Since my last update, I've been involved with kitchen renovation (see below), writing protocols on crisis management and grief/loss, and Sharon (who I frequently travel and co-facilitate with), and I completed facilitating our first online healing group and started our second one. I will say the amount of mental energy and effort that goes into each of these meetings online is intense. Especially in the middle of a pandemic as well as protests and rioting that was occurring. It was very tender and loving of the Lord to show up in our time together and provide healing and community support. As well, many of them are planning to continue in the training process to become apprentice facilitators and lead their own groups so we are looking forward to reuniting with them at the beginning of August.
As I watched events planned for in-person in July either be canceled or moved to online, I am grateful that in the disappointment the Lord has provided an alternative method. Though doing this online is much more taxing and not ideal, it is effective. Facilitating these lessons online is very different and not what I would choose but I am thankful the Lord is not limited by things I might see as a limit. :-) Our current group has several who are in other countries and they would not have been able to have joined if we had not offered it online. Sharon and I had the chance to facilitate 5 stand-alone lessons too. We are still offering future lessons so if you are interested, let me know.
Over the next few weeks, I move into facilitating two Online initial Equipping Sessions for Trauma Healing. Both groups are full at an online capacity of 15 participants. Just to give you an idea of the schedule, we will meet for 5 hours each day for 3 days for the first week and 5 hours for 2 days the second week. Pray for stamina, perseverance, discernment, wisdom for both participants and facilitators, flexibility, and good internet.
“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” Matthew 7:24-27
Life and work continue to look very different right now for each of us in a variety of ways. One of the most common questions for those I am working with is, "When do we return?" With borders still closed, many travel restrictions still in place, and some countries still insisting on mandatory quarantine upon entry, many are left in an uncertain holding pattern, including me. Ministry continues full steam ahead...it just looks different as travel is still not occurring.
I am very thankful the Lord provided a place to stay other than my parent's dining room since I have been in Indiana! I am involved in settling my aunt's estate, which includes her house and that is where I am currently living. One of the many issues of the house was an outdated and cramped kitchen. Early in May, my brother and I thought we could freshen it up a bit to improve the quality of the house especially since schedules were fairly flexible due to the stay at home orders and we thought it would only take a few days. Well...project makeover turned into major renovation after removing wallpaper revealed paneling, which revealed mold. There was a great debate in the renovation team about using Kilz and just painting over the mold or if we had to replace the entire drywall. In the end, we gutted the kitchen and replaced all of it.
The kitchen renovation got me thinking about sin and areas of weakness in my life. It is so easy to cover those issues up-like putting Kilz over the mold. However, those issues do not go away. If anything, they get worse. It takes a lot of hard work, sweat, tears, and vocal frustrations to make progress to rebuild the right way: without moldy drywall and on solid rock (Matthew 7:24-27). It also takes the same when the Lord shows us areas in our lives that He wants to transform more into His character. Those are ugly areas that I have been covering up like the paneling for the mold. As I look at the final project in the kitchen and see such an amazing transformation, I understand it is all well worth it to continue the hard work in my own life as the Lord reveals the areas I may be quick to hide.
I do not know about you but I continue to feel a level of stress and uncertainty of the future...asking my own "When do I return" or "What is next" type of questions. In the meantime, I will continue to be obedient to what the Lord had asked of me in the here and now. If you are asking the same questions, we can walk that path of uncertainty together and see what the Lord has in store ahead.
Thank you for your continued love and support and let me know how I can be a support to you,
Prayer requests and praises:
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Misty Bodkins has a Master's degree in clinical psychology. She has worked both stateside and internationally doing counseling, training, teaching, and research. Her passion is working with people who are in crisis.