Marcy and I were best friends. We had children the same ages, and we were both direct sales distributors under the same supervisor. At least we had been until I was convicted that I should not use my gift of persuasion to sell things, but only to share the love of God, so I quit cold turkey. It was lots of fun, and, it would have been fine to continue and it could have been lucrative, but I was determined put my energy, gifts, talents into sharing Jesus and not use any part of that gift of persuasion to make money.
Was that a law I was making for myself, instead of being in the freedom with which Christ set me free?
Stand fast, therefore, in the freedom wherewith Christ has set us free and
not be entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1 KJV
There would have been nothing wrong with earning a fabulous living using my gift of persuasion in sales. But I didn’t want to risk the mixture of joyous zeal for the gospel and the conviction of convincing people that my food supplements could help their bleeding gums, blemishes, queasy stomachs, and seasonal allergies. I respect the product to this day, but couldn’t sell it once I was sold on making disciples for Jesus.
Marcy and I put my Amy and her Christopher in a little play school at the civic center and had a couple of hours alone with our babies-her Doug and my Erica. Marcy confided in me that she was experiencing some sadness-why? She didn’t know. I offered to pray with her every day, and did! Every morning on the phone we prayed for each other when our children we tiny. Then later after our older children were in kindergarten we would pray in her kitchen, the little ones-my Erica and her Doug- playing around our feet.
Before I met Jesus I had been at a Tupperware party and had noticed a woman across the room. She looked kind and was wearing a large cross.
“What is her name?” I asked someone.
“Her name is Barbara Lowery.”
“What do you know about her?” I asked.
“What I know is that she is married and has three adopted children, two of whom are African American.”
“I want to be her friend,” I said.
One day as Marcy and I were praying in her kitchen she said to me, “Cheryl, there’s a woman I think who would love to pray with us. I saw her last night. I don’t think you know her. Her name is Barbara Lowery.”
Look at God! He has brought Women with a Vision together from day one. God’s footprints had been alongside me, Marcy, Barbara, and slowly then more quickly other women who put the love of God above all else in their lives. God called me to Women with a Vision. I was called therefore I can.
Then we recognized the needs. We found that Women with a Vision is a family where people can be filled and practice loving one another. No woman can walk into today’s Women with a Vision meeting and feel she doesn’t measure up because we are all real and we let people see what is inside. Maybe that is the key to the intimacy among us. We don’t pretend. We confess our sins and ask forgiveness from God and each other. We turn around, the 180 degree turn to be different than we were when we approached God with a sin. We don’t let past sins stop us from going on with God in pursuit of the vision He has stamped onto our hearts-to see broken women made whole as they sit in a fellowship of loving women whose hearts are poured out for such a time as this, welcoming women to bow and kneel before the folds of the garment of the One who saved us all.
People’s situations differed and what led them to our living room varied. But one thing was the same. “The love!” They would say. “I felt it when I walked in the room.” If I had a definition of Women with a Vision it would be this: “Women with a Vision teaches women around the world how to live life in response to the Word of God.”