I spent last weekend in Indianapolis with 7000 other women who had come from all over the globe to cry out to God on behalf of our families and our land, and to be encouraged and challenged in our pursuit of biblical womanhood. I was full of anticipation. I knew God was going to move in a big and mighty way, both there in Indianapolis, and throughout the world as over 7000 locations were with us via simulcast at the unique Cry Out event on Friday night. When I found out that Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth was going to give a message on Brokenness on Friday morning, I pulled out the book that was written after that message was given the first time, and reread it to prepare my heart for what God might be ready to do in me. On the drive up, my husband–who went with me to join the team of men who pray during all of the sessions–and I talked about what God had been doing in our hearts to prepare us to hear from Him, and prayed together. I arrived in Indy excited, eager, and expectant.
You can imagine my disappointment when I found myself struggling to concentrate and focus almost as soon as I sat down in the first session. It had been an early morning, an already-full day of meeting women, reuniting with the other ROH Ambassadors, and getting acclimated to the venue, and it was only 1:00 in the afternoon. I chalked it up to excitement and nerves, and looked forward to the evening session–the first official plenary session of the conference.
However, I arrived at that session late and breathless after a 2-hr meeting and fellowship time with the blog team, and my mind was racing with all that had been shared and discussed. Again, my thoughts were all over the map and I just couldn’t focus, even though the two featured speakers were the two I was most excited to hear. This kept happening, even through the Brokenness message for which I had been praying and preparing. Almost every minute between sessions was spent making connections with women–women I had already met through my work as an Ambassador, friends and family who were attending the conference, women I was meeting for the first time who live in my area, and women I was helping as I served in different capacities. I would go straight from one-on-one conversations into the sea of women that was the main hall–often late–and feel like my head was spinning.
By Friday afternoon, I was looking for excuses to not even go into the main session. I had served during the lunch break through the first part of the session, and after walking in to look for a seat, I felt so overwhelmed that I walked right back out. Not knowing what else to do, I wandered to the Ambassador suite even though it was technically supposed to be closed at that time. There were a handful of ladies in there anyway, and I quickly found myself in a conversation with another Ambassador and a lady from Haiti. Only minutes after that conversation died down, a lady wandered by and she happened to be looking for…me! I had talked with her on the phone a month or two earlier and she had come to find me and talk some more. We ended up talking for a very long time, an encouraging time for both of us. As soon as she left, another one of my KY contacts came looking for me, and by the time she left, the session was over and the room started filling up. I talked with women for the next hour, ate a quick dinner with friends from back home, then was off to work again.
This kind of pattern continued Saturday morning and at some point, I finally understood something about myself. It’s rather obvious, now that I think about it, and when I shared it with Clay, he said, “I already knew that about you.” Well, apparently sometimes I’m slow to catch on. Here’s what God showed me about myself: I really really have trouble switching gears quickly. Going from a serving-mode to a sit and listening-mode as fast as I was trying to switch was just not working for me. Strangely enough, this was a huge relief for me. I had been growing more and more frustrated, and even then kind of scared that something was wrong in my soul when I had so much trouble focusing at this conference that has always been so refreshing and challenging for me. But it was really as simple as changing hats too fast. Once the Lord helped me see this, I decided to just wait to listen to the messages when they are up on the website, and to focus on serving in any way I could for the rest of the time in Indy. I loved every job I was given, and I loved talking with the women in the halls and in the Ambassador room. I made some really good contacts in my area, fueling my excitement to come home and keep building the wall around my house (see Nehemiah). I felt God’s pleasure as I served, even as I felt a twinge of disappointment that my prayers for spiritual renewal in my own life at the conference hadn’t been answered.
That’s when God opened my eyes to the fuller extent of His kindness to me. It was He who prompted me to read the Brokenness book before I went. He had already been pressing on me in one major area in my life, and reading that book and talking it over with Clay forced me to be honest and, indeed, to be broken over this sin. We prayed in the car as we drove to Indy, we discussed practical ways I could repent and move forward, and God embraced me with His love. He knew I would be so scattered, and He met me ahead of time when I could fully focus on hearing His voice. How kind He is, to allow me the joy and privilege of serving Him, and to experience His Spirit working in my life using the exact same message given Friday morning, just a few days before I expected Him to work on me. One other kindness–the one session I entered on time, the one session I was in the room for the whole time, the one session I was surprisingly focused and clear-headed was the Friday night Cry Out event. The event that had been promoted, anticipated, covered in prayer for months. The night that potentially 100,000 women all over the world were tuned in, crying out to God in confession, for our families, for our churches, for our nation, and for all the nations. I am so grateful and I know that it was His kindness, when I was unable to fully participate in any other session the whole weekend, that I was fully present and able to cry out to Him along with my sweet sister-Ambassador and thousands of others.
God is so good. He knows me better than I know myself. He prepared me beforehand, strengthened me to serve while I was there, and even helped me to see why I was struggling so that next time, I can go prepared to serve and expectant that He can work in my heart at the conference even if I don’t hear a single message. I am so grateful for what He did for me last weekend, what He did for me two years ago by allowing me to begin the journey toward becoming a Revive Our Hearts Ambassador, and what He continues to do for me each day as He sustains me and breaks me and changes me to be more like Him. Look for His kindness in your own life–I guarantee its there.
Note: watch for the messages from this conference at the True Woman site. They’ll be up soon.