Although Andy and I intended for me to take a break from leading abuse recovery groups until after baby girl made her arrival, God had other plans. In fact, He practically wrote His plan on the wall for us, so in faith we followed Him. And even with the pregnancy complications, we cannot regret it. This is an amazing group of women!
I am currently leading 5 women (including 1 who is training to facilitate groups in the future) through the Mending the Soul book and workbook. This is my 6th group in about 3 years, and it never ceases to amaze me how God brings the women together and gives them the courage to do this incredibly difficult work.
This is no simple Bible study! These ladies commit to hours of preparation for each group, facing a past of painful abuse and learning to talk about it, dealing with the grief of all they lost through that time in their life and how it still affects them today, and the often painful effects of bringing all of this up in such a tangible way rather than pushing it down and trying to ignore it..
I am no expert -- I can only share with them my own journey of healing. Share the HOPE I found in God and in His ability to heal and redeem the broken pieces of us. I can walk alongside these precious women and encourage them to keep going when they weep over losses, come worn out due to sleepless nights and nightmares, and have difficult conversations with those in their life who do not want to deal with the hard stuff, do not want to admit that they knew what was happening and didn't stop it, or were not safe and available when their child needed them.
Please pray for us. We need it. Pray specifically for continued courage for these women to keep moving forward. Pray for wisdom for me as I listen, cry with them, and help them connect with each other and feel less alone. Please praise Him with me for the times He miraculously gives me the words to say, or a question to draw them out, at exactly the right time.
And please pray for the mens' groups that are going through this same material. The groups look different (let's admit it -- guys work different than girls ;) -- but the struggle and healing that takes place are the same.