This past weekend I had the privilege of attending the She Speaks Conference and it was aaaahhhhmazing!! This conference was an on time, God appointed and God ordained oasis sent during this season that I refer to as the “tumble weed” season.
The year 2016 has started out as the weirdest, with a series of rapid fire events for my family and I. I began the year full of hope and awe as I had 3 speaking engagements lined up and I was so very excited about them all! But then in March things changed and instead of scheduling inspiring events, I was scheduling my daughter’s surgery. Nothing serious thank God, but when it comes to your kiddos, it’s always serious! Well, not long after that I go to visit my doctor about this excruciating pain in my right side and low and behold the culprit is a pesky kidney stone that’s apparently wreaking havoc and must be removed, via outpatient surgery! Are you kidding me?! I have 3 kids and a husband, I can’t afford to be down but by the grace of God, I survived as did my family and recovery was quick although quite uncomfortable. Next in line was the most unexpected and challenging event yet. My dear husband was holding our son, Caleb now a year old, as he was walking down the stairs. Well Hubby’s foot slipped, causing him to fall down the stairs, yes with baby in tow and in order to protect Caleb, he shifted his weight and landed all 200 plus pounds on his left leg and ankle. Well praise God, our little Caleb was fine, just terrified, but Hubby, as I looked down at his foot which was turned unnaturally to the left, was not fine. It was so bad that I had to call an ambulance just to get him off the stairs and to the hospital. This fall resulted in broken leg and ankle and yes, surgery was needed! This was a challenging two and a half month recovery as everything and everyone depended upon me. Needless to say, it was definitely God who saw us through this.
During the time of Hubby’s recovery, I started feeling this burning, stinging pain in my right breast that just wouldn’t go away. So, I decided to go have it checked out. I didn’t think it was anything to worry about because my rough and tumble son loves to pounce on his Momma and he always seems to land on my right breast. Go figure! Well, my doctor gives me an unexpected diagnosis, a cyst . Well, I almost lost it but I guess she in all her experience diffused the bomb that she saw was about to go off! She orders an ultrasound and mammogram and sends me on my way. Now, in the midst of this news, may I mention that also in this tumble weed season, our finances are stretched to the max and have been for years. So on top of the surgeries, there’s the strain of dealing with a very tight budget in which every single penny is accounted for. As I was leaving my doctor’s office, the tears came in like a flood and I had to pull my car over for a full on snot session! I called my friend and I couldn’t talk because I just couldn’t stop crying! This was the last straw, I couldn’t take anything else happening.
Well, God, in His infinite wisdom knew all this would happen and that I would need a much needed mommy break, made a way for me to attend She Speaks via an account I set up using Go Fund Me. I’m still blown away by the overwhelming love and support shown to me by friends, loved ones and strangers! This was my first time attending She Speaks, and also my first time since having a family that I’ve driven anywhere over an hour, alone. My first hotel stay alone and my first time attending a conference alone. Needless to say I was so stinkin’ excited and beyond anxious to get away and get a break. Most of all, I was anxious to get away with God. It’s hard to find quiet time in a house full of children and plus I had questions, and my heart was hurting because there were and still are some things going on in my life right now that just doesn’t make sense! So, my goal for attending She Speaks was to have a one on one with God and He was going to have to tell me something! This tumble weed season must end now! Where oh where is the oasis in all of this? Well, my oasis was She Speaks.
God used this time away from my normal hustle and bustle, this conference, to not only give me rest but to serve some reminders. He reminded me that He still sees me and knows all that I’ve endured and am still enduring. He sees my heart and hears my cries and has bottled up every tear. He’s heard my prayers. He’s taking great care of me and my family. He reminded me that the condition of my heart and my family’s heart is most important to Him, and that comfort would come in different forms and at different times. He, in a way that only He could, confirmed my calling and affirmed my ministry through this wonderful woman of God, Cindy Bultema, and He also gave me a wonderful new GodSisterFriend, Michelle of Displaying Grace. He gave me rest among His daughters who were there and understood me. I didn’t have to explain a thing. I rested, I laughed, I rejoiced, I prayed and I cried and ate all the dessert my little heart desired!
So, even though I’m still in my tumble weed season, it doesn’t seem as dry because I have the wonderful and timely encouragement that I received from She Speaks and the gracious friends that I’ve met there and I don’t feel alone anymore. Most of all I know that even in the driest seasons, Jesus is real, no matter how hard the struggle is and He’s always our living water that never runs dry.
Be blessed & encouraged,