I have attended many women’s conferences and retreats in the last 15 years. And at some point, almost every speaker makes reference to the idea that each person is there for a reason. It is not random, it is God ordained that they were there to hear/experience/meet/etc at this particular event. In the past, while I have appreciated the sentiment, I am not sure I really felt the kind of purpose that was intended by that statement. Sometimes, it DID feel like chance.
And then my sister bought us tickets to the Dare To Be conference at Hylton Chapel for my birthday. It was early December. I had forwarded her the event on Facebook, and she said, “If you want to go, I will get tickets for your birthday.” Ummm…yeah. I would go just to see Natalie Grant alone, so this was a no-brainer kind of response.
Around this time, I had been contemplating my word for 2017. If you don’t know about this practice, you can look back at some of my old posts (usually in Jan) or you can google One Little Word. So anyway, I normally think on the word for a while and invariably a word will come to mind that I can’t seem to shake. Its usually a back and forth between 2 or 3 options and I keep getting pulled to 1. But this time, a word had come to me and I knew it was meant for me. I couldn’t figure out why. But there it was – SHINE.
Its a word I don’t really think about in terms of my life. I don’t like to be the center of attention (unless I am on stage and even then it is uncomfortable) and I have spent a good part of my life trying to not be noticed. So shine seemed a bit…off. But I felt really strongly about this word. An so SHINE it is.
So my sister and I go to the conference and I had no idea what she was about to talk about. Charlotte Gambill, a writer I am not familiar with, was the speaker and her ENTIRE sermon, the entire night, was about – SHINING your light. Daring to be the light and not hiding your light under a bushel. Shining your light from the mountaintops. Shining God’s love to others.
If I ever doubted Gods immense love of the details, last night was a like he had set a bright NEON sign saying – HELLO MICHELLE, I have been trying to get your attention. Listen up!
So now my eyes are open and I am straining to keep them that way. Its easy when you come down off the mountain into the real world to forget the high you were just on. Its my job to make sure I see the opportunities God is laying out for me to shine my light.