“Will you be fine without me?” A simple question asked by a mother to her 17-year-old daughter who anxiously awaited the day she would embark on a new life. College bound, freedom awaited Anita and her family as they neared the final days before one by one her and her sister would travel from their oppressed country to the United States to attend college with the hope her parents were soon to follow.
Anita stood before our ‘Inner Circle’, a small group of women who have been recognized as ‘leaders’ in the area, and read an excerpt from a book that is set to release in November chronicling this fate-filled moment with her mother – the day her mother chose to take her own life. I sat transfixed to this woman before me, recognizing God within her, and the passion he has ignited from the pain.
Our journey’s are worlds apart but our passion is the same. She mentioned a few times that she feels it is ‘urgent‘ to minister and reach out to others, showing them the love of Christ and igniting within them a spark to spread that love and passion on to others. “Life in this world is short, we only have so much time,” she said (paraphrased.)
Which is why she founded Inspire Women www.inspirewomen.org – “Through our leadership institute, inner circles, citywide events and annual servant search program and, most importantly, the ministry work of the women we invest in around the world, we help women find their spark and follow their God-given calling.”
As I often say God is intentional and Anita stood before me pretty much saying the very same thing only this time I was on the receiving end of recognizing a door that could very well be opening. It was only three weeks before that a dear friend of mine knew the host to the first ever ‘Inner Circle’ event in Kingwood and suggested that I might be someone who could benefit from the mini-retreat. “Inner Circles are monthly gatherings for those with leadership or shepherding responsibilities in need of spiritual replenishment.”
So blessed to have been a part of this event…and I won the door prize!! Never happens. lol
I heard ‘spiritual replenishment’ and was all in. What a blessing it was to walk into a stranger’s home and find that I knew others in the room. Just two weeks prior a dear friend of mine took me to lunch for my birthday and invited three of her friends she had always wanted me to meet. Instantly we all hit it off and wouldn’t you know two of them were at the retreat? Intentional…He can’t be denied.
Furthermore we did a short reflection where one of the leaders read from Psalm 119 and then we answered three questions. The first question was: “If God wants to hear everything from us what are you holding back? God wants you to talk it over with Him.” She then brought up an example between a woman and her son. Her son’s girlfriend had broken up with him and she knew he was devastated. She wanted to talk to him about it but also knew she needed to respect his privacy and let him come to her. Three days passed and he never mentioned what he was going through. She knew everything about it, knew she could help him by listening and being there for him but he chose not to come to her. It is the same with us and God. He knows everything. He knows what has happened, how we are feeling, and how to comfort us. Yet we choose not to come to him.
This example and meditation question was like an arrow to my spirit. I have not gone directly to God about my grandfather. I have skirted God and gone to my counselor, my priest, and my husband but I haven’t even put pen to paper in my prayer journal about any of it. Why?
Because it’s letting that final wall down and I fear the vulnerability and what I’ll see when it all comes down.
But as Fr. Alfonso so lovingly said, “You deserve to heal. Fear is empty and it’s keeping you from what you deserve.”
The first question today and the example between mother and son was another example of God gently nudging me to give in and let it go. Expose the ugly into Christ’s light.
My only complaint for today was that it was too short. I sure could have used all day to be ‘replenished’.
The door prize, Anita’s books, a gorgeous scarf and a bag. Definitely encouraged me today.
If you are unfamiliar with Inspire Women I encourage you to check out their website, pray about attending an ‘Inspire Women’ conference. Also check out Anita’s books: