After taking the first step which was talking to my pastor/friend (a.k.a. wise counsel) earlier this week, I felt more and more like my call to ministry has something to do with women, children, outsiders, speaking, writing, travel, photography and Africa. I also felt compelled to attend a conference called "She Speaks." Here's the story on that...
Last year sometime, a friend of mine mentioned that I should attend a women's conference. She said it would be perfect for me. * 1st sign When I asked her for more information, she said, "I really don't know much about it, but I really think you should go." I said, "Well, if you think I should go, and God has really laid this on your heart... well, I'll just go." She smiled and said, "Great! Check it out! It's called "She Speaks" and the only other thing I know is that it's expensive. It's like $600 or something to go."
My joy-filled heart sank when the dollar signs rose from our conversation.
You see, my husband (who I briefly mentioned in the first post) was without a full-time job at this time as well. When my friend said "600 dollars," my soul (mind, will and emotions) immediately said, "No. I can't afford that. That's not for me because I can't afford it."
Looking back, I realize that at that moment, I stuffed God in a box and put limits on His power. I let my earthly circumstances deem my worth and stamp out the fire that God had placed in me to minister to women.
Fast forward to this week. Tuesday morning, my husband told me that he thought about me on his way home the night before. How sweet! ; ) He went on to describe this "message" he heard on the radio. My take-away from his story = "She speaks. She is speaking."
* 2nd sign That's all I could remember. When he said those words, they cut right to the core of my soul and burned themselves right into my spirit. I did not know why, but I did know that these words were the "main message for me" of his story from the radio.
Take a small leap to that afternoon/early evening. I had a meeting scheduled with my pastor/friend at 5pm (yes, the same one mentioned in the first post and at the beginning of this one). * Keep in mind that I almost cancelled the whole thing because I was sick.
That morning, instead of cancelling due to sickness, I asked her if we could meet on the phone. She agreed. So, at 3:15pm, I positioned myself at the feet of God in our upper room and waited for her call (the upper room in our house is the upstairs room we have set aside where we have our sacred time with God). When I got up to visit the bathroom, she called. I missed the call. So, when I got back to my place in the upper room, I tried to call her back. I immediately got her receptionist and was transferred. Hellos were exchanged and the meeting began just as dead silence fell over the line.
"Hello," I called out. Nothing. The line was dead. "Call failed" were the words on the screen of my phone staring back at me. I was frustrated by this "brief" setback and I immediately dialed her number again. The phone would not ring. "Call failed" appeared on the screen again. This process was repeated SEVERAL times. It was after the ___th time that I attempted to place the call that I "lost it". Despair set in and big ole fat tears of defeat gushed from my eyes, down my cheeks and onto the "call failed screen."
I cried, "God help me! I need to talk to this woman!" Then, I tried one more time. Success! The call went through, she answered the phone and we proceeded to have the conversation I had been waiting for months to have with her. The conversation was concerning my call to ministry. I sought her counsel on the matter and we spoke for one hour and 15 minutes on the matter. During the call, there were several times when she excused herself and asked me to hold the line. I have to admit. I felt that sense of despair creeping in as she put me on hold to "handle other matters."
Needless to say, hindsight reveals the MANY things that kept interfering with our conversation. Hindsight reveals that satan was trying his best to keep me from her wise counsel.
You see, during this conversation, my call to ministry was confirmed! Something else was confirmed: I am to attend the "She Speaks" conference. Mid-conversation, my pastor/friend said, "Maybe you should check out 'She Speaks.' It's a conference that may help you." *3rd sign
As soon as she said it, my heart leaped for joy! The same heart that sank last year when my friend mentioned the price tag, leaped for joy at those words from my pastor/friend! God was speaking clearly! It was at that moment, I remembered the words of my husband just earlier that day.
But, how will I afford to go (my husband is still without full-time work)? Well, I've learned to leave the "how" up to God. I did not put Him in a box this go 'round. I exalted and praised Him because I heard Him speak and I heard Him calling! Praise God!
All God asks is for a willing spirit. He will do the rest!
"Here I am, God. I have heard You speak. Am I to speak? I will wait for You to reveal that to me."
*** By the way, when I told the story of the phone conversation and my despair to my husband, he mentioned that he has heard somewhere (couldn't recall) that satan has power over the air waves. WOW! I took note. "If that's true," I said, "then no wonder I could not get through to seek wise counsel. I felt despair and hopelessness when I could not get through to her. Was it really satan trying to keep me from calling her to receive confirmation on my calling?"
As I pondered these thoughts, I remembered something my pastor/friend said at the end of our conversation when I told her that I felt so much better after talking to her. I explained that at the beginning of our call, I felt defeated and devastated and like I should not be wasting her time. By the end, however, I felt sweet victory and a call on my life!
I asked her, "How do you know the difference between good and evil when trying to discern the Voice of Truth over the voice of lies/deceit?"
She simply answered, "You know it's satan when there's an overwhelming sense of despair."
I should also mention that my husband's remark about satan having power over the airwaves prompted me to dig deeper. I found Ephesians 2:1-2 (NAS) "And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air..."
Wow! My cell phone signal (which uses air waves for transmission) was disrupted. Think it was satan trying to keep me from my call?
Fear not! There is sweet victory in Jesus when you stand firm against the dark power in this world and tune into the Voice of Truth!