Saturday night, I carried boxes of supplies to my van and set them in the trunk. I leaned against the vehicle, feeling exhausted from months of preparation and two days of delivering the materials He had put together through me. I sat a moment, enjoying His presence and His pleasure with what He had accomplished through us, and then I closed the van and started walking back to the house where we did the retreat.
I heard the rocks on the street crunching under my sandals as I slowly walked in the quiet. I stopped. I stood and listened. I could faintly hear the women laughing inside the home. I sensed Him reminded me of something and simply stood for a moment, asking, “Yes?”
I remembered leaving the job I loved to start Greater Impact. I remembered how much I loved delivering Daughters of Sarah, and training trainers. And I remembered how I doubted my faith and my calling because things didn’t go the way I thought they would. My eyes filled with tears of gratitude at a dream, a future, a being part of something bigger than oneself, realized.
I remember the doubt, however, too, when I thought when we started all of this that one of the things I’d be doing is training trainers. Actually, I was SURE of it. I knew as sure as I was breathing, that I was supposed to help others deliver Daughters of Sarah. After training a few and having one of them in an angry outburst tell me, “Who will want to do this, Nina? NO ONE! It’s too hard!” I wanted to quit. I felt confused. I cried a lot.
I thought I was wrong. I knew it was hard, but I also thought I was doing what He wanted me to do, but it was NOT going the way I thought it would, so I doubted. It certainly wasn’t easy. How could I be so wrong? I wept and wondered often, doubting my faith, doubting His calling for my life. I nearly quit a number of times, but He kept encouraging me.
Half the time, I literally didn’t know what to do next, so I started just doing the next thing. But I stopped trying to train others to do what I did in a class room, and just started teaching the class with them, giving them the easier things to do. When Debbie, already a professional trainer, appeared on the scene (and that’s a whole other cool story), it became easier and we started co-teaching, but I always wondered about why I thought I felt so sure I’d be training trainers, doing what I had done professionally, but this time, for Him.
Somehow, I kept going.
Over time, we changed Daughters enough so anyone could do it in their home on video – you know we’re just finishing up that part. It’s taken TWO FULL YEARS of work, heartache, tears, frustration, money, and tweaking to get it to the place it is now. And we are thankful, and we believe He is pleased. Our ministry was super excited! We felt like we were supposed to “get everyone together” this summer - but I also felt led to invite women who wanted to help launch this with us or gain skills in delivering small groups with The Respect Dare to come to Ohio. So, that’s what we did.
We invited women we knew in our Army of Women on Facebook to join us.
Honestly, I didn’t really think anyone would come.
But they did.
From 6 states.
And they are crazy. I mean, WHO FLIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO GO TO SOMEONE’S HOUSE TO DO A RETREAT WITH SOMEONE THEY MET ON THE INTERNET?
Who asks people to do this in the first place?
Other crazy people, like our ministry team.
And here we all are:
And we discovered that this group represents the following:
So maybe YOU could subscribe to one and encourage this member of our team? And you’ll probably receive encouragement yourself! We want to be on the journey with you!
And the really cool thing? This weekend, I gave them skills to make their Respect Dare classes AMAZING. And you know what else? Several of them are taking Daughters of Sarah on video to their churches – and a few even have small groups starting this summer with the class! Please pray for these pilot classes as we work out any issues or problems!
This weekend, as I walked back to the house from my car, I realized that THIS was the Way He had planned all along. I WAS training trainers – just not the way I thought I would. And I wept again, but this time, they were tears of joy.
My faith has been strengthened, because I haven’t given up. And there are a lot more people in the Bible who waited a lot longer than I had to for His dream for them to come into being…
I love learning more about Him, and seeing His communication to me turn into a reality. It’s humbling to be a part of it.
We’re all just a bunch of average beautiful girls who love Him and want to glorify Him through the struggle of daily growing in our faith, choosing to follow Christ, even when it is hard.
It was a beautiful experience, and we can’t wait to get to work!
We can’t wait to see what God’s going to do, and how it involves these beautiful women – and maybe you, too!
What about YOU? What is God asking YOU to do that might seem CRAZY? What have YOU almost given up on? Dare you to share today!
Love to you,