After spending three days at the She Speaks conference, I opened the door and walked into my dimly lit familiar home. Kids who fell asleep waiting for me were quiet in my room. I kissed their faces and started unpacking my suitcase.
It’s now four days later, and I’m still unpacking my heart.
I can hardly talk about it without tears. My heart and soul is overwhelmed at the goodness of a loving Savior. I have never experienced God in such constant and intimate ways as I did at this conference. It was as if He was physically right there, with me, the whole entire time. He met me. He met me in the parking lot several times. He sat with me for over an hour in my car with the air conditioning on full blast drying the tears from my cheeks. He met me in the bathroom at a nearby restaurant. He met me in the wrong hotel lobby. He met me when I made a wrong turn. He met me during worship and in each session. He met me at a chalkboard. He was there, and He met me.
He met me in a place where I was utterly dependent and focused on Him. I didn’t have distractions or something pressing to pull me away. I didn’t have my phone beeping a sense of urgency. I just had Him and I needed Him. I was scared. I was alone. I was confused. I was overwhelmed. Yet, with all of that, I was also very excited. I was alive. I was refreshed. I was fired up. I was in a room full of other women who also have this “thing” somewhere inside of them right where the ribs meet that says, “Keep going. Do this. I am here.”
I asked some friends to pray for me for a spirit of confidence, hope, and endurance. God delivered. But you know what? Sometimes to have a spirit of confidence you need to get kicked in the gut with insecurity. To be infused with a spirit of hope you have to know the pain of loss… and to have a spirit of endurance you have to give up from sheer exhaustion and let Him fill your tank overflowing with His renewal.
About halfway through the conference, I headed straight for the exit doors. I wasn’t running but I was moving at such a pace that the person in front of me turned around as she heard me approaching and then backed out-of-the-way when she saw my face. My tears. My pain.
I started walking even faster to my car. I cried and I cried and I cried. I called home to speak with the kids and just hearing them in the background made me cry even more. I couldn’t answer them when they asked, “Mom, what’s wrong?” because I didn’t know. I hung up with them and cried out to God, “What is wrong with me? Why am I so upset?”
“Why did that bother me SO MUCH? What am I doing? Why am I doing this? Why am I even here? I’m not made for this! I can’t take it! I am not going to make it!” This continued for a good hour and finally, I threw my phone down and hit the steering wheel, and said out loud, “I just want to serve these women. I just want to serve them!”
And He spoke. It was gentle, loud, and with authority that I heard two words in my spirit.
For just a slight moment, I stopped crying. I took a deep breath. And then, I really lost it. These tears were different. These were tears of joy. These were tears of relief. These were tears of thanksgiving. These were tears of comfort.
He puts that passion, that “thing” … of hope stirring inside of me right in between where the ribs meet. That passion is what He uses to get my feet to move, my fingers to type, and my mouth to speak. He alone gives me the strength to take another step, and to trust Him. On this day He gave me the gift and the freedom – to serve Him.
Do you see that shift? This passion, this “thing” was real, and it had shifted my focus ever so slightly. I was focused on those I wanted to serve. “I’m doing what you asked! God, I just want to serve these women!”
And he said, “Serve me”.
I decided to drive to McDonald’s and get a large ice-cold Diet Coke. She handed me the drink and still whimpering I asked her for napkins to get my face and eyes cleaned up. I went back to my parking spot and sat. This time with the car off. I sat as the car warmed, sipping ice-cold. I sat as my heart warmed, to this fresh touch from my Lord.
If you have this “thing”, this hope stirring inside of you right in between where the ribs meet, grab your favorite cold or hot beverage, and sip as you think of what it means for you to serve Him. I’ll be sharing more as I continue to unpack my heart of His goodness. I would love to hear from you.
If anyone serves me, he must follow me;
and where I am, there will my servant be also.
If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.