It’s late, but I find I can’t sleep tonight.  A week ago, I was lying awake in a hotel, thinking of the yoga that would take place the next day, hoping and praying that I could convey the message of healing I so wanted to share.

Salt Lake has been on my mind all week.  The peace, the beauty.  The hope, the love. The amazing people.

But as my week has gone on, and my heart has become heavier with the weight of so many sorrows in the world and in the lives of many people I care about, I find that my mind, for comfort, goes back even more to Logan.

We had talked all along about the big SLC event, and doing Logan as a nice side-note.  Kind of a small, bonus event.

And I was thrilled we were doing it, but neither Missy or I expected a huge turnout.

The weather was supposed to be horrible, and as dear old friends piled us into their truck so that we could make it safely, I told myself it would be worth it.  That I may be exhausted, and the weather bad, but that small ripples were worth making.

(Being with friends lifted my spirits.  I love them so much.)

It was cold when we arrived, and all of us were tired.  Matt and I, our friends, our organizers.

But then, people started to come.

And this is where I will start to cry as I type, and probably not stop for some time.

Lots of people came.  And the group of women who came were unlike any gathering I’ve had before.

They came with what they had.  Some were only able to give just a very small amount, but it was everything they had to give.  Some gave a tremendous amount.  Either way, what they gave was given with all their hearts. I was so humbled, and so very grateful.

Some who spoke to me were on their own journey.  Seeking peace, seeking answers.

Many just came to help.  To stand up and do something.  Their strength was vibrant.

After a while, a large group of girls showed up.  Beautiful girls.  I felt instant love for them.  I was so curious about who they were, because I felt something very strong from them.

When it was time to start, we found we had to move to a different room, much smaller.  I was worried people would be put out at having such a cramped space.

But then we started, and we were so united.

The power and hope.  Once again, I can’t describe it.

The presentation was beautiful, hopeful.  I could write about it forever.

But the incredible thing is always the end.  That moment of split-second fear as we all open our eyes and I look into everyone’s.  I always pray I will find what I sought, what I had set out for: hope.

This time, it was there, but it was so much stronger in many ways.  There was healing there, too.  Tears were fresh in many eyes, but hopeful ones.  Hugs were given and soft words were spoken.

Afterward, I spoke with many of the women who came, and learned more about them, about their journeys and their own personal sorrows.

I noticed the beautiful group of girls had changed.  They had gone from feeling hesitant to hopeful.  I could see the difference in their countenances.  Something had changed.  They were lighter.

It wasn’t until later that I learned of who they were, and the immense battle that they were each facing together.  It’s one I’ve fought myself.  I understand it, and I know how painful and difficult it can be to overcome.

Seeing them now in my mind, I know what that hope in their eyes came from.  Somehow, when you are hurting, there is this miraculous principle.  Healing comes from service, from helping others, from loving and lifting someone else, in spite of your pain.  Then somehow, your own healing progresses further than it ever could have before.

Seeing women who were struggling so much step outside of their own pain to help someone else changed me forever.

Each time I do this, that is one of the greatest miracles.  It’s not just Congolese lives that are healed.  It’s our lives.  It’s my life.

Thank you, to all who came.  You’ve changed me forever.

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”

-Helen Keller

All photos by Trisha Haws.

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