Healing through a yes
Design by Marlee Zapata
What a summer it has been. I had the honor of joining with two other women in writing and teaching a Bible study on Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. I mean, just look at that cover design. Isn’t it gorgeous? This has been an experience beyond what I could have fathomed.
The last time I stepped on a stage was in 2019. When I stepped off for the final time, I was a bit worn and weary from it all. Don’t get me wrong, any opportunity to share, to encourage and equip women, is one I am thankful for. It was not a lack of gratitude, but a realizing I would not be continuing on with that particular event. The world shut down a few months later, and I was just glad to rest and breathe.
I remember sitting in church in January of 2021 and telling God I was done. I was done writing and speaking and trying to pursue them. My exact words were more along the lines of, “I don’t care if I ever write a word or speak from a stage again, just take me where you want me. But I can’t keep running after that.” A burden was lifted as I uttered those words, and I waited to see where God led me.
He led me back into education, not as a teacher, but in a position that allows me to use the skills he has developed in me over the years. Writing, speaking, life coaching, teaching, all of it rolled into one beautiful job alongside the best humans. Writing and speaking? They fell off my radar, and I was relieved to be in a different place.
When I was asked to be a part of this study, I knew my answer was yes. I sat beside a friend as she explained her vision for this, and across from two women I had never met before. Instantly, I felt connected to them. I knew God would be weaving us, and our words, together. I’m in awe of how each of our stories and lessons lead into one another’s. Everything felt right. Maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised because that is just the way of Jesus.
On July 20, I stepped onto the stage to speak, for the first time in a year and a half. I felt more at peace, more connected, more supported, and more excited than I ever had. That evening healed some things in me. The evening was wonderful, and powerful, and intimate. It was better than I could have imagined, while knowing there are things I would have done differently. I received healing in saying yes, in writing and speaking again. I received healing in watching the women connect with the Lord and one another. For as much as I may have given them, they gave me so much more.
I have no doubt I was right where I needed to be in 2019, learning what I needed to learn. And I have no doubt I was right where I needed to be over the last few months, weaving my words with the words of others. We have cheered for one another, prayed for one another, cried and laughed together. I could not be more thankful to have been invited to this table, for being given the freedom to be completely myself and share however God led. Unwrapped, how aptly named.