Earlier this year, I went to my first women’s ministry conference. Our pastor likes to say “must be present to win” when it comes to church attendance. The same can be said of a conference of this caliber. I kept whispering to myself, “I can’t believe I get to be here!” The speakers were great, the sessions were great, the music was great—all of it was done with excellence…but that’s not the reason for my plea to come to Transformed. So if you’ll indulge, I think a little explaining is in order.
Look What God Did
While at the women’s ministry conference in February…
I watched God work in the dear friend I went with in regard to her own ministry and desires.
I sat on a hotel carpet looking up at the faces of new writer friends and heard a room full of funny, smart as a whip, self-deprecating women elevate each other over themselves.
I was invited.
I met a new friend who shared her fertility battle with me in a beautifully transparent way.
I heard Susan Hunt speak of the woman who had nurtured and mothered her own heart around the time of our denomination’s courageous split from the mainstream church.
I was reminded.
I watched two best friends recount the story of one’s battle with cancer and heard the healed friend say God released the other from caring for her the exact week she felt well.
I listened as a new friend shared painful stories of the discrimination she and her family have experienced since their move.
I repented of my ignorance.
I saw women lead other women in confidence, wit, and laser focus, all the while not losing deference to male headship and authority.
I believed there was a place for us.
I sat in a regional meeting and heard a VP for RUF speak of the effectiveness of women on college campuses.
I was spurred.
I listened to a new friend authentically tell me of her own battle with shame and the specific lie the enemy shouts to her.
I was honored.
If you glance back up you’ll notice that I’ve broken a cardinal rule of writing, what with the whole starting every sentence with I-thing. But the most beautiful part of all of it was that in spite of all these I’s, none of it really had anything to do with me. It did, however, have everything to do with what God had for me. The very God of the universe met me. And he handed me the sweetest gift, boxed and taped and painstakingly bowed: “For my beloved. The fearful one who forgets she is covered in Lamb’s blood and not shame. That one.”
What to Expect When You’re Transforming
I think I got a sum total of 7 hours of sleep over the conference weekend. This had nothing to do with the comfort level of the bed and everything to do with how stimulated I was and how my mind refused to turn off when my head hit the pillow. The only person I seemed to not talk the ear off of was my husband, who while on a call with him all I seemed able to muster were some tears and “Honey, I don’t know where to start.”
Reentry to the world of “mama can I have a snack” was a little challenging. Partly because I was exhausted from the little sleep and all the heart stimulation, and partly because I spent the entire weekend looking through a telescope. From that vantage point, the view of the kingdom was rich. And I had to take off my reading glasses in order to see it.
This is what heaven is gonna be like, people. Friends, old and new, gathered together eating, talking, sharing, worshipping, telling stories, popping sea salt caramels…all for the purpose of the glorification of the One True King. The weekend was a taste of heaven. And it fortified my soul.
Come to Transformed. Come for the teaching and the sessions. Come for the worship. Come for the friends, and for the lifting of your eyes. But more than that: come because the One True King wants to do personal, surgical business with your heart. Come expecting, hopeful, and in a spirit of trust, knowing that he is going to meet you. Come to take off your readers and peer through the telescope of the fullness of his kingdom. Beloved, come because he’s got a present for you, with only your name carefully lettered on the top.
And if you happen to come with a box of sea salt caramels in your purse—come and find me.
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