This past weekend I had the opportunity to spend my Saturday with the sisters of the Phoenix church of Christ. The experience was so encouraging, that to write about all of it would take a very long time, so I will just mention a few especially notable moments.
During one of the songs, Rechelle Conde shared an excellent spoken word. I’m not much or a crier, but her poem brought me to tears. She shared everything… bared her soul. She didn’t hold back – not even with deeply personal experiences. It felt like I was with her on her journey. I felt her hope and her despair. And in her journey, I saw my own. But more than that, it showed the hope and the endless mercy God has for all his daughters, no matter what shape they’re in. I always find it to be amazing; when people share their brokenness is when you feel the most connected to them. It reminded me that to be an example of how a disciple ought to live, I do not need to be perfect, always hiding my flaws, but own them and be open about them – humble and willing to change.
In one segment of the show, our hosts interviewed different sisters on their experiences as disciples. One story stood out to me – about a sister who said she gave too much to her friends. She said one time, she’d made this new friend that she decided in her heart to devote herself to. She ended up growing discouraged as the other woman failed to meet the expectations that she had of her as her new best friend. Soon she came to the realization that it was unfair of her to expect too much from her friend without talking it over with her, and that she needed to draw security from God instead of relationships. This struck a chord with me because I often find myself devoting more time and energy to friends or things than is right. I loved hearing her story because it made me that feel my struggles are normal and gave me the hope that I could overcome them.
Finally, there was M.J.’s lesson. It was deep and raw and powerful. She told us her life story and held nothing back. Even though there was a room full of hundreds of women, I felt as though I was her confidant. She referenced the woman at the well in the Bible. A favorite of mine because I love the way that even though Jesus is tired and probably thirsty and hungry, he makes time for this sinful woman he’s not even supposed to associate with. She was an example, as M.J. put it. There is a little of us reflected in that woman – all of us broken in some way and in need of a rescuer. More than that, Jesus got real with her which helped her to change and she got real with her village – telling them all her sins which Jesus had just forgiven – which helped change. I had never looked at it that way before, but only by being real about our brokenness will we be able to make lasting change.
I left the auditorium feeling refreshed and reflective. The lessons imparted had given me fresh hope as well as much to think about and examine in my own life. There were, as always, changes I felt called to make, but I knew that whatever I went through I would not be alone. I knew I could lean on my sisters for guidance, support and real love.