At the age of 18, a young lady left her parent’s home to marry her best friend. There was always someone to take care of her and her needs. Now, fast-forward 16 years, she was to travel and do everything alone. She can be quite independent when she needs too, but she had become comfortable. So when it came to kiss her husband goodbye at the curve of the airport, everything in her knew that she wasn’t going to be able to do it alone. That is where she whispered, “God, give me courage.”
This was me. Last year, God provided me with a donation that would cover all my expenses to attend Raising Generations Today Thrive conference in New York. Little did I know that it would be an amazing opportunity to truly learn to embrace whatever God had for me.
God used the three and a half days when I was away from my husband and family to allow me to face some of my fears by stepping out in courage and to intentionally move beyond what I am comfortable with and be taken forward – step by step, learning to truly embrace whatever God had for me, knowing that I was not alone. It was Him through me, a willing vessel to be used for His honor and glory.
During the trip, I conquered a lot of firsts – traveling without my family, renting a car and driving in a State that I didn’t really know (super thankful for the GPS in my rental car and safety while traveling at night with no cell service!), staying in the home of a pastor and wife who I had never met, walking into the church where the conference was held to work alongside a group of people who I “knew” online and some whom I had met once in a group setting, introducing a well-known speaker in front of over 100 people, meeting lots of new people and not having my hubby close to lean on, and so much more. It was an awesome trip and conference, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to go.
… to my husband and children, who prayed for me and allowed me the opportunity to go to RGT THRIVE. I love you guys!
… to the anonymous donor, who gave towards my airline tickets and the THRIVE conference ticket. I was truly blessed by your generosity.
… to the dear couple in Elmira, New York, who were so hospitable and opened your home to me.
… to September McCarthy, for being a friend and allowing me the privilege to serve alongside you on Raising Generations Today team. Your family shines exactly what you wrote in your book: “A home is the foundation of our very essence and the beginning of who we become and where we go. When a family thrives with a heart of service and instills an others-oriented principle, those who enter, live, and leave will thrive in an environment of learning and service.” (quote from her new book, Why Motherhood Matters)
… to the whole Raising Generations Today volunteer/work team: Dan, Lydia, Leah, Eden, Sam, Matt, Mitch, Sarah, Ben, Bethany, Nicki, Tracey, Mindy, Mary, Kelly, Danielle, Jody, and Joleen. Thank you for allowing me the privilege of serving alongside each and everyone of you during THRIVE. It was a joy and a wonderful privilege to be a part of the team, and I am grateful to have each of you as friends. Keep serving Him!
… to Stacey Thacker, for being my friend and reminding me that even when “His call may seem big, … He bears the greater side of the burden of that calling.” (quote from her new book, Is Jesus Worth It?)
… to Lucinda McDowell, for being an instant friend and teaching me to look for the Ordinary Graces… “surprising gifts that come to me while simply living my story. If I am in a hurry, I will miss them. If I am distracted, I will ignore them. But for anyone weary from effort yet thirsty for more, God offers grace, strength, gratitude, and life.” (quote from her new book, Ordinary Graces)
… to Tricia Goyer, for allowing me the privilege to introduce you and encouraging me to thrive by actively: “Walking out the Word of God and daring to do what it says”. (quote from her new book, Walk It Out)
… to Jennifer Kindle, for your friendship and the simple, yet profound, message: “Create Space to sit and abide at His feet”.
Let’s THRIVE – right here, right now in worship, work, and service as we choose to embrace whatever God has for each of us today. All for His honor and glory.