This weekend Nathan and I led our pregnancy retreat for couples in Des Moines, Iowa. It was a special weekend because not only did we get to lead the retreat, we also did our first ever training session with the diocese so that they could lead the retreats in the future without us there. AND the best part of the whole weekend were our hosts that we stayed with for 2 nights. Maria and Mark (their blog here) generously opened their home to us and fed us delicious food all weekend. I met Maria when she first e-mailed me after her daughter's stillbirth. For over 2 years we have been e-mailing back and forth. Now, finally, we got to meet in person. It was one of those weekends where I got to step back and see God work, not only in our lives, but in the couples' lives that we ministered to. It was also great because anytime Nathan and I can evangelize together is energizing. It always reminds me of when we were on our FOCUS team together and brings back all those great memories.
So the weekend came and went, and now its Sunday night and I'm exhausted. This was our last "official" ministry event for probably the next year. We will hopefully be bringing home a baby in January, and Nathan finishes school next August. We feel God calling us to take a step back and work on some of the "behind the scenes" stuff for our ministry such as non-profit status, figuring out how to copyright our curriculum, and working on some local pregnancy loss materials. I'm a little sad to take a break, but I know it's needed. We have done a lot since last March - radio interviews, two retreats, speaking engagements, and newspaper and magazine articles. Looking back over the last few months, I can see how God's hand has been opening doors for us left and right. I had someone comment that "the Lord is really blessing your ministry." And my first thought was "He's not blessing it, He's desperate for it." Not that God can be desperate, but I think He is giving favor to Nathan and I for this ministry because His heart is breaking for all those hurting from pregnancy and infant loss. It's a terrifying vineyard to do ministry in, and one that I often want to run from. But I know God wants us here, and that keeps us going.
So, look for some updates on our blog - immaculatehope.org over the next few months. And please continue to pray for us and whatever God leads us to do next in this ministry. One last thing - we worked closely with Deacon Joel this weekend for the training. Him and his wife write at their blog, thepracticingcatholic.com. Check it out if you do not know about!