If you ask my husband, he would tell you that I am rarely, if ever, out of words. I am a talker. I talk to myself; I talked to my daughter continuously throughout the day and night when she was even just an infant, and I still do (guess that’s why she’s a talker, too); I talk to my husband when he probably just wants some peace and quiet. I just can’t help it—I like to talk. Don’t get me wrong, I like to listen, too, but I really like to talk. Get me on stage at a speaking event and I could talk for hours (in fact, I have before).
This week, however, I’ve been rendered speechless. As most of you reading this now probably know, I sent out a press release on Christian Newswire this past Monday, sharing my life story and ministry with the world. Although I’ve been speaking publicly now for about 2 ½ years, and my story had been gaining notice around the world, I was still relatively anonymous prior to Monday’s release. People who knew of me knew me through one of my speaking events, news or radio interviews, or through general word of mouth. And although I’ve most certainly been okay with that, I’ve been praying intently lately about what the next steps are in my ministry, and the Lord guided me to send out that release.
Let me backtrack for a moment here, because I think that I need to expand on some experiences that have led up to Monday’s release…..
I don’t know about any of you, but I have the tendency to be impatient. I generally have a hard time waiting for the Lord to give me an answer on something, anything! I always tell Him that I will wait for His answer on something, but after a couple of days, or sometimes even just a couple of hours, I go ahead and do whatever it is that I want to do, without a definite answer from Him on the subject. And without fail, I always have the same experience afterwards—-dead silence. Nothing happens as a result of what I attempt to do. If I sent an email to a literary agent about a manuscript that I am working on, I hear nothing back. If I contacted a radio show about an interview, I get no response. And so on and so forth, in all areas of my life, big and small. I don’t know why I do it, when I know what the outcome will be; I guess I just can’t help myself-I’m a sinner, what can I say.
Each and every time that this happens, though, that I “jump the God,” as I like to say, and take matters into my own hands without guidance from Him, I feel like I am hitting my head against the wall. I literally visualize myself trying to forcefully open a door that won’t budge, and I smack my head into the door. And when I don’t wait for the Lord, or I don’t listen to his guidance, I smack my head over and over again. I had been smacking my head against door after door an awful lot in the last month or two. I always felt like I was grabbing, grabbing for something concrete to hold onto, for something that would further my ministry, but I was being impatient. I wasn’t waiting for God’s answer; I wasn’t listening to what He was trying to tell me. Finally, after getting tired of having a sore head and bruised spirit from all of the door banging, I prayed. And instead of praying for the Lord’s guidance in my ministry, I began in recent weeks to pray for patience, in all areas of my life. I began to pray for a quietness of mind and spirit that would allow me to truly listen, and hear the Lord’s plan for me. I prayed for a deeper friendship with the Lord, where I could appreciate Him and share with Him in all aspects of my life.
And do you know what happened? I felt great. I began to sit in conversation with Him and not ask Him for answers in my life and ministry, but just talked with Him, about all things, good and bad, my hopes and fears, my sins and penance. I didn’t worry about what the “next step” was going to be, I simply began to enjoy everything in my life, including my prayer time, for what it was, not what it could be or what it might result in. It had been far too long since I had prayed like that, without an agenda.
Maybe you’ve experienced this yourself, how shifting your focus in prayer and relationship with God can bring such peace and joy in your life. If you haven’t, I certainly hope that someday you do, because it is awesome experience. It’s interesting, even though I continued to talk and talk and talk in my everyday life, it is my very talk with the Lord that so positively influenced every aspect of my life in recent weeks, and ultimately led me to send out the press release.
I had known about the Christian Newswire service for many months now, but had been knocking on doors of my own choosing despite that knowledge. To be honest, I’m not even sure how long the Lord had been telling me to send out that release through that site. He very well could have told me numerous times to do it, but I didn’t hear Him, or I didn’t listen. What I do know is that this past Sunday, He guided me back to the website to learn more about it, and I started working on the press release that night. This time, however, instead of taking it at face value that this was His plan, I didn’t send the release off that night. In fact, I didn’t even finish it. I purposely left it unfinished and prayed about it before going to bed. I prayed that the Lord give me the patience to wait for an answer on it before I moved any further on it.
When I woke up at 2:17 in the morning with the opening sentence to the release floating in my brain, I knew that it was His sign. I knew that it was time to move forward and create a release to send through the Christian Newswire service, and that’s exactly what I did.
So, to get back to my original subject….why I am speechless? First of all, I am rendered speechless by the grace of God. Who else would stand beside you while you were going against Him, taking matters into your own hands, but then still stand beside you when you were finally following Him and listening to His guidance? Who else would partake in your joy for all of the little things in your life and then likewise be full of excitement and jubilation at the big step that you are taking in your ministry? Who else would wake you up in the middle of the night with the answer that you were finally willing to sit and wait days, if not even months for? He is amazing, isn’t He?!
I am also speechless at the overwhelming response that I received to sending out the press release. To be honest, I was so wrapped up into following the Lord’s plan on sending it out, that I hadn’t even thought about what the potential outcome of it would be. I knew that it would be good, otherwise He wouldn’t have directed me to do it, but I didn’t know how good. So when, within hours of sending it out, I started to receive requests for interviews, speaking engagements, and general, supportive comments through my website, I was rendered speechless.
Although being given the gift of life and the opportunity to bear witness to His grace and glory are certainly the greatest gifts that I have been given (motherhood is the next greatest gift), having the opportunity to hear from others around the world who are fellow believers, others whose lives have been impacted by abortion, including those who have had abortions, themselves, is truly a wonderful gift. I can’t tell you how many times in the past week now that I have been moved to tears by the kind words that I’ve received from people around the world, by how many people are interested in my story (although it’s really HIS story), and how many people are praying for me, my daughter and husband, and my ministry.
Just ask my husband…..it’s been pretty quiet around the house this week……he probably appreciates it that you’ve all helped rendered me speechless…..for awhile anyway.