Has Walking with Purpose transformed your life? Tell us how!
It was 4 years ago that I began my journey searching for something more in my spiritual life. I wanted more from the readings said at Mass. I wanted to know more about Jesus. I wanted a friendship with my faith. I will be forever grateful for the Holy Spirit seeking me out. For it was through an invitation from a friend that I was introduced to WWP. So I took a chance, a big chance, since I'm not a parishioner of the church the program was being held through and therefore didn't know anyone. I took a chance to openly share deeply personal experiences not knowing how they would be received.
But all of those chances turned into one amazing thing. My faith being restored, my deeper connection to God and to Jesus. I've truly become a better person because of WWP. And so, 4 years later, I thank my friend for the invitation, and I also thank God for the courage to act on it.
-Ashley F., St. Brendan, Hilliard, OH
My journey with Jesus has become richer because I went through the Opening Your Heart study! I was encouraged, convicted, challenged, and grew in my knowledge of the Bible. I loved learning about what the Eucharist means and the importance of repentance. The spiritual realm is the land of reality and entering that realm through this study—where Jesus is King—has helped me bring His kingdom here! I am so excited to see where my journey with Him goes.
- Audrey A., Independent study group, Lynchburg, Virginia
I was away from the Church for many years. After I first retired, I was very busy, but then things settled down. I found myself at loose ends. I felt something was missing in my life. I went to mass one Sunday and took the church bulletin home. There was a summer Bible class listed that sounded interesting so I enrolled. It was a little over my head, but I stuck with it. Then I looked at the fall Bible classes and chose Walking with Purpose. Best decision ever!
Not only was the class material relevant and thought provoking, I met some of the nicest women that have become my dear friends—Christian women who are supportive and accepting. Now when I go to church, which is every Sunday and Holy Day, I see someone I know. I feel like my church is my second home, and it is my involvement with WWP that is responsible. I am now in my fifth year of WWP and actually began facilitating this year. Taking WWP classes has also led me to be more active in other areas of my parish. I volunteer in other ministries now. I can now say that I am an active, participating member of my parish. I feel much closer to Jesus and more comfortable talking to my family and friends about my faith. Thank you, Lisa Brenninkmeyer, for starting Walking with Purpose. It is a life changer!
-Lillian J., Holy Trinity, Peachtree City, GA
It was around this time that I found out I was pregnant with my fifth born and my desire to start a program got lost amongst the morning sickness and swollen belly. Then like a perfectly wrapped up package, our Lord gifted me with not only a lovely new friend but also an answer to my long-awaited prayers. Having recently moved from out of state, she began to share with me her knowledge and experience with the Walking with Purpose Bible studies. We came together and launched Opening Your Heart at our church and have witnessed the many fruits it has produced. With so many of life's demands dropping their heavy weights on our shoulders, spending a few hours with a cup of coffee, faith-filled women, and Jesus chat is a welcomed weekly pause. The five little treasures of my home are cared for in the room next door while I get to spend time with some incredible women! We share our hearts, tears, and laughter while we grow in wisdom through God’s Word. Friendships have been formed and hearts have been reinvigorated with the richness of the Catholic faith. Most recently I heard one woman share that her daughter said, “Hey mom, you are handling this situation much better than usual. That Bible study you are going to must really be doing something good!” BOOM! It was then that I knew God was answering one of my deepest desires—to see His amazing love transform not only hearts but also HOMES! What a blessing Walking with Purpose has been and even more what a good God He is!!!!
- Suzanne B., Christ the King Church, Old Lyme, Connecticut
Twenty-four hours before the sale of the business closed, the seller backed out. We'd already given up the lease on our apartment, packed the entire place, and flown a friend out to drive with me and my 2-year old. My husband had already moved out to the new location. I wept. I've never felt more devastated, but I didn't feel what I've felt before in those moments: lost, hopeless, or confused. I felt myself letting go of my need to control or explain it; my need to be right; my need to know what was next. And then one day after Mass the parish set up multiple booths to highlight ways people could get involved. I signed up [for WWP]. A month or so later, I got a job. A month after that, my husband picked up some contract work. We’d been without income for almost 6 months. I started WWP and was asked to lead the group. I wondered if I was good enough to "lead" these women when I was so lost and broken myself. God whispered, "Stop it, they're my words, not yours." So I said yes despite my fears, which I now see as the devil trying to tear me down.
