I’m coming off a tremendous high of Jesus loving women that were loving on each other like no other. I attended the "She Speaks" conference this past weekend which was hosted by the Proverbs 31 Ministries. It was amazing; to say the least. But it was real. Real women. Real stories. Real hurts. Our common denominator was Jesus. And we kept saying his name over and over and over. I can attest his name is beautiful, wonderful and oh so powerful. I knew that. But so did over 800 other sisters in Christ. We unionized in his love. We reminded each other of his strengths amidst our personal struggles. And (one of my favorite parts) we encouraged each others callings planted in every thriving heart walking the floors of the Embassy Suites. We worshiped in very blissful moments of song and fellowship. And we prayed. In rooms, in hallways, in sessions; wherever we felt lead.
The praying was ongoing and relentless! I loved that the most! I discovered we are all warriors determined to be vessels to Christ in saving the world!
Yet our bond in Jesus didn't hide our stories. It did reveal one horrific story after another. Unbeknownst to me, people have endured tremendous pain even beyond my understanding. And I have witnessed a lot in life. Even Lysa Teurkerst (President of this ministry) got up and talked about how she almost died from an “out of the blue” colon disease. Then to follow, finding out her husband was unfaithful and suffering an addiction. To top it off, she found out she had breast cancer and needed a double mastectomy. All of this in a three-year period. She said she felt like she was “licking the floors of hell."
I listened to even more stories of infidelity. Stories of husbands wanting out of marriages with no recourse; one husband actually texting a sister during the conference with harsh words and threats. A story of a women who lost her husband after last years conference who decided to return back this year with an early arrival to Asheville, NC to spread his ashes; a place they had hoped to visit in their "assumed" future together.
Sisters who lost parents a few weeks before and by the strength of God, still attended the conference. There were many cancer survivors. Thank you Jesus. Although I am sure there were even more numerous battles lost. Stories of parents walking alongside their children's difficult journey's struggling with mental illness, addiction, teenage pregnancy and very dark corners of adolescence. And the amount of those who experienced personal losses of children, siblings, homes, money? That list is endless.
Needless to say, being believers in Christ does not make us immune to severe pain and heartbreak.
When our homes, husband, kids; our worlds are struck with storms, we as mamas take all that burden on threefold. We shouldn't and quite frankly, can't do life alone. God does not want us to face our trials alone either.
Allow me to share some hope from stories and messages I was privileged to hear.
Amidst the pain, God is working! Through our trials, his grace is building strength for our future trials. Because, my dear friends, they are going to occur. But on this side of eternity, if you surrender to his will, trust in his purpose for your life, if you look up, he will show up. What will flourish will be abundant because in this place of submission, he will work your pain out for HIS good. And the gifts to follow under "His Good" are riches beyond belief, including:
Love....................All of this through AND following your storms and sufferings.
And trust me on this one, his good never, ever fails. Lysa shared with us the wisdom of being still in the “meanwhile”. That's the space between our joy and pain; life and death. Where his work in us is being molded with the clay from the dust of his breathed life and the water from our fervent tears. Ultimately carving a place for us in his eternal kingdom. With no pain and no suffering. JUST PURE JOY!
But take heart; his promise is to bring us Joy as we live out our mortal lives here on earth. God is always working in the meanwhile.
But when it gets too hard, continue to say this: "his grace is sufficient" during your meanwhile's. And if your hurt is so hard you can't speak? Just breathe in "Jesus". It's his Beautiful, Wonderful and Powerful name that works wonders!
My Love to you always. 💕