WOW! Where do I start? There are so many "stories within the story" that I really don't know where to begin. I don't remember exactly when I started feeling like God was "nudging" me to volunteer at the EWomen's conference in Pensacola, FL this year but once I did, it went from there. My daughter also volunteered for the first time.
For the first story, I guess I should give some background information about what else God was doing in my life. I'd been feeling like He was wanting to move me to another church for a while. But, stubborn as I am, it took me a while to actually make the move. I loved the church I was in. Loved all the people, knew everyone and was very 'comfortable'. Uh-oh! FIRST warning sign - I was comfortable - LOL Well, I'm sure most of you know how He LOVES to move us out of our comfort zones, right? So, as of March 14, I am in the church that He moved me to which is WAY bigger with LOTS more people. I've jumped in with both feet and tried to make myself 'get in there' and get involved so I'm learning SOME people but still have a long way to go!
Soooooooo - back to Friday, April 9 sitting at the table in the volunteer's meeting before the conference started that night. A lady came and sat at our table and I thought 'she looks familiar' but couldn't figure out why. My daughter and I had volunteered to work at the product tables and I was assigned to Angela Thomas' product table. Jessica's assignment is yet another story within the story and we'll get to that later. (I may even see if I can get HER to write that part) We get finished in the meeting and go downstairs to where the product tables are set up. I'm sitting at Angela's table and in walks the lady that looked familiar to me earlier. She says "Don't you go to Grace?" You got it - she's a member of the church I am now attending and THAT is why she looked so familiar! I had seen her before but had never actually had the chance to meet her or talk to her. So, we were able to talk and start getting to know each other a little better. Let's just say it was DEFINITELY no accident that we were put at the same table - God is already up to something there and I'm a little nervous about what He's doing. I am just trying to stay strong in my resolve to let HIM lead my steps, even if it's WAY out of my comfort zone.
STORY TWO: As for working at Angela Thomas' product table - WOW! Again, no accident. I am still attending the Ladies Bible Study at the church God moved me from because we had just started it. What Bible Study? Angela Thomas' "When Wallflowers Dance". As I began studying for the first week's session, God began to put ideas into my head about how to make it more interesting and/or fun for everyone. One idea He gave me, after I went to Michael's, (a craft/hobby store) was using these wonderful flower clips by putting different things on them that Angela talked about. Angela had seen the pictures on my facebook page and commented that she loved what was done. So, I told her I'd bring her one of each flower to the conference in Pensacola - and then I was assigned to her table. Coincidence? I think not. She loved the flowers and used them to decorate her product table. (AFTER her assistant took pictures of her wearing some first! LOL)
It was such fun working at her table and meeting so many different people. I enjoyed being able to, confidently with first-hand knowledge, tell everyone that asked how wonderful her products are. I've done all three of her Bible Studies (well, working on third one now), read most of her books and listened to her CDs as well. I know it was no accident that God placed me at her table that weekend.
As for Beth Cleveland and Lindsay Crosby - well, I didn't really get a chance to see Lindsay much and I only heard Beth at the volunteer meeting, but fell in love with her, too. How can I NOT fall in love with someone that cries at the drop of a hat just like I do? LOL
Just seeing how much the conferences mean not only to the ladies attending; but, to the ladies behind the scenes was amazing. They put so much thought and PRAYER into each and every conference. All because they hope to reach at least one lady for Jesus. To help at least one lady that might be having a rough time remember that God loves her and that she is special. Just thinking about it as I'm typing this makes my heart feel so full! I knew without a doubt that I wanted to be involved in as many conferences as I possibly could. I had already signed up to be a volunteer at the Birmingham conference but had just signed up to work at a product table.
However, after the weekend at Pensacola, I know that God might want to use me for something else. So, after I got home, I sent Beth and Lindsay an e-mail and told them that, even though I had originally signed up to work a product table, that I am willing to work ANYWHERE I am needed - whether it is at a product table, as a team leader, an encourager - ANYWHERE! I feel so honored that God is allowing me to be even such a small part of this wonderful organization. My heart truly is for hurting women - I guess because I was one for so many years. But it is just amazing how full of love your heart gets when you FINALLY realize that God REALLY loves you and that it's okay for you to love you!
I can hardly wait for May 14th and 15th to get here. I am praying that I will keep my eyes and ears open so that I can see and hear what God wants to show and tell me. I pray that He will be able to use me to help at least one other person at the conference in Birmingham. And, if it be in His will, that He will allow me to also be a part of the conference in October in Macon, GA. I shouldn't be so amazed at how He works after seeing Him do so much - yet, I am.
I know I rambled a lot trying to get this all down - but He fills my heart so full it makes it hard to get my thoughts together and get it to all come out right! I mentioned earlier about my daughter's experience, but I'm hoping I can get her to write her own story. It is definitely a testimony of how He works His plan out, even when we think everything is going wrong!
So, stay tuned and maybe in the next day or two, she will post her story here. If she doesn't have time, I'll get her permission to share it with everyone here.
Love you all and please be praying that I will continue to let God work through me and be open to HIS WILL for my life - that is all I truly want.