That was 2018. Now it's 2020, and we're just completing Grounded in Hope. My connection with these women is something I treasure beyond words, and their guidance and encouragement has grown me up more than I care to admit. In our group, we share deep belly laughs, comfort each other through tears, pray constantly, speak truth, admit when we don't have an answer, and at times, we agree to disagree. If I've learned anything about my prideful heart, the first thing I'll do is balk; but hopefully, through the tools and truth I've learned through WWP, I'll be able to stop myself mid-balk and say "Get behind me satan, for I am a daughter of Christ."
- Heidi B., Good Shepherd Catholic Church, Denver, CO
A year and 9 months ago I lost my husband. We were in Israel on a Pilgrimage with the Bishop. He suffered a stomach aneurysm and had to have emergency surgery. My husband, our son, and I spent 1 1/2 months in the intensive care unit at the hospital in Tel Aviv. Once home, he passed away 10 days later. My life was shattered. I couldn't understand why the Lord had taken such a wonderful, caring, and spiritual man. We had been married for 38 years and I didn't know how I was going to go on with my life. The priest at our parish asked me to lead Walking with Purpose. I accepted and it has changed my life. The ladies that participate in my sessions are wonderful and really have opened their hearts. I have too. I am getting closer to the Lord and understanding my situation. I don't know how I would be getting through my grief journey without the scriptures and lessons in Walking with Purpose. They are helping me get closer to the Lord and understand His ways. I have told our Bishop about the program and other priests throughout the Diocese. Thank you so much for this study.
- Candi S., St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, Wichita, Kansas
I feel like I have been on a "Holy Spirit High" since I started Walking with Purpose. The part that has changed for me in my life is in the way I pray and how it has enhanced my relationship with God on a more personal level. I think that lesson so far has benefited me the most. I didn't pray daily and now I can't wait to talk with God and even find myself throughout the day thanking him for prayers he has answered for me. I have more confidence in telling him anything and everything. I don't hold back anymore. It is the greatest thing ever. I see now that prayer intentions are the best gifts you can do for anyone. I never really looked at it that way. I am not even afraid now to tell people I am praying for them. Just at a really good place for once.
- Debbie L., Parish Program Participant, Dublin, OH
The biggest change happened when I studied Keeping in Balance. At the time I really needed to embrace finding balance in my life, because things were spiraling out of control fast. I was overcommitted, irritable, obese, prediabetic, and hypertonic. I had walked with the Lord for a long time, but had never considered that I could bring my everyday life to Him and have Him help me with my struggles, especially with my weight and health problems.
Week by week, the Lord stripped away my defenses and opened my heart to surrendering every part of my life to Him. When we reached Keeping in Balance Lesson 15 – Balancing our Cravings – the Lord touched me in a very personal way. He told me that He wants to be the one I crave, and that He is interested in my WHOLE life, including my health and my well being. Ever so gently, He helped me on a path to good habits, healthy eating and balance in my life. I am no longer obese, no longer have high blood pressure and my prediabetes is gone as well. Most of all, I learned that nothing is too big or too small for God not to be interested in. I still struggle with food and cravings, but I know I can bring my problems right to the bottom of the cross.
- Sibylle K., Spirit of Christ Catholic Church, Arvada, Colorado
I discovered a copy of Lisa Brenninkmeyer's book, Walking with Purpose: Seven Priorities that Make Life Work in the Adoration chapel and her approach to God's Word really left an impression on me. However, I did not join the Bible study right away. At that time, I felt that going to Mass was enough to keep my faith alive. I tried to read the Bible outside of the Sunday Mass readings, but could not maintain the practice, because it seemed like a monumental task to undertake on my own. Yet, each and every time I saw the invitation to join the Walking with Purpose ministry in the bulletin, I felt a calling to go to a meeting, and I am so glad that I finally did!
