May 22, 2022

Becoming a Strong and Gracious Woman

Written by Shana Schutte

There are some people who leave marks of God on your life.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 22, 2022

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:7-8

When my good friend, Maxine, phoned me in 2012 to tell me that her doctor had only given her a couple months to live, she also said, “If you want to see me, it’s best if you come now.” So, I traveled from Georgia where I was living to Colorado Springs to visit her at her home. 

As I walked into Max’s room, I was shocked at her appearance. Gaunt and frail, I expected her voice to match her deteriorating body, but it didn’t.  Instead, in her enthusiastic, girl-like tone she said, “Well, hello Sweetheart! You look beautiful!” I bent down and she kissed me on the cheek. The sparkle in her eyes clearly conveyed that her spirit was as bright as ever, shining vibrantly against the dark backdrop of her illness.

She patted the bed next to her. “Sit,” she said, then held my right hand. “Oh, Shan! You would not believe the blessings that have come to me during this time.” She shook her head in disbelief as tears of gratitude puddled in her eyes. “It’s amazing what God has done.”

As Max conversed with me and her closest family members over the next few days between morphine injections and naps, I was blown away. Tears filled my eyes as I told her, “Max, I have always considered you a positive, faith-filled, godly woman, but now your spirit is really shining and you are glorifying God.” “Oh, I want to glorify Him!” she said. “Oh, I do. I do.”

And indeed she did. But Maxine didn’t just glorify God in her death, she glorified Him with her life. She glorified Him because she was a woman of grace, faith, and love. 

It’s been almost ten years since Maxine ran off to heaven with Jesus, but I still haven’t forgotten the lessons she taught me. 

When speaking about Max, her husband said that she was “infinitely gentle” with people. And that she was. She had strong convictions about what was right and wrong. Her faith guided her values and life choices. But even when she didn’t agree with others, she related to them in love. She spoke well of others and always found something good to say about them, even when she didn’t approve of their choices. Indeed, she was infinitely gentle and filled with grace. 

As a woman grounded in God’s personal love for her, she looked toward the future in expectant hope and enthusiasm. One day when she was over 60 years old and had already been diagnosed with cancer, she said, “I want to build a treehouse in the backyard so I can climb on it with my grandkids.” Rooted in God’s grace, she navigated trials with grace and hope for the future. 

Max sought to solve problems with others by pressing into conflict when needed, but she always did it with kindness. She knew how to have hard conversations, but always confronted from a place of humility and love. She never shamed, blamed, or condemned anyone. Max wanted to see others succeed. She wanted to see them heal. She wanted them to know they mattered. 

There are some people who leave marks of God on your life. As a woman of grace, faith, and love, Max left her mark on mine. I am grateful for her legacy. 

 “A gracious woman attains honor . . .” (Proverbs 11:16).


Lord, help me to be a woman of grace, faith, and love. Help me to pass on the legacy of God’s goodness to others. Amen.


If you know a woman of grace, faith, and love who has influenced you for your good, reach out to her and tell her thank you.

Related Reading

1 Corinthians 13:4-5; 1 Corinthians 16:14; 1 John 4:16

Worship Resource

Hillsong Worship: Unending Love


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