I’ve been in Bosnia for only 4 days. This reality came to me this morning as I was reflecting on the depth of conversation I’ve had with several women in such a short time. After a great night’s sleep Friday night, I jumped into the retreat where almost 30 women were in full process of what it means to live out of the new heart and identity Christ has given them as believers.
As I listened to their stories, both in the counseling sessions and as Diana invited open dialogue throughout her teaching, I was taken by how brave these women are to consider that they are truly lovable and that Christ truly delights in them. All of the women but one suffered greatly through the war (the emotional aftershocks of which still rumble just barely under the surface), though they don’t readily offer that information. And every woman I’ve spoken with so far has known tremendous relational heartache.
I’m also taken by how graciously they have invited me into their tightly-knit community, and into their tightly-held stories. I’m aware that I am the first to hear some of the heartaches these women are trusting me to bear witness to. And I’m aware of how incredibly risky it must be for them to dare to speak of their pain when they’ve lived with the mentality that everyone has suffered, “so why should I complain?”
But as they’ve courageously moved into their pain and their stories, I’ve watched a new light and life come to their tear-filled eyes. I’m amazed at how readily they are embracing their true identities. One sees that she is not worthless, but desirable. Another sees that she is not a disappointment to God, but His true delight.
And they are delightful! I wish you could meet them. I’m humbled and thrilled that I have he opportunity to know such remarkable women of faith and courage. I do believe that God is connecting you to them through your prayers, and I can tell you that it is palpably clear that you are praying. Some refer to this city as satan’s playground, but God has made it clear that He is on the loose and these women belong to Him.
So thank you for praying. Please pray more and more and more! Who knows what else God wants to do! In the meantime, I should also say that this is one of the most beautiful countries and cities I’ve visited. I can see why Sarajevo was on Lonely Planet’s Top 10 cities to visit in 2010. And it’s only gotten better. Come see for yourself!