Father in Heaven, please send Your Holy Spirit to present these words the way You want them received. In Jesus name, Amen.
Oh it’s so good to be back at the table with all of you! Though I had a wonderful and blessed time at the conference sitting around several tables with lovely women of God, I so enjoy sitting around this table with all of you as well!
I had many experiences over the five days at the conference. Most of which were so very spiritually filling. Although there were a couple that left me feeling… inferior.
I sat in on a seminar that, like most of the seminars, had to do with the rise in depression and anxiety among our young women and even our mature women. It was really quite staggering.
At the beginning of the seminar, the speaker gave us a hand-out. A woman came in about five minutes late and tapped me on the arm and asked “did she run out of hand-outs?”
“Yes” I replied, “but she is going to make more copies”.
She said ok and thanked me for letting her know.
When the seminar was over, she turned to me again and said “wow, that was really powerful!” I agreed with her and reached into my tote bag to retrieve my cane. Letting it unfold and link all the sections into place, I stood up to leave. This pleasant woman who had been speaking with me briefly, looked around me to my friend and said “oh my goodness, I didn’t realize she was handicapped and I was talking to her!”
I will put in here that out of a thousand women at the conference, I was indeed the only blind woman. I can’t quite explain how it feels to have someone look right past you and speak to the person you’re with as if you somehow became incapable of communicating as a blind person.
It kind of takes you down to feelings of an inferior level. When I was speaking to her with no obvious evidence of a disability, she spoke to me without hesitation. But somehow the cane told another story.
In a different seminar, it was standing room only after all the seats were filled. I chose to stand in the back of the room because my back was a bit stiff after all the sitting we had been doing. Well a few minutes in to the seminar, they opened up the “air walls” that separated two smaller rooms and made it one very large room. More chairs were brought in and I found myself literally standing in the middle of the room now.
The two friends I was with were sitting in the front row and were unaware that the room had been opened up. So there I stood not wanting to try and find a seat and wind up sitting in some poor unexpecting ladies lap who was just wanting to hear a good seminar!
Before I could grasp what was going on, a woman grabbed me from behind with a vice like grip and eased me bodily down into a chair. Again, this arises feelings of inferiority.
She could have just told me “I have a chair here for you just behind you.”
I know that these two women who are Gods children as well as me, didn’t mean any harm or ill feelings towards me. However that’s the unfortunate result of people not having the opportunity to be educated on those of us who have disabilities. I say this is unfortunate because one in five people in America has a disability.
But I think we can all relate to feelings of inferiority or inadequacy. Feeling that we couldn’t have a ministry or even simply minister to another individual, due to the belief that God uses more capable people.
Maybe you don’t drive so you feel like God couldn’t use you for His work. Maybe you are deaf so you feel like God couldn’t send you on His tasks for fear of not hearing something correctly. Maybe you are in a wheel chair so you feel as though you couldn’t keep up with what God is asking. Maybe you have anxiety and or depression and you feel like God would rather use someone with a more cheerful outlook. Maybe you are blind and you think God couldn’t use you because you can’t see the faces of those you would be ministering to so how can you be aware of body language.
Friends let me reassure you… God will use A N Y willing heart for His honor and glory!
To spite the two occasions that were a bit of a downer, I came away from that conference with the confidence that God can and will use my willing heart no matter my disability.
If you are deaf, He will use you to hear the cry of someones heart in the midst of a trial. If you have anxiety or depression, He will give you joy in serving another person who is sad or feeling lonely. If you are in a wheel chair, He will send you to be His hands and feet by simply sitting with someone who needs a listening ear. If you are blind, He will give you the ability to see how you can tell others of His great love.
No disability or feelings of inadequacy or inferiority can stand in the way of Gods plans!
Isaiah 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord.”
Our idea of how we could ever be used by God is not how He sees our ability to be used. I never thought I would be able to do any sort of ministry for God because my blindness would simply not allow it. Then I had the humbling opportunity to hear of women purchasing the devotional book at the conference that my work is printed in.
I never imagined being able to reach anyone outside of my small circle of people to tell about Jesus and now I’ve learned how to blog and reach people in other countries.
I never thought I would be able to give bible studies because of not being able to read the material. Now I have three studies going on, two of which are in other states and I host a book club type bible study in my home every other Monday night.
My point in telling you all this is to hopefully give you the hope that our circumstances do not have to define our capabilities. God uses every willing heart to do His work. If your desire is to be used by God, tell Him! He WILL make the way!
My dear readers, the enemy may rob me of my sight but he will never destroy my vision!
I have more to share from this conference in the coming weeks but this was such a large part of my take-away that I wanted to start with this. I hope you find it encouraging.
Oh and about those two women… I hold no ill feelings towards them. But I do feel a greater responsibility to educate people on proper actions when engaging those with disabilities of any kind. This is perhaps why God has placed it on my heart to write a devotional book for people with or caring for disabilities.
See ya in a couple days for Foodie Friday!