I learned of WORD FM's Women in Ministry luncheon just a week before it was happening. Intrigued, I read a little about it. The speaker's topic was Comparisons, and I though to myself, I need to go to this thing! Unfortunately, none of the women's ministry leaders from church were able to join me on such short notice. But Colin offered to watch the kids, so I was free to go!
The night before, Colin asked if I wanted some kind of business card to give to people I met. I'd never even thought of this time as a networking time. So he whipped up a handful of them for me (complete with a QR code for my blog; I know, he's so cool!)
When I arrived at the event, the ballroom was not yet open, so the hallway was packed with women of all ages (I would guess mostly 30 and up), sponsors had tables you could visit for information or a free pen, and I wondered what the time would hold. I stood in line waiting my turn to register. When the women in front of my turned around, my brain said, People I know! It was a group from the church we went to when I was in middle and high school. And, as God would have it, they were short one person and invited me to sit at their table! What a blessing and joy. I found myself internally not only thanking God for familiar people to sit with (who all blessed my by taking turns holding Katherine) but by this history of people who have nurtured me spiritually throughout my life.
As I walked around the hall before the ballroom doors opened, I saw a poster with a woman's photo on it whom I'd only known through a mutual friend on Facebook. I thought, Oh boy, Gladys is here. I HAVE to find her today and make real contact! So once the ballroom had opened and everyone filed into find a seat, I wandered a little until we made eye-contact and then hug-contact. So fun! She attends the church Colin and I went to in college and where we were married. Again, I felt so thankful for the churches in Pittsburgh of which my family and I have been a part (going all the way back to when I was a child!)
Thanks to Colin, I had a card to give to these women and also had brief conversations about potential opportunities to share devotionals at upcoming women's events. So cool. God was so kind to me. When I couldn't find any folks from our church to accompany me, I considered canning the idea. But it just didn't seem right. So before I went, I prayed that God would use the time to His end. And so He did.
The speaker, Julie Slattery, was engaging and hilarious! She spoke with us about our tendency to compare and judge (positively and negatively) and how we can move toward caring only about pleasing the Lord - through a change in our prayer and worship. The room was full of women from all. over. Pittsburgh. Hundreds of women. All coming together because of what Christ has done in our lives and what we believe He can do to the lives of many others in our city!
Who's coming with me next year?! As they said, it's not an event only for pastor's wives or leaders of women's ministries; if you're a woman, you love Jesus, and you have contact with other people, you're a woman in ministry.
Julie said during her talk: It's not about you, but what God does through you. There are no great men and women. Only a Great God!
God bless you today as you minister in your little circle of influence to His glory.