Sunday, November 16, 2014

Second Story Birmingham

If anyone knows what's it like to have your heart shattered, life wrecked, to hit a bottom, to be in the valley, to feel alone...there are so many words you could use, but mostly I've found I know when people get it. Their eyes lock with mine and they say yes without hesitation...and then sometimes quickly and sometimes slowly I get to hear about their journey from darkness to light and that's an honor!

Second Story Birmingham is really all about that. It's offering women hope that things will and can get better. Whether there circumstances change or not. Our eternal perspective and reminding others of that is key. "Our bodies are tents housing our souls", said Rock Hobbs one of my mentors. That kind of takes people, places and things and their offensive ways and weight off. I can carry the harder things of life when I make that my mantra. He also explained you can't yank that offended, bitter root out of people, but you can slowly massage it out of their hearts. Yes, slowly massage truth, hope and grace into willing, listening ears.

I can lament that I am a sinner and over my sins all the live long day. I grew up in a culture that was obsessed with the sorrow and depravity of the human nature, and loved to discuss it over and over and over. To repent though is an action. It's a verb and it is turning and running into the arms of the only one who can make you white as snow, he makes you a new creation and he remembers your sins no more. That is what I want to talk about all the live long day because it is talking about what HE does for us, not what we do for him and what filth we are. It's pride in reverse to focus so much on depravity, it's a constant self focus.... stepping off my pedestal now.

So, our desire and how life changed for four girls from all different walks of life, with all kinds of heartache and baggage is God had godly women (like an army) POURING like rain godly truths about who we are IN HIM, daily into our souls. Reminding us, it is nothing we do, but what he does. What and who Jesus is and what he does for us. When I got my eyes focused on Jesus instead of my sin...Things changed. And they radically changed and I do believe Jesus lifted my eyes to him. He removed the veil, my spirit awoke and my life changed. I said I believed for many years and I did with all my MIND. Yes, I knew catechism answers, yes I will read that scripture, yes, yes...but then I tasted the depth and the love when I was at my worst and in my valley and life was dark. Then HE was able to shine brighter than noonday and my heart got it. Don't be afraid of the bottoms of life, they can truly be your greatest gifts.

So, that's the heart behind Second Story Birmingham in my words. I have three amazing friends who run hard and alongside the ones in the valley. Right now, we know we are doing two things God has led us too with the Second Story, that is part of my studio with Holland's Trinkets, in Homewood. We are making care packages this coming week to send all over to women that God has out in front of us that are in a valley. Also, we've had one meeting already, but will have al anon/codependency meetings Tuesdays at noon in our studio. I'm squealing because I don't want to waste my life. I don't want to waste sorrow and heartaches of life at all. The devil should've taken me out bc I will not be quiet abt all Jesus has done for me.

So, the scripture below will be framed and go in a care package. It's created by two dear friends w some extreme talent. It is my verse from the valley, I was standing on a cold November day, 5 years ago asking God some hard things. Wondering how I was going to fix a broken marriage, police my husband and makes sure the darkness did not take me under. Those were some dark days. But those days when you have such little hope are the days you can hear and see the best because you need something and someone to carry you. In my kitchen that day, God gave me this verse and in the depth of my soul fear was replaced with comfort and I knew He was going to battle for me. And he did. And he does. I love to stamp Be Still more than anything bc of this verse and the meaning behind it.

Say some prayers as we get this thing started. I've found the most intense spiritual battles come when I'm stepping towards him.

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