I was nervous and a bit anxious, but I was excited.
And as I walked through the doors of the Embassy Suites, I could feel the halls exuding love and acceptance.
I was finally at “She Speaks 2017,” put on by the organization Proverbs 31, and I couldn’t wait to see what the Lord had in store for me!
The first women I spoke to were at registration and I could just tell by the smiles on their faces and warmth in their voices that this was going to be an amazing, God-filled weekend.
But I was in for a surprise…
I wish I had caught their names, but unfortunately, in the whirlwind of excitement I didn’t think to look at their badges.
But I hope they know that their smiles and demeanor helped to put at least one very nervous attendee at ease.
I entered the main session room and my heart dropped a little.
It wasn’t set up like conferences I’m used to, with long rows of chairs where I could easily find a corner to hide in. Instead the room was set with round tables with 10 chairs at each.
This meant I was going to have to talk to people.
If you knew me you would know that I get very anxious in settings with people I don’t know, and I’m horrible at small talk.
But I could feel the Lord put my mind at ease as I slowly approached a table and sat down.
Right away the women at the table accepted me, talked with me and made me feel like I was an old friend.
What a great feeling!
Every morning opened with praise and worship led by the team from Elevation Church and you could feel the Lord’s presence in the room as we sang each song.
Hands were raised and tears were shed as 700 plus voices came together for one reason, to give glory to our Lord and Savior.
It was truly a breathtaking sight.
I took so much away from this conference and felt the Lord reemphasize what He has laid on my heart for months now, that I need to tell my story.
One of the breakout sessions I attended was entitled “So you want to blog” with Logan Wolfram.
Logan’s love for the Lord and sense of humor captivated the room.
She tells her story with passion and while she certainly gave us a lot of “technical” information about blogging, I took away so much more about letting God shine through in all that we do.
I mean that is why I attended this conference, to hone my writing in order to hopefully show, even just one person, God’s love and give all the glory to Him.
Logan touched on a very raw part of my life.
My “whole” story.
Logan helped to confirm the feeling I have in my heart that I’m not ready to share those stories, just yet.
She told us that if we’re in a bad season we should write about it, but don’t publish it. Wait to edit it until we are out of that season.
What simple but wonderful words!
I can’t be writing about seasons that I haven’t yet wrapped my brain around or worked through with God.
Logan also did an amazing job of driving home why we should be writing.
We write for His glory, not ours.
“The world only needs a famous Christ, not a bunch of famous Christians.”
Amen to that!
Chrystal Evans Hurst addressed our main session on Friday evening and she brought down the house. Talk about a woman after God’s heart!
She had me laughing, crying and praising God the whole way through.
Chrystal spoke on interruptions: “Interruptions are introductions and invitations to discovering God in a new way!”
Wow, did that hit my heart because, let’s be honest, God has interrupted me a lot!
And as a Jersey girl, interruptions aren’t easy to take. But those interruptions have led to so many blessings and a closer, more dedicated walk with my Savior.
Chrystal tugged at my heart strings when she said that “when God wants to set you on a new path in a new season of your life, He interrupts your plans.”
Yes, He does and there have been some painful interruptions that have led to some wonderful experiences!
Chrystal’s message was one I needed to hear and God most certainly put me in the right place at the right time. Her passion for the Lord was evident!
On Saturday, Whitney Capps kicked off the main session.
I first started reading and listening to Whitney through the First 5 app and I could listen to her sweet southern accent all day! (I may be a Jersey girl but as a transplanted southerner my heart is forever in Dixie.)
Whitney’s biblical knowledge is astounding and her ability to speak those truths is a gift.
Whitney spoke on loving and serving your local church; it was a convicting lecture that touched my heart and made me eager to get home and love on my church.
Her lecture was poignant and passionate: “God has called the local church to be the hands and feet of Jesus.”
Yes, He has and we must never lose sight of that calling.
While I had many favorite takeaways from the conference, I believe my most favorite and the one the Lord really wanted me to hear was when Whitney said, “If you want to change the Kingdom, go home and love your local church.”
I could feel the Lord speak to me with those words!
“She Speaks 2017” was a truly moving event for me and I know it was for so many other women in attendance.
I’m still telling my husband about it almost two years later!
I am so thankful to the Proverbs 31 team for putting on this event and bringing such a wonderful group of “Jesus Girls” together to truly worship His holy name.
But I am most thankful to the Lord for that email I received on a cold February day more than two years ago, that I almost deleted, inviting me to some conference in Charlotte, North Carolina.
He knew I needed this, He knew this was the right place for me and He made sure I was there!
And now that I work in full-time ministry, He makes sure I use what I learned, on an almost daily basis.