Wednesday, November 19, 2014

My First Widow's Conference

Let’s start this story where it really began…

I had the opportunity (if that’s what we want to call it) of knowing that widowhood was approaching.

It was during my journey into widowhood that I found the ministry A Widow’s Might.

Their writing team was speaking to my aching heart before I even crossed the threshold into this sorority that none of us willingly pledged.  Their devotionals encouraged my soul and continually pointed me to Jesus.  They were a balm to my open-wounded emotions.

Here, were a team of writers and speakers that have walked the walk and know…to the depths of their beings...the pain associated with losing their husbands.  It was like a magnet pulling me towards them, I eagerly awaited each new post.

I first read about A Widow’s Might November Conference back in the spring.  A conference for widow’s?  WOW!  What would that be like?

They had invited me to submit a guest blog.  I had spent hours visiting with the leader of the ministry on the phone, discussing my writing, our faith, her vision of where God was taking them.  I started the registration process to attend the conference but in the end decided I couldn't afford it.  Travel to Myrtle Beach is expensive.  I've always been one to stick to a strict budget and I simply couldn't justify taking funds from the family vacation account to use on me individually.
Time continued to pass, I continued to journal.  Kit and I visited more.  Slowly, we both felt God’s calling for me to become a full time team member.  That in and of itself blows my mind, THIS ministry that had held my hand as I traveled the treacherous path to becoming a widow now wanted little ole me to join them.  All glory to God alone!  [You can order our newest daily devotional For the Love of Her Life Winter Edition here.]
The kids and I discussed my desire to attend the conference and we watched God remove the financial obstacles one by one.  Even to the point that a medical provider donated his services to our family which freed up funds I had saved to use for those procedures.  Funds that could now be used for an airline ticket instead.  My sister even took off work and came to stay in our home to parent the kids in my absence.  God is a God of details!

Thankfully, God has blessed me with a local ministry team member (the 17 of us are scattered all over the US and I have one 20 minutes from me!).  We flew out together.  It was comforting for me to have a friend to travel with.  I arrived in Charlotte (another one of God’s financial provisions) and met two other team members face-to-face for the first time.  Together we drove down (or over, or up, my directional challenged brain doesn't even know!)

The team was amazing.

As a "late comer" to the team, I had "behind the scenes" responsibilities for this conference.  Also, as a new team member, I needed to video my ministry testimony to be used on our website.

Never mind that the ocean was too noisy and the hotel curtains ended up being my backdrop. (But really, you that know me well know how much this bothers me…haha-I love decorating and all of those little details.  I’m quite certain my outfit clashed with those hideous curtains!  I even wore orange in honor of Tim’s OSU Cowboys and the OKC Thunder.)  Another sweet reminder from our heavenly Father that this isn't about me!

The videographer was so extremely kind and patient with me as I cried...and cried...and cried.  No seriously, I finally cut out half of my planned speech because it was just too painful.  I can’t wait to see what Carmen makes of it!  I trust her.  Believe me, when it is available and I post it, remember that if it is even half way decent, it is all because of her mad editing skills and compassion.  She even leaked a few tears (but maybe that was because she was happy to be done with me…haha).
It was a full week of hard work, little sleep, deep praise and wonderful healing for me.  I watched God move in mighty ways.  Women entered the registration area timid and with hesitation.  Those same women walked out of our final session with smiles, laughter, friends and the love of Christ resting softly upon them.




It was a time of healing and encouragement; tears and joy; frustrations and forgiveness.

Personally, I felt God tug on a few more of the straggly threads along the edges of my tattered heart and gently bind up their ends.  This was my first "alone" time to grieve and heal without the audience of my children.  It was a necessary step in my healing. Grief is a long and arduous process.

Nothing is beyond God’s time table or skill level.  
He is faithful.

As a ministry, we are now deep in the throes of planning the upcoming Dallas conference in February.  I am excited to watch God show off again!  Will you commit to join me in prayer over each woman He wants to draw to attend this conference?  I assure you, our team is diligently preparing for God to be glorified.




1 comment:

  1. I am praying with you for the Dallas conference preparation, the team, and the women who will attend! The conference in Myrtle Beach was wonderful and I can't help but think that it was a great time of healing for the majority of women who were there.