The “Transformation Through Story” conference hosted by Dauntless Grace Ministries, took place November 18-19. I had the honor of speaking Saturday morning.
Taking the stage
Even though the morning began with a pantyhose debacle, I was excited to share with the women in attendance. I knew what Scripture I would be speaking on, but there was so much of that talk I was unsure of. A friend asked if I had planned to share the story of the pantyhose. No, I did not. However, when I stepped onto the stage, the story just began tumbling out of my mouth. The women? They laughed. We laughed together so hard I nearly had tears in my eyes. The laughter filling the room was the perfect way to begin our day. I told them my daughter sent “75 barrels of courage” with me, enough for everyone with a little extra “just in case.” Why? We know sharing our story is not always easy, neither is transformation. Sometimes, we need courage to keep moving forward. I stood on that stage reenacting the wrestling match I lost with nylons just an hour earlier, and I shared the barrels of courage with them.
Embracing my gifting
The only time I looked at my notes was to read Scriptures (Ezekiel 37:1-14). In fact, as I would glance at my notes, I would think to myself, “well, I am certainly not following any of that.” You know what? It was magnificent. A friend and mentor once told me I need to stop worrying about offending other people, and stop withholding the sassier side of my personality. As I shared and taught, I would have made him proud. I opted to not worry about restraining myself, and simply trusted the Holy Spirit’s lead. I saw the women wipe tears from their cheeks. They also laughed with me. I even witnessed some sit taller in their seats. I was asking them to come alive. To be honest, I felt unprepared, but I had consistently prayed God would speak through me a message the women needed. He was faithful in answering.
God is so faithful
There were times I was nearly overcome with the power of the message. I saw every woman in the room, yes, but I also saw the women they could be. A vision of each woman fully alive, fully empowered, fully confident, and fully bold was cast before me. I wanted them to hear me when I said God has equipped them with a plan and a purpose in mind. At my very core, I hoped the women began to see how magnificently God has empowered each of them. I reminded them we do not enter battle worrying if we will win because God has already claimed victory. We fight from victory to victory, and that is worth getting excited about! I shared how we need each other, and that we are more powerful together.
After I had spoken, many women thanked me for sharing. One woman walked up and simply said, “Wow, just wow.” A woman who is a seasoned speaker herself complimented and encouraged me, and I am still holding tightly onto her words. Another woman stated I seem like a “what you see is what you get” kind of person. How right she is. However, when an older woman walked up saying, “You’ve got grit, I like that,” I could not help but laugh. Her comment may well be my favorite. My awkwardness shines when given a compliment. I am trying to improve in this area because I do not want to diminish anything God does. Slowly, I am learning to say thank you, to respond with, “that is so kind of you.” Receiving compliments is an area I am growing in because I still so often wonder if I am good enough. Yet, in that space, in that moment, God showed me what it was like to walk confidently in my own calling.
What happens next? Oh friend, how I wish I knew. What I can tell you is two incredible, godly women prayed for me as the conference ended. One encouraged me and reminded me I am walking in my God given purpose. The other spoke a vision over me like none I have ever heard. My heart is holding tightly to her words, and believing them to be true. She prayed so passionately and powerfully, my spirit leaped within me. Tears streamed down my face as she cast a vision I have long held, but never shared. It was good, friends. The whole weekend was so good. It was a weekend filled of dreams becoming a reality, and women taking hold of their callings. The weekend was powerful, and I am so thankful to have been a part of it all.
Would you pray for Dauntless Grace Ministries, specifically for Megan and Deedra? Pray for doors to open for them to take this conference into other churches. Would you pray for me to be faithful in each step God calls me to? Pray for me to have wisdom to know what to say “yes” to and what to say “no” to. Finally, pray for the women who were there. Pray the seeds that were planted begin to reap a bountiful harvest. Pray they step into all God has for them.