Saturday morning, my alarm clock starts playing "The Last Goodbye," by David Cook. Apparently it had been for five minutes straight, but I was just then hearing it. That meant it was time to get up. I let out a small groan, then decided to get ready, so I could make it to church on time for breakfast. My dad dropped me off, and I met up with my friend Micah (we've known each other since 2nd grade. Crazy how time flies). We waited in line, and ended up talking to a lady I'd seen around quite a bit around church before, so it was cool getting to know her.
The breakfast was buffet style with burritos, fruit, parfaits, croissants, orange juice and coffee all lined up. We grabbed food, then sat in another room. Micah and I sat at a table; I didn't really know anyone until a couple minutes later when some other friends joined us. We were all still waking up, so there wasn't much talking going on, but a few of the ladies started discussing the previous night's session. It was cool to hear some of their thoughts, since we were all from different age groups. We finished eating, then headed over to the main sanctuary to get things started. We did some praise and worship, then went right into the next session.
Our Senior Pastor's wife and one of our good family friends, Lydia, spoke. She is also a pastor, and I'm always so excited to hear what she has to say. She's another woman around church that I've admired for a really long time. As I've gotten to know her more myself, I know that she is just as fabulous and someone that is proof of what God can do when we allow Him to.
Anyway, she opened it off by saying, "Get over yourself," because she had her message all planned out the night before, but God had kept her up most of the night going over a few other things for the message after Wendy spoke. The two practically went hand in hand. We all struggle with who we are, and we try to be more like so and so.
Lydia explained how she was born to be a sunflower, but a lot of the time she tried to act like a rose...and it just didn't work out. She has such a bright personality, and trying to fit under the covering of a rose, wasn't meant for her. We have to accept who we are, and be joyous with it. God has called each of us to do things that only we can do, and in doing those things, we can complement one another and bring out the best in our friends and family.
We focus so much on our shortcomings and the things that we're not good at, but when we stop, we can let God do what He really wants to do. Even when we're uncomfortable and insecure, we have to work through those moments, or we can really miss out. That line she said really struck something in me. There are so many times that I've been afraid, but have done whatever it was I needed to, and the payoff was so worth it. There have also been times when I've been afraid, and too often, I've let that hold me back. I've sunk back into that little routine, and God was telling me no more. I have to have a little more faith in myself.
As much as we need to work on things with ourselves, we also need a group of close people that we trust to hold us accountable. Those are the people that will remind us of what God has called us to do or will point out when we aren't quite being ourselves. I'm so thankful that as soon as she said that, I didn't feel this ache in my heart wishing I had that. Instead, I know that there are a really great group of girls I met through church, and otherwise that I've met. And I hope that every woman and girl at the conference (and reading this) has something like that or will find it soon.
When we're struggling with something, we are to admit it to one another so that the enemy doesn't hold it over us. As soon as we let go of that secrecy, Satan no longer has that control on us. God doesn't care about our past, because He can use it to help others. It is our past that helps us to keep moving forward to what our calling is.
There was a short dance routine from a young girl to the song, "I Was Here," By Beyonce. I had never heard the song, but it was beautiful and left an imprint on my heart with its words. I want to die empty, so that on my deathbed, I have no regrets and nothing more to wish I could have done. I want to do everything that God has planned out for me.
"I was here
I lived, I loved
I was here
I did, I've done, everything that I wanted
And it was more than I thought it would be
I will leave my mark so everyone will know
I was here."
We watched a video dealing with the A21 Campaign, which is helping bring awareness to the modern day human slavery our world is experiencing. I've been hearing a lot about it, but I'll be honest, I had no idea what an epidemic it has become. The video really woke me up to the bubble I've been living in and how I want to help. Not only with this cause, but to all of the other things I've been naive to. I know I've been quiet for too long, and the enemy uses that against us. We have to stand up for these things and not be bound by the tricks of Satan.
After that, there was a twenty minute break. I helped out with my friend, Micah, and a few other girls at the A21 Campaign table. We passed out brochures on ways to get involved and pamphlets to get more information. We also accepted donations that go back to the cause to help out. There are many ways to help out with the organization. If you'd like to check it out here is the link to the website . We need to awake from the slumber that we've been in and do something about it.
When we returned from the break, there was a short Q&A with Pastor Lydia and Pastor Wendy. If we had any questions for them about ministry, or any of the topics from the earlier sessions, we were more than welcome to ask. That was a really great time to hear from two women that have seen a lot and lived a lot, and are helping women find their passions and dreams, according to who God has called them to be.
Pastor James closed up with the last session. He spoke on the value of women, and what we mean to God. Women have the same rights that men do, and we have been appointed by God to be pastors, leaders, and whatever else He wants us to do in the church. There are not a lot of churches that encourage women to really get involved the way ours does, but I couldn't be more thrilled with it. God has called us to do just that. We have to be courageous and bold. If God calls us to be leaders or to run the country, then that is what we are to do. There was a time of prayer at the end, and a song as we walked out.
I felt this tugging at my heart to talk to Febe about something; we prayed together and exchanged stories, helping one another out. I am so thankful for my friends and that I can call them whenever and they'll be there.
It was one wonderful weekend, and a lot has been stirred up in my heart. I want to leave a legacy behind, that I know for sure. I just want to do it in a way that honors God and do it according to His plan, rather than just sticking to my own. After all, Father knows best.
That's all for now,