It’s Thursday, July 20th, the evening before my 43rd birthday. I’m on my own in a hotel in Concord, North Carolina for the She Speaks Conference, led by Proverbs 31 Ministries.
I’ve been eyeballing this conference for the past three years, drawn to it, though not 100% certain as to “Why?” Yes, of course I’d love to become better-equipped in writing, speaking and connecting with people in an effort to share my faith, pointing others to Jesus Christ having witnessed the transformation He’s responsible for in my life. But why this conference? Why me? Why now?
I am curious what God has planned in this trip. I’m yearning for His Guidance I’m confident He will reveal, as He’s done so many times before…even that which I wasn’t prepared to receive.
I’m tired of looking back to my life between my previous husband’s passing (June 2013) and the end of 2015 with sadness, wishing in many ways I was still there. My physical health was significantly better, my spirit felt content and my Dad was still alive then, it’s difficult to let go of those moments without longing for them…no matter how “good” life may have seemed, or is, since. In fact, it seems a broken heart mixed with confusion as to what to do “next”, and the lost feelings following my Dad’s unexpected, quick death all added up and made a ginormous, overwhelming mess out of me! Throw in a few unseen physical health challenges, frustrations and failures and I was losing hope.
Not in God. Not that He loves me. Not that He was the cause, reason or to blame for my heartache, suffering or struggle. I can genuinely say my faith and trust in God has not waivered. (Believe it or not, that’s totally true…God is an absolute for me, and has been for awhile now.)
I was losing hope in me. I lost hope in how to share what God’s been prompting me to do since 2013 – speak, sing and write. I lost hope I’d let Him down. I lost hope I’d be able to carry out sharing what He’s done for me due to physical limitations. I lost hope in relationships that hurt, changed, or drifted away without my concerted effort. I lost hope in surviving surgery, of being an active, supportive mom to our kids whom I wholeheartedly adore. I lost hope I’d discover new places, people and stories with my new husband, Solomon. I lost hope I’d sing again.
And yet, here I am…reading His Word, sharing my heart through writing and song…on the eve of attending She Speaks, that “just so happens” to begin on my birthday.
I’d say HOPE RESTORED is one incredible birthday gift. To Him be all the glory. ❤️