When God Demonstrates His Grace Through Fellowship
I had the opportunity to attend the Compel Conference in South Sioux City, Nebraska in January. The theme for the conference was A Dare to Dream with the lovely Deidra Riggs as the featured speaker for the weekend. We began on a Friday evening and I tried to write as fast as my fingers would allow to capture everything Deidra shared with us.
“We are here to reflect God’s glory here on earth.
Speak life and light into the inky chaos; that is why God breathes life into you.
He redeems us for a reason and it’s not just about getting to heaven.
They will know we are Christians by the way we love each other.
God sent His Holy Spirit to live within us.
You are the only person that God sent to this world to live your life.
We are reflecting the image of God to the world.”
What do I remember most from my first night at Compel?
Deidra completed her message for the night and we moved on to a time of fellowship. I bravely started a few conversations, which was a step outside of my comfort zone. I’m more of an introvert you see and Satan knows this. He was on the prowl to stop me from daring to dream. I soon found myself sitting at my table playing with my phone as other attendees carried on their conversations. It didn’t take long for familiar feelings of not belonging to emerge.
Suddenly out of the corner of my eye I saw Deidra, Jennifer, and Michelle waving me over. I looked both left and right to see if they were waving at someone else (surely they were not waving at me), but they were indeed waving at me.
Our evening continued on until the early hours of Saturday morning as eight of us gathered in a room telling our stories. God showed up in a hotel room. Deidra tells of the night so much better than I ever could in her post God Speaks Through The Real People In Your Life.
How did God speak to me through these real people He placed in my life for a night?
God told me, “You do belong, Beth.”
For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. ~ Romans 12:4-5
The lack of sleep from the night before did not prevent me from capturing a few more of Deidra’s powerful nuggets as she continued to inspire us to dare to dream.
“He uses our failures to give us a brand-new perspective on who He is and about His power in our life.
He is after a personal and intimate relationship with you.
God will use every experience in your life to let you know how much He loves you.
He is using what you are doing right now for a purpose.
It’s not your dream; it’s God’s dream for your life.”
I returned home from the conference ready to dare to dream. More than anything, I returned home wanting to re-create what I experienced on the Friday evening in South Sioux City, Nebraska.
As Deidra wrote in her post, “Sometimes, it’s way less complicated than I lead myself to believe.”
God speaks to me every day through people I know. He uses people like Shelly, Joan and Lauren. He spoke to me through these ladies as sadness was creeping in. Satan was trying his best to steal my joy by once again telling me I did not belong and would never be good enough.
God spoke needed encouragement and love through people in my life when I needed it most.
“Instead of feeling the stress of this delay, stop and pray and ask God to show you HIS plan in all of this. I know He has one and I have no doubt that you are walking in it.” ~ Shelly
“You ARE a writer. Do you know how I know? You have a story to tell and God has been using you to bless others through your words. That makes you a writer!” ~ Joan
“You are so loved, Beth. You are loved by us, and more importantly by God. He loves you, likes you, and enjoys you.” ~ Lauren
I’m reminded of lyrics from a song written and sung by Jill Miller as the Compel Conference came to an end.
“Grace is love this world cannot put out.
Grace is hope to see beyond our doubts.
Grace is everything we will ever need to fly free.”
~ Grace Finds Wings, by Jill Miller
Grace finds wings through the people God places in our life. He will speak to us through them. He will use them to breathe life back into us when we are feeling weary. We only need to stop long enough to listen.
Who is God speaking to you through? Who is He sending your way to bless you? I would love for you to share in the comments.