It was a couple weeks before the 2004 Shine Women’s Conference and I was busy working on my excuses.
- I’m a little behind on a project at work and I’m not sure I can ask off.
- I can’t find a babysitter.
- My house is a complete disaster.
- I need to wash my hair.
Do any of those sound familiar? Are you working on your own excuses?
One afternoon I was thinking about the conference again. I realized one of the reasons I didn’t want to go was that I didn’t feel very shiny. Things had happened in my life that left me feeling small and insignificant like a dull, dried up clump of dirt.
I picked up the Shine brochure and deliberately read every word. I got out my Bible and looked up each scripture and then I found this one:
For you cause my lamp to be lighted and to shine; the Lord my God illumines my darkness. Psalm 18:28
God melted my heart with that scripture. I realized I didn’t have to make myself shiny before I went to Shine. I desperately needed light in my personal darkness. I went to the conference willing to receive.
Every aspect of the conference spoke to me. It was amazing. I will never forget the slide Christine Caine, one of our speakers, showed of a big black dot in the center of a white screen. I had been trying for years to ignore the ugly dot in my life. I pretended I didn’t care and it wasn’t a big deal and it didn’t really hurt me. And then I found myself trying frantically to control everything in my life, to keep people at a distance so that no one could ever hurt me again. When I saw that dot – I knew it was time to own up to the issue in my life!
Before each session, there were skits with four princesses. In the first skit, one of the princesses collapsed, fell to the stage and slept through the rest of the scene. She did that in every session. It was hilarious. We all realized Sleeping Beauty was narcoleptic. I remember watching her and seeing how I had wilted. I’d allowed fear and shame to keep me from dealing with my life. So many times I keeled over when challenges arose in my relationships. I knew if it wasn’t for my children and my job, I would have been spending a lot more time in bed. When saw Sleeping Beauty laying there, I saw me and I knew it was time to wake up!
Holly Wagner was our other speaker that year. She shared Proverbs 31:15, “She rises while it is yet night.” Ha! I could hardly get out of bed in the morning, much less get up while it was still night. But Holly mentioned that it wasn’t just about waking up super early. It was about rising up in the midst of the dark times in our lives. That’s exactly what I needed to do. I needed to rise up!
Courage was planted in my heart to own up, to wake up and to rise up!
I met with two friends in between sessions and told them what was going on in my life. They cried with me, prayed with me and guided me to life-changing resources.
For a long time I had been depending on God to sustain me, to help me make it through another day. At Shine, hope came alive to believe that my circumstances could change – that I could begin to live a life free of pain and shame.
Can you believe all of that happened in one weekend? Well, it did! Looking back, I see Shine conference as the catalyst for my FREEDOM.
I wonder sometimes, how much longer I would have stayed stuck in the struggle if I had not attended that conference. How many more years of my life would I have wasted in darkness?
Shine brought light and life to my home and my family. Our world was never the same. I pray my story will spark hope in your heart and that you will make plans to attend our up-coming Shine conference.
Stop the excuses and sign up right here, right now!
I have seen firsthand how God can and will use this conference to bring new levels of freedom to his daughters. That freedom is for you, so come expecting. I’ll see you there!
Written by Lynn Marie Cherry originally posted on Pastor Laura’s Blog