Several years ago my friend and I attended a women’s retreat/conference that encouraged us to look deep within ourselves and identify the latent dreams and desires residing in the hidden recesses of our hearts. Once identified, the Lord would then be free to grant that which we so fervently desired. Name it, sister, and go for it; your wish is His delight. Okay, so maybe I exaggerate a little but only a little because, really, that seemed to be the essence of their message. One conference speaker had dreamt of dancing so dance, she did. There, on the stage, as part of the conference. You go, girl.
Somewhat sheepishly I confessed to my friend that what I really wanted was Beth Moore’s job. Of course, I said it with a slight chuckle, like it was something of a joke, really, not to be compared with the dancing dream (and, indeed, what can?). To my friend’s credit, she did not laugh nor even snicker, at least not to my face.
Looking back on it, I understand my embarrassment, and still share it, but I’m also apt to cut myself some slack. What Bible teacher who believes in the message she proclaims doesn’t long for an open mike and a captivated audience? Bible teachers want to teach. Actually, they must. Or such is the case with this one. Whether it’s five or fifty, I am so grateful to those who come along for the ride. And yes, it is far closer to five than fifty.
Of course, if I am honest with myself, I’ll admit that the perceived glamour of such a gig as Beth Moore’s also appealed to me then—this of course before my freely confessed state of cynicism concerning the current culture of personality that seems to mark most women’s Bible studies. In other words, let’s just say the appeal, it’s waned somewhat.
However, next week, beginning Monday, the best part of Beth Moore’s job will be mine–it will be my joy and privilege to lead a women’s conference, teaching women of the call of Christ to brokenness, surrender and holiness. But it won’t exactly be as I’d dreamed so many years ago. In fact, there will be nothing glamorous about it. No cute and trendy fashions, instead I will be wearing a thrift store skirt. No mike, no stage, no praise team; instead I will no doubt be stumbling over my words even as I beg the Holy Spirit to make sense of them first to the translator and then to the women, those precious women eager to hear God’s Word taught.
I will be teaching a women’s conference in Nicaragua.
I am so excited.
I am so overwhelmed.
We, eight of us from my church as part of a larger team, are going on a mission trip to Nicaragua: to an orphanage, to a women’s conference, to a men’s conference, to a construction project, to door-to-door evangelism, to discipleship with young women, to any and every opportunity we have to share the good news that Jesus saves.
I am so excited.
I am so overwhelmed.
I am not scared for my safety. I am scared of my own inadequacy. I am scared of the homesickness that already weighs on my heart. I am scared of mishandling the message, the priceless, beautiful message that beckons sinners to be reconciled to God.
By the time most of you read this, I will have already left. Will you pray for us? Pray for our travel and for our health. Pray for our families here at home. Pray for the women’s conference next week (Mon – Wed) as I seek to teach on Brokenness, Surrender and Holiness. Pray against homesickness. Pray that we will love the Nicaraguan people with the love of Christ. Pray that we will proclaim the gospel boldly as we ought. Pray that the Lord in His mercy might shine the light of the knowledge of God in the face of Christ to those who are lost and desperate for His saving grace.
I do not know what to expect. I am eager. I am anxious. I am encouraged as I put my faith in the promise that the One who calls is faithful. He will do it. To God alone be the glory!
This is my dream and who knows? Maybe I will dance.