This is one of those things. One of those things that I never would have dreamed up- let alone have imagined being involved in. And it was amazing. Simply amazing.
It was 2 months ago. A group of girls got together for worship and encouragement. You know one of those Titus 2 moments; where the older teach the younger. Yet you can’t control ages; you can only invite and let God do the rest.
We called it a Girls in God’s Word Woman’s Conference. Let me tell you how this day looked.
As people arrived we had our registration team meet them and help them enter their name into the door prize drawing. Then it was coffee, tea, and visiting time. Girls greeted each other and found seats. At the seats, we had a little booklet waiting for them and a little gift for each girl. The little gifts were so pretty. My nieces had written on a little notebook, “God is good. God is good to me. God is good at being God.” They had also made little scripture cards with some of the theme verses for the day.
People found their seats, and we tested the sound system – oh yes that went well. Lol 🙂 Ok, so we scrapped the sound system and started the day. The host gave some opening comments and had a prayer. Two Sisters led us in a few songs to get us started for the day, a perfect way to get us awake. And wow! The singing was so beautiful!
We introduced our first speaker. I should stop here and tell you what the theme was, “Trusting God even when Times are Tough”. We all have times like this!!
Our first speaker gave a talk she called, “The God Who Sees Us”. The story of Hagar. If you think your life is tough, go read her story. This Sister brought out her story SO well. She gave us the background of who Hagar was, and what was going on during the time of her story. She went through the circumstances that caused Hagar to flee to the wilderness, and described how God met and talked to her there. She pointed out that God asked Hagar to go back to Sarah and be submissive to her. And that nothing about her situation got any easier. Really, NOT one thing about her circumstances had changed…Except that she had seen God, and she knew God had seen her. This, my friends, is an encouragement for us. God may not change a single thing about our circumstances; YET if we see God and we know that God has seen us, everything can be changed! Our circumstances and our surroundings don’t change, but now we have God walking beside us and that makes all the difference in the world!!! All the difference!!
Ok, I might have got carried away there. But really, it was wonderful to hear the story and be reminded of these things.
That was about 50 minutes long, and then we had a short break. As the break was ending, a friend of mine shared with us about the Girls in God’s Word website and how an email group works.
The next girl who spoke, spoke on “Being Real during Tough Times”: with God, yourself, and the people around you. Being real with God and letting Him into those dark corners of your life. Being real with yourself and un-stuffing all the feelings and emotions you push under. Then being real with others and taking your mask down. There are many masks that we, as women, put up because we are too afraid to let others see we are hurting, or because we have been hurt and don’t trust people anymore. There are masks we put up because life is just hard, yet you can’t tell anyone else that you are having a hard time. Yeah, those masks… She shared her personal story of what those masks in her life looked like, and how she is working at taking off the masks and being real with God, herself, and others. Again, such a wonderful message!
We sang again and then went into our third speakers talk. This one was called, “Being Confident in the Gospel when Times are Tough”. When we are down, when others are down, or going through tough times – this is when we must hang on tight to that salvation we find in Christ. She passionately shared with us why we need Christ, and how to share the gift of salvation with others. Not handing them a list to follow, but handing them the Bible and sharing the hope that Jesus came to give us.
Before we broke for lunch one of the girls shared a giving opportunity with us. She showed a short clip from a local pregnancy center and shared about their purpose, passion, and the needs they have. She had set up a small display with a fundraising opportunity to help the pregnancy center. What a blessing for us to help other women in tough, very tough, circumstances!
Then we had lunch. It was a simple sack lunch- a pulled pork sandwich, carrots & ranch dip, applesauce, & chips. Just simple. Lunch was fast, well, maybe we had enough time to eat, but just talked too much rather than eating. Lol 😉 Anyways, we still had a lot to do.
After lunch, we drew names for a couple door prizes that people had kindly donated.
Next, the girls in charge of the singing had picked out a couple rounds for us to sing. Wow. That was gorgeous. No words. Simply no words.
Next, we had something we lovingly have been calling, “Story-time with Bea”. Three sweet girls shared their stories. They each had been given a set of questions beforehand and our sweet “Bea” asked these girls to share their story using these questions. Questions like – “What was going on during your tough time?” “What verses did you find comfort in?” “What are some things that people did that HELPed you during this time?” “What are things that people did that did NOT help?” “What would you suggest to others going through a similar time in their life?” These women each had a different tough thing they went through; one had lost twins, one went through, and still is going through, cancer, and the last told about a tough mental struggle.
We shared tears, and we shared laughter. It was healing. It was encouraging.
There was then one last speaker, and she (me) shared a topic called, “Our Tough looks Different”. We all are going through something different, no less or more than the next. We can’t compare our tough. Sometimes people might be able to see our tough, and sometimes no one might be able to see what we are going through. I tried to make this talk a summary of the whole day.
No matter what our tough is God SEES us.
Satan wants us to hide our tough things – we MUST be real.
We must TRUST Jesus for our salvation.
Then the icing on the cake… the very last thing – we went outside – it was the most beautiful fall day. We stood/sat around in a circle and sang “Kumbaya” together. Then several people prayed for the group; over our marriages, our children, our churches, and us as women heading back to whatever tough we find ourselves in.
Sounds simple, right? Maybe even a little boring. But friend, let me tell you, it wasn’t! It was simply amazing.
Amazing to see so many girls working together, each one doing something they were interested in and talented at. Each using their gifts to bless others… from the little favors done with such great care, to the tablecloth colors, to gathering the tables and chairs, the decorations, and the cute little snack bags with the adorable tags. How the lunch all came together; the hubby of mine making pulled pork, someone prepping the carrots, ranch dressing, and the sister making applesauce for us all. It was such a joint effort, just one willing worker to the next. The speakers that prepared for the day, the scripture the Lord brought to their minds, and the quotes, songs and words He placed on their hearts.
And it was all amazing.
In the whole thing, God was with us, from the very first step of planning to getting it done that day. He was with us and truly did bless us.
There were tears that were shed and giggles that were shared. Younger women encouraging the older ones and the older encouraging the younger. We were just so blessed.
I share this, because people have asked what this looked like.
I share this, because maybe you need to hear something we heard that day.
I share this, because maybe God has laid something similar to this on your heart, and you just need a nudge to follow through with it and do it in your area.
I share this, because I need reminded of God’s goodness to us through this.