I will get to what you made happen in a few minutes – it will be worth the wait! But I want to give you some context though, share some things just a few people close to me know.
My favorite story in The RESPECT Dare is about a young woman who imagines herself in Peter’s shoes. Eyes-on-Christ-style, she gets out of the boat, walks across the water to the Savior, and sees Him catch her as she looks at the waves instead of Him for a moment and begins to sink.
What most people don’t know is in choosing to leave my job that I loved nearly a decade ago, I remember reading those verses and having a similar experience. “Get out of the boat,” I sensed Him telling me. “Keep your eyes on Me,” I felt Him saying to my heart.
I’ve had a number of “get out of the boat” experiences where I’ve learned (and am learning) to keep my focus on just the next thing, the next step, and on just obeying Christ Himself. Boot Camp is one of them. Last year, I threw it out there after sensing we needed to get people together – and we had people from 6 states drive here, stay in homes of people they didn’t know, and do a little retreat in the house of a woman they met on the internet. One of the husbands sat in his car outside Deb’s house waiting for her to text him that she was okay, that this was a legit event.
She’d driven here from Virginia.
We had people from Texas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Indiana, Minnesota, and Ohio.
This year, we had 3 times the number we had last year – from I don’t even know how many states – and someone from Canada. We Skyped in one of our mentors in Singapore, and women even made friends who lived close to them (ten minutes style) that they didn’t even know, traveling from different states – and some wanted to do Daughters, but wanted someone to co-lead with them. Crazy good that they met!
I can tell you that leading this ministry is a daily :get out of the boat experience for me.” I’ve led before in companies, even in other people’s ministries, but few things are as wild (and okay, SCARY if I think about it, take ownership (which is not so smart), and am honest) as leading in work He’s called me and others to.
I confess I apologize a lot because I’m not awesome at it – but He is, and somehow, I don’t manage to run people off and we just keep growing. It’s all Him.
Two nights of Boot Camp worship last weekend included Hillsong’s Oceans – our sweet worship leader, Katy, planned the entire set. Of course “coincidently” my friend, Natalie Ryan, led at Horizon Church the next day with the same song. And no, I didn’t ask her to sing it, and no, she didn’t know we were doing it.
It was God.
Throats caught, eyes wet, we worshipped.
And we chose to get out of the boat.
Stick with me to the end of this post, and you can spend a few minutes in worship with us. 🙂 Lovely.
Maybe you’ll feel what we felt – and remember His glory – remember what He has done and that He is faithful and will do it again.
This time it means something different to us all. There are significantly more of us. We have more clarity about what we are to do with the ministry. It’s not just about helping marriages – it’s about helping the Titus 2 women leaders who lead other women in Daughters & RESPECT Dare – help marriages.
And a few things started making sense to me.
Familiar with coaching executives, business owners, and managers at all levels, I originally left my job to do leadership training for lay leaders and pastors.
Our mission statement says something like, Greater Impact is purposed to equip others in making a Greater Impact in what God’s called them to do.
I love our focus – we’re to equip these beautiful women to run the classes, yes, but more than that, we are to support them as they do it.
No one told me when I left corporate America to start doing ministry that it would be as hard as it is. I bought the lie of “Oh, I’m on God’s team doing God’s work – everything will be just awesome!!!” and yes, it is amazing, but it’s also about a tribzillion times harder than I thought it would be – the growth curve has been vertical, which means copious amounts of PRUNING.
Stuff we hate.
But if you google “Christian” and “leadership” and “ministry” and “lonely” and “hard”… well you’ll see you aren’t alone.
So when we did our thing this weekend, I had no idea what it would be like to literally “bless” and “commission” these brave women to do the thing He’s called them to do… they are crazy brave… and it was the most amazing thing I’ve ever had the privilege of being part of with each and every one of them.
I won’t give you the details of the things we did, but I will tell you there wasn’t a dry eye in the place – and we went to worship the next day filled up to overflowing with His presence, His purpose, and His calling on our lives.
I have no idea how many boxes of tissues we went through.
YOU NEED TO KNOW THAT YOU had something to do with this weekend, too.
A lot, actually.
There were a TON of God-sightings, and a ton of “almost couldn’t come” stories.
We only lost a couple to the enemy – but we know God allowed it, and we trust He’ll use it for His good purposes.
But your prayers protected many, prepared them all, and we haven’t felt His presence in such personal and powerful ways ever before.
So, I know you didn’t personally do that – but He did – and sometimes He does a thing ONLY when we ask, and not UNTIL we ask. I know you know.
One of the best comments was from the prayer exercise – women learned to hear God, to listen to Him while praying – this was new to some. “I had no idea He would actually speak to me – and He did! Too many women don’t know about this!”
So THANK YOU. Of course He “showed up…” I hate that phrase. What’s true is we could see Him. Your prayers helped make that happen.
And we have a slew of women who are called to grow in their neck of the woods by leading other women Titus 2 style – some even called to be part of our ministry. I’m excited about this because we will eventually have more people than me equipped to train others to do more – training trainers is what I love love LOVE to do most.
Each day we hear from someone else who “tossed it out there” to do the RESPECT Dare book or Daughters of Sarah® – last night I heard of one who may be doing a class with 30 in just a few weeks – and it’s the first thing like this she’s led. J I can’t wait to walk with her on the journey! #SoExcited!
So thank you.
What YOU did, even if it was a short “arrow style” prayer – it mattered.
If you had a cool prayer experience, or just want to leave a note about anything related to the Boot Camp, that would be awesome. 🙂 Would love to hear from you – and yes, I’m checking the blog today and Friday, even though we’re technically on vacation this week. 🙂
We’re taking the week off, sort of, to recharge. BUT… I’ll be back next week with more of the new Dare journey for any woman… 🙂 I can’t believe what He’s doing. Pray for me – it’s a painful birth over here with this one.
Love to you,
Oh, and if you got this as an email forward from a friend who cares about you and your marriage, know we’d love YOU to join us on this journey. The road is long and hard, and often paved with tears, but worth traveling – and you’re not alone.
You can get marriage TIPS! articles and a free copy of my eBook, 101 Ways to Respect Your Husband, and other marriage info here. We promise not to share your email with anyone, ever. You’ll get just one TIPS! article a week, plus a blog post or two here and there.