I was lonely.
My feet were freshly planted in California sand, uprooted from the China life and community we knew. I was new and unknown, living in the space between, hungry for connection.
Then someone randomly posted a link on Facebook, and BAM! There it was. The connection I longed for. Someone I didn’t know opened her heart and soul through a blog post. Her words reached through the screen and wrapped themselves around my heart, and I knew I had found a kindred spirit.
That was my portal into the blogosphere, my first step into a screen world where people share the beauty and brokenness of their lives. No small talk necessary, no children hanging and interrupting. Just the real, meaty, beautiful, hilarious, teary talk about what’s churning in our hearts.
Click by click, I became connected to the lives of ladies whose words mentored and moved me. And then, as you know, I began dabbling in my own little Internet space, unearthing a part of me that had become buried; the me that was meant to write.
On this journey I also found sites that were devoted to online community for women (mainly shelovesmagazine.com and incourage.me). Here I saw the beauty of women offering their vulnerable hearts, their deepest passions, and in return other women rallying around them, breathing hope and encouragement. These places pulsated with life and richness. A soul-bond lived amongst these sisters.
And then God brought sweet memories to mind of another group of soul sisters, the ones I left behind in Asia, the ones I am returning to. These ladies, like me, had left their American lives to live out a calling across the ocean. We were separated by countless miles, but forever bonded by the shared path of life overseas.
On the rare yearly occasion we’d see each other, we’d stay up late sitting in the hallways of Thai hotels while the babies slept. Story after story would pour out as we laughed and cried, lapping up the community like parched puppies. Then when we finally laid our heads down upon our rock-like beds, we’d breathe deep sighs of relief, reminded that we are not alone in this crazy life we lead.
After the week together that was never enough, we’d leave each other, hungry for more. We needed more time to share with these sisters who understand our pain and joy, because they live it too. We needed the chance to sit with that woman who’d raised her thriving family in this life and ask her flat out, “How? How have you done it?”
But there was never enough time, never enough stories. So much wisdom left unshared.
So when I saw these online communities, this dream lodged itself in my heart. This. This is what we need. A place to connect across the miles. A place to feed each other helpings of hope.
Because, people, we have these INCREDIBLE opportunities outside our foreign doorsteps. But what do you do when you’re too weak and lonely to even step out your door? Some days you just need a hand (even a virtual hand) to pull you up and say, “I know, girl, I know. But I am WITH you. Now GO SEIZE THE DAY!”
So bit-by-bit, I’ve been sharing this dream over this last year with my real life friends and groups, and every time I do, people get excited about it. And that’s when I know this whole thing didn’t come from my own tired Mommy brain. It all feels very inspired and God-breathed.
And that has been confirmed by the incredible ways in which a team has joined forces to make this happen. We have a team of editors in place, we have ladies ready to write their hearts out, we have the expertise of a design team who is ready to create a beautiful, cutting-edge online space for us, and we have a name that I am in LOVE with.
Everything is set.
There’s just one last piece: the funds to make this happen.
So today, my people, I am asking YOU to make this dream a reality.
Would you give so this can be real?
$6,600 in four weeks and we can have a vibrant community launched THIS FALL to encourage the hearts of women serving overseas.
You can give by going to our super spiffy site: http://fundly.com/velvet-ashes-launch-fund Or just click on the “Please Donate” button on the side menu –>
WHEW. There you have it. The dream unfurled.
Now be still my heart and wait….
Wait for God’s people to do their thing.