To say that I am honored to have been chosen as a blogger to review the Women of Faith Imagine event in Indianapolis is so much of an understatement. Almost from the moment that the opportunity arrived, I knew in my heart that God had a special weekend in store. Almost. Because, well…
Initially my conversation with God was something like:
What? You want me to apply for this opportunity? What if I actually get chosen? Then what? Who will watch my kids while Matt’s working? That’s the weekend before school starts…I’ll never be ready in time. I hate for my husband to be a single dad for a couple days while I go enjoy myself after he’s worked so hard all week…I’m nursing a baby for heaven’s sake. How is that going to work? Who will watch Taylor (my special needs girl)? She’ll have to have 24 hr personal assistance…And the list could go on.
But every detail of this trip was, without a doubt, ordained by God’s timing and plan. I have to thank my dear friend, Heather Conrad, for so much fun, conversation, enjoyment AND assistance. The two of us are still shaking our heads at all God confirmed in our hearts through the messages of testimony, lesson and song throughout the entire two days.
I have attended Women of Faith events in the past and have always appreciated them, but this time we were determined to soak up every minute. Instead of missing the Friday morning and afternoon sessions, we headed out the door at 6 am for the 3 hour drive so we could arrive in Indy by 10 am. And it was SO worth it!
Sheila Walsh began the morning speaking on God’s promises. I had the opportunity to review her book, God’s Shelter for Your Storm, not long ago. Hearing her speak in person regarding this topic was so refreshing and encouraging. She closed the first message with a solo of “Amazing Grace” that had the crowd standing in applause for God’s grace before the final stanza ended.
Some of my favorite quotes from Sheila:
You have not lived an unloved moment of your life.
When the pain of remaining the same is greater than the pain of change you will change.
And my 2 favorites:
The Lord has a much bigger miracle for you than you even dared to ask for.
It is not your job to carry yourself home. That’s the Shepherd’s job. You stay as close to Him as you can. That’s your job.
The next speaking session featured Dr. Henry Cloud, whom I had heard before. I own his book, Boundaries, which I read over 15 years ago, and was eager to listen to him. Such an honest, open, and humorous man. There were just so many statements he made that spoke to me from a Biblical and logical viewpoint. His books are on my must-read list now!
Friday afternoon, listening to Dr. Cloud and Shelia Walsh answer questions from the audience was just awesome. Each of them with their individual backgrounds could speak from various angles on the same topic and it was wonderful to watch them share their hearts on delicate subjects.
From Friday evening to Saturday evening, each speaker, performer, and the worship team led in such an uplifting, Christ-honoring manner. Angie Smith spoke briefly on Friday and on Saturday afternoon, she shared her testimony in detail. I don’t want to spill the beans, but her two books are must-haves!! And if you ever get the chance to see her in person, you will be so glad that you did. Right now, her latest book can be bought for half-price if you click here.
Luci Swindoll shared witty stories and wisdom from above as her endearing personality reflects the love of Christ. Nicole Johnson provided both hysterical drama and sincere encouragement. Both of these women are fantastic speakers who cause time to dissipate and love to prime.
The Worship team had us up and moving at various times throughout the two days. Their smiles and energy reflected total spirits of praise to Christ.
Erica Campbell of MaryMary gave a wonderful concert Friday evening. Her daughter can SING and their relationship was just precious to view. Erica told one little “side-story”, if you will, that stood out for me. She spoke of an occasion of being surrounded by special needs children and their families as she sang. This blessed me simply because I have a daughter who has a rare disease with a life expectancy of 10-15 years. It just feels so good for someone to stop for a moment and recognize that your life is not quite the same as theirs.
Another glorious moment in time was Natalie Grant’s A Capella solo of “It Is Well.” This old hymn is my mother’s favorite and I’m pretty sure she was listening from heaven with gleaming approval.
I am so afraid of forgetting many special moments and truths that reflect what a Women of Faith weekend is all about:
restoration and refreshment in the Lord.
Heather and I did have the awesome privilege of meeting Sheila Walsh in her book signing line, as well as Angie Smith. One very special moment for me was when I asked Sheila if she would like to hold my sweet baby. Before I knew it, Sheila was praying out loud over my Tessa like she was her own. Here are a few pictures in attempt to capture what I’ve been unable to articulate through this post:
Yep, I came home to the proverbial pizza box: that Sheila Walsh is a prophetess!
Thank you Lord for this wonderful opportunity and that you provided beyond measure. Thank you for allowing all my excuses of not going to be vanished into thin air. Thank you for my incredible husband who can hold the fort like no other. Thank you for Women of Faith and their wonderful ministry.