I had the privilege this weekend to speak to the NorthPark Community Church’s women. As I prayed about what to say, God made it clear that I should tell my story, which I did. What a privilege to open up my heart (and a bit scary too) to those women! I talked about how we can walk through our healing and we explored what authentic relationships with others and God looked like. I had the opportunity to listen to several stories (oh the pain, oh the triumph!) and pray with some beautiful women. I’m thankful. Filled up.
Normally speakers don’t hang out at the conference they speak at. I understand that, and sometimes I do that to preserve my energy and be better ready to minister. But this time I knew I needed to know the women I would be talking to. So I hung out, laughed, and asked lots of questions. I hiked with several of the women, hearing more stories. And I worshiped alongside them.
At the end of the retreat, all the women gathered in a big circle in the room we’d spent most of our time. In an open mic moment, many shared what the retreat had meant to them. And some of them shared how my words helped them heal or see things differently. Very humbling. And very needed. When I’m sitting behind a monitor writing, I don’t often see the impact of my words. There aren’t always thank yous. Not that I write for those, but there are times in the well of discouragement that I need to know that all this work and prayer and (hopefully) faithfulness is making an impact.
So God, in His graciousness, let me see the impact, let me watch the changed lives, let me experience a glimpse of God’s faithfulness. I’m so grateful.
And I’m thankful for a new friend, Melissa, who is a total rockstar as a women’s ministry leader. She promoted Thin Places prior to the event. During the retreat she asked the women to raise their hands if they’d read the book. Many hands went up, which humbled me afresh.
All in all a beautiful weekend where God reminded me that He sees me, and all this hard work I’ve done toward healing and writing my journey does have impact.
When has God let you see your impact? What happened? How did that make you feel?