Get Me Outta Here! (but I’m so glad I stayed)

There were so many lessons learned and Holy Spirit moments during the She Speaks conference I attended last year, yet one stands out above all the rest; and it was one I almost missed. Why did I almost miss it? Because it was outside of my “normal church experience” comfort zone.

The last seminar I attended that weekend was titled, “Discovering God’s Power in Your Life and Ministry.” It was a three hour seminar late on Saturday afternoon. My brain was fried, my feet were sore, and I was hungry. A friend and I lingered over a much needed cup of coffee which resulted in us joining the seminar late and playing the role of back-row Baptist. I will admit that my attention span rivaled that of a squirrel as I sat in my far too comfy chair.

My head was not in the game, but thankfully God just wanted my heart. As Wendy Blight began speaking I couldn’t help but listen. Her testimony of surviving a horrific assault, living with paralyzing fear, and then being freed from that fear by the Word of God was moving and powerful. Her tone was quiet and meek, yet her message was fierce and bold. It was beautiful.

I sat memorized by her story. I wanted to run up and give her a hug, convinced we could become fast friends. I wanted to soak up her wisdom like a sponge. As I was gathering my nerve to go speak to her after the seminar, I heard her say something which pushed me right back in my chair, and threatened to push me right out the door. “Ladies, we want to pray over each one of you and anoint you with oil as we send you out as lights in this dark world.”

“Um, I’m sorry. What was that about oil and anointing? Ummm God, I’m a Southern Baptist girl. I do sweet tea, fried chicken, and an occasional ‘amen’…. but I don’t do oil.”

I am embarrassed to admit this, but I really started freaking out a little bit. Why? Because it was different than what I was used to. I was scared of being anointed! Really???

A spiritual battle waged within as negotiations started: “God, I have to go to the bathroom.” (His answer: Who made your bladder? You can hold it.) “Whatever, You win that one Lord.”

“Aimee is finishing up with her publishing appointment, I should be there to support her.” (text comes through – Aimee is one her way back.) “Awesome..super.”

“I haven’t even looked at the Sunday school lesson I’m teaching tomorrow, I should excuse myself to go prepare.” (Sit down Jen and just be still.)

I as sat and stewed prayed, women began walking toward the front of the room. One by one they were anointed with a drop of oil and prayed for by name. These were not symbolic prayers. These were not cookie cutter prayers. These were heaven bending – earth moving prayers! As I waited for my row to go up, I felt God whisper: Do you want what you can do, or what I can do? Do you want your plan or mine?

“Yours Lord, only Yours!” I wanted to shout back (but I am way too Southern Baptist to shout out during a quiet prayer 😉 So I sat there and surrendered everything to Him: my book, my goals, my plans, my future, myself.

It was finally our turn. I made my way to the front where precious Wendy dabbed the most amazing smelling oil on my forehead, placed her hand on the top of my head and prayed over me. She prayed over me almost the exact same prayer I had just silently prayed moments before! I could not hold back my tears or speak a word to her. But I did get to hug her 🙂

Obviously the oil had no power, but it was a beautiful symbol of the One who has all power. And to think that I almost missed one of the most sacred moments of my life because it was out of my churchy comfort-zone. The experience made me wonder: what else could I be missing because it is different than what I am used to?

I am so thankful that God put me in my place that day and kept me there. I would not have traded that experience for anything. As doubts creep in about my writing path and as I continually surrender my plan to His, l will reflect back to that moment and remember that this is not about me – it is all about Him. And when it is all about Him, then personal preferences and styles no longer matter – and oh what a glorious world that would be!

May 2016 update: The God-confidence I gained at She Speaks has been invaluable to me. That is where I finally gave myself permission to pursue my dream (and God’s plan) of becoming a writer. After attending the conference, God brought a literary agent into my life and really cool things are happening. Things I will be able to share soon. I am so grateful to She Speaks, to Wendy Blight, and most of all to the God who delights when we surrender our plans and our will to His. Besides His plan is always SO much better than mine!

 

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10 Replies to “Get Me Outta Here! (but I’m so glad I stayed)”

  1. So interesting that you write this!!! I had a very similar experience. I was so squirrely too! I even told my friend a couple of times that I think I need to leave and just get out of here for awhile. It wasn’t because of my church experience. For me, I believe it was the evil one who didn’t want me to hear the message God had for me. It was truly life changing for me. God spoke to me in some amazing, powerful ways. I finally found peace with some things I have been struggling with my entire life. God is SO much bigger than Satan! So glad it was a wonderful experience for you as well.

    Ginger

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The feeling and presence of the Holy Spirit in that room was incredible. I am sure there were many spiritual battles going on before and during that seminar because of the power and life-changing nature of that message. I know satan was defeated many times that day! I feel changed because of it, and I am so thankful you found such peace. Thank you for sharing your heart!
      Blessings,
      Jen

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  2. This session was definitely a high-light for me as well. I’m grateful you stayed and God did so much for you!! For me it wasn’t just the session and what God did in those 3 hours, but prior to the weekend I was struggling a bit with the fact that I was just going. My two prior trips to SS I did speaker eval and the next time writing groups and pub. appts. This year Satan had me questioning my attendance because I wasn’t doing something, not getting feedback, learning how to improve…but God kept whispering it’s not what you can do. This session brought it all together…when I’m filled up with and plugged into the Spirit I will be able to do what God calls me to. Can’t believe all the ways God’s brought the Holy Spirit to my attention in the past 2 weeks. So grateful for His perfect, plan!
    Keep pressing on and plugging in!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much for sharing your experience. I am so glad you attended SS this year. Sometimes it just so nice to go and be filled up by the Spirit without worrying about having to do evaluations or pitches. It is obvious from your post that God did a great work in you while you were there. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  3. Oh, sweet friend. You have NO idea how your blog post blesses me. I have chills from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. Truly. This was a NEW thing for Proverbs 31. They stepped our for Micca and me. And I LOVE that God did the same with you. He wants us to get outside our comfort zones so that He can MOVE in mighty ways and in fresh ways. I’m so touched and truly honored that God would allow me to be a small part of your story. Thank you for having the courage to walk up front and for having the courage to share your story. I pray many more women will step out of their comfort zone to experience the deep things of God!!

    And every moment like this testifies to God’s truth in Romans 8:28 and is another layer of healing balm on the scar left behind from that day in June!!

    Blessings,

    Wendy

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wendy, I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to comment here. What joy you have brought me today! I feel permanently changed from my time with the Lord at your seminar and will be eternally grateful for your faithfulness to follow God’s call on your life. Please thank Proverbs 31 for me; I cannot imagine not having had that experience. You are a beautiful example of God’s grace and power at work. Thank you, my friend:)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Amen, amen and amen. Raised Episcopalian so I’ve said Holy Ghost all my life, married a Methodist preachers son, lost a sister to suicide and my youngest son the drugs and alcohol combo. Jesus showed up in such an amazing way that I went from knowing about Him to knowing HIM.

    Continue to seek. He’s all around in everyday miracles as well as in raised voices (and hands) at church…and every where else you look.

    Liked by 1 person

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