“Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established.” (Proverbs 16:9, NIV)
Dear Friends and Family,
Two years ago, on February 20, a small group of friends gathered in my living room and envisioned a ministry which would offer affordable Christian counseling to young women. As you know, from that meeting, Restoration Place Ministries was born. It is hard to believe that we have made the two-year mark and are now a few months into year three! I had no idea the adventure that God had in store for me!
Not only has He surprised and delighted me in many ways over these past few years, He has also used the time to stretch my faith, deepen my trust, and help me become even more aware of my deep, deep need of His mercy and grace, both in my daily life and in this ministry. I want to assure you that, although I may be officially titled “founder” of this organization, I have certainly not “arrived” at a place of great wisdom and accomplishment. I am simply still a broken vessel continuing on my own path of restoration.
Like I mentioned, God has used this journey to continue to refine me and teach me some very important lessons. I’d like to share just a part of this with you now. I’ve expressed in previous letters how one area of struggle for me has always been performance-based living. What do I mean by this? Well, while I know it has been God alone who graciously and powerfully set me free from many strongholds of sin in my life, for some reason along the way, I was tempted to believe that it was up to me to stay free. In other words, I’ve wrestled with the lie that I must “perform” in order to prove to God and to others that I am worthy of acceptance, approval, and blessing. Not only is this way of thinking completely flawed and full of pride, it is an exhausting way to live. Over the last six to eight months, God has been faithful in revealing this sin in my life. But not only has He been faithful to reveal it, He’s been faithful to heal it!
Through this encounter with Him, I realized that I had even allowed this way of thinking and living to play out in ministry. At that meeting two years ago, we dreamed of many things that could be included within the ministry of RPM, which went beyond simply individual counseling. While all of these things—such as retreats, speaking engagements, small groups, seminars, etc.—are worthwhile activities, I had begun to think I had to include them in the ministry’s mission so that it would be “worthy” of God’s blessing. It is embarrassing to admit, but my performance-based mindset seemed to be, “The more I can do, the better!” After coming to a place of almost total weariness, I realized that although my heart’s desire had been to always commit this work to the Lord, somewhere along the way, I found myself ahead of Him. As I took time to finally quiet myself, sit before Him, and recommit this work to Him, He faithfully began to revise and correct my purposes and establish those which are His alone. It was like He said, “Cindy, I’ve called you to be a counselor, a vessel of healing for Me, not a ministry superwoman.” Now, I know that might seem obvious to others, but it was definitely a glorious “ah-ha” moment for me! The weariness lifted almost immediately.
So, I share this most humbling snapshot of my recent journey with the Lord in order for you to understand the more refined direction the ministry has taken since the beginning of this year. It has (finally!) become obvious to me that for this season, God is asking me to focus solely on the counseling aspect of the ministry. Without a doubt, the vision remains to restore dignity, virtue, and honor to women, but this will be done solely through the vehicle of individual Christ-centered counseling. As I have been willing to embrace this single calling and lay the other things aside for now, not only has an extraordinary amount of energy been restored to my soul, but I have also felt very encouraged by the Lord in my abilities and confidence as a counselor.
One of the main purposes of the ministry has been and will continue to be the provision of counseling for women at affordable prices. However, while God has currently narrowed the focus on the direction of the ministry, He has enlarged the focus on the population of women to be served. Originally, we felt led to target younger women, particularly college-aged women. Yet it has become very evident that college women are not the only ones who can benefit from affordable counseling. Indeed, there are many who are unable to financially afford the average price of counseling, and therefore, would be unable to receive the help they need.
RPM’s client population now ranges in age from 12 years old to 62 years old. Their presenting problems also run the spectrum, from cutting (self-mutilation) to eating disorders to suicidal thoughts to depression to unresolved sexual abuse issues dating back more than 50 years. Yet the answer to their various problems is one and the same: His name is Jesus. The way that He meets each one in their pain and walks them to the other side often looks as different as each of their beautiful faces. But He never fails to show up.
It is amazing and such a gift to witness glimpses of God’s transforming power in the hearts and lives of these women. And as I mentioned, the primary purpose of Restoration Place is to offer these opportunities for counseling at significantly lower fees, so that those with less financial resources can still get the help they need. In order to subsidize the cost of the women’s counseling, RPM relies heavily on the generous financial contributions of friends just like you.
Although my least favorite part of ministry is asking others for financial support, God continues to teach me that it is not about my ministry and me being worthy of support, but that it’s about His ministry and what He is desiring to do through it. All He is asking me to do is trust Christ the way I ask others to, and give Him an opportunity to work in me so that He can work through me.
So, I would like to invite you to spend some time in prayer, asking the Lord if He would have you become a partner of the work He is doing through the vessel of this ministry. There are two ways in which you can partner with RPM. First, and most importantly, you can pray for the ministry and the women He leads to it. And, secondly, you can support the ministry financially with a tax-deductible contribution. Your support will enable us to continue offering the truth of Christ—which brings healing and wholeness—to many more women.
Thank you for joining me on this journey and for allowing me to share part of my story with you. As God graciously allows me to join Him in this work, my prayer is that others will be able to see through this imperfect, “still-in-process” vessel to behold the glory and beauty of a Redeemer who is always present and always at work to rescue and change us. He is so faithful.
In His merciful name,