The story behind Discover + Remember
A little over a year ago I was preparing some design items for our upcoming women’s retreat. I had offered to help create all of the design-related items needed and I personally wanted to provide something special for the women who would be joining us. At the time, we were living in an apartment awaiting the completion of our new home. The complex we lived in was nice, but busy. People were coming in and out at all hours of the night, and being situated above all of the garages, our apartment was often shaken with the noise of our neighbors arriving home. No matter what time it was, day or night. This all made for restless sleep and I had been regularly waking in the middle of the night.
One of these mornings I woke up at 4 a.m. and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I decided to get up and get some of the design work for the retreat taken care of. As I was thinking about what I wanted to give to the ladies that would be joining us, I had considered a journal. I was having trouble finding the right one within my budget, so I started exploring the idea of designing one myself and having it printed. It wouldn’t be any more difficult than similar projects I’ve done in my career as a designer. I already knew the process, knew how much it would cost and best of all could customize it to our event. As I was thinking through what to include in the journal, I started getting inspiration regarding identity that wouldn’t quite fit for that specific event, but I started writing down this flow of words anyway. And I was shocked at what was coming out. After all, I had always heard this voice that said, “you’re not a writer”, “nobody wants to hear what you have to say”, and much more along those same, silencing lines. So for me to actually feel like what I was writing down was valuable was a brand new feeling. I was so full of boldness about what I had just poured out on (digital) paper that I sent the small paragraph to a friend as soon as it was an appropriate hour to do so. And she responded with excitement and encouragement. I was excited but also wished I hadn’t shared it because I knew I was then to some degree relationally accountable! This person was and still is a dear friend of mine, and because of our relationship, I knew she loved me enough to follow up later on.
About a week later this new “book” idea once again jumped out of my mouth. After my internal response from sharing it with my one friend, I have no idea how I shared the idea AGAIN. But I did. And this time it was in the middle of our weekly women’s Bible study group. It went from me being accountable within one relationship to several, and before I knew it I was sitting down with the leader of our women’s ministry, Pam, to discuss what I was writing in more detail. What came next blew my mind – she wanted to walk through the study with our women’s group. I was honored, excited and nervous all at the same time. And felt completely unprepared.
We had originally wanted to try to do the study in the spring, but with building our house and other major events going on, it was just too pressed of a timeline. So we decided the fall of this year we would do the study. That would give me plenty of time to finish everything out and have something really solid to move forward with. But late spring I get a call from Pam asking if it was at all possible to do the study with a group of young adults – in 2 weeks. My immediate response was that I definitely wanted to do it, but internally I knew that the study wasn’t finished. We would be able to get it started, but I would have to finish building it out as we progressed through the 6-weeks of sessions.
We decided to move forward with it, and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I’ve never written anything longer than a college paper. And my college papers were pretty terrible. I’ve struggled with writing something interesting that’s more than a paragraph or two, and to be sitting with a group of people walking through over 60 pages of words and intentional activities that I had written was surreal. Even sitting at the table with them, walking through everything I had written and seeing how it was transforming their hearts and minds, I still heard the voice….”you’re not a writer”. But I am. I am a writer.
It’s now the fall, and we’re nearly finished walking through Discover + Remember with a group of 16 ladies. I’m still blown away with how impactful the pages are. I’m in awe that a good father would speak to my heart specific strategies for exploring and documenting our identity and also give me the courage to speak it out loud for other people to learn and grow closer to him. I still feel unprepared. I still feel that feeling of not being enough. But now I know how to combat the lies and the things that try to silence us. And I’m honored to help others learn to do the same.
About Sarah Masciana
Sarah Masciana is a wife, mom and designer with experience art directing, photographing and defining brand strategy for some of the world’s largest (and smallest!) brands. As part of the Shiloh Church Family, she desires to know and become the love of God in the earth by helping people encounter Love through the exploration of their identity in Christ.