I was without a church for 10 years before I found Fellowship.
Here I watched the Not For Sale films, looked into the darkness of prostitution, human trafficking, the sex industry. I was overwhelmed. I can't. It's too hard, too dark. I can't. I can't. I can't.
At a conference last fall in Green Lake, I met people from all over the world who were serving women and children caught in the darkness. As they shared their stories, I can't became how can I not?
It was like the high dive at a swimming pool. I'd seen others jump off the high dive. I'm a pretty good swimmer. I climb the ladder, walk out on the board, take a breath, jump. The free fall is awesome, the splash amazing. Plunging deep in the water then swimming upward -- completely empowering. Then I surface and draw a breath.
The sides of the pool are miles away. Perhaps I can't swim. I cry out. God hears me. I wipe the water from my eyes.
The sides of the pool are right there where they've always been.
God is there in every step: the ladder, the board; the jump, free fall and splash; the first breath of air.
God is working in the people here beside me and in those outside Fellowship; in the directors of our local free clinics and pregnancy care centers, in the group of Fox Valley women who are mentoring me.
As I step up to lead, I am not alone. God has moved others in Fellowship: the women who will go with me to our local clubs, the people preparing gifts and building our website, supporting our outreach and praying with the women in the darkness.
Often I feel ill equipped to lead, that I am not a good swimmer. God knows that. She didn't mail me a fancy invitation or write up a long list of things to do. God watched me dip my toes in the water and learn to swim, then waited patiently until I asked for more.