Shahnaz had worked hard to forget the cruel names and hurtful words a close family member had persistently spoken to her years before.
But, while attending our women's conference last month on the theme of identity, those devastating words and names unexpectedly resurfaced in her memory. She was caught off guard, having thought she'd put that part of her life behind her.
However, God was writing a better story for Shahnaz. Surprised at recalling that difficult part of her life, she shared how, at the conference, "He reminded me of them so that He could heal me."
Like Shahnaz, many Iranian women experience verbal and physical abuse resulting in skewed perceptions of their value and identity. But, at this year's conference, many heard God speak new names over them. Instead of old identities of "worthless" or "unwanted," they received names like "valued" and beloved."
Sadly, women in Iran are often devalued within the prevailing culture, but the Gospel offers them restored identities and redeemed names.