As some of you may have already heard, God did show up in some awesome ways at the She Speaks conference this past weekend. I personally had two really meaningful experiences, tangible reminders for me from my Heavenly Father that He’s got my back. So that this post doesn’t go on too long, I’ll write about one of these instances now and save the other one for another post…
Meaningful experience #1—Out of Obedience, God Always Offers Growth and Blessing
Those of you who know me personally, know that I cry. Often. And wetly (okay, I know that’s not a word, but it somehow seems better than “soggily”). ;-) When I pray, especially out loud with others, share “God-stuff,” or just when I’m moved, I usually gush forth. I’ve often let this inhibit me from sharing or praying—I mean, who wants to be a big crumpled, sobbing heap in front of others?
Since I’d signed up for the beginning speaker track at the conference, I was required to share a three-minute testimony on Friday night and a five-minute teaching talk on Saturday. Teaching is my thing and I welcomed that opportunity. But a testimony? Well, now, that’s different because that involves opening up. That makes me vulnerable. That’s when I cry…oh no. But that’s when it hit me. That “little” issue I have is what I needed to give my testimony about! God made that clear to me. It was like He was saying, “Kathy I want you to publicly acknowledge your acceptance and obedience in this area. Yes, in front of strangers.” Wow. I really didn’t want to make that kind of impression, but I knew I needed to do it. (At least, I figured, when I DO break down—it was never a question of “if”—then at least it will serve as evidence of my message, ya know?)
I built my testimony around Paul asking God to take away his “thorn” (II Cor. 12:7) because I'd also longed for God to take away my thorn of crying. But just as Paul accepted that God’s grace was sufficient for him, I’ve begun to see it's sufficient for me when dealing with my thorn too.
So Friday night then, for me, was sort of numbing. My speaker group members was so sweet in their encouragement, and Missy “raised me up” by declaring my lingering tears “AWESOME!” but I was left kind of with the feeling, “Okay God, I obeyed. Do with it what you will.”
Check out what He willed to do with it. ALL DAY Saturday, I didn’t cry. Not once! I’d had meetings with a magazine editor, a literary agent, a publisher, and gave my teaching talk—all sans tears! I even prayed at lunch and Sara of the Marshall FCC posse commented, “Wow, you didn’t cry!” As I marveled at each tear-free episode, God was affirming me saying, “See Kath, give it up in obedience and I’ll bless you for it.”
I’m not able to say I’m no longer tear-prone. The alter-call Saturday night proved that. But the whole experience was so liberating because God showed me it doesn’t even matter. I’m to persevere, regardless. If He wants to use my tears, cool. If he doesn’t, cool. And you know what? That’s pretty cool. ;-)