Hello sweet friends! I sure have missed you, although it certainly has been a welcome break of refocusing. I returned from She Speaks a few weeks ago to immediately repack and head for camping! You might remember this city girl was a bit nervous, but other than loads of mosquito bites it was tons of fun! Life has officially returned to normal with the start of school and my writing time being reclaimed!
I wanted to share a few things that impacted my life while at She Speaks. I went to North Carolina with definite expectations and came home with none of them being met…isn’t that the way God works! So here is my list of 5 ways the Lord gave what I didn’t know I wanted.
1. A Lesson of Insecurity = Pride
Yep, you read that right, those words had me on my face in repentance. On the first day of pre-conference, the workshop I was most excited for was on spiritual warfare by Whitney Capps. I was initially on the wait list for this but I’d say God knew I needed it! I have always struggled with insecurity. My name, my body, my calling, my ability as a mom, wife, photographer, christian. I could go on and on, I’ve doubted just about everything in my life. I’ve labeled myself mediocre at best, failure at worst. I NEVER considered this a source of pride. When this light was cast over insecurity I saw myself written all over it. I used my labels to replace God’s truth, I thought and worried about what others thought of me over what God wanted me to do. Hence why 2012-2014 on this blog is virtually non-existent. I knew I should write and share but, was too afraid.
Me with Whitney Capps, if you haven’t heard this firecracker preach the word of God you are missing out!
2. Given a Rhema word.
The first main session of the conference started, tables for 800 women to sit were set up. As we wind our way through the isles and choose a seat we see little scrolls of paper. We were told that these papers contained verses that had been prayed over, selected and laid at each place setting. That winding through the tables and sitting where we did wasn’t by accident.
I received 1st Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
A rhema word from God is a portion of scripture that speaks into your current life situation. For me I came to She Speaks with baggage of, am I on the right path. Is blogging my plan or the Lord’s? What is the next step? So for me to read stand firm, let nothing move you. Just wow! Then to read that when you work for the Lord it can’t be in vain. Talk about baggage being dealt with as I continue to mediate and process that!
3. Anointed with Christ’s Confidence
During the last workshop of the weekend there was a call to be anointed and prayed over. A room of more than a hundred women were anointed and sent out. Talk about powerful stuff. This room swelled with worship music being played on a single guitar and a single vocalist. I was the seventh shaky woman to stand in front of Wendy Blight, she placed the oil on my forehead and prayed over me. The only words from this prayer I grasped on to and refuse to let go of was to “go and be filled with Christ’s confidence.” He alone will be my confidence, when I look at that spot on my forehead or graze my finger over it I am flooded with thoughts of His confidence.
Me and Wendy Blight! The lovely lady taking this picture, who I had never met, asked me my name and said I was beautiful from the inside out. She gave me another rhema word from Song of Songs, You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way. 4:7 She said I was beautifully filled with the Lord, never have I felt instantly loved and given words like this.
4. I was called from birth
In an earlier workshop, the speaker encouraged the group to reflect back on the moment of your calling and in moments of discouragement remember that moment in order to have strength to go on. I pondered that thought for the entire workshop, spent some time in the prayer room pondering that thought afterwards, and after being anointed continued to ponder it. I thought well, maybe if I can’t remember a moment of being called, only having this overwhelming urge to make Jesus famous (that I’ve prayed to have removed) then perhaps I’m not truly called. As woman after woman went forward to be anointed and voices joined in with the vocalist to worship our Lord, I took a moment to ask my new friend sitting beside me this pondering question.
She responded with “have you considered the possibility that you were called from birth?” She went on to share that she has been told since she was little that she was called. Her mom during pregnancy felt she had a light growing within her that would shine bright. She knew her baby before birth, had favor with the Lord so, she named her Anne-Renee . This struck a memory that has been coming to mind for months. This moment of childhood, I was 5 or 6 jumping on my bed singing. I remember bouncing and singing, likely off key, that God was good, greater than satan and Jesus would always win. At this point in my young life I had been to church only a handful of times, yet I knew truth, I was called to truth. Truth, that I now believe was put inside of me before breathing my first breath.
Anne-Renee of The Masterpiece Mom. Funny story, her and Amanda (the other half of The Masterpiece Mom) happened to be some of the first girls we met upon arriving Wednesday night, all they said was they were from Alaska and I already knew their blog! It can be a small world here in the blogging sphere.
5. There is intention to being named Winter.
This might sound a little weird to you, why would the Lord address your name, you maybe thinking. For me though, growing up very shy and having the name Winter drawing attention to me, I hated it. HATED it! As an adult I’ve learned to tolerate it. Because what other choice is there. It was minimal tolerance though, since nearly every time I introduce myself to someone I receive an “oh, that’s different” (with a puzzled look on their face).
While at She Speaks people already seemed to know me and remember me (there was a private Facebook group for getting to know each other) which I found shocking, all because of my name. Well, ok also partly because of my current very red hair color! In having a conversation about this with my new friend from Costa Rica, she encouraged me to search the meaning of my name and allow God to reveal Himself through my name. As she is saying this, an amazing dawning poured down over me. The day I was born was the middle of October (the 23rd in case you are wondering when to send the gift! Just Kidding!!) This ordinary day in October that I was to be born on and to be named Kelly Nicole, it snowed. Snowed and made it feel like winter, prompting my grandpa to suggest the name Winter Nicole. Frankly, I had always scoffed at that reasoning. But this idea that the God of all the universe sent snow, in order to have His message received by a non-Jesus believing man all so I could have the name Winter stopped me in my tracks.
I looked up the meaning of my name by the way….Winter Nicole means bringing renewal / victorious people. God blows me away.
This lady spoke pure Jesus truth to me the entire weekend! I was beyond blessed to meet her and can’t wait to visit Costa Rica one of these days! The 5 of us made the best of friends!
Why do I write all of these terribly personal, reflective thoughts? Because through these five occurrences, the Lord revealed my true calling and passion. I was called to boldly become like Jesus. To be boldly confident in who I am in Christ. I am passionate about allowing God to work in me, making me more like Christ as well as seeing others embrace and boldly become who God has called them to be. Just in case you had any remaining thoughts that I have it all together or some such nonsense, the above should take care of that. I am nothing without the presence and grace of the Lord. But I am confident in moving forward in who I am, who you are, and encouraging both of us to be bold, all in the name of Christ.