This weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Women of Faith Conference in Dallas. I was so looking forward to this life changing event that all my girl friends have talked about in years past. The speakers and worship teams were phenomenal! There were times when we laughed and there were times when we sobbed. It was truly an inspiring time for every person under that roof.
This years conference was called “Believe God Can Do Anything.” I think the title was fitting given the background of every woman involved. One speaker was abandoned at birth with no name. She was sexually abused from the age of 3 well into her teenage years. Another speaker was discarded by her father and had an abortion. Another overcame the most impoverished situation growing up. The list of desperate circumstances goes on, but the point is the same for all… God CAN Do Anything! He certainly has done the impossible with these women- especially regarding the past from which they came.
Every single person on that stage probably never imagined that God could use them after all they had been through and yet there they were- sharing the good news and goodness of our God. Nothing proclaims “God is good” like a person set free from a painful past. What has God set you free from? Do you know you are not disqualified because of your past?
I’ve always felt like my long list of sins and brokenness meant my “resume” for being a Christian was invalid. But that’s just another lie the enemy wants us to believe.
I was greatly encouraged by one of the speakers who spoke about the miracle that Jesus performed when he fed five thousand with only five loaves of bread and two fish (John 6). You hear this story a lot when you’ve grown up in church. But she brought something new to my attention that I had never considered.
She preached about how the miracle of the food being multiplied didn’t occur until the bread was broken. Think about how that applies to us. How much more fruit do we bear when we’ve been broken? Now that’s not to say that God can’t use us when we aren’t broken… But how many times have people been touched by the broken past that you or someone else has overcome? Your faith in God carries much influence when your circumstances have been dark & desperate and yet you still cling to Him and cry “How Great is Our God?!”
I have to admit that I was extremely exhausted this weekend. Gideon is still waking up 3-4 times at night. And for some reason my daughter has been screaming for us around 2:30 am every morning. So needless to say when this weekend got here, I wasn’t looking forward to the conference on 4 hours of interrupted sleep. In fact I’m sad to say we left the conference early because I was just so worn out. But even though I left exhausted, I left encouraged.
Christine Cane is the speaker who spoke about Jesus feeding 5,000. At the end of her sermon she mentioned how Jesus asked the disciples to pick up what was left over and carry it with them. I’ve never thought about why He would have the disciples take the broken pieces with them other than to see there was an abundance. Christine stated, “I think Jesus had them carry the broken pieces with them as a reminder of the miracle God had done for them. After all, in the next few verses, the disciples were headed into a storm, and they would need that reminder.”
I’m not sure where you’re at right now. Maybe you’re in a storm or just coming out of one. Or perhaps your storm is just on the horizon. The broken pieces of our past we carry with us; not to weigh us down with guilt or sadness, but as a reminder of what God has done for us. When you look back at your broken pieces you should remember that He has been faithful and He will continue to be faithful, even through your worst storm.
Unfortunately the worst of my storm is yet to come. My sons diagnosis is death. When? No one really knows. But I do know this. God has faithfully carried me through every other storm of my life (I have a lot of broken pieces to prove it). So why would I doubt Him to do the same now? His track record is pretty prefect.
I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side.
-Chris Tomlin, Whom Shall I Fear
(One of the many great songs we sang at WOF).
Thanks to everyone involved with Women Of Faith. Thanks for allowing God to use your broken pieces to multiply the masses. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend it. Tickets for 2014 are already on sale! God bless!