by Jasmine Bostock, Diocese of Hawaii
Starting the day this morning, I was filled with anticipation of what the day would bring. Will I hear stories? Will I tell them? Will I be brave enough to introduce myself to someone and start a conversation? Will I be overcome with information? Our day started at 5AM, early enough to wake and dress, and get Starbucks from down the street, and pray with another woman from our delegation, who invited the group to join her in centering prayer (silent) for 15 minutes before we left every morning. This prayer was exactly what I needed, before I even knew how I needed it. My day would become such a mix of emotions and events, I needed to have the center that it gave me. We all met at 6:30 to go to the UN Church Center and run through the worship we created yesterday. I had a part in the message, about an obstacle I had overcome. I get really nervous public speaking, and I didn't want to cry, as I wanted the message to be one of strength (we were celebrating Miriam's leadership). The rest of my day was a mix of things--boring, scary, overwhelming, at moment incredibly touching with their honesty, exciting, resting, and most of all unexpected. I have more of a clear idea of what the sessions are like now, and I know a little bit about how to tell when an organization will push speaking points on you. I feel comfortable getting up and leaving a room, and walking into a new one. Through all of this, God kept me centered and He took care of me when I couldn't--even by forcing me into an unintentional nap! He knows me inside and outside, He knows my comings and my goings before I do, and He knows my heart. He knows how it breaks anew for each woman carrying the hurt of her country and her mother, and sister, and grandmother, and friends, and cousins, with her to this place called the United Nations. And His heart breaks alongside mine, as He gently takes the burden from my shoulders and from theirs, and turns it into friendship, sisterhood, solidarity, and advocacy. How amazing is our God!