Recall a time that you were sitting and listening to another person’s story. Can you recall the power of their words? Did they impact you, encourage you, answer questions that you had twirling in your head, give you hope or peace knowing that you aren’t the only one? I personally love to hear other’s stories because we get to know the person a little more deeply and realize that we are not the only person who goes through the tough times. Well, last week at our Huntington Beach Club, we had TESTIMONY NIGHT! Four brave people got up in front of all of us to share their stories. I call them brave because it is a bit intimidating to get up in front of a room full of people who you don’t know and share the details of your life. How will people respond? What will they think after they hear our failures, our struggles, our victories? Will I be judged? It takes courage and obedience to God to do this and it’s always so powerful.
But I am getting ahead of myself. Let me step back. As usual, our club started out with laughter and fellowship between all of the volunteers, the teens and their children. Because of many generous donations, we have a few tables that are lined with clothes and set up by a Life Group full of volunteers so that parents can go through and pick out some outfits for their children. One less thing to think or stress about – providing clothes for their kids. Kim Wallace provided a homemade dinner that was delicious as always and allows all of us to pause, to sit, and to eat together and catch up with one another. Again, one less thing for all of us to think or stress about – what to make for dinner!
After dinner came the testimonies. We heard from three women and one man who all shared where and how they have fallen short in life and how God showed Himself as the Redeemer. One woman was asked at the last minute – like seriously the last minute before club started and so graciously agreed to share her story. She is the daughter of a teen mom and she shared how the prayers and devotion of her mom led her to the place she is today. This story gave a lot of parents hope. All of the stories gave the parents hope and even some relief. The teen moms shared afterward that they too hope that one day their kids will feel the same way about them. They hope that their kids will one day appreciate all of the sacrifices and prayers that they so willingly do for them now. We assured them that they would. Maybe not in those teen years, haha, but they will one day hear “Thank you, mom. Thank you, dad.”
We had these great powerful talks like we do each month after the Club talk – all the while Tracy Sumner was in the background putting together beautiful jars of wildflowers to give out to the girls to take home. Wildflowers. A beautiful representation of us. On our own, we each can be a little wild or weedy, but when we join together in a bunch to prepare and share a meal, watch children so parents can be filled up, hear powerful stories and then encourage each other – we look and feel great!