When I was in first grade, I sat in my living room one afternoon with my parents. I can remember it like it was yesterday instead of 30 years ago. That afternoon I prayed and told Jesus that I knew I was a sinner and asked him to forgive me and come into my heart. My dad told me that as a Christian I now had a responsibility to tell others about Jesus and the importance of trusting Him so that we can go to Heaven. I never knew my Daddy to lead me wrong so I took what he said very seriously.
My next memory is of me standing in front of my first grade class and telling the whole class they really needed to ask Jesus into their heart because he loves them and wants them to go to Heaven. I'm sure that I even told them if they didn't do that they would surely go to Hell and no one wants to go there because it is awful- from what I've heard. I don't remember how my classmates responded to me but I do know that my teacher never let me make another announcement in class again. I still laugh when I think back to my childish boldness.
I have learned over the years that God creates in each of us a story that He intends to be shared with others in one way or another. It is a story of His redemptive work in our lives. It is often a story filled with heart ache and disappointment as well as victory and joy. It is a story that is unique to only you. My story may be similar to yours, but it will not be the same. Some feel the call to tell their story by speaking to groups. Others may prefer to write it, while others just live it out for others to watch.
For years I have known that my gift is to teach and speak. Every time the Lord shows me something new in His Word, I want to tell someone. (That is where my blog comes in handy.) It isn't that I feel like I can teach everyone something new, but I just want to share the amazing mysteries that the Lord has revealed to me. I just can't keep it in!
God has blessed me the past 2 years with the amazing opportunity to lead a ministry for moms in my church called Mom2Mom. I spent the first year completely in awe that God would actually trust me with such a responsibility. Among the many things I have done, my favorite has been to prepare and teach the Bible study. It takes so many hours and every time I think I am not going to get it together in time, but God is so faithful to put together something for me to teach that I know I could never write on my own. This experience has only deepened my desire to speak and teach women the wondrous truths of God's Word.
Proverbs 31 Ministries has created a wonderful opportunity for women like me who desire to write, speak & teach the truth's of God's Word. This conference called, She Speaks, is held every year in Charlotte, North Carolina. Hundreds of women from all over the United States descend upon Charolotte and they all come together with the same goal, to learn how to fine tune the gifts that God has given them, whether it is writing, speaking or leading a womens ministry.
I have never been to the She Speaks Conference, I have only heard about it. The things I heard about it were blow-me-away wonderful. My friend, Laura Lee Shaw, went for the first time and she talked for months of all the things that she learned and took away. She now has a speaking ministry in addition to her writing ministry and I am so excited to see how God is opening doors for her to share her story to other women.
I've thought about this conference through out the year, but knew that I would never be able to go since Scott's main source of income this year has been his unemployment check. There is no wiggle room in our budget for me to buy a new outfit, much less make a trip like this.
About an hour ago Laura Lee told me that they are giving away a few scholarships to the conference and all you had to do is write a blog post about the conference, but the catch is that it has to be posted TODAY. I knew this would be my only chance to go. I can write a blog post, I write them all the time. So here I am asking the Holy Spirit to guide my fingers across my keyboard to type His words.
If for reason God see's to it to create a way for me to go I can tell you that whatever he teaches me through the She Speaks Conference will be used to His Glory! I want to use the gift He has given me to the fullest and best ability that has He given me.
At the conference they provide opportunities that I have never seen provided at other conferences of this kind. They allow you to give a presentation to be critiqued by a seasoned professional speaker. If you are writing a book or trying to, you can actually sit down with publishers and give them your proposal. Among the many opportunities provided, there are many workshops available to cover just about any topic that a newbie speaker would need to know about. Opportunities abound at She Speaks Conference.
I serve and love an amazing God who has created in me, what I think, is an amazing story of freedom and redemption. It is a story that I cannot keep to myself and if given the opportunity to fine tune the method and presentation of my story I can't wait to see how God can use it! If I don't get to go, I will continue to share my story when He gives me opportunities and pray that my words will be His words, penetrating the heart and bringing revival to a tired soul.