WRITTEN BY: JULIANNE AUGUST
Beauty. Our Canadian landscape is overflowing with natural beauty surprisingly diverse between our provinces and territories. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to gaze upon the magnificence of mountain ranges, drive along the coastal countryside, breathe in the eastern sea air and even dog sled the flat and seemingly barren, snow-covered Arctic tundra. The vast beauty of our country is captivating, obvious and plentiful.
On quieter days at home, I take my camera and head outside in search of uncovering beauty, yet not the beauty that presents itself as obvious. I have a love for macro photography. It’s the kind of picture taking that actually involves uncovering hidden beauty, which is seemingly unnoticed to the naked eye, holding no place of prominence in the landscape.
This kind of beauty is all around us. Yet, without discovering it, calling it out, or recognizing its contribution to the landscape --- we miss it.
I love finding these hidden treasures. Whether a bumblebee tucked deep inside the stamen of a flower, or the grainy texture of a leaf, I begin to notice things I would not have ordinarily seen.
Extraordinary beauty can be found when we zoom in and take the time to uncover it.
This truth stirs such emotion in the depths of my soul.
As a young woman I faced many insecurities - lies I believed about my value, my beauty, and myself.
Ugly. That is how I described myself. Inside and out.
Until I met Jesus.
Many years ago, I was invited to gather with women who were virtually strangers to me. Through them I met Jesus, cultivated friendships and somewhere along the way these women zoomed in and took the time to help me recognize my gifts and my unique contribution to the landscape of the local church and kingdom of God.
When women gather there is beautiful fruit.
Christ began to untwist every lie, revealing His unfailing love for me and showing me the truth of my value, my identity and beauty as a daughter of the King. Jesus sees the beauty deep within us and even more poignant, the beauty in the making, in the becoming. What a gift that he continues to create and uncover as we grow.
The transforming power of God’s love is now the lens I look through. It is a powerful magnifier of truth.
Christ’s love for me is beautiful beyond words and worth seeking to uncover daily.
For over 15 years I have had the privilege of serving in leadership at my local church. I could never have imagined that accepting an invitation to gather with other women would shape my future in life changing ways. It is now my greatest joy to leverage my leadership experience and inspire others to use their gifts to thrive in their kingdom calling for the good of others and the glory of God.
God’s beauty is on display through the landscape of Canadian women.
I am excited to join the Gather Women team and will be giving specific oversight to our National Prayer Collective. As we extend an invitation to women across our nation, we want to intentionally provide opportunities to gather and pray, both for and with one another.
Prayer is foundational to the Gather Movement and I am passionate about seeing women connect, not only to champion one another coast to coast, but also allow the power of prayer to transform lives and our nation.
Oh magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together! Psalm. 34:3