Updated: Aug 5
By Daisy Dronen
God's Brave Women - Daisy's Story
One of the bravest things I’ve done is set the table.
Arriving at that moment came after a lonely path of yearning and longing. Here we are in the midst of a pandemic and setting the table for company seems to be out of reach doesn’t it? We find ourselves yearning and longing for time together, but mostly to know and be known.
I moved across the country a starry-eyed newlywed filled with dreams and the excitement of discovery. There was little room to think about the fact that I didn’t know anyone and I was blinded to the loneliness lurking in the midst of so much joy. The endless introductions that ended with promises to see each other soon left me disheartened as the promises remained unfulfilled. People have always been a source of joy and energy for me and suddenly, I found myself surrounded by them but lonely. Yet, I could feel the Lord’s constant reminder, “I am your friend and your greatest reward - remain in me.” So, today I will share with you three times I bravely set the table and how the Lord met me there.
"The core of my desire for authentic community was the gift of following Jesus together. My dream was to have friends that would boldly point me back to Jesus and give me the privilege of doing the same for them."
The core of my desire for authentic community was the gift of following Jesus together. My dream was to have friends that would boldly point me back to Jesus and give me the privilege of doing the same for them. There was a restlessness in my heart and I found myself in a long season of waiting. Not all was loneliness. My life was filled with so much beauty in that season but the underlying restlessness remained. It was that restlessness that propelled me to ask one of the ladies at my church if she could mentor me. This was my first time to bravely set the table. I invited her over and we had brunch on the front porch. I was entering a new season in which life, marriage and motherhood were uncharted territory, and I felt the need for accountability from outside myself. I believe it was the Lord providing for me. I didn’t know what I didn’t know but praise God he did.
The second time I bravely set the table I invited some of the ladies from my church to join me around the table. This idea came after I listened to Jennie Allen give a vision for discipling a generation. I had just cried out in prayer, “Lord, I want to live out your calling on my life. I don’t want to have surface relationships with the women in my sphere of influence. I want them to know you more as they forge deep and meaningful relationships with each other.” It was the summer of 2014 and the Lord used IF:Gathering to draw me out of my comfort zone and step into the dream He had for me. After a year of meeting together and finding the richest of treasures from the Lord around the table, the Lord invited me to open up the table to other ladies around the city of Dayton.
The third time I set the table bravely was the opening night of hosting a citywide women’s conference featuring IF:Gathering. That night was a testament of the Lord’s desire to establish us in authentic community. Today, I lead a team of ladies with like hearts; they desire to disciple a generation together. This year has been turned upside down and setting the table has become almost an impossibility. But we have found that, for the Lord, our impossibilities become his victories. His creativity becomes our inspiration and we find new ways to nurture and tend to the community he has given us.
"This year has been turned upside down and setting the table has become almost an impossibility. But we have found that, for the Lord, our impossibilities become his victories. His creativity becomes our inspiration and we find new ways to nurture and tend to the community he has given us."
Maybe you are experiencing a season of longing, or maybe your community has had a hard time connecting during this time. I invite you to take time to pray for them and invite the Lord’s creativity to guide you as you love and serve them even from afar. May I invite you to come alongside me and set the table bravely? Here are two practical ways we can do this. 1.) Set the table for dinner over video conference together and 2) Make this shortbread recipe and do a porch drop off so that you can enjoy this sweet treat together even though apart. Even in trying times I will continue to believe that tables are places of grace, sacred spaces of sustenance that infuse us with life, and make hospitality a practice in faith.
"Even in trying times I will continue to believe that tables are places of grace, sacred spaces of sustenance that infuse us with life, and make hospitality a practice in faith."
After all, we have one of the most beautiful examples to follow in Acts 2. The new believers were going through trying times and it was at the table in the presence of Jesus that they found healing for their brokenness together in the breaking of bread.
“And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”
Acts 2:46-47 (ESV)
Brave Woman Manifesto
Make sure to check back next week as another courageous Sister shares her story!
And by the way...
You are Brave!
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Daisy Dronen is a Honduran born writer, arrived in the US via Texas, and now sets tables in Dayton, OH. She writes by grace - prose, poems, and other pieces that break open a bit more the ethereal and delicate gauze that stands between heaven and earth. Daisy is a graduate of the University of Texas where she obtained a degree in Nursing and Spanish Studies. Daisy is the bellwether table gatherer behind the IF:Dayton community, leading the women to gather at the table and find Jesus in each other. The kitchen is her oasis for creativity and hospitality. Her writing has been featured on Refine Journal, Bravery Magazine, Eclectic Shades, If:Dayton Notes, and Dayton Women in the Word. She lives in the Gem City with her husband and three littles.