Can you believe it? I can’t!
For many of you, this may be like watching the pregnancy of a friend. Time always passes faster when it isn’t you, right? I remember watching one of my close friends while she was pregnant and thinking, “wow, that went fast.” I know from my own journey that the one carrying the baby doesn’t think it’s gone fast at all!
On June 17th, 2018, I sat at this very same computer, and hit send as I submitted our 501(c)3 documents. I remember the overwhelming emotions. I took a huge inhale and felt like I was being transported to the ascending hill of a roller-coaster, knowing the coaster was about to plunge over a very steep drop. Screaming, laughter and total terror were about to overtake me, and they did.
These past 12 months have been nothing short of a miracle in so many ways, and I don’t use the word miracle lightly. I have watched the hand of God move in ways I never saw coming. I watched him secure a location for a retreat before it was even imagined. I witnessed women coming into a community and feeling connected with other people for the first time in a very long time. I sat in awe as surprise donations showed up in my mailbox and He graciously provided instruction on how to spend it.
In the middle of these gifts were also pockets of doors closing and chapters ending. Something I still don’t navigate with a ton of grace. But, reflecting back now, those times of uncertainty and insecurity make total sense.
A few months ago, the Lord highlighted Ananias as I reflected on the story of Saul/Paul’s conversion. In the past I have always been curious of Paul’s conversion, but this particular time He brought Ananias to my mind. To refresh your memory, Ananias is the one that God called to go lay hands on Saul as he lay blind on the road to Damascus. Ananias reminds the Lord of the risks involved in carrying out His request (see Acts 9:10-19), yet he still gives the Lord his yes. And then he goes.
I believe the Lord offered this story to remind me that I can not only converse with Him, but remind Him of my insecurities. Eventually, I can give Him my yes and I can go.
As I put together a slide show to celebrate all that the Lord has done through this ministry this year, I just wept. Several of the memories I had forgotten, and along with those, the memory of how He answered the prayers we lifted up to heaven. It was truly a gift to sit and take in the captured moments and also remember the moments surrounding those photos.
For those who have been a part of this ministry in ANY capacity – thank you. Women who have participated in support groups. Women who have attended the retreat. People who have bowed their heads, even for just a moment, and lifted us up. Mentors who have encouraged me to keep going even in the face of fear.
Thank you to those who watch from afar like a momma bear. Thank you to those who show up, roll up their sleeves and get in the middle with us. Thank you to those who share our ministry with hurting friends. Thank you to those who send cards and encouragement to keep going, reminding me, “the work matters.” My words don’t seem to capture the gratitude that I feel within my heart.
So here I am, one year later, still reminding God of my insecurities. But, still giving him my yes.
Please celebrate with us and watch the video below. I also hope you will continue to watch for His goodness all of your days.
Happy 1st Anniversary, Hope Redefined community.