I was invited to Women of Faith by my friend, Amy Kolln. I was an easy sell because I had heard of Women of Faith and was one of those women who wanted to go but would find out too late…timing all wrong. But not this time, I made it to Imagine, May 2011.
What an experience Women of Faith was for me! At the time, I was in a very fast paced job, trying to hold on to all my titles: be a good wife, mother, coping with a father with dementia and healing from a miscarriage just six months prior. I could go on, but I would sound ridiculous…because it was ridiculous and out of control!
It was such a comfort to sit in that seat and just be “toni.” No title…just God’s daughter…that’s all. No emails to read, voicemails to return, no reports due. No peanut butter sandwiches, no coffee to make or schedules to keep…just me and God.
Speaker after speaker, I was encouraged. I begin to imagine my life with God in control. As a teenager in the faith, it is easy to think you know everything and to try and take control of your life without God’s help. That weekend, I was quickly reminded of Matthew 11:28-29:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
It was at this Women of Faith event where I committed to give God all the things weighting me down in my life and just sit and learn from Him. I prayed for a calmer life, with the most important things at the forefront.
I was only a few weeks pregnant and was afraid to love this baby for the fear of losing again. Angie Smith encouraged me to hope, to love and find strengthen in the name of Jesus. It was Sheila Walsh who inspired me to cry out to the one who can save me, Jesus, and embrace His love. Lisa Harper opened my eyes to loving when it hurts and situations are not always as they appear. Luci Swindoll taught me to enjoy the Christian life. The worship band allowed God’s spirit to be in my heart all weekend and I praised God in the weeks that followed with thanksgiving for how the weekend touched me.
Truly because God answers prayers…no other reason, I made the decision to be a Women of Faith group leader with no clue what that would mean. And today, I will tell you it means a lot. Because of Women of Faith and the impression the organization has left on my heart, I am able to now stay at home with baby Natalie, while the boys are in school, go see my father without feeling guilty, love people like Jesus would love…and write. A dream come true! So thanks, Women of Faith for allowing God to use you, shape and mold you to do His work. I am so proud to be a part of the team and win souls for Christ.
Women of Faith is a Christian-based live events organization. Women of Faith events are produced by the world’s largest producer of inspirational events, Live Event Management Inc., a Thomas Nelson company based in Plano, Texas. Through authentic connection with audiences, humor, an atmosphere of encouragement and support, and our line-up of world-class talent including well-known Christian authors and performers, Women of Faith delivers life-changing messages via high-quality programs in cities across North America.
Find out when Women of Faith is coming to your city : www.womenoffaith.com/events