Restore is meant to provide space for people to experience Jesus in the trueness of who He is and what He has done. It is meant for healing and repair...restoration.
As a woman I have experienced many things that have either been allowed to shape or intended to shape who I would be. Who I would be to other women, who I would be to my family, who I would be to my community. And from season to season this has changed, has looked different, has been rooted in the good and the worth praying for. I have felt the pressures of my community, of other women-the perfect woman, the good woman, the gracious woman, the beautiful woman- and for a long time I strived mercilessly to be all of those things. What this propagated within my heart was a self righteous notion that we as women should be able to do all things, have all things and be able to not only do it but do it well and with grace. Most often when I would hear the concerns and struggles of other women I would translate their words and their hearts into whining;into a lack of ability to either pull it together or to pull up those proverbial bootstraps and move forward. May I tell you now that the confession of this is actually what propels me? Those viewpoints and strivings for myself and feeling for others will forever mark the most exhausting and lonely seasons of my life to date. Because even when I was killing it, I had done a lot on my own to do so. Even when I experienced communion and gathering with others, I was on, running and working. There was what I thought an identity to uphold, a ridiculous costume that was about 10 times too big for my frame.
In the last three years Jesus has allowed me to replace those strivings with death. Death to myself, death to my desires, to my understanding; to my need to do it different and better and more. Even this friends I did not in fact do or cultivate, It was the realization of an offering I had learned everything about logistically but had no understanding of how to live in. The offering was an identity, a belonging, and adoption into a family that was actually broken in a way that was meant to be restored daily. However, in order to inherit any of it I had to lay down anything I knew to be true before and take on the pieces of what was actually true, one by one. Some of the pieces were a sacrifice of my own ability to do; trusting that I had been given a perfect father who not only could do all but would, to see the that Jesus had made the ultimate sacrifice of life and bloodshed to cover my iniquities and washed away my need to strive for anything. As much as I would love to tell you that I felt freedom in that in the beginning, I must confess that it felt like a mighty scraping of everything I thought that I was. Overtime though He has graciously replaced it with the knowledge of myself in Him, which is knowing that who I am is loved. Who I am is seen. Who I am is desired beyond my ability to be worthy on my own two feet. Who I am is chosen. Who I am is heard. Who I am is fully adopted no matter what the world may see me as. And so are you friends.
Restore was born out a vision that grew a desire in me for women to be free from the chains that bind their hearts. For them to be aware of the gospel in a way that would allow them to cling to the knowledge of their safety in Him, allowing them to enter in together and rejoice in those above mentioned truths alongside one another. Ultimately becoming aware of the freedom that is offered to them through what Jesus has and will continue to do for each of them separately and all of them collectively is so heavy on my heart that I can not possibly bear it alone anymore. So it is through that restoration with Him that I believe He will rescue us and allow us to experience restoration with one another.
God has a desire for us all to experience a deep community with one another and I do not believe for a second that women are being left out of this desire.
What if we knew we were protected and loved enough that we could freely confess our mess to one another, and for those of us who are surrounding were to be aware of that same truth enough to wrap one another up in in rather than condemnation? What if when we saw each other's chains, we felt no shame or judgement rather, we desired to draw more near to one another in hopes of those chains breaking; reminding each other of the goodness we have been given to claim in Him.
We are not left to our own devices, we are not alone, and we are not our own. We belong to a mighty king who has marked us all as daughters, which links us together in a sisterhood. And that is the heart of Restore: restoration with the one who marks us as worthy; the one who makes us safe and the one who has knit us into the promise of eternity; allowing us to patiently wait for the washing, freely able to bring our repentance and our need with the knowledge that what He will bring is the healing.