What an amazing weekend. I have just returned from the Proverbs 31 Ministries SheSpeaks conference. Since I went there on a prayer, I had no expectations. God took care of me. He placed me with a group of women who nurtured me and celebrated me all weekend long. We celebrated one another. I was so blessed by every woman I met and interacted with.
The theme of the weekend was: grace, grace, grace. When I told my husband this, he jokingly said, “What does she have to do with anything?” Everything. The Proverbs 31 team taught me so much about grace. My speaking group leader, Van Walton, said that SheSpeaks is the only place 420 women could come together “declawed”. It’s so true, isn’t it? We can be so critical of one another at times. But not at SheSpeaks. Speaker Micca Campbell said she couldn’t believe that all these women were in love with the same man, and were willing to share him! We were able to show one another grace, because the ministry leaders gave us such an awesome example. They were available and interacted with us on many different levels. When I approached the director of the writing track, Glynnis Whitwer, in the hallway, she graciously welcomed me into her conversation. Lovely, lovely women, who are so willing to share their knowledge to further the kingdom.
The ladies from Proverbs 31 are real. This point was beautifully illustrated Saturday night, when ministry executive director, Lysa Tyrkerst, approached the podium for the final session that day. She was in her pajamas, hair in ponytail, no makeup (well “just a tiny bit of concealer to cover one zit…and a little bit of mascara because my eyelashes are blond and I don’t want to scare anyone”). She gave her testimony then, with tears and humility. She held her heart out to us with both hands, and I felt in her words her fear that anyone would exalt her over our Lord and Savior. She said it so poignantly when she stated, “I’m just an ordinary woman, who chose to say yes to an extraordinary God.” As she recounted her history of pain and loss, her vulnerability touched my heart. I’ve been there, dear ones; it’s not an easy place to leave behind. As she stood there in her PJs, crying out from her heart, she revealed more beauty than the most finely dressed lady.
I met beautiful women from all over the country this weekend. Every single one of these ladies was on fire for the Lord! And each one had a different way of expressing it. It reminds me of Revelation 4:3, where John is describing the Throne in Heaven. He tells us that a rainbow, resembling an emerald, surrounded the throne. I wonder if we are the rainbow, dear ones? Our many differences reflect all the different colors of the rainbow. Isn’t God amazing? He created each of us so unique, so precious, that we reflect his many different character traits. This weekend I met gentle women, vivacious and energetic women, funny women, smart women, kind women, self-sacrificing women, creative women, organized women…beautiful women, all. All masterpieces of the Master. Amazing.
And so…I’m back into the ho-hum of everyday. No mountaintop here. No masses of sisters to lift me up and raise their hands beside me. But I’ve found that the message of the weekend is buried ever deeper in my heart. Grace, grace, grace. She has everything to do with everything.