God is at work through Women of Faith.
For the past three years, I’ve been under the spell of the “sexiness,” if you will, of our latest church home; with its out-of-the box teaching, free coffee, excited volunteers, giving back to the community, changing the world, and refreshing lack of legalism (“church” and “no legalism” don’t usually fit into the same sentence, do they?), I think I had started to make the lack of religion my religion. Sounds twisted, doesn’t it? After being a bit (well, a lot, if I’m being honest) burned by the place, I found myself completely parched, not knowing where I would go to heal, if I would find another place like it, if I would fit in anywhere else, if I could find a place to connect with God without being bored, etc.
What I found out this weekend was that God meets you where you are through any venue that seeks to honor Him. (Alright, I know I’m not supposed to use second person voicing in any type of writing that isn’t a method of correspondence, but this warrants an exception.) Churches are filled with human beings, so of course they’re fallible. But God isn’t. And He met me in my heartbroken state through a group of women who were willing to tell their stories.
To recap, Sheila Walsh shared another vulnerable story and song. I’m not gonna lie: I love that lady’s Scottish accent. But her vulnerability and message of love was refreshing. My favorite thing she said all weekend was, “It’s not your job to get yourself home; that’s the Shepherd’s job. It’s just your job to stay as close as you can to Him.” (Whoa, that’s deep.)
Drama writer and performer Nicole Johnson put aside her roles to be herself and to tell her story of working through some heartbreak and anger. (Thanks, Lord, for real stories.)
And that Angie Smith. Holy smokes, that girl is hilarious and, of course, endearing. I couldn’t help thinking most of the time, “Wow, she really reminds me of SNL’s Kristen Wiig.” She was that witty and comical, even through her story of losing her precious infant daughter, Audrey. She said at one point that when she cries she looks like a gopher, but I don’t think there was an un-gopher-like woman in the house. Her humor shined through her tears, but her faith in Christ shined brightest. These types of stories almost always strike a chord with me since I have four tiny babies whom I never got to meet, but the hope that was delivered through her story was something that only God could give.
After wiping all of the wasted makeup off of my face from sobbing for a half hour, and consuming another well-prepared and well-delivered boxed lunch, Natalie Grant took the stage. I’ve always loved her music, but I forgot how much soul a little white girl (hey, it takes one to know one) could deliver! A precious thing she did was speaking life and hope into those devastated by the Indiana State Fair tragedy; during the delivery of her song “Held,” a picture tribute to the victims was shown. Precious.
It’s clear the leaders of Women of Faith are not all about themselves; they clearly intended to be a blessing to the city of Indianapolis. They succeeded in more ways than one.
And, hey, if BookSneeze wants to send me again next year, I’ll do it in a heartbeat. I was incredibly encouraged, uplifted, and, yes, entertained.