By Susie Hieber
I love how God delights in surprising me! Okay, I’ll be honest – I actually watch for it once I discovered years ago how much He enjoys doing it. And, as strange as this may sound, even though I am actively expecting Him to surprise me at any turn, that never takes away from His ability to do it time and time again.
Take the Inspired Ladies Conference, for instance. I have been blessed to be a part of the Inspired Team for several years now. This fabulous group of women works together under Pastor Kathi Pitts, to take the vision that God has placed in her heart for each conference and make it a reality. The task before us each year is both a weighty challenge and an honor – for it is an appointed time where God gets our attention and wishes to speak directly and specifically to His precious daughters.
Perhaps you think that being intimately involved in the planning and execution process of the Ladies Conference means that nothing about its intended outcome will surprise us. You’d be wrong! Because God has a way of doing just that. I was delighted by how He surprised me with some unexpected “extras” this year, as He continually does. God spoke to me in deeply powerful ways through each of the anointed speakers and the praise and worship (and it would take a blog post for each one of them to share all of that!), but I wanted to share some personal takeaways from my behind-the-scenes involvement.
As always, what an amazingly spot-on, right-on-time theme for this year’s conference! BREATHE… Breathe, baby, breathe! Breathe in the breath of God and recognize God’s breath of life in you. BREATHE…
One of the things I want to point out first is the intentionality behind every aspect of the Inspired conferences. God has a plan. And God loves details. He knows His daughters. He created us, after all! He breathes His inspiration and intention into every detail. There is nothing casual or haphazard about it. The Inspired team is not merely an event committee and the Inspired conference is not merely an event.
This year, God truly impressed me with how intentional He is in His design of….US! I know, seems so obvious, right? But, how often we overlook and underestimate how true that really is. From the flowing beauty of the lights and fabric, the chandeliers and flowers, to the childlike joy of tutus and fairy wings. Right on down to the delightful, unrestrained enthusiasm and laughter of the planning sessions. God created His daughters to be uniquely who we are. That is reflected each year in His inspiration of the theme, the elements of the conference itself, and in the way in which we operate in our God-given gifts, talents, and personalities to prepare for it. A complete, total celebration of how He intentionally created us! Yes! The fullness of Psalm 139:14! “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
God also impressed upon me during this conference, and not for the first time, that we are deeply impacting the lives of others (and thus allowing God to impact them through us) even in moments when we may not be aware. As Pastor Kelly Steele pointed out, our very aroma in the Spirit is working even when we are not paying attention.
As I was greeting ladies upon their arrival at the conference, God reminded me how He uses even a 61-year-old woman clad in a tutu and sparkly fairy wings to touch one of His daughters. After hugging on one sweet lady, she said to me, “You hugged me last year, do you remember?”
Forgive me as I shed some tears in this re-telling of the goodness of God, the sweetness of His touch, and the fullness of His love. In that moment, He reminded me how, in a group event with over 600 registrations plus all of the volunteers involved, He saw and took note of this one particular precious woman’s need of human touch to show her how much He loves her.
And that, my friends, was an intensely, deeply meaningful moment for me. In the midst of the hubbub of this amazing Ladies Conference, I B-R-E-A-T-H-E-D and felt the fullness of God’s breath of life in me being used to touch another.
So how about you? Take a moment and jot down for yourself some of your lasting impressions of Inspired.2019. How did God touch you? What did He show you? What did He heal? What did He restore? How did He inspire you? And, lastly….what are you going to do about it?