God blows me away. Every time I think I’m going to be ok He shows up and just knocks the breath out of me. It’s been a week since I went to Women of Faith, and I’ve been putting this post off because I’m just not sure how to articulate my feelings and thoughts about the weekend.
I can’t describe what it was like last weekend, I really can’t. My friend K came from Texas, it was her first Women of Faith experience. I think she enjoyed it. We laughed, we cried, we prayed, we worshipped, we heard God whisper our name, we felt Him tap us on the shoulder, we heard Him shout out to us, and we felt Him wrap us in His arms and tell us how much He loves us.
First the worship… There is something about standing in a room with thousands of other women worshipping our Lord together that is surreal! Hearing those voices raised in praise to the One who sustains us is inexplicable! The sight of so many hands raised in praise, so much joy on so many faces, and such pure unadulterated love for God is awe inspiring and just blows me away! I cannot imagine what it will be like in Heaven to worship our God in person, because worshipping at Women of Faith is so amazing!
Last weekend really blew me away, and not just because of the worship. As I listened to each speaker I was touched in a different way. Brenda Warner said that she doesn’t have to be today who she was yesterday. Lisa Whelchel talked about being isolated and alone, about what it feels like to not be known, and about how important friends are. As Patsy Clairmont talked about her son’s illness and hospitalization I was transported back to when my husband, Donovan, was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre’ in 2008. She talked about how we need to be connected and how important love is. Sandi Patty spoke of the dreams she had and how God had bigger and better dreams, he said no to hers but yes to the ones she didn’t see. She was honest and open about her weight struggles, something I can totally relate to, and she spoke about how God fights for us. We don’t have to fight; He will do it for us, Exodus 14:14. We heard about brokenness and imperfection. We heard about wanting more and the cravings we have, but in eternity we won’t have any more cravings! We were reminded that God knows all our secrets and yet is still there. In the drama Deborah Joy Winans said that when we throw rocks at people’s sins we can’t change the world, we are just pock-marking it with hatred and fear. I saw the joy in Mandisa as she sang, danced, and worshipped. I saw the heart of Amy Grant as she sang to us. I was moved to tears by Andy Andrews, and laughed as he moved around the floor like he was on fire, that man can’t stand still! Then I laughed until I cried at the amazing genius of Tim Hawkins!
You know what really struck me though? As I listened and watched I realized just how real these people are. Don’t get me wrong, I knew that before, but it struck me anew this year. What an amazing thing to follow God’s will and get up on that stage in front of thousands of women and confess your failures. They don’t just get up there and talk a good talk. They go onto that stage and bare their hearts and souls. They speak the words someone needs to hear, and they change lives. Not because they are gifted speakers or say the right things, those things are true, but it’s more than that. They are honest and truthful and admit all their faults and share their lives. As I listened to each story, heard each song, watched each dramatic presentation, I had to ask myself if I could be that honest. I had to ask myself if I could be that honest with myself, with my own family, and with those around me. I have always thought of Women of Faith as a ministry for women; a place where women could go ever year to hear about God, to worship, to learn about Him, and hopefully be blessed in some way. I realized this weekend that it is more than a ministry for women; Women of Faith is a ministry to women.
Women of Faith ministered to my heart this weekend. They ministered to my soul and my understanding was changed in a tangible way. I came away from the US Airways center last Saturday moved and touched beyond belief. I can’t explain the change really; it’s deeper than feelings or thoughts. It’s more than I’ve felt in a long time. My heart was transformed in a way last weekend that I can’t explain. I can only say that you need to go. You need to experience the ministry of Women of Faith to your heart to really understand.
Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God…? – Romans 11:33 (MSG)