Editor's Note :: Today you'll hear from my dear sister-friend, Brandy. We've only known each other for a little while and we've never even met, but we connect in all the ways that matter and I'm super excited to share with you what she's been brewing over in her corner of the world. It was a whim. Like most things in my life. Elora offered her first online class and it intrigued me. Story 101, an invitation to learn more about our own unique stories and how to share them with the world.
I love stories. I love Don Miller's idea that we can "write a good story with our lives." And I love Elora. I love her story and the deep and true friendship we're building even though we've never actually met in person. I wanted to support this exciting new endeavor of hers, but more than that, I wanted in. I wanted Elora's guidance into the art of the story.
I fell in love quickly. Two things became very clear. First, many of the women in the class were God-lovers. They wore that love on their sleeve, speaking often about the intersection of God's story and their own. I was wary at first. I am a self-described "recovering Christian". I love Jesus. I know that God moves in my life daily. I feel most sane when I make time to pray. But patriarchy and Christianese weighs heavy on modern American Christianity and my heart. Many of the church services I've attended in my town to try to find home ring shallow and borderline arrogant.
It was the second thing I realized that it took my breath away. I needed them: more holy women in my life to commune with daily. I needed to pray for them. And to ask them to hold me up in prayer also.
I haven't even gotten through the first assignment (I'm a slacker like that), but I feel that I've more than gotten out of it the money I put in. In this class, a seed buried deep in my soul began to sprout. An idea, a desire, for more holy community. In the past, it had taken the shape of a house church, but this time it came to me as an online class. My own creation. Lent: the eCourse.
In our Story Coaching session, I gushed to Elora about this scheme and my many fears. What if it's dumb? What if I'm trying to do too much? It feels God-inspired, but what if it's not? How do you know? She listened patiently and encouraged me in her gentle way. Her confidence in me gave me permission to have confidence in myself.
It started to come together almost immediately after we got off the call. I literally launched a blog and an ecourse in a weekend, allowing myself to get swept up in the Spirit. Risking failure and vulnerability for the sake of Something beautiful.
I think these classes are the ultimate partnerships. Joining with God and the people we've set out to bless. This is one of the scariest things I've ever done. I've given birth in my living room and auditioned for a TEDx conference, so that's saying something.
I owe so much of it to Elora and the wild, sweet, inspiring women I've had the pleasure of getting to know through the Story Sessions. I hope my class changes lives. Elora's has already changed mine. I hope God surprises my students with Joy and each other. I hope you'll join me for Lent: the eCourse. So be it (amen).