It has been less than 48 hours since my journey began, and I cannot believe the physical, mental, and spiritual distance I have traveled. The mountains pierced the sky, standing in sharp juxtaposition to my soft Blue Ridge Mountains. Hard to believe that there could still be snow on the top when I was instantly drenched in sweat the second I stepped outside.
I mean, look at this!!
Yeah. Welcome to Utah.
But the heat is easily ignored by the beauty of downtown Salt Lake City. You walk down the street, turn a corner and bam! There are magnificent mountains you feel like you could walk over to (if you aren’t wearing heals).
And then there is the convention center. Never have I felt so much spirit in one place. I am so honored and blessed to be here, to be talking with these amazing people and standing up for issues I am passionate about.
Amidst the meetings and interviews and speeches, there is one instant that will stick with me for the rest of my life.
My roommate, Eva, and I walked over to the Thistle Farms booth to snag some free samples, and so I could hear what they are all about.
(Please please please, check out their website this instant and buy everything http://www.thistlefarms.org/ )
I don’t know what I was expecting to hear from a vendor, but 20 minutes later, I am crying with a stranger, we are hugging and praying and exchanging mailing addresses to keep in touch. And all I can say is: only at General Convention. “J” has been at Thistle Farms for 16 months, slowly but surely recovering from drug addiction and a cycle of a abuse by men in her life. Thistle Farms is a two year program for sexually trafficked women and/or women that are battling addiction. By living in this prayerful intentional community where they make and sell skin products, they regain their lives.
“I am learning to love myself, and more importantly, to let myself be loved. I am finding my self worth again; and I can hold my grandson for the first time in my life.”
I like to think that Heaven involves people sitting around, connecting with each other through the Grace of God and the movement of the Holy Spirit, by our stories, our triumphs and our scars, trusting one another to hear and to care and inviting them in to become a part of you.
Thank you J, for gifting me with your story, I will never forget your courage.