In general, I’ve discovered there are two types of women: those who love women’s conferences/retreats and those who do not. I fall into the former category. I absolutely love women, hearing from them, learning from them, being challenged by them. Tell me when/where, and I’m there.
A friend of mine (a fellow conference-attender) flew into town to join me for the OKC Women of Faith conference. We’ve been before. In fact, I’ve been many, many times. I go expecting to love it. And this time my expectation was no different.
But this year my expectations went no further than that. Time away from the demands of life, surrounded by godly women, awesome music, and some good speakers/storytellers. My idea of a good weekend. I didn’t expect what happened.
God. That’s what happened. I mean, He’s always there. But this time He was in my stuff. Before we left the opening session Friday night I knew this was no ordinary weekend conference. And by the time the conference was over…I was changed. In good ways!
I arrived empty. I was filled.
I arrived harried. I left with peace.
I arrived tired. I left with energy!
I arrived with my old friend Fear. I left without him.
After all, the whole point of the conference was to Believe God Can Do Anything. And I certainly went into the weekend saying I believed that. But what God showed me is that in a certain area of my life, I wasn’t living that truth. I was letting FEAR get the better of me. As one teacher put it, my fear revealed just how little trust I was putting in God for that part of my life.
Whammy. Right between the eyes. God got hold of me.
Funny thing is, God got hold of my friend in a similar way. So the words were flying between us. We talked, we cried, we prayed, and we talked some more. I got home, and my husband (my dear, sweet husband) got to hear all about it . . . at ten o’clock at night. Went to lunch with friends and they got to hear about it too. It’s amazing how free I feel today because I’ve surrendered that fear-thing I’d been holding onto, to the God of the Universe, who sees me and knows what’s best for me.
And the great thing about sharing all this with my husband and my friends: when that fear-thing tries to creep back in, they can remind me, “Let it go. God’s got this.” And I’ll let go . . . and let God. So, whatever you’re dealing with today…give it to God. He’s big enough. He’s trustworthy enough. He is enough. God can do anything! Believe it! His supernatural surprises remind us of that very truth, so let’s live like we believe it!
Shelley Johnson describes herself as a “believer, wife, mother, daughter.” She lives in Edmond, Oklahoma with her husband and three boys and serves on is New Covenant UMC’s staff as Director of Adult Discipleship. “I’m blessed to be used by God,” Shelley says, “as He helps me along my own faith journey.”
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