My Moses Experience {Connection Group Sign-up Open}

It’s an exciting day at Velvet Ashes. Registration is now open for our Spring Connection Groups!   If you are signing up for a Skype group, remember that all times are based on EST in the US after Day Light Savings time this Sunday so we won’t have to change times (for the most part!) after the groups start.

Laura Rowley is here to share with us her experience with her Connection Group this past fall.


I remember the night well. The night when I took off my shoes and sat in awe of what God had orchestrated. The night I knew I was sitting on Holy Ground.

The evening didn’t begin that way. In fact, it began with me questioning my role as a Connection Group Mentor – “I don’t know if I should be doing this … I don’t know what I have to offer to these women.”

During our Connection Group one member, who lived in a high rise in a huge Asian city, shared that when she is near a balcony in a high rise her thoughts turn toward jumping off, baby in hand. I had no idea how to respond. I’m not sure what I said or if I even said anything, but I do remember hearing another member of our group, who lives on a remote island in Central America, saying something about understanding what she was going through and postpartum hormone changes and how she had experienced a very similar, yet quite different thing at a similar life stage. It was then that I took my shoes off.

I can relate so well to Moses. From the initial struggles with stepping forward to facilitate a group. I thought, “Not me. I don’t articulate myself well.” The similarities don’t end there. For me, being a part of Connection Groups has sometimes been akin to Moses’ experience on the top of the mountain where his friends found him a rock to sit on and held up his arms for him – and when they did Israel prevailed. Connection Groups are a chance for us as women to come alongside each other, to help each other find the rock to sit on—the true foundation for the work that is happening around us—and to hold up each other’s arms or have others hold up our arms for us.

You see, I was learning it’s not about always having an answer. It’s not about making the pain go away. It’s not about fixing it. Sometimes, it’s about holding space for someone. Sometimes, it’s about pleading for mercy. Sometimes, it’s about saying, “Me, too,” or, “I know what that is like.”

So.. this is what I would say to you, the one who opens up:

Thank you for signing on to the call. Thank you for being courageous. Thank you for your vulnerability and for sharing yourself with us.

And to the one who responds:

Thank you for having the courage to say, “Me, too.” Thank you for offering to take this a step farther. Thank you for reaching out, across the miles, to hold up an arm. Thank you for being courageous and vulnerable and for being the hands of Jesus.

This is what I would say to you, the one considering whether or not to join a Connection Group or whether or not to be vulnerable with your group:

I cannot tell you that you must- that is damaging and controlling- but I want to tell you that I will be here, holding space for you to open up and feel the emotions, to tell the story and I will be here with you- probably with my shoes off, as we walk together, yet worlds away, on holy ground. And know the other mentors share this sentiment.

What holy ground experiences have you had on a team or in a small group? Are you signing up for a Connection Group?


  1. Danielle Wheeler March 8, 2016

    Thank you so much, Laura, for sharing your story.  There is such power in the “me too.”  To know you’re not alone in your struggles.  I love the beauty of Connection Groups described as lifting up each other’s arms like Moses.  Every session of Connection Groups there are such amazing stories of the encouragement and connection that come out of them.

    And a HUGE shout out to Amy, for all the coordinating she’s done to put these groups together!

    1. laura r March 10, 2016

      Thank you, Danielle, for following the promptings and leadings which have led to so many connections around the globe!  In one of my connection groups there were 7 women living in 7 different countries!  So amazing.

      My hope for this next session is more of the same- more connections, more me too moments, more strength drawn for coming alongside each other in the unique work each of us have.

      And, yes, a HUGE shout out to Amy Young.  The details in something like this must seem never-ending at times.

  2. J March 8, 2016

    Hi Laura,

    Thank you for sharing. I have just signed up for a Skype group. Previously the groups were full by the time I realised that the the registration had started. I look forward to getting to know others, sharing, encouraging and praying.


    1. laura r March 10, 2016

      Glad you were able to register, J!  I hope this season offers you refreshment and encouragement and that you would see even more of His lavish love for you and his world!

  3. M'Lynn March 9, 2016

    I LOVE it when themes in my life converge. I’ve been reading “Simply Tuesday: Small Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World” by Emily P. Freeman. Just today as I read she’s talking about how she formed a connection group of her own. And the rest I’ll just quote directly: “The truth is, people need our with-ness. They don’t need for us to impress them with how spiritual we are. They need to know they aren’t alone. People need us to embrace a relational smallness, accepting we are not the star, the counselor, the convincer, or the fixer. Instead, we are a companion, willing to keep company with the soul of another. We need not compete, we need only to connect.”

    Isn’t that amazing? On the day of connection group sign-ups???

    1. Monica F March 9, 2016

      Love the quote…will need to read that book!

      1. Emily Smith March 9, 2016

        I was thinking the same thing…a possible future book for the book club??

    2. Amy Young March 9, 2016

      That IS amazing!! I loved Simply Tuesday and stalked those around me with it. When I convinced someone else to read it they thought it was “Meh.” WHAT?!! So, this double delights me!!

      1. M'Lynn March 11, 2016

        A friend and I recently had this happen. She was so into Voskamp’s 1000 Gifts book and I was like “meh,” but then…a year later I really got into it. Weird how that happens. I think it’s just that God has certain things for us at certain times. He was saving the book for me for right when I needed it!

    3. laura r March 10, 2016

      Amazing!  I love it when things like that happen.  I haven’t read the book but have listened to a couple of podcasts with her on it.  Looking forward to reading it.

      Yes, to with-ness.  I think I often forget to just be with someone and, instead, look to fix the issue or the moment… but, I am learning that real community walks it together.  You know- that sometimes it’s not about getting rid of the issue or problem but getting to the other side and, in my experience,  the gift os someone to walk through it/around it/over it with is just so  very good.

  4. Emily Smith March 9, 2016

    Holy Ground…that is the term I have been searching for when thinking about these groups.

    Thank you. I had tears threatening to spill over as I read these words. Holding the space and letting others know they are not alone. There is so much power and hope there. Seemingly simple, yet profound.


    1. laura r March 10, 2016

      thank you.

      And you know what?  As I was the mentor, I was continually having my own ‘me too’ moments.  It is amazing how, even when our lives look very different in terms of location and/or vocation, the heart issues are just the same.  Those me-too moments are healing moments.


  5. Rachel O March 9, 2016

    Thank you so much for creating this space! I’ve been hearing about the connection groups for a long time and I am quite excited to finally become a part of one. 🙂

    1. laura r March 10, 2016

      This is such a great place!  I’m so thankful for it as well.

      Glad you are able to be a part of a group this time around.  Enjoy and be blessed!

  6. Pam C March 9, 2016

    Groups filled up so fast! I hadn’t realized they opened yesterday ?. Let me know if another Facebook group opens up!

    1. Amy Young March 10, 2016

      Pam, we had hoped to avoid this! So sorry! This is why we started announcing groups 10 days before they opened. We mentioned them here:

      We also mentioned it in Have You Seen, Monday’s post, and this one :).

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