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Inspired by sisters who have gone before

Johanna Barker / Sydney, Australia

My name is Johanna and I’m 33. I’m an executive personal assistant and I have a dream to make my life count for something noble and

I am so thankful for ‘the mamas’ in the house. As a young woman, wife, daughter and leader, I hunger for strong examples of ordinary women
who have gone through the seasons and seen that their faith works. I love observing women who have experienced the challenges of life, yet still know how to smile and laugh. Women who have unearthed love in the midst of loss and who have dared to take God at His Word. As they find Him trustworthy, it gives me courage to believe that He also can be trusted in my own experience. When I first encountered the Colour Sisterhood, it was a breath of fresh air to my soul. At first glance, the diversity of the women leading us was, in itself, releasing. Where once I had felt pressured to be more male-like in my approach to leadership, I discovered that women can be both strong and influential without losing the beauty of their God-given femininity. For me that was empowering.

As our local church Sisterhood began to highlight the stories of brave everyday women, I was deeply impacted by Pam’s story. As a young woman in the late 1960’s, society frowned upon teenage pregnancies. Pam was forced to give up her son for adoption without ever meeting or holding him. Forty-eight years later, Pam decided to bravely seek out her lost son and was miraculously reunited. Her courage and story infused all listening that day at Sisterhood with new resolve for their own challenges and lost dreams.

Amy’s story was another that I listened to that day. She was tragically abused as a young wife by two men she should have been able to trust.
Her story of how Jesus healed her heart and gave wings to her recovery was inspiring.

Both these women went through the fire and emerged with no smell of smoke. Their faith taught me, as a younger woman, that the fires and
challenges of life can actually leave you with a fragrance that points to the kindness and grace of God.