When I first started attending the Most Excellent Way I wanted nothing to do with women. They were spiteful, vindictive, manipulating, and down right mean. And they definitely could not be trusted. Ever. In the secular world, specifically in the bars, the moment you walked in you scanned the room – checking out the competition.
I hated women.
So you can imagine the shock when God first whispered to me during the early year of sobriety that I would one day be encouraging women.
My response, “I don’t think so, Lord!”
And then, He did the unthinkable.
God began putting a love in my heart so deep for the hurting woman – the one coming out of addiction, the mom of an addict, the daughter of an addict, the wife who will never be good enough, the young girl whose father abused her, the mom of special needs children, the woman with control issues, the single woman who waits for the perfect man God wants her to have and sometimes doesn’t want her to have, the woman that yearns to have children but God says, “I need you somewhere extra special to touch other lives”, and even “church ladies” who have no idea what any of that feels like –
In 2005, while pulling weeds, God gave me a vision of what He wanted me to write about – He gave me the title of my book and even the sub-title. He also gave me the vision of what my book cover is to look like. My husband is extremely talented with graphic design so I asked him if he could design what the vision was God had put in my head.
He nailed it.
I wrote for weeks – then one day God took it away. In hindsight, I know why – and God told me when a certain event happened He would release me to write again. That event happened eight months ago but the release to write again started only weeks ago.
A year ago God started telling me to tell my story – but I didn’t know where or how – so after some time of disobedience and being desperate enough to surrender what I wanted, God allowed me the amazing opportunity to meet with a group of ladies on a weekly basis. It wasn’t until I surrendered my will that God started making it obvious I was to attend a women’s speaking conference. I had actually shared with a friend – a woman – whom I trust dearly – (see how God changes hearts) about the conference a few months ago but I didn’t have clarity until I surrendered. But through the months this friend prayed for me about the decision. Every time I thought about it I got butterflies. Every. Single. Time. I saw the advertisement for this same conference last year and regretted never following through. I didn’t want to spend another day in regret and not knowing so after much prayer and butterflies, my husband registered me for the conference. I will be attending it the last week of May and first weekend in June. I am nervous and excited – but let me just tell you how Satan wants me to already go in to this event defeated. Women are encouraged to bring their books and other items for a product table. Satan whispers, “You don’t have a book. You don’t even know grammar rules. Who are you kidding. You are going to have to go to school just to learn punctuation rules. And you don’t have enough knowledge of the Bible or any schooling. Who do you think you are?!”
Yeap. He already started with just a few of the downfalls I have –
We also have to do a five minute video. I’m like, “You have got to be kidding?!” When have I ever been able to tell something in under five minutes?
I believe God can use any and everything for His good. I believe He can use my life of abuse and addiction to offer hope to someone out there hurting. I don’t know where or when or how – but I believe – I share this with you asking you to pray – asking for the Lord to give me the exact words He wants me to say in the five minute clip. Asking God to let me find a semi-formal outfit that I can wear that I won’t feel out of place in or uncomfortable in because this blue jean wearing woman hates formals. Maybe I can find some overalls with rhinestones? And pray for the semi-formal event. I’d rather go to a barn than a fancy restaurant – I have big obstacles to overcome. And only a few months for God to perform multiple miracles.
In the days since I registered for that conference, two other women has shared and sent me other conferences for Christian speakers – I don’t know where God is in all this but I do know He is moving – He just needed me to surrender my will and serve where He wanted me to serve to get the events to unfold.
Thank you, in advance, for praying.