Five years ago, my life looked like a pretty package on the outside.
A Broken Marriage
My husband and I had been married for seven years. I stayed at home with our four young children while Philip worked hard as a financial advisor. We were serving in our church, active in our kids' private Christian school, and involved in some local ministries. From all outer appearances, we "had it all." Sadly, inside the beautifully wrapped package was a devastated marriage. Like many in the church, we had major struggles that I didn't share with anyone.
That all began to change when the Lord introduced me to the Revive Our Hearts radio program.
A Fresh Start
I began listening to Nancy regularly from my kitchen, and that was the start of significant changes in my heart and in our home. God used her teaching to convict me; while I was good at learning and studying truth, I lacked in follow-through and obedience. I wasn't pursuing transformation in my words, my attitudes, or my actions.
I was also confronted by the Lord when I heard Kim and LeRoy Wagner's story for the first time. My eyes were opened to the real root of our marriage struggles: me and my critical spirit.
After that point, Christ became my everything. My eyes shifted from expectations on Philip, to desiring to be the wife and mom God made me to be. Revive Our Hearts was such a tremendous tool for giving me practical applications and gospel truths to live by. Listening to Nancy daily was like an IV drip that has continued to point me back to Christ when I begin walking in my own ways.
In October of 2010, I invited a few friends to go with me to True Woman '10 in Fort Worth. It was an incredible weekend, and as I went home, I knew I needed to share this life-changing truth with other women in my community.
An Unexpected Ministry
The Lord continued His "open heart surgery," pruning me and bringing about restoration, so I didn't feel adequate to take on the task. I'm still figuring out biblical womanhood for myself! But it was clear to me that this prompting was from the Lord. I desired to obey and said, "Yes, Lord!"
Four years after that desire was put in my heart, the Lord opened up the doors through my church to co-chair our own True Woman Event that would extend to women across our city.
From the very beginning, prayer was the foundation and backbone of what we did. Prayer preceded our decisions, and we continually surrendered this event to Christ. It was His, and it was a glorious thing to watch as He orchestrated all the details.
We used the national True Woman conference as our model, with prayer as the priority. Here are a few things we included:
- Video of True Woman conference messages
- Videos of shorter testimonies from Revive Our Hearts
- Personal testimonies from four local women
Weaving together the powerful teaching with the testimonies of real-life women was a beautiful blend. To my surprise, we have heard over and over again that the personal testimonies were the most impacting part of the weekend.
We entered the weekend with an overwhelming sense of God's presence. We had planned and hoped for about 300 women, but God brought over 450 women to our church, representing over 40 different churches! We were simply in awe of our great God! Should we really be surprised? He is great, and He is sovereign. It was clear that the Lord had a desire for many women to hear the message of true womanhood and to call their hearts to Himself.
As the event came to a close, we continued to be overwhelmed at what God had done.
- Women were encouraged, convicted to their core, and broken over sin.
- Women went home to apologize to their husbands for their own behavior.
- Women were convicted of their attitudes toward their children.
- One woman's eyes were opened to some false teaching she had been listening to.
- Women realized it's not just about looking Christian and godly, but that we actually need to be godly.
Many women left with a renewed desire and focus to glorify God through their lives, to trust Him fully, to bend to His transforming work in them, and to be used by Him in this real battle.
It has been so encouraging to see the fruit from the conference, too. We've seen:
- An interest in follow-up Bible studies and the desire to make this an annual event.
- Another church desires to take on True Woman as part of their women's ministry.
- A monthly prayer group for moms of prodigal children has been formed.
With all this momentum for True Woman, we hope to bring a large group with us to True Woman '14 in Indianapolis!
If the Lord has given you a desire or nudge to host a local True Woman event, don't ignore it. Get on your knees and ask Him to lead you. He will. God uses the flawed and ordinary, as He did with me, to bring glory to Himself. Wait on the Lord's timing, and don't run ahead of Him. He will set all things in motion, provide all you need, and give you direction.
My prayer is that more and more women will have their hearts revived for Christ and join the battle to call women to freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ. As we say, "Yes, Lord!" in our own hearts, we're holding high the banner of Christ's truth to a watching world.
Will you join us at True Woman '14 and proclaim in your heart, "Yes, Lord?"