Oh boy, do I have an exciting opportunity to tell you about! About two years ago I attended a conference in Rochester called "Hearts at Home." I had no idea what to expect, but a group of friends traveled together to exeperience this weekend away from home. While we there, I heard Lysa TerKeurst speak as a keynote speaker and in the breakout sessions. While Lysa was speaking, I heard the Lord speaking to my heart, "Heather, you could be doing this."
I love to teach the Word of God, having training and experience, but the leap to a speaking career sounded scary. I went up to the front after the conference and asked Lysa how she got started doing what she does, i.e. speaking and writing. She invited me to attend her conference in the summer for speakers and writers called "She Speaks". At the time, I blew it off thinking I didn't want to spend the money for that and besides, I wasn't sure what my husband might think about this dream of mine.
A few months later, my husband and I were praying about my personal vision for ministry and seeking God for direction. This dream of speaking and writing came up again and I remembered the conference Lysa had suggested. It still seemed far fetched, but I began to ask God if He would provide a way for me to attend.
As I got on the plane last June, after God proved faithful in providing for me (of course!), I had no idea what I was stepping into. I met wonderful women of God whose lives were dedicated to loving Jesus and making Him known and heard messages that touched my soul. I thought I would get practical nuts and bolts training (which I did), but I didn't know I would meet God there and be touched in such an amazing way.
My book proposal fell flat (that's another story for another day), but God's presence spoke louder than any success I may have had that weekend. My spirit was refreshed and my vision clarified.
If you are interested in growing in your ministry skills and being refocused, pray about attending She Speaks. I'm not exaggerating to say that it is more wonderful than you can imagine.
AND, this year, there will be special training regarding blogging. Guess who the speakers will be? Rocks in my Dryer, BooMama and Big Mama - now if that doesn't entice you, I don't know what will!
If any of this is appealing to you, then listen up: Lysa is offering a FREE scholarship to the conference this summer. Please go check it out - it will be worth your while!
Edited to add: I've sent all my bloggy friends over to Lysa's site to enter the contest and I've been blessed to see how my little nudge has gotten these ladies excited about growing a speaking (or writing) ministry. But at the same time, I have been wondering what I'm doing in ministry - my speaking and writing hasn't exactly exploded over the past year. This blog is fun, but I'm always wishing for more exposure (not just out of prideful reasons, though I will admit to struggling with that, but because I want to reach people and how can I do that if they don't come by here. Do you struggle with that?) In my moment of insecurity, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart, "Maybe you are supposed to be encouraging others in their gifts. Maybe THAT'S your ministry." Hmmm, I never thought of that before.
This whole year I've been wishing for a cheerleader, for someone to see my gifts and help me find my way in this speaking and writing ministry. I've hungered for a mentor because I feel a little lost on my own. And here God is asking me to be that person for others, because I know how important it is. It's not that I have great wisdom to impart or experiences to draw from (ok, maybe a little), but that I know how encouragement spurs on women in ministry. So, Lord, I'm willing and eager to be a cheerleader for every woman who comes my way - to inspire them and motivate them to use their gifts to Your glory!