Tell us about you! Your name, where you're from.
Hi, my name is Maneesha Grace. I live in Manitoba, Canada.
Just like you, I have a story, a journey with the Lord that has not been easy. I’m super thankful that God has given me the opportunity to share my story and what He’s been teaching me through this journey called life. I hope you feel encouraged and know that God has a very special plan and purpose for you.
What has God been teaching you lately?
I’m a life-long learner when it comes to the Lord, I think we all are. My journey with Him is growing deeper and deeper every day. The more I commit myself to knowing Him and His Word, the more I realize how much more there is to learn and grow. The adventure with Him is thrilling.
There are many things the Lord has been teaching me, but I’ll try to keep it down to two main points.
Waiting, can I get a witness? Maybe this word makes you cringe. But in my own personal season of waiting, I have learned to not only enjoy it but embrace it. Waiting is a strength.
“Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14).
I’m learning that my waiting season is not passive, but an active and strong stance of fully relying on Him. In my season of waiting, I’m learning about myself, my pitfalls, my weaknesses and the awareness of His presence and strength. Believing and trusting in the sovereignty of God has helped me during my most difficult seasons of waiting.
2. Perseverance through struggle.
I’m not going to sugar-coat a life of faith. It’s not easy, and don’t believe anyone that tells you it is. But it’s the most dependable, thrilling adventure to know and understand that God is in control. The act of surrendering to that, is incredibly satisfying, even in the midst of trials. When I was a “fence-sitting” Christian (staying in the safe-zone, striving to be accepted by the world and not living out a life full of passionate faith and actively meditating on God’s Word) I became a “safe” friend to everyone. I called myself a Christian but lived on the fence. I partied on the weekends and sat in the pews on Sunday's. There were habits that I needed to release and let go of before I could fully walk in the promises God had for me. And when I did begin walking in faith, this is what happened…
First World “persecution” if I may call it that, will attack in ways that hurt. It comes in the form of rejection, betrayal, gossip, mockery, and isolation and being ostracized. Don’t be surprised at the reactions you get when you start living out loud for Jesus. You may even be surprised at the reaction of your fellow “fence-sitting” Christians. Following Christ will come with a cost, are we willing to serve Him in spite of what the world says? Focus on what the Lord is revealing to you, and don’t allow the enemy to speak lies through the action or inaction of others. God will give you the strength to endure. Remember this Scripture:
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you”
(John 15:18-19)- Read John 15, This entire chapter is life-giving.
As I began to walk out my faith more passionately and focus on Him, I noticed some of the relationships changing, friendship dynamics shifting. Some friends fell by the wayside, and others drew closer. Some friends mocked me, to my face or behind my back and others encouraged me. I began to see that living a life of faith and walking diligently with Christ quite literally meant taking up our Cross and following Him. It looks different for everyone, but this was a way I could see there was a cost associated with following Him
Tell us about your ministry, page, business, etc?
In 2016 I started blogging. I’ve always loved to write, but never felt that it could inspire anyone. I realized after my first few posts, women were encouraged. I felt the Lord asking me to take this step of faith and trust Him while being vulnerable with my story. I had no idea how to start a blog, how to set up a website, but just decided to take a leap of faith. My heart was in a position of surrender with no expectation except to see God move in my life in a mighty way. In a few short months, a few faithful readers and lots of encouragement and support, I found joy in my new hobby. I continued to pursue God's Word excitedly and write about daily life, struggles women face in society and faith. God had consistently been confirming to me that in this season, this was my ministry.
What inspired you to start? What keeps you going?
Tragedy and heartbreak.
In 2011 I decided to take a stand against abusive behaviors in my marriage. The internal struggle I faced prior to taking a stand was fierce. Ten years ago, if you would have seen my life, you would have thought my life was perfect. We lived in a beautiful home, with two dogs and what seemed to be the picture-perfect marriage, all that was missing was the white-picket fence. But inside I was a mess, I couldn’t continue wearing the masks to hide the hurt and the pain I was experiencing in the marriage. Though I never believed in divorce and knew Scripture said, “God hates divorce”, I felt the Lord calling me, telling me I had to do something to make it stop. I knew something needed to change in our marriage. In the middle of our separation I diligently pursued Christ, I dove into His Word and learned so much more about my Father in Heaven and who He was to me. My “fence-sitting” ways were no more. I couldn’t ignore the personal relationship that I was developing with Christ. And as I continued to pray for restoration and for God to rebuild our marriage, my husband refused to reconcile. He refused to accept my deeper relationship with Christ. In the deepest, darkest moments of divorce, I learned that God was there, He watched over me, He was right there with me through it all.
