Day 24 – Relate, Restore, Release

The Write 31 Days Challenge – 31 Days,Every Day,One Topic

Day 24

 (day 1 starts here)

If anyone knew the real me they could never love me. Click To TweetThoughts like these can keep us from being authentic. Especially as Christ followers, trying to live holy like Jesus! Believing this way caused me to put on my happy mask every day for years, all while trying to hide the pain I carried on the inside.

Then entered those special people who saw something in me that I couldn't see in myself and chose to invest in my life. Click To Tweet

I said yesterday that this post, Restore, Relate, Release, was going to be a fun one for me to write and it is, because this is a post filled with gratefulness to a few of the special people in my life. Just a few really because there are many more!

Relate – Early on in my story I shared how we walked into that church in Kent where we were embraced by Pastors John and Nancy, and later by Pastor Nathan and Rose. We were more of a mess than we even knew and they simply loved us. If they had come at us with all the things we “needed” to do to get right with God at the outset we may have turned around and walked out the door.

We weren’t there all that long before moving to Olympia but we became very close, especially through “The Letter” experience. The most encouraging words I’ve ever heard were spoken to me by Rose when we were preparing for our move, I can't wait to see how God is going to use you. Click To TweetWords from Rose’s heart. Words from the heart of God.

Restore – The first church we went to in Olympia is where the majority of my healing took place. This, the church where we thought we were ready to jump right into ministry the minute we got there!

Thank God for Pastor Rob who had the discernment to know that we weren't ready to give anything to anybody! Click To Tweet

I also thank God for the many words of prophetic encouragement I received from his wife Debbie. One word I didn’t believe when she said it though was that one day I would be ministering to women – just after I’d told her how much I hated women! God has a sense of humor doesn’t He?

Release – After about four years at our first church in Olympia we felt led to join a small church, closer to our home. We hadn’t even been thinking about changing churches and only visited there because we were on “stay-cation” and decided to check it out.

There was something about this church that felt right to us from the start. I was especially impressed by all the community outreach they were involved in that focused on those who might be considered “less than” by many. 

My heart resonated with the words of their church motto, Restore, Relate, Release. Click To Tweet Huh, funny that these same words became what made up my own three-fold healing journey.

We quickly became a part of this church and it wasn’t long before I was being asked to do the church announcements on Sunday mornings. I know that may seem like a silly little task for some, but for me (formerly known as “Bashtiful Patti) it was HUGE! I prepared like crazy to share the six or so announcements we had each Sunday and when I took that microphone in my hand I hid the shaking by holding it in a death grip with both hands.

Later, I was invited by Pastor Judy to go to a church leadership conference to explore different ministry tools that were being offered to churches.  I signed up for a class being taught by Pastor Ken Dyck of Freedom Session and when I heard what this ministry was all about I knew immediately it was a perfect fit for Kelly and myself to become involved in.

Pastor Jerry was all in with this idea and this was where our release into ministry began. It is said in recovery circles that we can’t keep what we don’t give away and this is true. We found that in telling our story and offering our hope to those who came through Freedom Session we were so blessed that we often declared that we received more by teaching the lessons than those who were being taught. I really believe that.

Pastor Jerry, this dear heart-of-a-father man has since passed on to Heaven. I hope he knows how many people he touched as he trusted them to step into doing big things for God. Things that they may not had the courage to do without his encouragement.

We were directors of Freedom Session of Olympia for four years, moving it to a larger facility where our Pastor Peter (yes, he’s ours, we love this young man) took a chance on this older couple whom he didn’t know but had a good feeling about and jumped full in (I think he liked the cute outfit I wore my first time there-not kidding)!

I LOVED being a part of FS and soon began to really enjoy speaking in front of groups of people. Now THAT is transformation!

My husband Kelly also loved being able to do this ministry together and once stated that walking people through Freedom Session felt like the most important thing he’d ever done.

It was terribly sad when we moved to South Carolina and had to step away, but what a blessing that Freedom Session of Olympia is now being led by a couple that came through it when we were teaching and that they have become the National Directors for Freedom Session here in the U.S. I sorta’ feel like a grandma 😉

“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God.” – Timothy J. Keller

Being fully known and fully loved is the thing that allows people to blossom and grow. I only hope I can love like those who’ve loved me.

Broken to beautiful, blessed to bless.

Tomorrow is Day 25 and we are getting down to the end of this Write 31 Days series. Come back as I share, Look God, I’m the Patti You Created me to be!

It all started way back HERE on Day 1 in case you missed it!  I’d be honored if you’d take the time to share!


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