I can't even begin to describe the impact the SHESPEAKS16 conference made on my life.
I was asked to write a take-away from the conference. While many truths stand out - one thing that has helped me dramatically is the validation I received on my particular speaking style. While the number one comment I generally receive when I speak is, "YOU'RE THE NEXT BETH MOORE!", I am indeed thankfully and pressure-free, NOT.
No. Her spot is taken. I am me. And I am a story-teller. And that's exactly what God desires of me. My stories - always pointing back to His. I am who I am - because HE is who HE is. Jesus was a story teller - He told 90+ parables. It blesses my heart to know I take after my Heavenly Father in that area.
I love weaving real life application into the scriptures and seeing the lights go off in women's hearts and lives. I may never teach on the Tabernacle, and that's OK! I learned that social media is my mission field. I learned that when I speak, I won't speak from "standing in a tower looking down on people" position. No, I will speak from the field - as a co-laborer alongside of my audience. I want my audiences to know that I am in the trenches with them, even as I teach. I want them to know we are loving God and serving Him together! I learned that God's Word is not something to simply be underlined, highlighted, or to be used to "fill in the blanks". No - it is to be LOVED. And I DO love it. Oh I do! I just really love HIM! I learned that I am not crazy believing God has called me. A girl from Wentzville, Mo. I learned that I am just one of the redeemed at that conference who believe God is still in the redemption business. I sat alongside of former porn addicts and lesbians, adulterers, drug addicts and divorcees that God has ministered to and healed. I heard their stories. I heard their heart for others to know and receive the health, healing, and deliverance that God can bring. I heard their passion to tell the world what Jesus has done for them. Whether in word or in script - these girls have a story to tell! I heard their hearts for Jesus and I loved every one of them. They are now people I call my friends.
SHESPEAKS16 is a must for each and every woman who is called to speak or write. Start praying and planning now. Ask God if you're meant to attend. I am planning on returning next year - and honestly - I already just can't wait!
Thank you to Lysa TerKeurst for her faithfulness to pour into those who are following behind her. Thank you to all the teachers for speaking truth into our lives. I pray that each of us will continue to shepherd the Word of God in such a fashion that we bring glory to God in everything we do.