For months I've prayed for this event and the message God had for me to share. Instead of listening and following His direction, I kept praying. You see, I know He was speaking to my heart yet nothing I seemed to prepare or do seemed to fit. I couldn't seem to put it together. When forced to come up with a theme, I chose "No Luck Needed: Everybody Wins". I didn't feel this was the theme, yet I needed a title and verse for the event planners and I couldn't come up with anything better. Initially the anticipation of sharing at Wings of Grace event excited me but at the same time, I was so nervous.
I couldn't figure out what my issue was. It is the first time I've shared my testimony since last July, so I determined this was my hold up. Even with an all-nighter Friday, I still arrived feeling unprepared to share. BUT as I enjoyed some powerful worship and then a couple skits, performed by Ranch of Hope Ministries, I finally figured it out.
It was the I in the whole process that was the roadblock. I wasn't focused on God, in spite of my prayers. I wasn't seeking His face but instead, looking for an "easy" way to share my testimony.
Instead of praying a prayer and taking time to listen for God's answer, I just continued preparing a message to share using St. Patrick's day and "luck" items as illustrations. I couldn't make this work and then I thought I had it figured out at 3:58 a.m. (Yes, Saturday morning) when I turned off my computer. One last prayer, God this is your event and may I deliver Your message. I need your wisdom, strength, and message. I can only do this in Your strength. Night.
Two hours later the alarm rattled me awake, and by 7:40 a.m., I was loading the car and on my way. I picked up my friend, Lisa, and we began our journey. Talking, laughing, sharing, and praying.
Some reading this might not know what a Salvation message is. I think in the simplest of terms, it's when you Admit you are a sinner, Believe Jesus died on the cross and rose again for your sins, and then Choose to trust Jesus to forgive you of your sins. While this seems simple in theory and to write it, the importance of its life changing power makes me nervous. I accepted the challenge and trusted the whole morning to God, why hadn't I done this sooner? Such a silly human am I because the message is as easy as A B C.
God answered prayers in a mighty way Saturday morning through the songs and skits during the worship portion of our morning. The songs were about trusting God and to not be afraid. My heart and mind heard this message loud and clear. Then the teens from Ranch of Hope took the stage and performed two powerful skits.
The first a light and humorous one about the power of sin and the second, about the bondage and struggles from sin and the great release and freedom found when we trust Jesus.
I finally heard God to not fear, to trust, and obey!
Instead of opening with St. Patty's Day humor, I thanked these teens and their leaders for demonstrating God and His message without ever saying a word. Both skits used only music and movement, no words. I transitioned from praising and encouraging the teens and then God lead me through my message to the women. The morning was beautiful and a couple people raised their hands before I closed to share a message from God, one they received while I was speaking.
While my delivery of the Salvation message was less than perfect, it was honest and a learning experience. I found myself missing my friend who helped me so much when I started to speak yet while she isn't in the area anymore, God never left me. This morning I awoke rested and thankful I obeyed and delivered God's message. I'm still a little disappointed in my delivery of the Salvation message yet know if God was speaking to someone's heart, they heard it. I can only improve.
Evidence God knows our hearts, fears, and disappointments...here are a couple messages I received today. I share these with their permission. If you attended yesterday's Wings of Grace event, feel free to leave a comment below. I'm sharing with the Ranch of Hope Ministry too, so your words may reach the Wings of Grace team and the Ranch of Hope too. Thanks for taking time to read, worship, and share.
"Hello Lisa, Thank you for speaking at Wings of Grace yesterday! It was an awesome event and I hope that it brought you some healing too! I have sent you a friend request because I manage the Wings of Grace Ministry fb page. I think I need to be friends with you to add you to the group. Not sure, but we both share a love of Dunkin Donuts coffee!!! Thanks again for sharing your experience, strength and hope. It was an extreme act of COURAGE and you rocked it!" ~ Kim, Attendee ~