My first week as an entrepreneur saw immense joys, as well as a a sorrow that penetrates my heart profoundly. It brings me tremendous happiness and peace to say that Made in His Image is very much in business. Last week I bought two cartridges for my printer, a royal purple binder to keep all of my legal papers in (purple reminds me of the background of Made in His Image’s (MIHI) exquisite logo), cleaned off my desk, centered my favorite cross on my desk and got to work.
The cross on my desk is very special to me, because during some of the darkest moments in life a dear friend gave me hers to hold. The next week I bought the same one and asked a priest who knew St. Padre Pio to bless it. The priest gently touched my hand, closed His eyes, then opened them and looked right at me and said, Maura, you can’t even begin to fathom how much God loves you. I asked him how God looks at me and he said, He looks at you as a loving father would look at his two-year old daughter playing with toys on the living room floor. I smiled. Then he released my hand and said, Maura, one day you are going to have an army. I was confused and asked what he meant. His response, One day when Made in His Image is built you will know what I mean.
I held that cross through every therapy session. Every time I told my doctor I didn’t want to come back because it was so hard, I looked at the cross and went back. It will be with me to the day I die. And when MIHI is built, each room will have the same cross hanging on its walls.
The past few days I have done a great deal of reading, educating myself on all that goes into the makings of a non-profit. Let me tell you, there’s a lot, but the amount of work doesn’t intimate me. God has placed wonderful people in my life who have helped me in countless ways. A shout out to my beautiful friend Kelsey is most definitely in order.
I met Kelsey at the 2010 FOCUS conference. The way God plans things is mind-boggling to me. When I was a missionary within FOCUS I desperately wanted to walk the Camino de Santiago, but couldn’t. So I told Clare she should do it, and she did. It was on the Camino that Clare met Kelsey and they stayed in touch these past few years.
Clare put me in touch with Kelsey several months ago and her help has been fundamental, as she majored in Non-Profits. She has given me all of the resources necessary for me to read and educate myself on starting a non-profit. There is so much information out there that it was so overwhelming and I didn’t know what was good to read and what wasn’t. Kelsey took care of all that and sent me what I needed. And I reference those resources daily. For reasons unknown to me God didn’t want me to walk the Camino that year, but He used my desire to walk the Camino for MIHI, through Clare meeting Kelsey and Kelsey helping me. Ahh, it’s amazing!!
Last week I contacted Mercy Ministries here in Nashville, and they agreed to met with me next week. I couldn’t be more excited. I hope to glean as much as I can from them at the meeting and beyond, as they are an organization very similar to MIHI.
I got turned down from an organization that I was hoping would sponsor me. At first I was really confused and disappointed. But you know what? I needed that rejection. I tend to feel things deeply due to my sensitivity and sometimes I take things personally. But their rejection helped me to stay humble, toughened up my sensitivity and renewed my resolve to keep working hard. This work is God’s and He will give me all that I need to publicize Made in His Image. After all, it’s the rejections that make the victories sweeter.
Last week I was able to meet the gentleman who very generously donated to MIHI. It is through his generosity that I am able to make this dream a reality. I am exceedingly grateful for God’s goodness. I was pretty excited to meet him. It was really inspiring to hear face to face why this ministry really touches him.
We went out to dinner and after went on a Rosary walk. Praying the rosary was my favorite part of the evening, because the rosary was and is, the prayer I pray the most for MIHI. Mary always takes my requests to her Son and I am eternally grateful that He answered my prayer. I could never thank Mary enough, and one day if I ever get to Heaven I can’t wait to see her.
Another highlight of the week was receiving two letters from my younger sister Kate. Kate has special needs, lives with my parents and we are pen-pals. I call home everyday to speak to Kate and miss her dearly. Kate loves the color orange, nail polish, ice cream, our nephew Sean, coloring, puzzles, running with me, riding her bike and the Chronicles of Narnia. Her favorite two characters are Aslan and Lucy.
Here is what Kate wrote this week:Dear Maura, I went to Dr. Bayroff’s today. He cleaned my teeth. I was brave. Mommy and I went to Starbucks. I got orange juice and chocolate graham crackers. Love, Kate Dear Maura, Thank you for the Narnia movie. I like Aslan. He makes me happy. I like Lucy. She makes me happy. I like the music. I love you. I miss you. Love, Kate
I spoke with my dad last week and told him about all of my planning. I told him I hope to break ground on a medical center as soon as my non-profit is cleared. He said he thought I was meant to be an entrepreneur.
Here is what I am praying for and I would be so grateful if you would remember this intention in your prayers too. I love St. Pio and he built a center called Home for the Relief of the Suffering. The entire building was built through donations, and you know what he said? The Madonna (Mary) can open hearts, as well as wallets. I love his faith!! And I believe his words with all my heart. I am praying through his intercession that MIHI will be blessed with a grant to build the entire center once its non-profit status is official. Please join me in remembering this petition in your prayers.
Last week someone said to me, but where are you going to get the money for this kind of medical center? I responded, God will give it to me. They said, yeah, but where are you really going to get the money? I responded with more resolve than the first time, God. We have to pray with faith my friends, expecting miracles from God. He wants to give them to us.
Tomorrow I will post on the sorrow from last week.