This weekend I experienced what can only be described as a remarkable gift, one I don’t expect to ever forget. In God’s tenderness, I found myself a few states away, in a room of female writers, teachers and speakers, sitting under and gleaning from one of the great mentors of my personal walk with Jesus. By the time I left Houston on Sunday I was completely undone and filled high and full all at the same time. As I slowly process through the knowledge and exhortation passed down the sweet cord of discipleship, I find myself steeping in certain moments and impressions. One in particular struck deep, and God has been using it to work on me- righting some wayward thinking, cutting at areas of cancerous pride in my life. My hope is in my conviction and under the flood of grace I was washed in this weekend, to record some of the unfolding as an encouragement to you, while furthering the engraving of it all on my soul.
Saturday morning as I filed into a hotel ballroom seeking out a good seat amongst 700 other eager attendees before the opening session began, I noticed there on the front row stood one of my favorite authors. I was surprised, as she had not been promoted as appearing in any of the event literature, but there she was, flanked by other powerhouse teachers and speakers. All day, throughout the sessions she was there, but even as all the other leaders one by one took to the stage, she never did. She was actively participating, but in a role of receiving versus serving, just as the rest of the us filling the packed ballroom. Never taking the platform nor uttering a word into a microphone, the silent presence of one of the most compelling voices of our day, spoke volumes to me. And I can’t help but be reminded- just because the world has given us a place on the stage, doesn’t mean we always need to use it. Sometimes our quiet obedience and humble surrender from within the audience impacts deeper and far wider than anything our mouths could conjure. Sometimes there is fuel for our next moment on a stage that can only be gleaned from a still, quiet place in the crowd. Without interjecting any assumptions as to the reasoning behind this particular writer’s silence, God used the scene to speak to me. From where I observed, this woman whom I so admire, was humble enough to be poured into and rest there from her seat. Truly, I love her all the more for her example and pray her soul is as refreshed as mine is today.
Regardless of any accolades and cultural benchmarks attained, we all hit times along our journey of desperate need for refueling and fresh passion. From New York Times Best Selling authors, to the preschool Sunday school teacher, the homeschool mom or the PTA president- we cannot serve God in a vacuum of self-sufficiency. I can only give away to others from the overflow in my life, meaning there has to be life flowing in or I am just pouring out from my own stubborn will in the name of Jesus- and for real, no one needs a drink of that.
I am honestly not at all sure where my writing journey may lead- it could stay here where it’s always been- mostly in the safe pages of journals and letters to friends, or God may call from down a new path. Either way I pray obedience will be my response. For now, I am learning new levels of gratitude for times to set the pen down and listen to God speak through other writers, teachers of the faith, and wise friends. My prayer today is whatever platform you have been given, may you experience space as needed to regroup, and more importantly the humility to know when to step down, take a seat, rest and receive.