I joined the program toward the end of the study Opening Your Heart, but for those few months, I felt that I drew closer to God more than I had ever been before. I was a “cradle Catholic” - attending Catholic school all of my life, getting married in the Church, having both of my children participate in all of the Sacraments, too. Deep down, I always felt there was something absent from my spiritual life, and this Bible study has proven to be the missing puzzle piece I had been seeking.
Walking with Purpose transformed my relationship with God because each study focuses on specific challenging issues that we women face, and the weekly Bible passages are chosen to highlight and address those issues. Walking with Purpose brings together women of all ages and walks of life, and together we find solace, comfort, companionship and guidance as we share our life experiences and how they relate to our faith. I have developed deep, lasting, Christ-centered friendships that I never thought that I would have. It has been truly life changing.
- Bobbi H., Co-Coordinator at St. Therese Parish in San Diego, CA
WWP has provided a wonderful opportunity for me to step out as a "missionary disciple" in my church. As a Table Leader for Opening Your Heart, I have been privileged to witness the incredible faith-sharing of eight women, and as we advance through the Opening Your Heart lessons, our trust and friendship grow even deeper. This study has helped me to incorporate the richness of Scripture into my everyday life and I recommend it to all women, regardless of where they are in their faith journey.
- Christine A., Small Group Leader at Our Lady Star of the Sea in Jacksonville, FL
My journey with Jesus has become richer as I went through the Opening Your Heart study! I was encouraged, convicted, challenged, and grew in my knowledge of the Bible. I loved learning about what the Eucharist means and the importance of repentance. The spiritual realm is the land of reality and I entered that realm through this study--where Jesus is King and has helped me bring His kingdom here! I am so excited to see where my journey with Him goes.
- Audrey A., Independent Small Group Study Participant
I joined our parish WWP program not too long after it was first started about 2 years ago. I had just spoken with the priest at the parish and he recommended starting. He thought it would be something I could greatly benefit from, and he was right. I attended WWP the first night and was a little apprehensive, as I had been disconnected from my faith for quite some time. I sat at a table full of women I had never met, not knowing the impact they were about to have on my life. Something happened that night and I told the Co-Coordinator I wanted to sign up, went home and ordered my book. Opening Your Heart and the group of women in our parish group were exactly what I needed at that point in my life. I immediately felt a bond with them and was not ashamed to share details of my life. The first night I met them I told them I was not Catholic and that I chose to be baptized in my early twenties. I was raised in a home where my mom is Christian and my biological father is Jewish. My siblings and I were exposed to both religions and allowed to make the decision on our own. I knew my heart belonged with the Church. I struggled with the questions as to whether I would go through RCIA and join the Catholic Church. I participated in a six-week retreat at our parish, 33 Days to Morning Glory. On the night we made our consecration to Mary I knew what was in my heart. I prayed about it and committed to RICA. I made my first Communion and Confirmation at the Easter Vigil in 2018. I look back on the beginning of this journey and know that WWP and the women I met have played such a pivotal role. I am now on the leadership team and we just began our third study and a small group of us did Fearless and Free over the summer together. I am looking forward to the other studies with WWP. I do not think I will ever be able to fully express my gratitude for WWP. It has truly changed my life for the better.
- Bethany F., Small Group Leader at SS. Robert and William Parish in Euclid, Ohio
I was a cradle Catholic, but I really never felt any connection to God's word and didn't feel that I had a true relationship with him. I went through the motions of going to Mass, but my faith was an hour-a-week type of thing. During Mass one Sunday, there was an invitation to join WWP. I tentatively signed up. Throughout that first year I met the most incredible women - women who supported me, prayed for me, and never had a comment if I didn't know something. I loved the WWP format. It was always applicable to my life. It "forced" me to develop a quiet time to reflect each day. This program has truly transformed my faith. Now I feel Jesus in every moment of every day. I don't fear, because I know that He is in control. Going to Mass on Sunday is just a small part of the greater relationship He has built with me. I have continued with my Bible study for four years now, even serving as a leader one year, something I would NEVER have thought I would do. WWP opened my heart and made me realize there is a void that only God can fill, and now that I know that, I seek each day to know Him more, or at least ask Him to give me that desire. Looking back, I wish I had found this program earlier, as it has brought such a sense of peace to my life. Thank you for developing it and thank you for continuing the ministry. It has truly changed my life.
