBIA
I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH HIM WHO STRENGTHENS ME.
PHILIPPIANS 4:13 (ESV)
After my father died in 2013, my mom’s doctor in Tennessee called, suggesting Mom come stay with me for a while. I didn’t see this coming. Dad was the one who’d always been sick. Mom was the strong one. But my brother, who lived next door to her, started regularly finding Mom waiting on his porch when he came home from work. She had never really been alone, and she hated it. It was grief and loneliness, sure. But when her blood pressure shot to over 200, that’s when her doctor called me.Full Story
“THIS PAST YEAR, GETTING STRONGER HAS MEANT BEING MORE RESILIENT, BEING ABLE TO HANDLE SETBACKS AND DISAPPOINTMENTS. I PUT MY FAITH IN GOD AND WALK THE PATH EVEN WHEN I CANNOT SEE IT CLEARLY.”
HELEN BAILEYSISTERHOOD MOUNT PLEASANT
TASTE AND SEE THAT THE LORD IS GOOD; BLESSED IS THE ONE WHO TAKES REFUGE IN HIM.
PSALM 34:8 (NIV)
When Loryn Harper was 12 years old, she gave herself fifteen minutes at a time to cry alone in her bedroom. The youngest of four children, she knew it would be only minutes before someone barged in. She needed to keep this unexplainable, constant sadness hidden.Full Story
“WHILE RECUPERATING FROM MY BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT, I SPENT A LOT OF TIME IN PRAYER, REFRESHING AND STRENGTHENING MY PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. I STAYED WITH MY WONDERFUL SISTER IN ATLANTA FOR 10 MONTHS, AND ALTHOUGH I WAS PRETTY SICK, WE WERE ABLE TO SEE HUMOR IN MANY THINGS. WE LAUGHED A LOT, WHICH FED INTO MY OPTIMISM THAT I WOULD GET BETTER. AND I DID.”
SISTERHOOD MOUNT PLEASANT
A JOYFUL HEART IS GOOD MEDICINE, BUT A CRUSHED SPIRIT DRIES UP THE BONES.
PROVERBS 17:22 (ESV)
In Karachi, Pakistan, four women sat on the floor in a room lit by one light bulb. A woman named Kanwel had knocked on their doors and asked if they wanted to learn to read, write, and sew—skills not readily available to women in Pakistan. In addition to these traditional gender injustices, females born into Christian homes also faced discrimination, oppression, and often persecution.Full Story
Elizabeth “Liz” Shuman has been a single mom to 16 children over the last 11 years. The kids — usually middle and high school age — arrive at her Asheville area home struggling with mental health and behavioral issues.Full Story
“WHEN I START TO SLIP BACK INTO OLD ROUTINES, ALL I HAVE TO DO IS LOOK AT MY DAUGHTER AND IT GIVES ME THE STRENGTH TO MOVE FORWARD, NOT BACKWARD. TOGETHER, MY DAUGHTER AND I ARE BUILDING A STRONGER RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST.”
BETH ANN JAROWYI
SISTERHOOD NORTH CHARLESTON
WHEN YOU PASS THROUGH THE WATERS, I WILL BE WITH YOU; AND WHEN YOU PASS THROUGH THE RIVERS, THEY WILL NOT SWEEP OVER YOU.
ISAIAH 43:1-2 (NIV)
We left Estes Park, Colorado at 2:33 am, our rental car twisting down the narrow switchback roads of the Rocky Mountains. In daylight, the steep road revealed a horizon line of white peaks, untouched by the heat of late May. This year, for the Chosen Women’s Conference, we wanted to reframe the way we thought about strength, to juxtapose the physical strength of the natural world with the eternal strength we find in Christ— which oftentimes to the world appears like weakness.Full Story
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"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."