I don’t know, but I think I might have walked on water for a few minutes yesterday.
The conference that I was invited to speak at was a great success in spite of my personal weaknesses.
I am still chewing on the word that Amber Foster gave about Nehemiah’s servants heart. A much needed word in my life, and it was immediately tested on my way home when this exhausted mom who had paced back and forth all day in cowboy boots a half size too small (but they were so CUTE) trying to keep herself calm, then spoke for an hour, and then drove home 3 hours was looking forward to a long night’s sleep in her own bed and was asked to stop and bring home dinner. Of course, every drive thru was packed and I found my blood pressure rising before Amber’s words sprang up in my heart. I was able to not only bring home dinner, but to spend patient time with all of my children and put my little ones through their bedtime “routine” before I finally got to lay down all because I chose a servant’s heart. The Word works!
The moments before I took to the platform yesterday were filled with terror. As I shared in my testimony, I deal with physical anxiety and panic that, in certain situations, I find hard to control. As everything within me was trying to come up with an idea of how to run, I looked up to find a big red “EXIT” sign above my head. Nice try, enemy, but no thanks, I have run before. Nothing but faith in a HUGE God made my legs work as I climbed the stairs. I thought for sure that it was impossible, even for the Holy Spirit, to keep me from running off that platform before I had finished, so imagine my surprise when I asked toward the end of my notes how I was doing on time and the hostess indicated that I was over my hour. Our God is THAT big! Those 70 ladies don’t know how much of a miracle that they witnessed yesterday, but I am beyond sure that God made His Name GREAT through this girl with absolutely nothing to offer.
This morning as I woke up, I felt myself bombarded by the enemy. That stinkin’ accuser reminded me of every public speaking “rule” that I had broken and tried to deride me for my transparency and make me guilty of ruining a perfectly excellent event. The Holy Spirit immediately shut the enemy up as He reminded me of the several people I had the privilege of talking to and praying with afterwards that revealed their own inward struggle with fear and anxiety and how the Lord had used my message on faith (yes, He uses the weak things of this world to confound the wise…I myself was a bit confounded on His choice of women to deliver a message on faith) to speak to their hearts. The Holy Spirit spoke words of encouragement to these women through other imperfect moms and imperfect followers of Jesus who were brave and transparent enough to share their own struggles and their own weaknesses and yes, even their own sins (sin means to miss the mark of perfection. God is that mark so any time we don’t measure up to God’s standard, we have sinned.) The worship leader for the event blew us away with the passion in her voice and her evident love for our Saviour, and I was then privileged and humbled as she furiously took notes during my session and for the first time I realized something…
The enemy has a good game going with the church called “who can be more perfect than anyone else?” We all are striving and trying to live up to a place of spirituality where everyone looks at us and thinks “Wow! they aren’t broken at all. they have it all together. how can I be like them?” So we are all playing this game where we hide our faults and our pains and our failures and our weaknesses. We want to be in with the popular Christians…the ones who are spotless and sinless and always “on”. So we cover up things, so no one will really know that we are that sinner in the sanctuary who is beating his chest and saying “God, be merciful to me a sinner.” I used to think that the reason that man sat at the altar so humbly and destitute of any righteousness was because he just wasn’t saved…but it was because he saw himself in the mirror and he realized that the only righteousness that he could attain was gonna come from the ONLY righteous One.
So I joined the club of Christian misfits yesterday. Those of us that glaringly do not have our stuff together. Those of us that the Lord, in all of His mercy and lovingkindness, is plucking out of the crowd to lead people to His cross. We, misfits, can spot each other a mile away and our ministry to each other is deep and it is holy. Why did God choose a woman who suffers often from a physical condition of anxiety and panic to give a message to His people about faith? Because ONLY He could do something like that! He’s the same God who chose tax collectors and fishermen with tempers to be His closest disciples. He’s the same God who called a man who couldn’t speak to lead millions of people to the promised land. He’s the same God who opens PRISON doors and sets captives free. He knows that those of us that realize how much we are forgiven love Him the most and will follow Him to the ends of the earth. Revival is going to come through people like this. People laying on the altar and praying for mercy for sinners, in other words, mercy for ourselves. I like being a part of this club…it’s much better than the one I used to be a part of “Thank you, God that I am not like all those other sinners.”
In this club, you are blessed with poignant moments from the Father that have no explanation. Yesterday before my session was to begin, I went to the bathroom to check my hair and fix my microphone. In the bathroom were two framed pictures with Scripture printed on them…one was about faith and the other hope. Since I have a Jessica Faith, a Katherine Hope, and a Naomi Grace, I just absentmindedly thought “I wonder where Grace is?” After service, my dear friend who I was so excited to reconnect with at this conference, brought me a necklace. It is a beautiful cross. She said, “The name of this necklace is Grace…” That’s the kind of God we misfits serve. We hear His voice and follow Him out and He pours on the Grace.