Last weekend, our 12th annual Proverbs 31 She Speaks Conference took place, and I never cease to be amazed that despite how many amazing speakers and messages that we hear … there is one biblical promise which becomes the heartbeat of the conference every year.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
Of the six hundred and fifty women who attend She Speaks every year, many of them opt to participate in a speaker evaluation group. In this small group setting, the speaker track attendees have the opportunity to provide two brief messages in a small group setting, and receive an evaluation/loving critique of their presentation from the group leader and each of the group participants.
Trust me when I say, that every year as a group leader, the minute we all walk into the room to begin, one can almost taste the nervousness in the air. Each woman is sitting on the edge of her seat; anxious about sharing her testimony; hoping she remembers the biblical teaching she has prepared; fearful of being evaluated, aka, judged; and probably asking herself why in the world she signed up for this.
But over a two hour time frame, each women stands up and shares what God has laid on her heart.
And every year, I sit there listening – in awe.
In awe of the power and sovereignty of our God and how He can take even the worst of circumstances and turn it into something beautiful. In awe of the strength, perseverance, and faith of each woman there. In awe of the fact that they said “yes” to God, when the devil was trying to convince them that they had nothing to offer. In awe that they have come as new creations.
You see, every year I find it difficult to fill out their evaluation forms, because the tears welled up in my eyes make it hard to see my paper – and who wants an evaluation form with tears splattered all over it?! But witnessing first hand the tangible, visible evidence of God’s promise to throw out the old and do something new in a shattered life causes overwhelming emotion.
Sexual abuse. Marriage infidelity. Alcoholism. Arrests. Parenting heartaches. Divorce. Physical abuse. Teenage promiscuity. Death. Drug addictions. Pornography addictions. Abortion.
Yet each woman is there to share how she has overcome that pain, in Jesus Christ. To share how their faith has made them whole, and they have overcome their broken past.
They come to satisfy their hunger to be used by God, and to allow Him to turn their pain into His purposes. Not only with dreams to be platform speakers or best selling authors, but longing to be strong spiritual leaders in their homes, their workplaces, and their churches.
Isaiah 43:19 says “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland”
These sweet women have embraced God’s promise that He is doing a new thing in their life. They perceive it, and they want to be empowered to carry out the dream that God has placed on their heart.
Maybe you have been wondering if God could use your pain for His purposes. Maybe you have felt like you have nothing to offer. But just maybe you have been listening to the wrong voice.
God has the power to take whatever you have been through, and whatever you are going through right now, and not only transform you from the inside out, but use your life as a shining, visible example of His sovereignty.
God desires to do something “new” in you, and when you say yes, the adventure begins.