The amazing thing is, God did so much more than even this over the week I was there. He met my every need during this week. He affirmed me in every way and showed me like He never has before how much He loves me. I truly have never felt more loved by Abba than I do now. The award is part of this story, but there were so many other "awards" that came from this week. I want to tell you about one of them.
I shared on our Facebook page before my trip that I was in Indianapolis. A fellow SUMite, Jennifer Beckler, reached out to me to ask if we could have coffee while I was there. I looked at my work schedule (I managed the registration desk for the whole week—God's provision to get me there as being on staff took care of many of my expenses) and saw as small window of time Friday evening.
This didn't work for Jennifer as she is not only a homeschooling mom but a working mom too. I contemplated suggesting Monday but thought it might be too stressful to work out with my crazy schedule.
This year's ACFW Keynote was Robin Jones Gunn and on Saturday she told this amazing story of how a reader wrote her the last day of Robin's vacation on Maui and shared how one of Robin's book had brought her to Jesus at age twelve. Ten years later she wanted to share this with Robin and how Jesus had given her so many of the desires of her heart. But one she hesitated to ask Him for since she lived so far away on the island of Maui! Just hours before Robin was to fly home, she and this dear reader met.
My spirit was so stirred. I immediately reached out to Jennifer again to try to make our meeting work. I prayed for God to put the pieces in place to make it work. He would help smooth out the stressful places—why hadn't I trust Him for that to begin with? She messaged me back that Monday worked and we set a time.
Sunday evening after the awards gala, I had a chance to tell Robin Jones Gunn about this beautiful story and how her story had inspired me to try again. And Robin told me something so profound as she congratulated me on my award. She said she found that from a great blessing comes an opportunity to wash feet. I took that to heart as great wisdom from the Holy Spirit.
The next day, Jennifer and I met and she brought her precious teenaged daughter with her. We sat at a table with our coffees. Jennifer’s daughter listened to music while Jennifer and I shared our hearts with each other.
I heard a splash and realized her daughter had spilled her coffee, drenching her leg and the floor below. I jumped up and grabbed handfuls of napkins to help this sweet girl get cleaned up. Her jeans and her shoes were covered.
My hands stilled a moment as I realized—I was wiping down her shoes. Her feet.
My friends, even as I write this I am overwhelmed by God's profound goodness. I confess that at times I’ve still battled with feeling like I’d been overlooked or that God didn’t love me as much as everyone else. Now I truly know differently. He brings such precious wisdom, grace and meaning to our lives if we just stay in intentional awareness of His constant presence. And those tender places—He affirms at just the right time with His love and provision.
And He doesn’t stop there because He knows that the full benefit of the blessing comes when we are given the chance to share it and bless another, to serve another.
As Robin Jones Gunn shared this weekend, God doesn't show up. He's already there.
And His love is absolutely relentless.
Love you all so very much,