It was just hours before I needed to get on the road to drive to the Real Women launch in Hampton Roads. I wasn’t ready to make the trip because I had just made a horrible mistake. Consumed with guilt and shame, I wasn’t ready to enter a room filled with women for a sister circle where I’d have to pretend to be okay. But, I wanted to be supportive, so reluctantly, with a heavy heart, I packed my car and headed to Virginia.

As I drove, I began to pray and ask God for His forgiveness. I admitted my mistakes and explained that I had no intention of repeating my past behavior. As I prayed, God began to exchange my shame for hope. He showed me that I would have an opportunity to do better and that I still had the chance to stand and walk in my truth. This excited me and I began to feel a little better. God had taken the burden off of my shoulder and cleansed me with forgiveness and hope for a brighter future, not haunted by my past mistakes.

I had been so afraid to make the trip to Hampton Roads because of my burdened heart, but God gave me many beautiful surprises that weekend. In no hurry to return to Maryland, I needed to stay in the Hampton Roads area on Saturday evening before heading to Williamsburg the next day. When my initial plans didn’t work out, I was welcomed at Ms. Sylvia’s beautiful home. With warmth, hospitality, sincerity, and a delicious bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, Ms. Sylvia showed me the love of Jesus. I was so amazed that someone would invite me into their home and take such good care of me. As we shared conversation over breakfast, Ms. Sylvia said that when people come to her home, she wants them to feel Jesus. I certainly did.

The entire weekend was filled with laughter, fun in the pool, great food, awesome company, and a day spent at my favorite water park! I was left feeling so grateful for God’s forgiveness. He showered His unconditional love on me all weekend and I felt so full. It was such a loving, gentle reminder that God loves us no matter what and when He demonstrates His perfect love through others, we are reassured that we’ll be okay.

No matter how you feel, just show up anyway. When you choose to show up, God will always meet you there.

 ~Keah Mason

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