You may have noticed a new face over there on the blog.
I get a kick out of the fact that people think we’re sisters. Even in Italy, animated strangers were gesturing with their wild hands that we may be related. I secretly covet this question because she’s younger than me…guess she’s my younger sister. Ha! Her name is Elida Field and I am certain that you would love her the moment you met her. Her named means “little winged one” and she does indeed fly around the world in wonder. I love this friend with all my heart, and it is my great pleasure to work with her on our creation, Ignite the Heart.
Let me tell you a story about how Ignite went from a little Oregon Coast gathering of women who wanted to learn to use their camera (my part) and make mixed media paintings (Elida’s part). It started simply enough, but even on that first trip there was something deeper brewing underneath all of the paper and paints. I don’t think we ever could have known God’s plan for where we were heading, but it was clear that He wanted to be a part of this experience.
It was a rainy Sunday. I was cruising down the street in the big city— Portland (about 25 minutes from the smallish town we both live in). Someone whistled at me, and before I went somewhere between “Niiiice, I still got it” and “Who is this clown?”, I looked up and it was my dear friend teeter tottering in her sea of art supplies in her car. She was heading in to the infamous book store, Powells, and I happened to be heading the same direction.
Elida had a story to tell me. Her focused eyes were different today and I didn’t want to miss any word or expression that would come next.
She’d been through the ringer in the last couple of years with a difficult divorce (is divorce ever not difficult?). Seeing your friends suffer is gut wrenching, yet seeing them rise up out of the ashes with dignity and a new found strength is inspiring to the point of leading you to your own healing. She has a mountain-sized Can-Do attitude, complete with bravery and three amazing kids who I adore. Her story was about to change and I was fortunate enough to see it all unfold.
Elida revealed that there had been a lie that she believed all her life….and up to about sixteen hours before our encounter, she still believed it. Nothing like loss and heartache to bring up old untruths about ourselves and wedge them into places of the heart that are raw and bruised.
The Lie: “You are unworthy. You were chosen because of your weakness or vulnerability. You are tainted! Something is wrong with you to cause you this harm. It is within you. You are the magnet for this. You are the problem. You are the reason all of this has come to you…and God can’t protect you! God won’t protect you. He chooses not not to. He chose not to protect you!”
The evil one had woven this into the fiber of who she was and it seemed to shape all of her decisions that brought her pain. Her eyes narrowed—that kind of I’m ready for some emphasishere narrowing—and she told me that she doesn’t believe the lie anymore. There had been journal writing late into the night to let the lie-giver know that his time was up. He was unwelcome, banished…kicked out:
The Truth: I am a woman of God! I am a warrior! I have a breastplate of righteousness! I have the belt of righteousness and the sword of truth! I am a Queen in his kingdom. I am a leader. I am fearless. I am unstoppable. You can’t keep me bound any longer. You can’t tie me up and throw rocks at me! Your ropes are like strings that can’t contain me. I have a vision and a future with my King! He knows my name, calls my name, hears when I cry. He has promised me life! He promised me greatness! I am going to be with him. In him I am great… I am mighty… I am strong…I am courageous.
She took my arm, got really close to my face and spoke firmly.
“I’m going to build an army. An army of women who need to cast out their lie and let the truth in.”
This was the missing piece to what we were doing! It was like a game show win–ding, ding, ding! I know that women need a creative outlet, new skills for their creativity, and a fun environment for relationship building, all things that make up good classes and retreats. Yet, we had a much bigger mission with Ignite. It was clear that this part of our message would be the center, and that all other parts would flow from it.
Ignite the Heart: Women of Truth was born.
So here we are…two artsy girls living on the same creative sunshine filled planet, churning up connection and inspiration with each other as well as the women who join us. The spark is lit in our own studio classrooms, through a soon-to-be announced e-course, and on retreats in near and far away places. Italy 2013 is in the works as I write this. It is our dream that Ignite will instill a desire to tap into the gifts women have been given and an uncover God’s purpose in their lives.
Our purpose has been revealed.
Beautiful, truth-believing you.