Has your heart ever felt “full” … just kind of bursting with joy, gratefulness, and contentment?
I feel somewhat like this tonight. It may just be an emotional high, but tonight, I am just very satisfied with God’s plan for our family right now, realizing how much God has blessed me, and I feel hopeful for the future.
This fullness was completed by spending the evening with these silly girls and their moms, who are dear friends of mine:
Annie-Belle has known 2 of these girls since they were all 1 year old (they are now 12 and 13 years old!!), and she started her school time in K-4 with another of these girls, and the other girl is a homeschool friend and a wonderful addition to this group.
We went to a Pure Freedom Conference in a near-by city, led by Danna Gresh. I’d never heard of this lady … but several friends of mine have read one of her books or heard her speak on a radio program. Danna has a heart for young girls in particular. What she shared with the teen girls and their mothers tonight was not only interesting but all backed up with Scripture, which is very important to me. She also seemed to hit once again on the theme that God is working on in me right now – reaching out to those who are hurting. Danna herself came to church as a hurting young lady, and when a church of compassionate believers wrapped their arms around her, she was led to find the God of forgiveness and everlasting life.
I can’t even begin to describe what all I learned … and while I am unable to buy any of her books right now, I’d be curious to read one. The best part about the conference is that at the end, when an invitation was given, several women and young girls came forward to receive Christ as their personal Savior!! Watching those women, potentially also hurting, broken souls, come forward unashamedly was beautiful … and then Danna asked, “Do you know what the Bible says the angels do when one soul comes to Christ?”, referencing Luke 15:10, and in unison, we said, “REJOICE!” … oh to imagine the REJOICING in heaven tonight! Wow.
Danna also spoke words of grace to us as mothers. She reminded us that while none of us are perfect mothers, just by coming to a conference like this in the interest of our daughters showed we were courageous. While I don’t really ever equate myself with the word courageous in any way, shape, or form … in fact, I’m more associated with fear or perhaps I should say uncertainty and insecurity … I was very touched to by her words. Danna reminded us that the Bible mentions that we are to FEAR God so many times in the Bible. FEAR HIM?? And while I have always assumed it was kind of a “reverence” or “awe of His holiness” more than shaking-in-my-boots FEAR, I guess I never gave it much thought. But the Hebrew meaning in many of the verses about fearing God is more of a submitting to Him, a bowing down before Him … and that takes some courage to surrender completely to Him, to trust full, and not FEAR man or anything else.
I guess I just needed an uplifting message today … a confirmation that God works despite my failures and doubts. That even my bad parenting on occasion doesn’t mean that my children will potentially turn out badly or hate me forever. That my main goal in life should be fearing God, not fearing man (one of my BIGGEST STRUGGLES, quite honestly). One of Danna’s team members compared a person needing constant compliments and affirmation to her golden retriever … it is kind of cute when a big, fluffy, happy, slobbering dog demands LOVE ME, PET ME, LOVE ME, PET ME, LOVE ME … but on the other hand, it is a little tedious when a person demands constant attention and compliments and LOVE ME, LOVE ME, LOVE ME, LOVE ME all the time. We don’t need that if we fear God … He is ALL we need.
THEN, by the time we got home, Drew who babysat MiMi tonight had gotten her to bed AND cleaned up the living room!! I told him he was my BEST babysitter EVER. It meant I could just immediately go into decompression mode, relax, write this, and now go to BED. Indeed, my heart is full.