On Friday, August 1st, I walked into an unfamiliar church, alone, and not sure of what to expect.
Any one of these three normally would have me running for the hills. But I was bound and determined that I was not going to miss this chance to see Beth Moore speak, even if it was via an Internet connection, not live.
I have been reading the Living Proof Ministries blog and I came across something about her being in Louisville, KY on Aug. 1 and 2 for a Living Proof Live event. Then I found out that it was being simulcast to churches all over that were being host sites for people to come to watch the event.
There was a church about 30 minutes away from me, and this is the one I walked into that Friday evening. I REALLY wanted to see Beth Moore. I have read a bunch of her books, and love her style and the way she just puts things out there and is so real. Whether I had someone with me or not, I couldn’t deny the tug in my heart to go.
I didn’t expect this weekend.
I came to hear Beth Moore speak, figuring I would learn something, but not sure what.
I left having heard God speak, and learned immeasurably more than I could have ever asked or imagined.
…Beth just happened to be the vessel He used to get through to me.
One thing that Beth spoke about the first night, was that each one of us has a call on our life from God. He has called each one of us to something. He has given us each a purpose.
I have a purpose. I have a calling of God on my life. He has something for me to do. AND He has made me complete and thoroughly equipped to do it. I am equipped through His word. If I stay in His word, and study it, and ask Him to reveal Himself to me, He will. And I will have all the tools I need to do what He asks me to do. I will be competently competent.
I think that really hit me because Beth never said what that call was. She never specified. But all the things that people have been telling me all along suddenly fell into place. People in my small group, my friend Cindy, my counselor Tricia… all of them have pointed to areas that I have a calling in. First and foremost, my family, and raising my kids. Then in singing on worship team. Writing here on my blog, in my journals, emails to friends, notes and letters. Being a good friend to the people God has placed in my life. Any and all of these are areas I feel called to.
God has given me all the tools I need to do those things. He has called me, He will equip me. Strike that. He will equip me, then He will call me. Hmm.. or does it all happen at once? What ever way it works, I have the tools I need to do the job I have to do… (and sometimes those skills are learned in the trenches, now that I look back at some of my experiences!!!)
Also, a good reminder to me was that if I feel sometime that God has called me to something, I need to hide that in my heart… the visual she gave us: If we feel that God has given us a word, through a pastor, sermon, reading the bible, whatever, put your hand over it, cover your heart, protect your heart so the enemy doesn’t steal that word away. It is so easy to say, “Oh, that wasn’t really for me. I could never do that. That was for someone else…” and in a few days you have yourself talked out of doing it, or trying it.
So, the first big thing was that God has a call on my life, and I do have a purpose given to me by Him, and He has thoroughly equipped me to fulfill that call, and I need to believe Him and trust Him and take Him at His word, rather than try to talk myself out of it.
The second big thing that really hit me… Beth talked about how we are rooted and established in love. Do we really know how big God’s love is for us? Do I know that I know that I know that God loves me? Is it really become a deep belief that God loves me?
Even after all the junk, even after all the pain, He still loves me?
Beth shared some of her testimony. It wasn’t to glorify herself. It was to show how God can use the absolute worst things in life, things that have been forced upon you, and things that you have chosen to do… to the praise of His glory.
One phrase that really stuck with me…
God is going to use our pain to birth our passion.
The pain that Beth experienced gave her a passion to reach out to other women and show them the power of God’s Word to heal them, to pick up their pieces and put them back together again, the way the Word did for her. She is a student of the word, and when she learns something new, she has to tell everyone… it is her passion.
The things in my counselor’s past propelled her into her profession, because she has a passion to help others deal with their pasts to come into freedom. She has a passion and compassion for those who are hurting and lost, to lead them and guide them through their pain so that they too can learn from it and grow closer to God, and become the people He wants them to be.
I can see that God is starting to give me a passion out of the pain in my past. I don’t know what it is. I don’t know what it all encompasses. But I am getting glimpses.
Part of it involves being a good mom to my kids, and helping them through things that I know they are going to face that will be hard and painful, but help guide them through those times so they come out the other side stronger, closer to God.
Part of it could be leading others in worship, because worship has been such a big part of healing for me. God has used it to show me that even when I don’t feel like it, and my “heart” isn’t really into it, I need to make the choice to worship Him in obedience. To lead others to that place in their pain, that place of “Ok, God here it goes, I am going to sing these words, even though I am not sure I believe them. I am going to cling to Your word with the tips of my fingernails if I have to. I hate what I am feeling, what is happening to me. But I will praise you…” It’s not a fun place… but to show others the way through worship… that is something close to my heart.
Part of it could be in writing. Just trying to get people to read my story, see what I have gone through. Know that there are others out there experiencing the same things they have. If I hadn’t had people on the road ahead of me who had gone through the things I have, I don’t know if I would have made it. If I would have had the courage to keep going. To have someone there to point the way, to encourage and cheer you on is powerful. And if I can do that through writing or any other way… Only God knows.
But even as I am still in process, I can see that God is using my pain to birth a passion in me. A passion for Him. For His word. For His people. For His church. For His world.
And I am giving myself to Him. He has made me a woman of substance, of means. He has taken me, no matter what my background was, and loves me completely. So I am giving myself to Him, to use me as He will. Whatever that looks like.
I will end here with a prayer that I wrote in my journal after the conference.
Lord, help me to discern your voice speaking to me and calling me to something. Help me to step out in the NOW rather than wait and worry it to death. I want to hear your call on my life and realize that what you call me to, you have made me competently competent to do all you ask of me. I am complete and thoroughly equipped for every good work.
I can’t thank you enough, God for this feeling of having a purpose for my life, that you have a purpose for me. I know Tricia and I have talked about that some and I have talked about it with Cindy. But today it became real. The future is wide open and I am not afraid of it. Not with You by my side, not with the promise that you will thoroughly equip me to do what you want me to do. I have just a real settling in my spirit that the hard work I am doing now - dealing with my past - will reap a harvest, sheaves of joy, and that you will bless up to a 1,000 generations if I am faithful to you. Oh Lord, speak clearly to me and help me hear your word and hide it in my heart!