I continue to write and share my faith because of what I know and have experienced the transformative, redemptive power of God’s grace. I know what He can do in a life surrendered to Him. No, I don’t have the “fairy-tale ending”, my marriage was not restored, but in the process, through the journey, my faith, my awareness, and relationship with Christ is stronger than ever before. To me, that is something so priceless and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The reason I want to share Christ with you is that I simply can't help but want to share what he's done for me. The person I was and the person I am today are two completely different people. One person relied heavily on control and wearing masks to cover up deep hurt. The other is freed from a life of regret and surrendered to God.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28
What are your greatest struggles in what you do? What is one thing you have learned from what you do?
The greatest struggle is not allowing society or the world to dictate my position in life. So often as women we face the pressure of attaining certain “notches” on our belt; careers, marriage, children, homes, success, beauty, the list goes on. In many ways, at my age, I feel like I’ve gone “backward” according to society. Let me encourage you today, the Lord looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). What’s going on in your heart and in your walk with the Lord on the inside is far more important than the status we hold in society. I think the greatest struggle and joy are people. I find great joy in community and people, but I also know that people are messy, we are broken, in desperate need of a Savior. As much as we need community, we need Jesus much much more.
What is your greatest passion for the Kingdom of God?
Authenticity and transparency. I am passionate about real stories that come alive when Christ is magnified in them. I love to encourage women to be overcomers in Christ. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. I believe true authentic and genuine transformation occurs when we proclaim Jesus is Lord in our lives. When we admit we’re in need of a Savior, repent of our sins and accept the forgiveness offered to us, we have been set free. There is a lot of sifting and pruning that God needs to do in our hearts, but when we are willing to allow the Holy Spirit to cut away the things holding us back from experiencing freedom in Christ, we begin a life of adventure with Him.
I am greatly passionate about women encouraging other women in Christ and to boldly proclaim the Gospel.
How has God uniquely made you/gifted you?
A few years ago, I would have struggled with this question. For the longest time, I never knew what my gift was, I'd look at others and see them singing, preaching, teaching and using their God-given abilities to make a Kingdom impact. There was a passion inside me, a spark igniting, I always had a heart for the lost, the poor, the needy and the outcast, but I had not one hot clue about how to serve or what I could offer. A monumental shift needed to take place in my life before any of those questions could be answered. There was a lot of junk that needed to be sifted and pruned out of my life in order to be used in ways I never thought possible.
I didn't expect to be sharing my life on the internet, I never anticipated to enjoy writing and blogging as much as I do. At first, I was scared and was embarrassed of what others might say, but when God asks you to step out in faith, you learn very quickly that it’s the most rewarding and satisfying step you’ll take. In many ways, writing is something the Lord gave me to do. If He would have given me a singing voice, then I would sing. I do really love to sing, but for now, I’ll stick to writing
I think my gift of encouragement is used through writing. Being vulnerable involves taking a risk. I don't write because I want to be seen or heard, I write because I hope my story will encourage and impact someone.
What could you talk for hours about?
People talk about their kids, their homes, their jobs or their hobbies... I love community-building heart to hearts, I love wondering about life, asking questions and finding the answer, I love Jesus-loving chats and making life-long connections. Everyone we encounter has a need, has gone through a journey, or is walking through it right now. I love to hear how God has worked in the lives of people passionately pursuing Him.
What do you think is the greatest struggle facing Christian women today?
This is a tough one, so I’m going to go ahead and say 4 of the greatest struggles…
Transparency, jealousy, comparison, and insecurity.
When we share our stories in the light of what Jesus has done for us, and who He represents in our lives, we turn our story into a place for His glory. Unfortunately, our pride, our sin, our shame gets in the way of fully allowing the Holy Spirit to do His amazing work in our hearts. He's in the business of transforming lives, but He'll never force His way into our hearts. We need to openly receive Him and allow the heart work to take place.
Transparency is hard because it means we need to be vulnerable in a world that views vulnerability as a weakness and forgets that part of empowerment is recognizing our need for something bigger than ourselves.
I grew up in a very conservative Christian church and home. We were taught very strong biblical principles and foundations that have stuck with me to this day. The only thing that was missing, in the beginning, was experiencing freedom from legalism and religion. I didn't understand surrender, joy, peace, and freedom. Early in my life, I was fearful of doing this or doing that for fear of punishment. Even though I knew all the Bible stories and hymns and accepted Christ into my heart I never fully experienced the freedom Christ gave. Having walked the Christian faith a little "backward" in that I learned about the faith very early on in life and attended church regularly, but it was only until I experienced divorce and losing it all, that my childhood faith was put into action.
Jealousy and Comparison often go hand in hand and are rooted in insecurity. Unfortunately, Christians are not immune to them. Let’s face it, sin makes us susceptible to feeling threatened. Our flesh can’t handle it. When women see themselves as unique vessels that God can use for His glory and focus on Him instead of the appearance, status or blessing of another woman, that’s when God gets the glory. True revelation for me came when I realized that God has a unique purpose for my life, and when I surrender my plans, my goals, my circumstances to Him, He gets the glory. When I walk obediently in His way, surrendering my wants and desires to Him, the takeaway is peace and life of freedom. I couldn’t ask for anything more life-giving.