Just after their engagement
AS I AM
A NOTE FROM LAUREN
I have known Marionette since 2006: I was in my final year of studying towards a B.Comm degree and she was doing an internship at the church we both attend. We connected quickly and would have many DMCs (Deep Meaningful Conversations) over a home cooked meal and a glass of wine. We longed for the same thing – a husband – but we were both broken in our identity and realised we needed a measure of restoration before entering into a life-long commitment. And so we journeyed together over the following ten years, encouraging each other deeper into the arms of Jesus – the only One whose love could bring about such restoration.
Marionette was one of the first women I asked to document her story, but at that stage, due to a number of factors, she was hesitant. A few weeks before the book needed to be finalised, one of the storytellers pulled out (I respect her reasons for doing so) and I miraculously didn’t freak out as God again said, “Do you trust Me?” While communicating with Lenka (my sister-in-law and one of our storytellers) the following day she referred to Marionette’s illustration and specifically used the words “overcoming a sense of shame”, as she thought Marionette was contributing a story all along. I went back to Marionette asking if there had been a change of heart, and she responded along these lines: “Yes, I am excited now and I am only going to write about my journey of facing shame.” Marionette and her husband are currently on their way to Regent University in America to further their studies in Theology.
A NOTE FROM LENKA
In the beginning of 2014 God said that He would heal and restore my heart, that I would no longer walk around with emotional numbness caused by hurt and brokenness. He spoke to me through His promise in Isaiah 55:13, “Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall make a name for the Lord, an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.” A promise for a heart fully alive!
This illustration was chosen for Marionette before her story was even written. I was walking to my flat one afternoon when the Lord said that this is the illustration for her story, a story of redeeming shame. I didn’t know it at the time, but this was before Marionette even agreed to write her story. Much less did I know what the theme/message would be if she had. I was in awe as I read her story, knowing the illustration that was already picked for her. God sees the end from the beginning; He is in all things! (Isaiah 46:10)