Women of Faith … Over The Top

by Lisa on November 10, 2011

Well it truly was over the top!   Last weekend a friend and I headed out to Kansas City, MO for a weekend to remember.  I had been given two free tickets, from Women and Faith and Book Sneeze and in return was asked to live tweet and Facebook regarding my experiences during the weekend as well as write a post about my experience.  I have been waiting all week to write this post because I wasn’t sure how I could put into words what the weekend meant to me.  It was an uplifting time, where I was inspired, entertained, and challenged.

Keepin' a smile, while the AAA guy changed our tire in the middle of nowhere!

First let me tell you how God began to move through the weekend to give my friend, Sarah,  and I in a way in which we continually felt  His hand on every big and small detail.  On Thursday evening we headed out toward Kansas City.  It is a three hour drive.  When we were about 45 minutes to our destination, we had a flat tire. Thankfully the car remained in control and Sarah could bring the car to a safe stop.   At the moment of the flat, we were in no man’s land – the middle of nowhere!  We thank the Lord our car came to a stop right next to the LARGE GREEN sign which told us our exact location and mile marker.  This was invaluable, as I discovered my AAA card had NOT expired and I was able to give exact directions and information regarding our location to the AAA service which would come change our flat.  Now, I know you are wondering, “Why didn’t you change your own flat tire?”  Well, we could have changed it.  However, the stretch of highway was extremely busy and there was limit space on the shoulder of the road.  With all the large and fast moving semi trucks speeding by, it was much more safe to stay in the car with hazards lights on, until a large tow-truck with it’s light flashing was sitting safely behind us – alerting all traffic that we were there and to NOT run over us.   So, short story long :-), God took care of us, brought assistance to us, and then we were on our way. And so the adventure began!

We knew we would have to make buying and replacing the spare tire a priority the next morning, and we prayed God would work out the details.  He did.  We found a tire dealership across the street from the Sprint Center – the location of the women’s conference.  SO, we parked the car at the tire shop and while they replaced the tire, we headed over to the conference, arriving with time to spare AND we did not have to worry about parking, as the care was at the tire shop all day.

Once we entered the Sprint Center, you could feel the excitement of all the women present.  Several thousand women scurrying around, buying a morning coffee, one last bathroom stop, and then off to    their seats in eager anticipation of what would come.

Every session on both Friday and Saturday began with the Women of Faith worship team.  They would lead us in worship and it was great! The Friday sessions were led by Patsy Clairmont and Andy Andrews.  Both were exceptional speakers who made me laugh and gave me much to ponder.  So much was said by each, but I did scribble notes and I would like to share a few comments and thoughts that grabbed me.

Patsy Clairmont, spunky and full of inspiration.

Patsy said, “God designed us with a will stronger than our emotions.”   We do not have to give into our emotions.  We don’t have to be controlled by fears, anxieties, self doubt.  We can have freedom through Jesus Christ!” I love that, and had to put it into practice as soon as I was back home, and came face to face with a situation which wrenched my heart,  and saddened me greatly.  I drew on her words and remembered I could rise above this pain, knowing Christ was in control of it all.

Next came Andy Andrews.  I had never heard him before.  He is a dynamic and inspiring speaker.  He is an internationally known speaker and novelist.  Andy inspires you to live the best life God intended for you.  Here are a few thoughts he spoke, “Seek wisdom.  Live your life in an intentional manner. Make use of the wisdom God gives us. ”  I am looking forward to reading his book The Traveler’s Gift.

Mandisa lifting up the name of God.

Throughout the day, on Friday, we heard from both Patsy and Andy.  Then, that evening the entire Women of Faith team were present and accounted for.  We enjoyed a concert from Mandisa, as well as enjoyed more words of encouragement from Mr. Andrews.  It was a fun night!

Mandisa waking us up for the day.

