Every time someone asks me what Collide is, I am almost speechless. And I am rarely speechless. Ask my husband. Part of the reason why it is so hard to answer that question is that Collide has changed and morphed so much that I am often dumbfounded. I feel like I am just running to keep up with God. He is the Hound of Heaven chasing men and women down with ferocity. He is a sprinter when there is a place He needs to be and a person He wants to meet. But He is also a marathon runner who races with endurance and strength and a capacity for the long haul of any man’s journey. He is a God on the run trying to run into people. And the more I look for what He is doing, the faster I feel like I am hoofing it.
The opportunities that God has laid before us continue coming in like crazy! So many lives are being changed, so many areas of ministry and programs are starting or growing and so many people are being added to our numbers. We just spent an amazing weekend at the leadership team retreat with 27 women who have committed their year to serve God and women with us. It was amazing to hear the stories of these women and how God brought them to Collide and the way He met them uniquely. For some, the idea that they would serve on a Christian leadership team is something they never imagined and yet the story God is writing in their life has them doing just that! For some, God drew them into Collide through our counseling program and a helming journey and now He is going to use them to meet others in their pain. For some, they left the team after serving for a time and came back realizing that being apart of something bigger than themselves is the greatest privilege any of us can ask for. As these women filled my living room and belly laughed, danced, told stories and vulnerably shared, crying together, I sat back amazed.
I remember sitting in a counseling office as a 30 something and the counselor asked “What brings you in today?” So typical, I thought. So I began to explain to her the child like fear triggered within me in an instant brought on by something as simple as a doorbell. That knock had reverted my adult self back to decades ago certain that I would get hurt. My pain had caught up with me. It wasn’t as though I hadn’t yet let God in as a mother and minister. It was more like I hadn’t let Him into heal all the spaces and places within me that had bruises and infection. Not so much because I didn’t want God to come in but because I haven’t known all the places in which I bleed. Maybe you are like me too and have moments where some dumb thing triggers a deeper wound, a bigger insecurity, a darker secret that you locked away for way too long and without a trigger screaming at you, that wound sits there and gets sicker and bleeds more not even knowing it.
It was that day in a counseling office that Theeeee counselor showed up. I didn’t hear a thing the lady I paid said. But God spoke to me and gave me a vision and a concept for my pain and His healing that changed the trajectory of my life. God took the pain that led me into that office and turned that spiritual concept into a mentoring relationship that turned into a bible study that turned into what now is this thing called Collide. I am speechless.
I often joke that I don’t know how I got a full time job I didn’t apply for. But I did! God is on the move and I continue to try keeping up with His pursuit of people. At every turn I see God intervening in our world meeting people where they are at and inviting us to take part. I think maybe that’s it. Collide became something out of nothing because despite pain and weakness or any pesty insecurity, a few women said yes to what God wants to do to reveal Himself to people. It has been one yes after another yes after another.
Yes God, you can heal me. Yes God, you can use me, even me. Yes God, you are powerful where I am weak. Yes God, you can meet people, all people, right where they are at. Yes God, you can provide all that we need. Yes God, you aren’t afraid of getting messy. Yes God, I will get messy too. Yes God, you are the Rescuer and you can use me to throw out buoys. Yes God, you love women, I will love them to. Yes God, you sacrificed, I will too.
I remember the day God told me to challenge a small group of women I was leading..we had been colliding with Jesus for a few years together. He said “I am tired of us 4 and no more bibles studies, its time they teach the message.” And I wrote on a piece of paper the word “Collide”. When I looked at it, it had always been a verb and now it was also a noun. I had no idea at the time what that meant. It was a thing. It wasn’t like I was brainstorming what to call a future organization or ministry. It wasn’t like I was trying to create or start “something”. It wasn’t like I even wanted to go into women’s ministry and love chicks with poodle purses and thick stench perfume, who use a lot of tissue. When God said this, I was like, “God, You are asking us to believe upon You to do something bigger than ourselves?” And like Jesus always does, He said “That’s what I do.”
The same Jesus who took the little boys lunch and fed thousands, He still uses what little we have to do something even Greater. The same Jesus who ran into the slutty ho at the well and used her to change her village, He still runs into chicks like me with skeletons in the closet and calls us to get in closets with other chicks and come out together. God wants to use us to do something bigger than ourselves. But it will take your yes. And this Collide journey has found me in living rooms, in churches, in coffee shops, in emergency rooms and in hearts watching people say “yes” to what God can do through them.
I might be speechless and I might be running to keep up, but more than anything I am overflowing with gratitude that I, the girl who often feels broken, has collided with Jesus and in the midst of Him healing me, He also chooses to use me to help heal others.
God is good.
All the time.
What you now see and explore on this web site will soon be gone. It will be the past, a memory, what once was. And very soon, this space, wecollide.net will be a more current picture of what Collide is. As God has grown our counseling program, our mentoring program, our church partners, our team, our gatherings and events, and our VISION, we are trying to stay current with keeping you in the loop with who we are. So stay tuned for an up to date picture of what Collide is. If I am speechless, the new website won’t be.:) And neither will God. Keep colliding friends….and keep saying “Yes.” – Willow