Then Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said, behold, I am laying a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece alone, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said. And it was so. When he rose early next morning and squeezed the fleece, he wrung enough dew from the fleece to fill a bowl with water.” Judges 6:36-40
This past winter was difficult. It was difficult, not just because of the massive amounts of snow that blanketed our little abode in the woods, but because I had lost my way. You see, I am your typical over-achieving type A personality. Since high school, I have always had many irons in the fire at one time. From work, to school, to church, public speaking and volunteerism, to exercise and crafts, to friendship, family and my relationship with God, I did it all and did it all at one time. I was able to keep up with the flurry of activity as a young single person. I was even able to keep up with it as a newly married wife, but that all changed when my children were born.
I attempted to continue doing it all when my first daughter, Abigail, was born and was mildly successful at juggling all of my commitments. It wasn’t until my daughter Bethany was born that I realized something had to change. God led me to gradually pull away from my outside commitments. There is definitely truth to the saying, “As women, we can have it all, just not all at once.” I was no longer able to give my best self to all of the different areas of my life. Something had to change.
That change came in the form of a move to Fredericksburg, VA. Moving from my small townhouse in a crowded DC suburb, to a secluded wooded home in a rural community helped me to slow down and just be a mother to my three children (my third daughter, Olivia, was born shortly after our move).
Things went well for sometime. But because I am wired to thrive on a flurry of activity and to strive for perfectionism, I soon became obsessed with being super mom and super house wife. I sought my self-worth in my ability to take care of my house and my children. There was just one problem? Have you ever lived with three children under the age of five years old? There really is no such thing as a clean house. And so I began to feel completely defeated. I found myself thinking that there had to be more to accomplish at the end of the day than just getting the dishes clean.
The Lord began to open my eyes to the fact that I had made my home my idol and that He was no longer sitting on the throne of my life. It was at this point that I received an email announcing that registration had opened for the Proverbs 31 Ministries She Speaks Conference. Maybe this was it? Maybe my “more” was stepping back out into the world of public speaking, but this time focusing on helping women to see their Father in heaven for who He truly is. Unfortunately, we did not have the funds to cover the registration fee.
Then the email came about the scholarship opportunity. Write a blog post about why you want to attend the conference and submit it to the Proverbs 31 ministry team. This was it, my chance. Like Gideon, I laid out my fleece. “God, if you want me to move forward with this ministry, if you want me to attend this conference, let me win this scholarship. If I do not win, I know that it is not your will at this time.” I submitted my entry and eagerly awaited the announcement of the winner. I just knew it was going to be me. As I scrolled down to the bottom of the blog post announcing the scholarship recipient, my heart broke when I saw someone else’s name where I thought mine was going to be.
I literally railed against God. My heart was broken, not because I didn’t feel that I was good enough, but because God had clearly said “no”, or so I thought. Several days later it was announced that there were more scholarships to be given away and this time one of them was specifically for speakers. I submitted my entry, laid out my fleece once again and waited. Imagine my disbelief when I scrolled to the bottom of the blog post announcing the winner and saw my name! God had not said “no”. He just said “wait”
And so my journey begins. I don’t know where God is going to take me or what He has in store, but I am so thankful that I have the confirmation that this is where He wants me to be right now. I will be attending the She Speaks Conference in just a few weeks. Will you please pray for me as I prepare my talks for my speaker evaluation group and for my time while at the conference?
Looking forward to all that He has in store . . .