Notes on the weekend I spent at the Crossroads Women's Conference.
- Everywhere I go God introduces me to beautiful new sister's and brothers in Christ. (Isn't it strange how it feels to read sisters and brothers instead of brothers and sisters?)
- God loves to rain down grace in humorous ways.
- Diversity is the spice of life. Enjoy!
- People are so gracious even when we make costly mistakes.
I had the privilege to be the keynote speaker at this annual retreat on Long Beach Island, New Jersey.
It was a gift to be with 100 women all growing in faith and love: women from the Mid-Atlantic states, Kenya, Korea, Jamaica and ???
My mistake? I flew into the wrong airport and they had to arrange additional transportation to get me where I needed to be...ooops. They were very kind, but of course I was beating myself up over it until one of my hosts said, “If that is the biggest mistake you make you better just get over yourself.” She said it in such a way that I could receive it and “get over myself.” (Thank you, Kathy.)
That seemed to be a theme God was working on with me that weekend.
This is how I began my presentation that Friday evening. “This afternoon I called Al and said, 'You better pray for me. I feel so tired and uninspiring. I don't feel like I have anything to offer.' He encouraged me, and it was real, because I knew he understood exactly what I was saying. I told him I was going outside, find a bench overlooking the ocean and pray and meditate on what I would be sharing.”
“I went out and found my bench. I prayed, pretty much telling God the same thing I had told Al, I reread my notes and Scripture, and then a bird pooped on my head.” (The room burst into laughter.)
“I returned to my room to take a shower, which is always a good place for inspiration, and I sensed God saying to me... 'Holly get over yourself. This weekend isn't about you. You are right, you are tired and uninspiring, but what I do isn't dependent on you. It is dependent on me.' I wanted to be a powerful speaker. I wanted to say inspiring things, which is all good, but I needed to be reminded that I am simply a tool. I needed to be prepared, as best I could, and surrendered and let God do God's work.”
My sister, Claudette said later, “Isn't it something how grace moments sometimes come in the form of bird poop.” Another friend said, “Sometimes God gives us these experiences just so we have great illustrations.” Another comment was, “Sometimes we are anointed with oil, sometimes with bird poop.”
I told the ladies, “I'm afraid you will always remember me as the lady who had a bird poop on her head.” It became a big part of the weekend. It was a little crazy, but God showered us with his sense of humor and grace. Obviously nobody planned it, we just had to go where grace led, and God touched what I had prepared.
There were so many other powerful moments over the weekend. The worship times were awe-inspiring. The fellowship was sweet. The workshops were powerful. The Lord was present!
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths.