It has taken me a long time to process She Speaks 2011. In fact, I am still working through some of the things God was speaking to my heart. But I wanted to go ahead and share my initial responses.
It all began in May of 1990. I was near the end of my freshman year in college. I was a part of a ministry on campus and decided to attend a state conference. I don’t remember much about the conference sessions or even who was there. What I do remember vividly is that I found myself walking the aisle on Sunday morning and stating that I was feeling called into ministry. Vocational ministry. I remember reminding God that I was a girl (ha!) and that I had no clue what in ministry I would or could do.
I was a Communications major. I loved all the classes that most people hate...public speaking, interpersonal communications, etc. My goal when I began college was to take Joan Lunden’s place on Good Morning America. (I knew she had to get old one day.) So, this day in May when I committed my life to vocational ministry, I had no idea how God would use the gifts and skill set He had given me. I just knew that God had called me and that my desire to become known became engulfed by the desire to make Him known. I pursued seminary. And that began 21 years of ministry...with youth, children, college students, women, and adults of all ages.
God has incredibly blessed me with opportunities to share His love and grace with so many different people in many different places...even internationally in Greece, Bulgaria, Venezuela, and Australia! I feel humbled and honored that God would use me in these ways.
So, why did I find myself at She Speaks in Charlotte, North Carolina a few weeks ago? Because since September of last year, I have felt like God was leading me to step out of my comfort zone. Though I have always enjoyed speaking and writing occasionally throughout my years in ministry, I have often found myself giving excuses to God as Moses did in Exodus 3 – 4.
“Who am I, Lord, that I should speak and write about You? Why me?”
God: “I will be with you.”
“Suppose I do speak and write and the world asks who do I think I am doing this?”
God: “I AM has sent you...that is enough.”
“What if they doubt that You called me?”
God: “I will reveal Myself to them through you.”
“Lord, there are many others who speak and teach so much better than I do.”
God: “Go. I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”
One of my previous posts was about Preparing for the Amazing. Well, the Amazing God did amazing things. God spoke very specifically, very graciously through His Word, His people, and circumstances at She Speaks.
The theme for my 3 minute message in my evaluation group: “To Him who is able to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine, according to the power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory!” Ephesians 3: 20 – 21
God: “Do you believe that verse, Kelli? More than you could ever ask or imagine!”
My quiet time passage a week before the conference: “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.” 2 Timothy 4: 2
God: “This word is for you. I will work out the details.”
A new friend at She Speaks says, “I just feel the need to tell you to stick to your message.”
God: “Don’t be swayed by flattery or attention, stick to the message I have given you.”
A gracious keynote speaker says to all of us, “You are uniquely, profoundly, specially gifted.”
God: “I made you, what do you expect?”
My evaluation group leader writes, “You are so gifted at teaching God’s Word...Keep teachin’ the Word, girl!
God: “Follow hard after me. Study my Word. I will give you opportunities to share.”
I wish I could share with you all of the divine appointments and God moments, but there are way too many and several are very personal. Let’s just say that God used several people to affirm me as a speaker and a writer. From the evaluation groups to the publisher appointments, God used circumstances (crazy circumstances!) to absolutely confirm that He had a message He wanted me to share.
God reminded me of my initial calling 21 years ago when I didn’t know what He would do with a crazy girl with my gifts and skill set. Interesting that the Greek word for preach is kerusso, which can also mean: to proclaim; to publish. Did you get that? Proclaim and publish? Speak and write?
God, You have spoken. My response: to listen. And obey.
My friends, what is God calling you to do? What will your response be? Please comment so that I can pray for you!