On my way home from Chicago, I had a three hour flight to Houston before hopping a plane to Little Rock. I jotted down some thoughts on the ladies conference to pass the time, while it was all fresh. Here are my thoughts, a bit edited for clarity. 🙂
It’s hard to believe that it’s already over. I’ve been thinking, praying and planning for these two days for seven months now! I was able to speak three times: a homeschooling session, where I covered basic Q’s & A’s about homeschooling, and shared the book Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe; a session for everyone called “Joy in the Face of Betrayal”, which was about when Christians betray us; and a session called “The Christian Lady’s Survival Kit.” I was moved to tears during the first main session on betrayal because of what God was doing in my own heart. He’s worked on me so much in the seven months I’ve been preparing for this, that I didn’t think I could feel anything different in regards to these areas of my life. I was wrong! Not only did He remind me of the changes I’m still needing to make, but He highlighted even more (really, uncovered is a better word) work that I need to do on forgiving those who have betrayed me and pulling out the roots of bitterness that are entwining themselves around my heart.
He also answered a prayer about a problem our family has faced, but been unable to find help for. I cannot discuss particulars, but it’s been something we’ve prayed about for years and searched for answers for, but come up empty. He proved to me that if I stay faithful HE will come through!
The pastor’s wife, who is affectionately referred to as “the first lady” by some, was so kind. She opened up her home to the speakers, served a delicious meal and even made these cute little pumpkin bread cakes wrapped in cellophane for each of us! I ate it without getting a picture! (oops!) I enjoyed her kindness and open heart so much. She also played the piano beautifully! I can see why so many love her. She’s everything I want to be as a Pastor’s wife. (Yes, pray for me in this!)
The largest blessing I received was the gift of new friends. Wow! Did I ever need them! They aren’t just “friends”, they are kindred spirits. How could I know this after only two days with them? Because the “kindred spirit” was the Holy Spirit! He gave us a mutual fellowship that is only present in those who put their faith in the Lord Jesus.
The testimonies of the women I spoke with were amazing. One word that comes to mind is “courage”. I met real live women who are not just survivors, but overcomers. They are now lifting up other women and holding them up! They did that for me. They probably don’t realize it, but God is using them in a great way. Their light shines so brightly, that it shines all the way to Arkansas.
Here are some photos of the trip:
You know, they made me feel so special. They greeted me warmly, made me feel wanted, gave me delicious food and a comfy hotel room. I was told what a blessing I was, that I helped them, some offered to adopt me! (Yeah, they don’t know what they’re saying!) But I think I was blessed more than they. I walked into that place empty, and went out full. I walked in alone, and left with a crowd.
As we lifted off and I saw Lake Michigan and Chicago fade into the distance, I’m feeling a pang of loss. I suppose it’s that piece of my heart that I’m leaving behind. But it’s okay, I know they will take good care of it.