The next morning began at 9am.  Again, the session started with the  WOF worship team getting us excited as we lifted our voices in praise and worship.  Mandisa also got us up and moving with a song to start the day.  Then Lisa Whelchel, aka Blair from the 80’s hit show The Fact’s of Life spoke about friendship.  She was fun to listening to and gave great tips about being a true friend.  She said, “real friendship requires true transparency and intimacy in your friendship, letting yourself become vulnerable.” She also said, “A real friend listens, hears you, and does not try to fix you”. Amen? I agree.

The next speaker was a powerhouse in a little body!  Brenda Warner, the wife of NFL superstar Kurt Warner, brought her story of tragedy, pain, betrayal, as well as love, and healing.  I did not know anything about her before last weekend and I am now a fan!  Her story is powerful!  If you have the chance to hear or read her story – do it!

Moving on, Sandi Patty sang and spoke.  Now, I grew up in the 80’s and was a Christian who enjoyed Contemporary Christian music all the way back then, as a teenager.  This means I was raised on Sandi Patty.  It was fun to hear her speak as well as sing a few songs.

Amy Grant

All these speakers came before we even had a lunch break!  Powerful and inspiring stuff!  Then my favorite!!! Amy Grant sang and spoke.  She gave a mini concert and I loved every minute of it. Remember, I grew up on 80’s Christian music – and Amy Grant put Contemporary Christian music on the map!  I grew up knowing every word to every song she had written.

The day ended with one more inspirational talk led by Patsy Clairmont.  From this session I heard, “Change can be good”.  We do not have to be scared of change.  Many times God needs to change our current situation to bring something even better into our lives.  We have to be open to this.  “All we have to do is say yes to God, to Christ, to the spirit of the living God.  Just say YES!” Once again, as I arrived back home, this was put into practice as a huge change was waiting for my husband and I as a ministry we were leading came to an abrupt end.   This happened very unexpectedly and with great sadness.  However, Patsy’s words kept resonating in my head  – “Change can be good!”  I grasped on to that, knowing God is in control and He will be glorified.

So, I know I have just rambled and rambled about my Women of Faith weekend and experience.  My head and heart heard and felt so much.  Words do not do it justice.  Here is my recommendation – if you ever get the opportunity to attend a Women of Faith conference – JUST DO IT!!

Here we are, me and Sarah.

One final note, this weekend would have been so much less if I had not been able to experience it with one of my best friends.  I thank God He brought Sarah into my life.  She is one of those friends who will speak truth when you need to hear it, sit quietly when you need someone to hear you, and hug you when your heart it hurting so much no words help.  She was all these things to me, in one weekend,  and I thank my God for her.

Thank  you Women of Faith and Book Sneeze for providing me the opportunity to attend such an inspiring and truly OVER THE TOP event.  I sure hope I get to go back next year!!

 

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Phoebe @ GettingFreedom November 11, 2011 at 7:56 am

I have to agree that the conference was Over The Top–I was there in KC too! Andy Andrews was an absolute hoot, I wasn’t for sure if I was going to be able to pay attention to anything he said at first. I was distracted by his “running about”! But, he challenged me–as did the rest of the team. I never knew who Brenda Warner was either–but her story sounded so familiar to mine. I think I cried more during her speaking than I have in a while. So touching!

On our journey {which was about a4.5 hour one} we experienced a lot, as well, but we could also feel God’s presence. Oh, we serve an Awesome God!

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Lisa November 11, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Phoebe, I am so glad to know we were both there, praising God and worshiping together! That Andy was a hyper thing, wasn’t he. But, once I got used to him, I was able to focus on his words. I agree about Brenda. I was crying through her’s for sure. I am so glad you felt His presence, too. And, yes, we serve an awesome God.

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Kim B. November 12, 2011 at 1:21 am

How blessed you are to have been able to have gone! I would LOVE to go to a Women Of Faith event. I have read most of Lisa’s books, LOVE Amy Grant & just finished both of Brenda Warner’s books so I would’ve been beside myself being there 🙂 Thanks for sharing with us, better a little glimpse then no glimpse at all!

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