I am in awe of God today. I am so overwhelmed, I don’t quite know where to begin. I may ramble a bit, so bear with me here.
Where to start…I am attending She Speaks, a conference hosted by Proverbs 31 Ministries, in a couple of weeks. It is a training conference for women who feel led to public speaking and writing in women’s ministry. I attended in 2005. You can read more about that experience and the time in between here. Proverbs 31 Ministries has added a leadership training track as well as a track called the Next Generation for girls 12-17 who want to step out and lead amongst their peers since I attended in ’05. This year, they have added an Image Ministry track with Shari Braendel, and that is the track on which I will be attending.
I believe God may have narrowed my focus some since I originally felt the call to go to the conference. That is all explained in the post I linked to earlier. So…on to what He has been up to in the last few months.
I have been facilitating a Bible study in my neighborhood for about a year now. Two of the ladies who participate co-lead their daughters Junior Girl Scout troop. One of the badges the girls have to earn is called “Feeling Your Best.” Angie, one of the leaders, asked me if I would come and give a talk to the girls about what colors look good on them, how to dress modestly, etc. I said I would be glad to participate. This was originally supposed to happen in March, but I didn’t hear anything about it again until April at which time we scheduled it for yesterday, June 6.
Now, I must admit, I wasn’t really expecting this to be a big deal. When I say that, I do not mean it to sound like because they were young girls or because it was for a Junior troop, I didn’t feel it was important. Not at all! Anytime one has the opportunity to influence young people of any age, I believe it should be taken seriously. It was more that I thought I would just go and play with some color with them for a bit, we would talk a little bit about clothes and fashion, and that would be it. You know, some girly fun. But, oh no! God had other ideas.
I confess I had not done a lot of preparation for this because, again, I really thought we were just going to have some fun. While we did have fun, it was so much more than that.
As I sat down yesterday and began to prepare, God showed me almost immediately that it was going to be so much more than I had thought or could have even begun to imagine.
I grabbed my notebook that I scribble everything in and began to jot down a basic outline. However, as I sat there, God just flooded me with…I don’t even know how to describe it. As He kept adding things to what I realized was HIS outline and not mine, I quickly realized that I was going to have to go upstairs and type this up on the computer because I was making a lot of changes and additions. I wouldn’t have been able to read my own notes otherwise!
Ya’ll, I spent hours on this thing! I’m not complaining, mind you. I was just stunned at what God was giving me. I still am. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was ALL HIM! I am awed. I am humbled. I am overwhelmed.
What I originally thought was just going to be some girly fun turned out to be so much more. As I began to realize this was going to be a “real talk,” I started to get nervous. My stomach got queasy, and suddenly, I didn’t want to do this anymore. But God assured me that He was with me, that He had ordained it and anointed it.
I prayed all afternoon. I prayed all the way there. The calm reassurance continued to come. “I am with you. Never will I leave you. I am in control.”
By the time I arrived, I actually felt well enough to be able to eat a piece of pizza with the girls before it was time for me to do my presentation.
I should probably mention that I had called Angie earlier in the week to make sure we were on the same page about her expectations for the talk. I asked if it was okay for me to use scripture. After all, it wasn’t a religious function per se. She said it was absolutely fine, that they prayed together before meals and meetings. I discussed a couple of verses I might use, and she was fine with that. I also asked her during that same conversation how much time I had. She said they had allotted an hour, but I could do any amount of time I wanted from 15 minutes up to one hour.
After what God had given me yesterday, I knew I was going to be at least 30 minutes. It went for an hour! The girls made comments. They asked questions. They made suggestions concerning the aspects of modesty we were discussing. I have tears in my eyes just writing about it so overwhelmed am I still. God is so good!
There were four mom’s there. They all loved it. Angie said it was absolutely perfect for the girls, and that I was very good at it. I don’t mention that to “toot my own horn,” only to say again, “Go God!” It was ALL Him, and I give Him all the credit and glory.
I am still shaking my head in disbelief. It was amazing.
I have long felt called to work with young girls, but more in the late middle to high school-aged range. And I still think that God has work for me there. Actually, I know that He does. But, maybe there’s more to it than I originally thought. What I saw last night. What I experienced. It was incredible. God reiterated something for me last night that I knew but hadn’t dwelled on a whole lot. Those girls last night, their age group, it’s then that we need to start talking to them about modesty. About what it means to weigh the world’s standard against God’s and to then make a choice about whose standard we will follow.
They were interested, excited even. And they knew what I was talking about. The understood. I can’t tell you the stories I heard last night of fourth and fifth grade girls already dressing immodestly, of boys doing things that while quite boy-like, were also kind of scary for a mom to hear that her “little girl” was being exposed to. Girls whose friends were already getting “really boy-crazy.” These girls are 9, 10, and 11!
Yes, it’s now, with them, probably even younger, actually. My daughter, who is seven, went with me last night. I wasn’t discussing anything that I didn’t feel it was okay for her to hear, and since she knows some of these girls, had been invited and wanted so much to “hang out” with the “older” girls, I let her go.
We decided to go out to breakfast this morning. My daughter said to me, “Mom, I can’t stop looking at that woman’s bra straps.” This was one of the “5 B’s of modesty” that we had talked about last night. No bra straps showing. Of course, I told her not to stare or be rude, but I was also thankful to know that she had listened and absorbed what I had said, and when she then saw someone not adhering to the standard we had set out last night, she knew it was not for her. (Not that she’s wearing a bra yet, but you know what I mean.) Again, God is good.
He knew I needed that last night, in so many ways. I can not tell you how many times over the last few months I have thought that I should cancel my registration to She Speaks. I just kept thinking I didn’t need to go. I don’t even have my teaching speech yet. But God knows what it is, and when He decides to give it to me, I can know and trust that it is what He wants. It will be His talk, and whether it goes well, or I mess it up badly, He will still show up, and His purposes will be accomplished.
Ever in humble awe of our mighty Lord, I wish you…