Last week I attended WVLUN. No, not the Wacky Vampire League of Underwear Nightswimming. (That's next week. All you vampires out there, don't forget to bring your own undies!) I'm talking about Wabash Valley Ladies Unity Night. It's an annual event here in the "Valley" where the chicas from area churches get together for an evening of worship, inspiration, and encouragement. And simply to say..."Hey! We're Christians and it's good for us to get together and see how many of us there really are around here!" Because it is.
The last WVLUN I went to was three years ago. I had a good time. I went with some fun gals. The speaker was a very funny, cool lady(You know, the one with the Mom Song, Anita Renfroe?)...although I felt a little young for the event...and I can't say that I walked away with something that hit me hard enough spiritually to stick with me three years later.
This time, though...WOW! I got so much out of it. And I didn't seem young at all for it. So did I just age incredibly in three years? Or was it just aimed more at me? Have I just grown a bit spiritually? Did more young-ish women come this time? I have no idea. Probably some combination of all of the above. But I left with a lot to think about. Here's a taste:
1. I got to have a nice dinner with some of the gals from our church. Always good to get to know everyone better and not have to cook. :)
2. They had a worship band comprised completely of local women. Even a drummer. They rocked! It was exciting to worship in that environment.
3. I love seeing how all sorts of people are in the Body of Christ! Different denominations, ages, styles, races, traditions...out of just in the women who live in my area. This was such a tiny and limited sample of the people that have Jesus in common. Heaven will be a beautiful place indeed.
4. Our speaker was Lysa TerKeurst from Proverbs 31 Ministries. I really didn't know what to expect, so I went with perhaps lower expectations than I should of. I always fear that events like this will end up barely scratching the surface of the Bible's truths and end up kind of watered down, weepy, fluffy, and cheesy motivational speaker-y. Pretty cynical of me, huh? But she totally destroyed my cynicism. She was hilarious, real, and challenged the heck out of me. Hands down, she was the best women's event speaker I have ever heard. She used her own life stories to relate how she went from a Christianity of just following "the rules" to a true relationship with God. She told us how she obeyed God's call to adopt two teenage boys from Liberia when it did not make any sense to anyone else and was too big for her to handle. Her underlying message, I suppose, was that women can change the world and do way beyond what they think they are capable of by learning to listen and obey God's plan for your life. And it's not always a comfortable plan. God will expect us to do things that ARE beyond our ability so that we learn to depend on Him. That just sounds trite and obvious when I write it out. She did a much better job of expressing it!
It resonated a lot with ME simply because I see this played out in our stepping out to plant a church in the last 3 years and all that journey has taught us. I see it in the decision to quit my full time job about a year ago and trusting that God would help us through the "what ifs?" of our finances and all the changes that went along with it. I see it in our pastor's family that left their whole life in Louisiana to come to unknown Terre Haute to plant a church. I see it in my parents who are about to embark on their own new adventures that requires faith. And on and on. So I will keep trying to live out faith and trust in God no matter what that looks like. And I desperately hope that many other women grabbed on to that message and that they say "YES!" to God when he asks them to do something that's too hard or too big or too scary or too overwhelming.
Here's a verse she used that night and has been following me for the past month...it was the theme to my Emmaus Walk...I heard it at church this past Sunday...isn't it great when God makes it really obvious that you are supposed to "get" something? He knows that some things are easy to read or hear but can take a lifetime to do.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
- ▼ May (7)