Amazing Grace...on So Many Levels
Posted by Melissa Stephens on Mar 19, 2019
Ok, folks...I have the most magical story ever!!! So, settled in with a cup of chai (or coffee...or wine...or whatevs!) cuz this is life-changing for me, and it all began with ServiceSpace!
I could go all the way back to reading about Nipun and Karma Kitchen in a "Energy for Dummies" type book, but that would get really long. So, I will start with the Awakin Call that I was blessed to be a part of in January. Audrey forwarded me an email from a woman named Grace (pictured in orange above) who said she would like to get in contact with me because she had also been sexually assaulted as a girl and perhaps I could help her move forward. Well, I was just blown away that a beautiful sister in Uganda felt like I could help, so I emailed her that day!
I heard back from her and discovered that she runs an organization
that helps girls and women in Uganda who have been sexually assaulted, are suffering from HIV/AIDS, etc with so many vital services. I instantly connected with her and mailed her a copy of my book, Little Miss and Spirit Bear's Kiss, which is one piece of my own healing. Then I asked how else I could support her (just like a real ServiceSpacer would!!!). I told her I didn't have much, but I would love to send her some money. She gave me the info, I wired it, and that was that.
BUT WAIT!!! It really wasn't! The next weekend I went to Banyan Grove and gushed all over Audrey and Nipun O Jhi (ya know...like OG) about how grateful I was to them for forwarding me Grace's original email. Truly, I will never be able to repay all the intangible gifts all of you have bestowed upon me on my journey! Just learning from you all and being inspired to bow more deeply into my service (What, what?! Look at me go with my phrases!) has changed my life. In the meantime, I was still emailing Grace daily and telling my husband, Sean, "I really think I am being called to Uganda." He was like, "Uh no. You're not going to Uganda." Keep in mind, this is the man who when we were getting together for our second marriage each had all kinds of doubts about moving to Marin, I told, "Don't worry! The Universe will provide." To which he replied, "I'm Catholic. We don't believe in that sh*t." :) Haha!
But I really felt like I needed to go. Imagine my heart breaking when Grace emailed me saying they had received the funds I sent and the women and girls "kindly ask that I come visit because they feel I am already their mother." I mean...total gut punch, right?! I explained that Uganda was just so far and so much money, but I would put out to the Universe that I was being called to be there. And that was that.
BUT WAIT AGAIN!!! It really wasn't!! A few days after that email, Nipun O Jhi emailed saying someone was going to transcribe my Awakin Call (seriously...that person is a saint! Imagine having to type my 90 minute energy vomit!) He asked if I could explain a little more about these ripples with Grace. Since it was such a long story to tell, I just forwarded him and Audrey our email chain. Well, the NEXT DAY, he emailed me saying someone had seen what was rippling, decided I needed to work with Grace, and would like to ANONYMOUSLY gift my ticket to go. In my whole life, I have never been offered anything like this and certainly never felt as if I was worthy of such generosity. I started crying and my husband asked what was up. When I told him, he was just as dumbfounded as I was. (I did NOT say, "Ha! Put that in your Catholic pipe and smoke it, mister! But I wanted to. :)
Think that's the end of the story? Not by a long shot! When Sean got to work to tell his colleagues about this incredible gift, they said they wanted to support him coming with me!!! He is a true servant to our veterans, helping them get benefits and the mental health they need, so trust me...it doesn't surprise me that he was offered this! And so we shared this with our families...and they wanted to support JJ coming!!! How is this my life?! How am I so blessed?!
Well, I shared the story with my service students because it really is incredible and everything I try to teach them about recognizing that our greatest darkness can bring our most brilliant light. One girl was so moved that not only did she start a GoFundMe for Grace but she also convinced her mom to support Grace's organization through her own company, who will match any contributions they raise. Can you believe it?! All of this started so long ago, and I am blown away by the magnitude of what you all here have created for me.
And it's not just me. This is trickling down to not only my student-kids, but my own kids as well. JJ turns 8 at the end of this month, and I told him I did not want anyone to bring gifts to his party. I just want to vomit at the amount of stuff he has (yes...I am to blame!), and I really want to teach him that experiences are worth so much more than money. You may even say, experiential capital is more valuable than financial capital (What?! Did I just throw down a reference to 8 Forms of Capital?! Oh yes I did, honey!) Well, JJ thought about that and at first was not totally pleased, But then said, "Well then, can we have people donate to Grace as my gift?" I mean, does that just make you melt? So there it is...on his little birthday evite...a link to the GoFundMe. Sigh. Life is so beautiful, I cannot even handle it.
So I emailed Grace. And we bought our tickets with a credit card Sean's people allowed us to use to secure them. And we are going at the beginning of August because in talking with Grace I discovered her organization is holding a women's event on August 3rd with as many women and girls who are struggling to find their own light to come and get services. And I will be there to hug them. And love them. And tell them how very worthy they are, something I am still learning about myself. ANd I will write a book about this whole experience and call it "Amazing Grace" for so many, many reasons.
All because I allowed myself to risk and feel like maybe, just maybe, I am ServiceSpacey enough :)
Well, and all of you are so awesome I can't even handle it!!!! I love you all so, so much!!! Thank you for blessing my life...