Last year I formed a free women's support group. The group was intended to be an open and relaxed forum to discuss whatever is on a woman's heart in order to heal. Appropriately so, I named it H.E.A.L (Hope, Empowerment, Acceptance, Love). Nothing is off limits, we discuss everything from mental illness, abuse, addictions and codependency to relationships, divorce, loss of loved ones, etc. (more info. about group to come below)
Although I'm extremely proud and excited about the group, I'm going to be a little transparent about its background and share something not a lot of people knew...this group almost never happened! Every time I got ready to start, life happened. My fiance' suddenly died, then my little brother died two months later... five months that, my teenage daughter told me she was pregnant. I felt like maybe I shouldn't have the damn group; life was coming at me so fast, I had no time to "recover," must less organize a group! However, at the same time, after all I had been through in the last year; I needed the group myself!
Life Shifts Our Direction
As a domestic abuse survivor, having a safe space to retreat and not feel alone (or crazy) when I was depressed and struggling emotionally, was a resource I longed for after my abuse. In the years that followed, life kept coming, and I realized not only abused women need support as they heal but ALL WOMEN. Women like myself that felt alone and who were grieving, angry, disappointed and overwhelmed, all those feelings hit me like a ton of bricks during my roller-coaster year in 2017.
"The vision I originally had for the group shifted as my life changed"
I realized that the "hold up" of the group was "scheduled delay," to allow my mind and heart to be open to supporting more of the broken and wounded in spirit.
When God originally placed this idea for a group in my spirit years prior, I knew I wanted it to be in a cozy, safe, inviting environment. I wanted a place where the atmosphere was just as inviting and comfortable and free-flowing as the conversation.Once life slowed down, my board members and I were on the hunt for a free space, but like all small non-profits, our resources are always limited.
Discouraged & Frustrated
Finding a location that was free, with free parking and the environment I wanted was near impossible!! We looked for months, then decided we would meet in the free meeting rooms at our local library. The rooms were nice, but there were glass walls and super bright sterile lighting. People could see in as they walked by; therefore it lacked the cozy, safe environment I had hoped for.
We found a few other nice locations, yet the drawback was they lacked other elements we needed- like being free or having free accessible parking. Then, if we found a great visual and private space, the location made it difficult for attendees to find, or people had to pay to park. Even worse if we found a place with all the elements we needed, they wanted hundreds of dollars per meeting! No matter what, we couldn't find the right area for us.
I had become discouraged. Honestly, I was questioning if this is what I needed to be doing. I prayed for guidance to find a place with all the elements (if this was the path He wanted me to take). I thought when God placed this in my spirit years ago, I heard and felt what I was called to do, but maybe I heard Him wrong. I was frustrated and confused, and the devil knew it. The devil loves confusion and when we question God. My frustration and confusion was his entry to get in my head tell me that I was wasting my time and why even bother? Yet, the vision God planted in my spirit long ago, kept nudging at me.
Right on Time
Recently, I ran into Nikki again and during our conversation I shared details about my group, and it's location challenges. Strangely enough, Nikki contacted me a few days later to tell me she talked to her corporate office about my group. They love what we are trying to do in the community and would allow us to have our meetings in their model home, for free!
Wait, it gets better! Not only will they allow us to use their model home for our group, but they wanted to provide refreshments too! It's not everyday a huge corporation would do something like this. I was in tears, literally.
Below are some images of our beautiful space.
"Words can't explain how excited and grateful I am to not only have my prayers answered..but exceed!!"
For our first meeting, Nikki greeted us with a fantastic spread of food and drinks courtesy of Maronda. Our group was small that day. Therefore we decided to sit around the dining table where we laughed and ate while the fireplace was lit and the conversation flowed.
To see the seed that God planted in my spirit long ago, finally harvested and continue to grow, taught me a lesson. This lengthy frustrating process taught me to trust Him as well as trust myself when I feel He is leading me to do something for His greater good
Remember, just because things don't happen in our timing it doesn't mean it's denied. Our timeline may be "right now," yet His timeline is always "in due time".. even if it's years later, just like in my situation.
"God's delay is not His denial, His delays are always scheduled"
If you are in the Columbus, OH area, we would LOVE to have to join us!!
H.E.A.L is always free of charge, and women of all ages & backgrounds are encouraged to attend. You do not need to be healing or recovering from anything to attend. Perhaps you have healed, learned and overcome an experience; your wisdom and can bring to the conversation is welcomed.
It's okay if you don't feel comfortable speaking, you can come and to listen and feel supported by those that may share your experience. Feel free to bring or attend with a friend for moral support.
Click Flyer below to Join us for our
next scheduled meeting
Wednesday, May 29th
month for future meetings.
Special thanks to Nikki Moore and Maronda Homes for their community support & sponsorship by inviting us into their beautiful model home and providing providing a cozy, private & safe space; as well our refreshments!