Hey Friends! Welcome to Girls’ Night!
So friends, can I be honest? I’m nervous about this episode! We’re doing something new today that feels surprisingly vulnerable for me!
So you may know this, but about 4 years ago, I wrote a book called The Lipstick Gospel. It was my very first book, it’s a travel memoir, and it’s the story of my testimony — the story of how God got the attention of a very lost, very broken, very messy sorority girl, and how He totally transformed her (my!) life!
This was a hard story to live through, that’s for sure. As you’ll get to soon hear, this story starts in a season where all of my most important relationships had totally fallen apart. I was going through a brutal breakup, I was deeply lonely in my friendships, my relationship with myself was a wreck, and I didn’t have a relationship with God yet. Not only that, but I was pretty sure I didn’t want one.
All of that changed when I was studying abroad in Europe for the semester, and I ended up becoming a Christian in the Sistine Chapel of all places… but I’m totally giving the ending away. You’ll get to hear more about that soon.
Well, as I was planning our episodes for Season 6, I realized that there are a lot of y’all that haven’t heard this story yet, and I think it’s time we change that.
I sent my friend TahJah (who you guys have met!) a copy of The Lipstick Gospel when we first became friends a few years ago, and she sent me a text a few days later telling me how much she loved getting to hear more of my story. She said, “I wish all of my friends came with their own book!” it was just such a cool way for us to connect, for her to see where I’m coming from and what brought me to the place where I am today, it instantly made our friendship so much deeper.
So that’s my hope for this podcast episode too. I want you to know my heart and where I come from and I think the very best way for us to do that is for me to read the beginning of The Lipstick Gospel to you! And as I was planning out Season 6, this really did sound like such a good idea to me.
It sounded like a great idea until I started actually reading the book into the microphone.
As I did, I started to feel extra vulnerable.
I found myself wondering, “What is our Girls Night community going to think of me if they hear these things about me?” I mean, I know that tons of you have already read the book, but it somehow felt different to read this story out loud to you.
My first instinct as I was reading was to want to clean it up — I wanted to gloss over some of the messy, stupid things I had done. I wanted to make myself look more polished and cleaned up than I was.
But I stopped myself right there and reminded myself of one of my favorite truths.
Our testimonies are important not because they make us look good (or bad, in my case), but because they’re proof of what God is capable of doing in our lives when we open ourselves up to Him. And that’s what I hope you hear as you listen to this story. My hope is that as you learn where I was at the beginning of my story, it gives you an even deeper appreciation of how wonderful, and redemptive, and transformative our God is.
He can do amazing things in our lives — He has in mine and I know He can in yours too.
And that actually brings me to the biggest reason I wanted to share this book with you. I wanted to share this book with you today because I think there are some women in our community who might really need it.
Maybe you’ve been going through a hard time lately, or maybe you feel like you’re in a rut in your relationship with God. Maybe you’ve never had a relationship with God, but you think you might want one.
Maybe you’ve made a lot of mistakes lately and feel like you’ve messed things up beyond repair. Maybe you’re going through a heartbreak of some kind or navigating a major transition or upheaval in your life.
Maybe you just need some inspiration, some comfort, and a reminder that God loves you and has amazing plans for your life.
The Lipstick Gospel is a story about all of these things, and it’s a love letter for all of these moments in our lives. It’s the story of how God met me in the messiest, most mistake-filled, most heartbroken season of my life, and how He turned it into something positively beautiful.
(Which… He can and WILL do the very same thing for you!)
Almost 100,000 women have downloaded and read The Lipstick Gospel so far, and I just cannot get over the ways God has used this story. (It makes all that messy vulnerability totally worth it!)
I just have to share one story with y’all really quickly.
It’s from a sweet reader named Jenny, and this is what she sent me a while back:
Stephanie, I just finished The Lipstick Gospel and I wanted to thank you for sharing your story. I have never read something so relatable. I also wanted to tell you how I came across your book, because it was all God. This story is so cool.
For the last few months, I’ve really been struggling. I’ve been struggling with my faith and with singleness, I’ve been struggling trying to trust God’s plan with my life and with my love life specifically. I was having a particularly hard day a few days ago. It seemed like there were happy couples everywhere and I spent most of the day with a hurting heart, wishing I was in a relationship.
I walked into a small shop and looked around for awhile before — totally out of the blue — a girl about my age walked up to me and asked me if I’d heard of you. I said no, and she proceeded to tell me that I needed to read your book. She said she saw me and instantly thought of The Lipstick Gospel, and she just felt this nagging feeling in her heart that she was supposed to tell me about it.
Usually I just brush off book recommendations. I’d put the name down in my notes app and totally forget about it. But as she pulled up your Instagram and told me more about The Lipstick Gospel, I knew I had to read it.
The minute I got into my car, I downloaded the book, and I started reading it the second I got home. I read and read and read until I had made it all the way through the book. I finished it in one day. I laughed, I cried, I saw myself in you, and afterward, I felt closer to God than I ever have before.
I feel like God was in all of it — in your story, in the girl telling me about it, the timing was just perfect and it was exactly what I needed to hear right now. Thank you so much for writing this story, Stephanie. I’m so so grateful.”
I love that so much. I don’t know who the girl was who gave Jenny a copy of The Lipstick Gospel, but friend, I’m so so glad you did.
And really, I feel like the girl in that boutique. I have a copy of The Lipstick Gospel in my hands, and I am bringing it to you saying, “Friend, I think God might have something for you in here.”
So we’re going to dive in in a second here, and I’m going to read the first third or so of The Lipstick Gospel to you. (I feel like this is story time with Steph!)
But one last logistical note before we dive in…
In this episode, I’m going to be reading the first third of the book. But when we’re done, this is where you can pick up a copy of the book so you can keep reading right away and hear what happens next.
So, with that said, you can listen to the episode in a few different ways. You can search “Girls Night with Stephanie May Wilson” in your iTunes Podcast app (Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review while you’re there!), or you can listen in the media player below! You can also find it on the apps, Stitcher and Spotify!
I can’t wait to dive in. You ready? Me too!
Welcome to Girls Night!
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