Can I Get a Witness?

by Kathy on September 15, 2011 · 3 comments

in Faith, Inspiration, Life, Writing

I have been writing a lot lately, but my focus is not as much here on my blog as it usually is. Rather, it is directed at a “witness” that I am writing as the lay director for an upcoming “Christ Renews His Parish” (CRHP) women’s retreat at our church this Fall.

The theme of my witness is “Discipleship.” So I am writing about what being a disciple (of Jesus Christ) means to me. I am also including a lot in my witness about my life and my journey leading up to where I am now.

It has been interesting, inspiring, nostalgic, therapeutic and at times emotionally draining composing my witness for CRHP. Though the actual retreat weekend doesn’t take place until early November, my fellow planning team members and I have been in formation (training and preparing) together since we “made” our CRHP retreat weekend in March of this year.

Each team member that is giving a witness on the retreat also shares it for our team, as sort of a practice/dry run, during one of our formation meetings. It has been very moving for me to hear my fellow team member’s witnesses and get to know them better throughout this process.

It never ceases to amaze me what others are able to survive and overcome in their lives and on their faith journeys.

Each witness, besides the one I am giving on Discipleship, has a different faith based theme, which the person giving it tries to intertwine with their own life story and spiritual path, as well as related scripture references.

I think I have a good foundation for my witness written so far, but still have a ways to go before it will be finished, or at least before I am ready to start editing it. For those who know me well and/or have followed my blog here for awhile, it may not surprise you that I have a lot to say.

The woman who is serving as our spiritual director for our retreat, who helped inspire this post that I wrote earlier this year about “being that someone,” encouraged us to write anything and everything that comes to mind while developing our witnesses. She didn’t suggest this so that our talks would be extremely long and filled with lots of unnecessary details and information about our lives. Rather she wanted us to do this as a therapeutic exercise for ourselves to review where we have been and how we got to this point in our lives and our faith. 

From there we can decide which parts of “our story” seem to have the most importance and relevance. We sift through the significant events and influences in our lives that helped shape us to be the women, wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, friends, neighbors and Christians that we are today and choose what to share in the more focused and concise version of our witnesses.

So in the coming days, as I continue to work on writing my witness, I ask for your positive thoughts and prayers. Not unlike when I compose blog entries, I find it easiest to write my witness when I feel inspired. So I try to embrace these moments when they happen and let the words flow. However, I don’t have a lot of time left to get mine done, so I may need to write at times when I am not “feeling it,” even when my muse is not feeding me as much as I would like for her to.

So as I wrap up here and return to writing my witness, I have a few questions for you:

1) Have you ever written and/or given a personal witness in a retreat-like setting or eslewhere? If so, what was the experience like for you?

2) What does discipleship mean to you?

3) Do you have a favorite verse from the Bible? If so, what is it and why?

Thank you for reading, for your comments and for your thoughts and prayers as always and especially I prepare my witness about my life, my faith and discipleship.

I am really looking forward to the experience of “giving” this CRHP retreat, along with my fellow team members and hope that it will be a wonderful experience for all those who take time out of their busy lives to be good to their minds, bodies and spirits when they join us for the weekend in November.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katie Tseng September 16, 2011 at 3:46 pm

1. Yes–the times that come to mind I never quite got out exactly what I wanted to say.

2. Discipleship means 2 things to me:

Sharing Jesus Christ as the savior with others
Helping others grow as they walk with Christ

I wish I did more of both of those things

3. And we know that God causes ALL THINGS to work together for good, to those who love God and are called according to His purpse. Romans 8: 28
That verse is really one I have to receive in faith.
Another verse says something like, "out from Him and to Him and through Him are all things…" I really like that one too because it gives me the sense that everything we have and are is from Him and all our life should be lived to Him, and we do all that we do through Him as our strength… don't know if that was the writers thought but that's my impression. Wish I could recall the reference for that verse.

Best wishes on the retreat.


2 Kathy September 20, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Thank you for sharing your answers to my three questions Katie. I enjoyed reading your answers. I appreciate that being a disciple is not easy and doesn't always go as we would like for it too (as with some many things in life), but it is worthwhile. Thank you also for the good wishes on the retreat.


3 Judith November 17, 2013 at 10:58 am

I am working on this very witness for my CRHP in February. I give my witness in about 2 weeks in formation. It sure is not easy. I think I am going to try what your spiritual director suggested, just write and then review on what is the most important to the message.
Of course if you have any advice on this particular witness I will be very appreciative.
Thank you.
Lay Director, CRHP Most Holy Redeemer Church, Evergreen Park


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