OH MY GOODNESS!! This has been an unbelievable few days! There really are not enough words to describe all I have experienced. I arrived on Wednesday night not knowing anyone and as I got off the elevator tonight, I told my new friend, Janet . . "I love you. I can't believe we've only known each other since Thursday morning." Isn't it amazing that God can weave our lives together like that in such a short amount of time? Those of you who know me are thinking it is just because I can talk to a fire hydrant and learn its life story in ten minutes. NOT SO. Tonight at dinner, the lady sitting next to Janet poured out her life story about having two young adult children with autism. She said that this conference was like no other she had ever attended. People actually cared about YOUR STORY. People asked and wanted to hear and actually listened. 700 women bonded with other women . . .I felt like I made at least 15 new friends and made two strong friendships. There were two young women in my speaker's group that I would love to mentor if we lived in the same city.
I just got off the phone after talking with Mark (I sure have missed him!). I told him that even these famous authors and speakers have made us feel like they are our friends. I don't know how they have done that but they have. They have made themselves vulnerable by sharing their stories with us. They have made us laugh and they have made us cry. They have told us about their children and their hopes and dreams and successes and failures. They have reminded us over and over and over again that each one of us is called by God for a unique purpose that only we can fulfill. . . and that we don't have to do it alone. Not only do we have the power of the Holy Spirit, but we are surrounded by sisters . . .and we don't have to compare ourselves to those sisters because if we are busy looking at those sisters . . . we can't keep our eyes on God.
I am bone weary . . .but filled to the brim and over flowing. I dread the drive home tomorrow yet look forward to returning to ministry refreshed and refueled. I have been reminded WHY I do what I do and even more importantly WHO IS THE HERO IN THIS STORY CALLED LIFE (and over death!!) and WHO I AM SERVING.
The talk critique went as well as could be expected. I was the only one out of 10 women in my speaker's group who used full notes. I am still a little shocked by that. I talked at length about that with Mark tonight. I can't imagine trying to stand up and teach a 20 minute Sunday School lesson without having my typed out notes. I make lots and lots of eye contact but I would be rambling all over the place. They recommended that I work on that but they said they loved the content. As a matter of fact, one person thought my content was so good that I should submit it to a magazine! (I forgot to tell that to Mark!!)
I will post it on my blog in a few days . . .perhaps. For now . . .I do know without a shadow of doubt that God has called me to be in ministry for him . . .to use my gifts for him . . .I have listened. What will I do? For now, I will study some more. I need to get deeper into the word of God. I need to fall in love with the word of God. So often reading scripture is a chore. I don't want it to be that way. I will continue teaching and facilitating and praying . . .and I will wait . . . .for some reason . . . I feel like God may be planning to change my call soon . . . .but I don't know why I think that or how I think he would change it . . . I just feel a strange stirring in my heart like I felt when I first received the call to teach all those years ago. So . . .I covet your prayers please. God is speaking and I am trying to listen . . .and be obedient. . . .and to be honest, that scares the crap out of me.