Kathleen Cooke: As the global woman’s movement for equality continues to build what has God been telling you this about empowering women?
Carol McLeod: I recently wrote a book entitled, “Significant: Becoming a Woman of Unique Purpose, True Identity and Irrepressible Hope”. In doing research for this book, I discovered that the top 4 challenges for women are purpose, identity, stress and loneliness. My book, “Significant”, is a Biblical response to those 4 issues. I love to help women live a true life a significant life without the trappings that the world offers. I often say to women, “I am not able to change your circumstances, but I can help you process your circumstances according to the Word of God.” Unfortunately, I have discovered, that we falsely assume that because a woman has a visible platform that she also has power and that is simply not true. Women with political prowess, with recognizable faces and with gargantuan salaries are not the power brokers of our generation. Women of faith are the ones who hold all of the power so we should live like it! Live like you are a woman of power because you are!
Kathleen: Our world seems to be one of greater uncertainty today. How have you found hope when things fall apart?
Carol: I am a survivor! I am a survivor of depression, infertility and cancer. Five years ago when I was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer, I read a quote by one of my heroines of the faith, Elisabeth Elliot. She said, “Someone needs to see you suffer well.” I took Elisabeth’s words as a heartfelt challenge and the next 2 years were among the most joyful years of my entire life. Every doctor’s appointment became a divine appointment, every procedure became a prayer meeting and every surgery became sacred.
When I was just 3 days into my cancer battle, I cried out to God for a fighting Scripture. In my daily Bible reading that day, I was reading in the Old Testament book of Nahum. (Most people don’t even know that Nahum is a Book in the Bible!) This is the promise that I received that day, “And the wicked one will never pass your way again; he is cut off completely.” – Nahum 1:15.
What a promise! I thought about it, I prayed it, I sang it and I shared it. That one verse gave me strength when all that was coming my way was horrific news. God has been faithful to His word.
We cannot underestimate the importance of finding a battle verse for every struggle that we face. God’s will is found in His Word and we must use it as a weapon of warfare!
Kathleen: God never tells us that we won’t suffer, but He does assure us that if we seek His joy we are able to endure. What have you discovered about God’s joy?
Carol: I went through a deep, dark depression when I was in my 30’s. During those years, I lost 5 babies at between 12 and 20 weeks in my pregnancies and I was being swallowed alive by the black hole of depression. Not only was I depressed – but I also developed an addiction. The addiction that I developed was not to drugs or to alcohol; my addiction was to the Word of God! The Bible delivered me from that dark, meaningless place before my circumstances ever changed. Happiness is attached to the happenings of our lives, but joy comes from one place and one place alone – “In His presence is fullness of joy!” – Psalm 16:11. All the joy that I need this side of heaven is found in an exciting relationship with Jesus.
Honestly, depression still knocks on the door of my heart often but now I have learned to open that door with a scripture verse ready. My life is still not a perfect life, but joy is a daily reality.
I will live the life that I have been given to teach a generation of women the power of joy!
Kathleen: As you have become a significant writer and speaker and been placed on many global platforms, what has God taught you about influencing other’s lives?
Carol: The most significant influence you can have in a person’s life is simply to live honorably and faithfully. You don’t need a microphone, a publishing contract or thousands of followers on social media to impact your generation. When you love difficult people and are kind to your family, you are leading an influential life. When you pray for your pastor and for the president, you are leading an influential life. When you choose to be a woman who serves in the church nursery or who volunteers at the local prison, you are leading an influential life.
I believe that the most influential people of our generation are not politicians, entertainers or athletes but they are mothers, teachers and neighbors. What happens at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, on Wall Street or at the United Nations is not nearly as important at what happens at your home address.
Carol McLeod – Carol is a prolific author who loves digging for truth in the Word of God. She has written 11 books, including her latest Significant, which was released in November of 2019 by Whitaker House Publishing. StormProof: Weathering Life’s Tough Times was released in March of 2019 and Guide Your Mind, Guard Your Heart, Grace Your Tongue was released April of 2018. Her early books include Pass the Joy, Please!, Let There Be Joy, Joy for All Seasons, Refined, No More Ordinary!, Holy Estrogen!, Defiant Joy! and The Rooms of a Woman’s Heart. Carol has 12 YouVersion devotionals in current circulation, with “21 Days to Beat Depression” reaching more than one million people around the world. Her weekly blog, “Joy for the Journey,” has been named among the Top 50 Faith Blogs for Women and she writes a weekly column for Ministry Today.
Carol is a popular speaker at women’s conferences and retreats and encourages and empowers women with passionate and biblical messages, mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor.