This year our theme is Crowned. We are his royal daughters. We are his beloved. We are his crowning jewels. Let’s come together, in this sacred space and soak in this marvelous message that God created us to SHINE!! You’ll find all the details at Shinewomen.com along with inspirational quotes and stories. Here are a few highlights:
She looked me straight in the eyes as she was placing the crown on my head and said, “Wow, you are gorgeous.” The sincerity and love in her eyes, made me feel like I was a beautiful woman. I felt overwhelmingly loved. This peace overcame my body. It was as though God was telling me I was qualified regardless of my insecurities. She said, “You are strong and confident and created in Jesus’ perfect image.” I felt joy, happiness, pure, loved, strong, empowered, lifted high. It was a beautiful moment I will always keep in my heart. Since I was a little girl, I’d always dreamed to be a model and that day I got to be a model for God! My dream came true. I learned so much about myself that day. FRANCISCA ORZUA
EACH TIME WOMEN GATHER IN CIRCLES WITH EACH OTHER THE WORLD HEALS A LITTLE MORE. -WILD WOMAN SISTERHOOD
Pastor Laura has had the opportunity to meet my mom a few times. During the photo shoot she talked about how she loved the relationship and unique dynamic my mother and I have. She said we are a wonderful example and reflection of God’s diverse and unique love. My mom is a tiny blonde haired blue eyed white lady and I’m…. well, a tan-skinned, crazy-haired Amazon woman, and despite a world of differences we are besties! We all love our mommas! When Pastor Laura highlighted our relationship it truly validated the feelings of love and how much I value my relationship with my mom. Everything she has sacrificed for me… her relentless pursuit to instill Gods love in my life…. And lastly, she made me feel like “our story” was significant and worth sharing with others even as she expressed, “We should have invited your mom to be here.” It’s going to sound super cliché and cheesy, but during the photoshoot Pastor Laura told me I am beautiful and special. When someone says that to you and you see the sincerity in their eyes…. in their smile…. it makes you feel incredible. Like so many women I suffer from body image issues, low self-esteem, and feeling inadequate, but when she said those words I felt them. We wore a one-of-a-kind-crown that day, and at the end of the day I felt like I was one of a kind!
THE LORD WILL HOLD YOU IN HIS HAND FOR ALL TO SEE – A SPLENDID CROWN IN THE HAND OF GOD. -ISAIAH 62:3 NLT
As Pastor Laura crowned me; she said “I have been praying for you since before you were born. When I look at you, I see hope.” I have struggled with an eating disorder for the past eight years and debilitating anxiety for the past sixteen years so even though it can feel like darkness is always closing in, hope continues to shine through. If someone who lived across the country can care about me this much before ever meeting me, how much more does God love me? I am his beloved.