God is gracious.
He asked me to lay down the SDG link-up and I did so. And while it lay at His feet, two things happened:
1. He refined this gathering of His daughters. First, He taught me I had made it an idol, a crutch of sorts. (Crazy how those idols can be so sneaky. I didn’t realize it until I almost lost my domain name at Finding Heaven!) Second, starting fresh in a new space has allowed us to refocus, to get back to the roots of SDG. We started as a safe place to share our hearts and that is what we will continue to be.
2. As with any loss, I felt a hole. God showed me this is a hole He would like to refill. That, combined with emails from many of you, I could tell there was a hole for you, too. I realized yet again what the intentional purpose of a link-up at SDG is about — knowing each other. Just as we would gather for social outings, retreats, or commune at church if we lived in close proximity, our group needs a place to connect. A virtual coffee house of sorts, where we can pull up a chair and be real. No make-up required.
In our time without a gathering space, God has been preparing our new place. It’s exciting — it feels whole, new, and brimming with possibilities. And it belongs to us, not just me. Every time I see our new logos, I am overcome with gratitude and feel a bit like David…“Who am I and what is my family, Sovereign Lord, that you have brought me this far?” It’s an honor to be here and do this. It’s an honor to walk with you and even more of a blessing to be a caretaker of sorts with your stories.
In our new space, right here, we have two places for your stories: the stories you’re living right now and the stories that have brought you where you are today. Our weekly link-up is the place to share the current state of your heart, to give and receive encouragement, and to learn about where we all are in our life’s space. SDG Connections is a place where you can share with us where you’ve been, the stories that have made you…you.
I’m reading Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection and the day after I had prayerfully considered names for what was ultimately named Connections, I read this:
I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.
How can we be truly connected across oceans and rivers and vast spans of land? By telling our stories. Yes, your stories, sisters. Because you have been where another is right now. And she may be desperately in need of hope, thinking she is the only one trapped in the struggle which pervades her life. She may be so heavily under the cover of darkness that she doubts there could possibly be light. And she may feel so ashamed or hurt that she can’t imagine ever being valued or encouraged or really even seen.
But you, you can show her the Light that lit up your world. You can invite her into your world and show through your own journey that yes…she is seen and heard and valued. And you can be honest about the hard road, the mistakes, the triumphs, the joy, the battles, the heart-wrenching pain, and the very goodness of God. It’s your story. And here is a place to tell it. A place to offer hope, a hand, a hug.
But as one who has written her own story, I have to tell you, you aren’t just writing for the girl who is struggling. You are also writing for you, the girl who struggled. I have found that the more I’ve written about my own heartache, the more the Lord has led me further into healing. He doesn’t waste anything, sister, and the hard, even the unexpectedly hard, I’ve found that the freedom and grace that comes with pursuing that journey is incredibly profound.
As a group, we have brainstormed a variety of topics, but even if you don’t see yours listed here, it doesn’t mean there’s not room. It simply means we need you to bring it to our attention. Our current brainstorm includes: marital issues (including remarriage, blended families, unbelieving spouses), divorce, custody disputes, infertility, adoption, depression (including postpartum), addiction, loss of loved ones (grief), abuse, parenting, relationship issues (non-marital), single parenting, Food related issues (weight loss, eating disorders, healthy eating), adoption, empty nesters, elderly parents, mental health issues, friendships, community, singlehood, being a Prodigal, unemployment & budget issues, miscarriage, dealing with a sick or disabled spouse, chronic pain, dealing with other family member illness, end of life issues, anxiety, kids with special needs, military life, codependency, living with an addict, suicide.
As we receive and post submissions, they will begin to appear in the subheadings above, alphabetically, for ease of reference. I’m still technologically figuring out how all this will look, but you can see my attempt to start it in the few sub-headings above. My prayer is this: That we would all listened for the nudge God is giving us to write, that we would move at His pace, and that our words would all be a reflection of His glory. Consider? Pray? Write?
Just a few last words: Please review the Housekeeping Notes (found on the About SDG Sisterhood page) here before you link up. And please consider joining in our housewarming party by entering into to win a Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood necklace using the Rafflecopter widget below. 🙂
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