Thursday, August 6, 2009

Back to reality...

This past weekend I attended She Speaks – what an absolutely amazing time. Last night I was still running on adrenaline, but just this morning I told my husband, “I think I’ve come off the mountain.” He simply replied, “You knew that was going to happen.”

He’s right, but I didn’t know it would be so difficult. I don’t even know the name of the song, who sang it or really what it was about, but a line from my younger days keeps coming back, “And coming down is the hardest thing.” How true! I can’t believe the contrast in my emotions as I compare today with just one week ago.

Last Thursday I was full of worry and doubt as I tried to pack bags, practice talks and just face the facts that I was about to encounter plenty of firsts. Add that to a pregnancy that hit the 27-week mark and needless to say there were plenty of emotions.

In the time since, the emotions have just grown stronger and now a week later my mind is still full. I never expected returning to reality to be such a challenge. But as I step back and really look at what has taken place it all makes sense.

One of the first things the P31 staff shared with all of us last Friday was how we were with 600 women who really got us. And they were right. Everyone I talked with seemed to become a fast friend. The women, each and everyone, were so encouraging and full of God’s love that it truly was amazing. Their realness was a blessing as well. Other’s ability to admit mistakes and insecurities truly touched my life. It not only removed that feeling of being alone, but also reminded me that if God can use them – the broken and beautiful creation that they are, He can use me as well.

I’ve never been one to leave home too often and when I’ve attended a conference it’s never been by myself. Though that frightened me a little (OK a lot), now I know it’s the best thing that could have happened. In that real alone time, God had plenty of opportunities to speak to me and wow, was I humbled. And inspired. To say I came home on top of the world is truly an understatement.

But like I said, today it’s back to reality. Not that I’ve just arrived home, but the excitement of being home has worn off and the work I left behind needs to be done. There’s the usual laundry, dishes and cleaning. Little ones that need time with mom and a husband who needs his wife as well. Prep work for my 1st grade son’s home school year that will begin in less than 2 weeks. And thoughts of what needs to be done before our 4th child arrives in less than 3 months. If I let it, it can all be overwhelming!

Still the bigger challenge is not just returning to reality but the real world where not all 600 plus people in our small town get it. At the conference though we were all being called in different directions, every woman had the same mission – make Jesus famous and in the world today that is not the case. When I’m misunderstood or looked at as different it can be difficult to embrace that call and too easy to give into the doubt that results as I worry about what others think.

The hardest part of this coming down business though stems from the doubt. When worry and fear enter in, Satan only speaks louder. His lies can echo in my mind, “God really didn’t say that. Who do you think you are? He can’t use you. Think of what others will say.” The reality of facing him is a challenge!

As my mind thought about the words of that song from long ago another quote I heard recently came to mind. I believe it was Anne Graham Lotz I heard say, “Fruit doesn’t grow on the mountain, it grows in the valley.” So today as I continue my descend I will focus on her words rather than the lyrics and be thankful.

My mountaintop experience at She Speaks was truly a blessing, but it won’t be all it was met for until I head out to the valley and apply all I’ve learned and live as the woman He called me to be. On the mountaintop, I was close to God, but I know His light still shines in the valley and I trust He will make the fruit grow!!

3 comments:

  1. First of all, Jill...see you WERE suppose to go alone. It all makes sense now. :)

    Secondly, it's true that it's much harder in the everday ins and outs of our lives to remember that THIS IS where OUR ministry is...it starts right here, in our own homes, neighborhoods and churches. I believe Lysa TerKeurst put it "in the fields of everyday life."

    So glad you could go and experience this mountaintop, but I'm glad to have you back here in the fields (or valley) of everyday life. :)

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  2. Jill,
    Thanks for the comment on my blog. Loved your post as well. The ministry of the moment is really where it is at, the fields and the valley, praying for you as well. Continue to run your race my friend, you shine for Him..

    Cris

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  3. Oh Jill, I needed this SO MUCH!! I've been so down this week. I knew it was going to happen to, but I wasn't prepared with how much I feel the let-down.

    God just used your post to encourage me and show me I'm not alone. A week before we went to the conference, my husband and I went on a little get-away to the mountain town of Leavenworth, WA. We drove through apple orchard after apple orchard on the way, but they got fewer and farther between the closer we got. We kept saying, I wonder if apples can't grow at certain altitudes. The quote about fruit in growing in the valley came alive to me when I read it in your post.

    Don't let the enemy lie to you- You have so nuch to share with the world. My pastor's wife told me that she used to get so overwhelmed with feeling inadequate to help people and then she learned, "But I do know how to point them to Jesus!" That's all we have to do. He'll do the rest!

    Thanks for encouraging me!

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