Sunday, April 25, 2010

Women of Faith...

Friday morning we were off to the Women of Faith conference. We went with great expectation... and we were not disappointed. The first speaker was Sheila Walsh. She had so much to share and I wish I could tell you everything, but I can't. You know I can't write that fast! :)

I'm sure there was one thing that spoke to everyone in their own way. Not the same for each person. Amazing how God can work that way isn't it? I've heard several different stories of what the women took away from Sheila Walsh... and this is what spoke to me:

Sheila was speaking on TRUST. One of the first things she said was "Trust is what love looks like." I have to admit I have a big problem with trust. I'm used to doing things myself. Being in control so I know what to expect. I don't like it when I don't know what to expect. Well... guess what. For the last two years that is EXACTLY where God has had me... not knowing what to expect. I was just learning to function when things were normal, on schedule. I need to know what is going to happen and when it's going to happen... and if you can throw in why it's going to happen... well then, I'm just a happy camper! But God's ways are not my ways. His plans are not my plans. His ways are higher, and I'm so glad HE is in control.

One story Sheila shared was from her childhood. She recalled that when she was quite young, her older sister used to push her on a swing. She would swing so high... she would close her eyes and imagine she was flying. Then one day, she opened her eyes to see her sister sitting in the grass in front of her. All of a sudden she thought "Who is pushing me?". She turned around and saw the neighbor boy... who wasn't very nice... pushing her swing. And all of a sudden she was afraid. You see, she trusted her sister. But, she did not trust the neighbor boy. And then she asked, "Do you trust the heart of the One who is pushing your life?" You see, when we know that God is moving us, 'pushing' our lives, we have no need to fear. We know He has the best in mind for us. Fear comes in when we allow our lives to be moved by someone other than God. Maybe ourselves, others, or 'things' in our lives. We need to let God do the pushing.

So, Sheila then goes on to talk about fear. "Fear is contagious!" she says. "People are not our enemy. Our real enemy is our lack of trust in God!" Can you say.... Ouch!? Yep... I felt that one deep in my soul. How often do I fear? How often do I get angry with someone for making a bad decision because it affects my life, my future? I realized that when we trust God completely we will not have a need to know what to expect. When our eyes are focused on Him and Him alone, we don't see all that surrounds us. Just the loving arms that are waiting so patiently, so lovingly, for us to run to Him so He can direct our paths. I've heard it said that we tell God 'Show me and I'll go.' But God says 'Go... and I'll show you.' I guess that's the difference between trusting God or trusting ourselves.

Someone asked "How do I know if I'm trusting God with my whole heart?" and she answered with these questions:

1. Do I feel a need to be in control?
2. Is my #1 sense anxiety or confidence?
3. Do I feel a slight disconnect from God and those around me?

I often feel afraid of the future. I believe it's because I'm trusting in myself or someone other than God. I don't always know that the outcome will be for my best or with my best in mind. If I could just learn to let God be in control... keep my eyes focused on Him, I would have to need to fear.

One last thing I'll share. She said, "Wouldn't it be something if we showed up at church with our 'baggage' on the outside of us? People who don't go to church just might come." Sometimes it's hard to admit to others where we are in life or in our faith. If we could just learn to be real... be honest... then we could come together and pray and lift each other up. There is power in prayer! We need the prayers of others and they need ours as well. But how can we pray if we paint our lives as if nothing is wrong? We spend too much time trying to be "Super Christian". That's not what the world needs to see. And we need to stop thinking that life has no troubles.

"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
-John 16:33

Sheila Walsh is a great speaker and contemporary christian singer. I have loved her music, her books, and now her speaking for years. She has a new book that I was dying to get at the Women of Faith conference (ok... so I wanted them ALL), but I was on a strict budget and didn't buy even one. Now that is discipline! I hope to read it in the future and write a review.... but until then, if you'd like to read it yourself I have posted a link below. I'm sure you will enjoy it. She is a great writer. God bless!

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