I survived speaking yesterday.  It was raw and emotional for me, but the group was warm and receptive.  I felt like I was sharing my story amongst a roomful of friends, because I was.  Over the weekend, through our experiences and shared stories, we bonded and came together as one body.

When we started planning the retreat, I did not have a cancer diagnosis.  God knew what I was carrying within me.  He new I would need these ladies.  He knew that I would need the inner strength that comes from proclaiming I am His publicly.  He knew I would need a weekend with my daughter helping her sort through her feelings and her testimony by sharing mine.

I had written my talk weeks ago, and then life went a little haywire.  Only this week did I really start reviewing my initial outline and what I wanted to say.  I prayed a lot over the words.  What do I share, what do I leave out.  As I wrote in my last entry, I even woke at 3:30a to work on it some more the night before I was speaking.   However, until I was standing there I didn’t know if I was going to add cancer to my story.  I didn’t know if it was necessary.  In the end I did.  Because it is a necessary part of my testimony.  God has been preparing me for the last two years to fight this battle and to not share that part is not to give Him His fully glory.  So, I shared.  And when I finished, I was immediately humbled. Christy called the women to gather around and lay hands on me in prayer.

I was overwhelmed.  Overcome with love and the Spirit in that moment.  So unexpected.

So many sincere and powerful words spoken on my behalf.  For my ability to fight, to be strong, to lean on Him, to lean on them.  One woman, who sat at my table all weekend, who I felt strangely drawn to, spoke the most beautiful words bringing forth the image of Moses raising his hands and those that followed him raising theirs in unison and the power of God coming down to save them in those times.  And that is a visual I will keep with me.  My hands being raised, and the hands of those around me raising as well, calling on the power of God to get me through this time.

And the most powerful part, Kenzie was there and experiencing the power of Godly women coming together to minister to their sister, her mother.  It’s an experience I could not give her by proxy.  It was such a gift to share with her.  It’s and experience whose impact may be felt in waves in the coming months and years and beyond.  It may be just the thing to sprout the mustard seed of faith she carries right now.

I am so thankful for this weekend.  For God putting Christy and my Relevant friends in my path as soon as I landed here.  Though we were ultimately guided to become part of the a different church, my heart still beats strongly for the woman at Relevant.  A piece of me will always be with them — and not just because of this weekend — but because of who they are.  Fierce, shining, authentic women who I am blessed to call friends and Sisters.

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