Our church had another Saturday ladies conference and luncheon, and the topic was on our expectations... versus reality (our pastor's wife found some funny photos to share on that one: what we wished our house looked like - neat and clean - versus the mess it usually is!
But my favorite part of the morning was where we were asked to share when was the first time you heard God call your name? I love sharing my testimony and hearing others! Someday we will begin the Great Story which goes on forever and every chapter is better than the one before (C.S. Lewis), but until then, the greatest stories we can tell our own stories of how God has worked in our lives.
I sat at a table with Heather and Susan and Susan's mother (my mom did come with me to the first conference, but hasn't wanted to since).
Susan got saved when she was five years old, after her mother made her apologize to a store owner for stealing a peanut (yes, just one peanut!) from an open barrel of peanuts at a store! ... and she wanted Jesus to save her so she wouldn't make such a mistake again! She shared another big milestone moment in her life: right after she moved out of her parents' home, and realized her newfound freedom: there were so many different paths to take... she could become anyone she wished. But then she felt the Holy Spirit strongly reminding her that God's way was the best path to take.
Susan's mother said she got saved while she was living in a boardinghouse and sharing a room; she had no private place. One day she felt under so much conviction to surrender to God and ask for his forgiveness that she locked herself the ladies' bathroom and got on her knees to pray right next to the toilet!
Heather got saved a few weeks after her daughter, Natalie, was stillborn. You'd think this would be hard for her to share, but it isn't - she loves to tell this story.
I shared the "short" version of my testimony (a longer version is here).
We also had some great discussion questions during the conference:
1) What is a godly woman?
We shared various answers: such as the Proverbs 31 woman, "a woman who loves God", "a woman who makes His priorities her priorities"
2) Have you ever experienced Biblical discipleship?
I shared how after I got saved, I pretty much thought I was "good to go" - I had figured out the point of all. Didn't even think I needed to keep reading the Bible, since I had got the main point of it! But I was disatisfied with the churches I tried - always hungering for something "more" though I didn't quite know what I wanted... until I found the church I currently go to, which really digs into the Word. Within my second or third month at that church, another young woman, Sarah (actually two years younger than me, but very wise), asked if I wanted to do a Bible study with her. We went through John MacArthur's Fundamentals of the Faith over several months, and I loved every minute of it. I have been blessed with so many strong spiritual leaders and teachers in my church, but none that helped me on such a personal as Sarah did with her discipleship. (someday hope to do likewise for other young women... and my daughters of course)
3) What is your most challenging issue in pleasing the Lord?
My moodiness! I hate those days where I'm too listless to get into the Word or in prayer, and even worse those days when I'm snappy and short tempered.
4) How has God blessed you this week?
I shared how we had just come back from my mother-in-law's funeral, how hard it was seeing her die and her family grieving, many of them without the hope of heaven and eternity with God in their hearts; what a blessing it was to be back home and surrounded by believers during this wonderful conference.