I returned this morning at approximately 1 am from Women of Faith conference in Kansas City. I'm going to go through my notes & try to make sense of them & put into words all of the things that God is trying to teach me right now...this may take a few postings!
First of all, I had an AMAZING time with some AMAZING ladies from the Norton area who joined me for this trip. What a great time of fellowship, shopping, giggles, worshiping, & growing closer to Jesus together. I am so blessed!
One lady who spoke several times over the weekend was Sheila Walsh. Here is my notes/thoughts from the first message she gave to us! (I will try to put her words in "quotes" & then my own thoughts to follow)
"GUILT = you've DONE something wrong"
"SHAME = You ARE something wrong"
I have never heard these two words compared like this. What a difference....guilt can be used as a growing time & strengthening tool, while shame is much harder to work through & the wounds seem to be alot deeper & take longer to heal. This is so important to keep in mind in dealing with those I have relationships with. I NEVER want to inflict SHAME onto someone. I don't want to be the one who makes them feel worthless. I pray that I can help people past the guilt & not let it turn into shame.
"TRUST is what LOVE looks like" Oh how true this is & how it spoke to my heart. Trust & love almost define each other. Sheila challenged me to ask 3 questions of myself:
1-Do you feel the need to control what's going on around you?......yes
2-When the unexpected hits you are you more ruled by fear & anxiety or resting in the peace that God is in control?....probably fear
3-Do you ever feel a slight disconnect from God & those close to you, like there is a veil covering parts of who you really are?....Yes
OH ME OF LITTLE FAITH!!!! It is so hard to let go....but I was truly challenged when she said "Do you trust the hand of the ONE who is leading your life? " Well....based on my answers to the above questions, I would have to say "no" to this final question. But the truth is I do LOVE Jesus & as said earlier Trust is what Love looks like....so, I guess I need to start showing a little more of what my love for Jesus looks like. I want to trust Him. While talking with a couple friends, one challenged me to not try to fit God in a little box. But, if I would trust Him & watch to see His blessings come. Sheila next wove the story of Gideon (Judges 6-7)into this message. A few things that stood out to me were:
"Nothing is impossible...but you've got to stop pretending that everything is OK!" "God is wanting me to know that He is going to take care of me & all the stuff in my life, but that I need to back away, because it's ALL GOING TO BE HIM!" She stated that the Midianites were never the real enemy....the real enemy was the lack of trust in the sovereign GOD!!! Who/what do I see as my enemy....why do I let me dis-trust deceive me."
I recently told someone that sometimes I feel like I am "gifted" in worrying. So I was truly challenged by Sheila's words...I worry because of fear of the unknown, thinking I always need a plan etc....but really it is my NEED/WANT to feel like I am in control. Please pray for me to recognize that God is in control of my life & if I will just let go & let Him lead me I would be released from my worry.
Ok...well this is the first notes from what I am trying to learn from God. Stay tuned...more great stuff coming! I'm so excited to share with you....hopefully my rambling notes will share a little bit of a message with you & maybe even spark a change in your thinking as it has mine!