As some of you may already know, I attended the She Speaks Conference put on by Proverbs 31 Ministries a little over a week ago. For those of you who don't know what I am talking about, She Speaks is a conference for writers, speakers and leaders so we can gather to worship God, fellowship with other ladies like us, and learn all about our crafts.
The weeks leading up to the conference were hectic with preparations, packing, planning and praying! My daughter picked me and my 50 lb. suitcase up and we headed to the airport. Always the early bird, I sat waiting for my flight with about an hour to spare. As I walked through the check-in area, I found out that the airline's systems were down nationwide and flights were delayed and in some cases, canceled altogether. Not good.
Was this Satan's way of trying to prevent over 800 women from gathering to worship God? Maybe so, but he lost again because I finally boarded my plane bound for North Carolina and it was only an hour and a half behind schedule. I would make it to the hotel by around 10:30 that night. Exhausted, but grateful I crawled into the hotel bed and tried fitfully to get some sleep. I lay there in the dark room, my eyes wide open; thinking about, wondering about, and anticipating the next day. Would I be able to talk to new people? Would they like me? Would they be able to tell I was a rookie? And of course, would I be able to present my book idea to a publisher? So many questions swirled around in my tired brain.
Sleep finally found me and I rose the next morning bright and early, made coffee in the room and settled in to calm my rattled nerves. I opened my Bible app on my phone to seek God's wisdom for the day. In his faithful fashion, he gave me words I needed: "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear." - 1 John 4:19. His comforting words set my heart and mind at ease.
The three days that followed were a whirlwind of meeting new friends, information overload, worship music to spark a fire in my soul, motivation from the key-note speakers and pure love of the Holy Spirit surrounding all of us! She Speaks was an opportunity of a lifetime for me and for numerous other women that joined me in the experience and not one I will soon forget.
Here are just a few of the takeaways from the weekend I will carry in my heart for years to come:
"Remake your life from the inside out." - Shauna Niequist
"Ministry for Jesus was the person standing in front of him." - Jill Savage
"God loves to call us to the places we have never been." - Chrystal Evans Hurst
"Rejection steals who we are by reminding us who we once were." - Lysa TerKeurst
"What we know must dictate what we see. Otherwise, what we see will violate what we know." - Lysa TerKeurst
"The tweaking of us by God in private is the saving of us in public." - Lysa TerKeurst
"Keep going even when nobody seems to notice." - Nicki Koziarz
"My job is to keep obeying. God's job is the results." Nicki Koziarz
"God gives us our stories, not to define us, but to refine us and lead us home."- Emily Wierenga
"God allows pain because it is the secret to our purpose." - Emily Wierenga
"Experience not performance." - Wendy Blight
"The Holy Spirit allows us to share in the life of Christ and experience the power of the Holy Spirit." - Micca Campbell
"Our true joy comes from the fact we are chosen." - Suzie Eller
This is just a glimpse of the power the Holy Spirit showed all of us 800 women during our time together. It was time well spent and worth every second of. I am chosen. I am needed. I am valued. I am important. So are you!