Today I find community in an unexpected place. I find the birth of the real and authentic me in an unexpected place. It is not in the physical realm because it was not born there. It was born in the heart of a very brave woman whose own dream was set on fire. Those flames have since ignited several burning embers amid a community of diverse women. Women who, perhaps, once thought themselves irrelevant, voiceless, ashamed, shy, or fearful, and I was one of them – but not anymore. Though I’ve been writing for a while, this is the year I’ve really been breaking out of the shell thanks to other blogger, women of faith, and my first synchroblog participation as inspired by Sarah Bessey.
You see this ember in my soul has been smoldering for quite some time – years even. Things I thought were dead are coming to life in ways I never could have imagined. The essence of who I am and who I was made to be is coming more alive. I find that my passion, my dream, my gift, my goals are all sacred. They are not nor were they ever happenstance. They are not serendipity. They are real. From God, my Creator came every dream – some were buried very deep, while some I forgot about. I am learning to give voice to each one of them. Some voices are loud and strong while the others are just above a whisper, but still the voice – the one that is my own and expressed in many ways – is there and gaining strength.
One little light flaming and shining has pointed me to the Light of Christ and the glorious work He’s always been doing in my life. She is bearing witness to a dream that was dormant but now waking. She has seen hints of “the purposes of a [my] heart [as] deep waters;” and she is like “one who has insight [who] draws them out” (NIV – Proverbs 20:5). Because she has found her voice and unashamedly speaks Truth, so now do I. Because she digs deeper, I have unearthed the hidden beauty in my own soul.
For International Women’s Day, there are so many women I want to write about and honor, but I’d be writing for hours. For this right-now-moment, I want to give a shout out to a story teller who’s leading others to find their story and tell it. Today I honor a sacred daughter, writer, blogger, author, spiritual midwife, and flame-fire-igniter, Elora Nicole. Elora – to you I say a thousand thank you’s. You are like the midwife coming along side to help me birth the dream, the idea, the process, and the writing. I know with God there are no accidents. I know one day I will look back over story coaching, the E-course, and the video conferences and say – ‘all because God is faithful to complete a good work in me; and all because you honored the dreams He lit in your soul’.
Thank you for not laughing at my dreams. Thank you for acknowledging that the voice I have could be heard. Thank you for speaking truth. Thank you for being a willing vessel of God to point the way for the me to write in my vein. Thank you for challenging me to think outside the box. Thank you for inviting me to delve into the deeper story! Thank you for showing us that no part of our story is insignificant. It all matters. We matter. Our voices matter.
I know I’m not the only one, but today, I want to tell you I am honored to know you. I am also gratefully humbled to have met all the women in the story sessions’ e-course. You have all taught me to dream bigger, wider, and fearlessly. You have shown me that it is more than okay to own my life and voice and desires no matter how crazy it may seem to the outside world. I couldn’t imagine what life would be like had I not taken that one step of faith to get out of my comfort zone. Today, I am a girl on fire – filled with awe and wonder and thanksgiving because God loves me and keeps me moving forward in the direction that allows me to just “be” fully His operating in the irrevocable gifts He gave me.
Thank you Elora AND Thank you Jennifer, Brandy, Jamie I, Kassie, Erin, Caris, Deborah, Hannah, Claire, Brenna, Alex, Shaney, Alison, Anna, Jamie B., Faith, Christy, Sarah, Anne – you’ve taught me to think different, breathe deep, and to be braver and more courageous. Thank you for welcoming me into the writing community! Thank you Julianne D (for always reminding me to stay in my vein/excellency of heart and craft), Judy W. (you taught me the deep things of God and how to really study His word)., my mom (i love you mom!) – prayer warrior, Stephanie (best sister in law EVeR! for words of encouragement and support), Jo, Joann, and Michelle – I’ve loved ya’ll forever!
Most of all – thank you Father God for hearing all those unspoken prayers and bringing them to fruition. Nobody does like you God. I’m forever Yours! Amen.
New International Version Bible from http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=proverbs%2020:5&version=NIV retrieved March 8, 2013.