The Saturday before the conference I finally found my way to the church website to check out the conference details and about cried when I figured out that the ticket was out of my price range. Trust me when I say hearing Lysa speak is worth paying any dollar amount, but due to Gene being on disability and so forth our funds are limited. After talking with Kelley, who was going with me and deciding we both couldn't do this, I sadly emailed Holly and just briefly told her I wasn't going to be able to attend after all, but perhaps we could still get together for a lunch or dinner.
How many of us know that when God wants us to be somewhere He will work out the details? I received an email on Monday morning saying that my ticket would be paid for if I could still go. The prideful girl in me began to type back through tear filled eyes her response of thanks and refusal of the ticket. That is when the girl inside me who desperately begs Jesus to invade her life, pushed prideful girl out of her way and deleted the message before it was sent. Instead, I sent a response of how blessed I felt and I accepted the gift. I took what I had put aside for my ticket and Kelley was able to attend also. God wanted us there and there would be no blocking His blessings on this day.
Not only did He give us a great conference and time of meeting other lovers of Jesus, He gave us time after the conference with Lysa and Holly. Their flight was delayed until the next morning and so we went to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner and a movie where there was unlimited popcorn.
Great time of fellowship, laughter and memory making.Kelley, Lelia, Lysa and Holly
I have read and hosted blog studies on a few of Lysa's books and I love reading her blog, so I am familiar with parts of her testimony. But I am telling you, just like I told her over lunch, reading about what God has done in her life versus hearing it is just two different things. My eye makeup didn't stand a chance that weekend as every session Lysa shared, the tears would come. Not so much by what she was saying, but how God was using her to speak directly to my heart. He got my attention that weekend.
Like I told my husband and Mom after the conference ended Saturday afternoon, "I have attended a lot of women's conferences, but never have I felt one to be so personal". I love when God does stuff like that. Just wraps those scarred hands around your heart, refusing to let go no matter how hard or emotional it gets until His love for you cannot be denied.
All week leading up to the conference I had prayed not only for Lysa, Holly and Kelley, but also for myself. That God would open my ears and heart to receive what He had for me. I knew He had something for me and the excitement of not knowing exactly what made me feel like a little kid on their birthday. You know there is something underneath that wrapping paper, you just don't know what the gift is. And so with much expectation of my King I arrived in KC Friday evening.
I'm going to come back this week and share bits and parts of the conference with you, but this is the part I want to share today. Lysa first told us the story in Matthew 19: 16-30 about the rich young man. She really focused on the last part of verse 20 where the man asked Jesus a question.
"What do I still lack?"
One thing Lysa challenged us to do is to ask God,
"What is the one thing that I am lacking
that keeps me from having
an incredible relationship with You?".
That following Monday morning about 4 in the morning, I had gotten up out of a hard sleep to use the bathroom and before I was even out of bed I asked God that question. I remember thinking later that morning when I was more alert, how cool that was to know that in my sleep, I was thinking of that part of the conference.
Well, it is something I've been praying about and asking God since the weekend of January 15th and I finally got my answer this week. In the ice on my driveway of all places. I know, weird. But God made it so clear to me.
Nebraska is not on God's list right now of "States to Bless" because we have been in snow, ice and temps that even an Eskimo would be ticked about. We have been in this weather for a really long time now. Well usually when it snows either Gene or Aaron scoop our driveway, but with Gene's back surgeries and Aaron's back injury and my refusal to do such a task, I let it slide this winter. And that is exactly what I've been doing since the snow storms; sliding up and down our driveway that is covered with ice. My sweet Dad did bring his snowblower over and removed the snow, but underneath the snow was lots of ice. So much, that when I get out of the car I feel as if I'm on an ice skating rink as the sidewalk too is covered.
Anyway, earlier this week after I dropped the kids off at school, I pulled into the driveway and noticed there were two black objects lying on the passenger side of the drive. Wondering what it was, I went around the car to get a closer view.
Lo and behold, it was a pair of Aaron's socks. I guessed that the night before when he got out of the car he must have dropped them. Knowing when he got in the car this morning he had to have seen them, I was a little irritated as to why he would just leave them. I soon discovered that the reason being, they have become one with the ice. I tried to pull them up, but unless I used a shovel or something sharp to chip away the ice, those socks were not moving. So, since there is no way right now of getting them out, Aaron has decided to wait until the ice thaws.
So there in my driveway for all who walk up to my house to see are two very large Nike socks stiff as a board incased in ice. Right next to the leaves we never got raked in the fall. And with this weather I just may have socks in the driveway until June. Very nice.
But this is what God showed me here.
Through some dirty, frozen basketball socks embedded in the ice on my driveway, God showed me what my heart looks like from His seat on the throne.
I've been asking Him to change me, begging actually and yet He sees that I keep parts of my heart in ice. Parts that He would have to chip away at to get to. Parts of my life I think I can handle on my own.
Lysa talked about how she too had tried keeping parts of her life away from God. Giving Him permission to invade all other areas, but not her family. He could have her ministry, her home, but stay back from my family.
And what did God do with those limitations?
He expanded her territory through an unthinkable adoption of her two boys from Liberia that she heard sing in a choir. He took the one area of her heart incased in ice and slowly melted it until He had her complete surrender and she allowed herself to be called Mom by five instead of three.
God is good. God is great. But He doesn't just want my lips to ask Him what I lack from having an incredible relationship with Him, He wants my heart to melt into the relationship He wants to enjoy with me.
So as I examine my heart I see things such as attitude, control and fear on the frozen side and the desire to love, surrender and have unshakable faith on the warm side of my heart. It's time to let Jesus melt the ice away and get into those areas of my life that I have not given Him permission to have full access to.
In church this past weekend,the pastor spoke of how we have a call to greatness. He quoted Mother Teresa as saying,
"Let Jesus use you without consulting you,
and you will be holy because you belong to Him".
Hmmm...I am lacking surrender and God let me know it this week.
For some reason, God doesn't want to be consulted by some woman in Nebraska that thinks she knows what's best.
Instead, He wants access to her heart and life.
24/7 kind of access.
I want to pass on Lysa's challenge of asking God,
"What is the one thing I am lacking
that keeps me from having
an incredible relationship with You?"
And don't put any limitations to where He can show you His answer.
Could just be in a pair of frozen socks.
Please pray for Lysa as she is choosing peace over panic from unexpected events happening in her life. Please click here to let her know she is in your prayers.