- Abigail C., Small Group Leader at Blessed Sacrament Church in Alexandria, VA
I'm so grateful to share my story with you! Six years ago I was pregnant with our third (now middle) child, and was invited by my mom to attend a WWP coffee connect. At the time, I was a faith-filled Catholic, in love with my faith and practicing all the Commandments, following the rules like a good Catholic wife should. I attended the coffee connect looking for a social outlet with like-minded women. What I experienced rocked my world and transformed my prayer life! Suddenly the rules were not just acts of will - they began to flow from my heart, out of love. And following rules out of love is nothing like following them from a sense of duty. Just a few bullet points to skim the surface of the changes in my soul:
+ I began to fight for and fiercely protect a daily time of prayer. The ebb and flow changes with the seasons of life, but I've created a gold standard of prayer that has transformed my walk with Jesus.
+ I fell in LOVE with Scripture! Sometimes now I'll just hold my Bible the way I hold my Husband or one of our kiddos. This especially serves me in times of anxiety. Thank you so much for kindling this fire in my heart.
+ I came away with deep, lasting, Christ-centered friendships. The relationships that formed with my WWP sisters are like nothing I've ever experienced; we support each other, love each other unconditionally, and create sacred space for each other. There is no substitute for womanly sisterhood like this.
+ Slowly but surely, I've cultivated the ability to quote Scripture and use it practically every day, I could share so much more on this topic, suffice to say that my children are being raised with this habit. Really, is there anything more powerful than Word and Sacrament from such a tender age?
Next year I hope to bring WWP to my own parish. May God bless the work done by the amazing Walking With Purpose team,
- Tara S. Independent Study
WWP has kept me grounded in my own personal study of the Bible. I've always been involved in my faith, but I rarely read the Bible outside of the Sunday Mass readings. The WWP books help me read the Word without feeling overwhelmed. The length of lessons are very approachable, while still being absolutely filled with Scripture and reflection. Even when I can't do the lessons as often as I like, I can pick back up right where I left off. The message of the Young Adult series -- to trust in God and trust in myself, because he created me to be me -- is just what I need to hear at this turning point in my 20's, as I try to figure out what I want to do with my life. Thank you, Lisa, for this wonderful resource!
- Mary D., independent study of WWP young adult series
At WWP, I am learning a lot about things in the Bible I have wondered about and learning a great deal more about things I have never thought about. When I initially signed up, I thought that it might be a little boring or dry. But I love the enthusiasm that my small group leaders bring to each meeting.
- Participant at Church of the Resurrection in Rye, NY
I loved the readings and the inspiration, the practical advice, and suggestions from the group. I do not think that Keeping in Balance applies just to women. It is universal and should be shared by all. I had so many ‘aha' moments in the readings.
- Participant at Holy Family Catholic Church in Davidsonville, MD
WWP gives me a place to talk to women and feel safe sharing things. I am thankful to have a place where I can get things off my chest and not feel alone.
- Participant at Our Lady of Good Counsel in St. Augustine, FL.
WWP has been a blessing in my life. It is wonderful to have a community of support from women in all walks of life. The Bible study is so well-organized and laid out. It is definitely filling a need in our parish community.
- Participant at Blessed Sacrament Church in Alexandria, VA
Diving into God's word has been such a powerful and exciting experience! Studying at home and then sharing in the group really enhances and adds to what I learn. I look forward to each and every lesson. So beautifully laid out and easy to use and follow! Thank you so much!
- Participant at St. Therese Parish in San Diego, CA
It is simply a great time to get away and meet with women on the same journey as me. Every single one of them is unique and has something to contribute and I enjoy being in the class. My leaders are fantastic ladies with fantastic abilities in prayer life and leadership.
- Participant at Holy Trinity in Peachtree City, GA