I wanted to return to She Speaks 2010 but we couldn’t afford it. I entered every scholarship opportunity, but wasn’t chosen and wasn’t able to swing it financially. And I will admit, I was too proud to ask for scholarship or help from my friends. I would pray at night that God would miraculously step in and provide a way, but He remained silent and I got angry.
It reminds me of the story of the guy praying for God’s help when the river was rising and his house was flooded. He climbed on the roof, praying the entire time, “please God, help me.” A boat came by and offered help, but the man refused, “God will provide.” He said. And the water moved higher. A helicopter came by and offered a rope. “God will provide” the man said. And the water moved higher. The water covered the man’s house and he drowned. When he got to heaven he asked God, “Why didn’t you save me.” God said, “Who do you think sent the boat and the helicopter?”
My pride got in the way, just like the man who drowned. But I didn’t realize it then. I just stayed mad.
I stopped writing. I stopped reading blogs. I stopped my devotions. I had a good old fashion temper tantrum. The conference grew closer and my disappointment became greater. But God loves his daughters, even the spoiled ones, and one night, while I was wallowing in my pity party for one, God spoke. He asked me,
“What, my darling, have you done with the tools that you were given last year at the conference?”
My mouth dropped open and my tears dried up and I realized no words were truer spoken and then He topped it off with the perfect scripture. God is cool like that.
To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them. (Matthew 13:12)
He was right (of course He was, He’s God) I had not used even 25% of what had been poured into me in the prior year. I had not worked on my messages. I had not developed the gifts that He had given me. I had gotten jealous of those who seemed to “have it together”, whose blogs were better, whose calendars were full, who were making a difference in God’s Kingdom while all I had done was whine and cry. I had allowed my gifts to grow stagnant. I had gotten my mad all over my gifts and they had wilted.
My intentions were good, my desire was there, but so was my pride and I wanted it all now. Yes, I was acting just like this. ( It’s embarassing to admit).
God and I had more work to do. The first thing He did was change my heart. I asked God for forgiveness. Then I prayed for His direction and His desire. I got out my notebook from the last She Speaks and all the resources I had purchased. I started writing again.
Then the conference came and I prayed for and celebrated with the others who could go to She Speaks in 2010.
I made a commitment to apply all that I could, not only with my speaking and writing, but also in my church, in my home, and in my work. And God is good. He blessed me with acceptance into the Leadership Academy at my work that I had applied and been rejected for 3 years. I was poured into with leadership skills, customer service, performance improvement, over and over, more than I could have imagined. And I have combined that knowledge with the knowledge that the leaders at She Speaks and the Proverbs 31 team pours out at the conference and throughout the year. That is their heart, to help each of us to understand the gifts we have received and how God wants us to use them to further His kingdom,not to further OUR agenda.
This year, 2011, I will be returning to She Speaks with a different attitude and a different intention. An intention to listen and be ready for whatever God has planned for me, and if it is a boat, a helicopter, or a friend who needs an ear, whatever He brings to me, I will accept. I am so ready to come back and so is my heart.