Sunday, January 27, 2008

It was just so sweet for me......

Let me just say that God was there for ME this weekend! He was there to meet with me and 65 other ladies from church and speak something so personal over our lives. It was our first overnight retreat for the women of our church. I was so excited. And, I was scared to death.

But, He held me in His hand. He spoke such peace over me before I spoke. That came completely from Him bc I was truly shaking at one point and thinking "how in the world am I going to get through this?" He even gave me complete joy while I shared my testimony of how God settled this wild buck down and changed her heart completely.

It was scary to think of me exposing a part of my life that I had not shared with many people at all. And, when I say "many" I think 2 people know the full deal history of where I had been and how He truly saved my life.

So, to get up there in front of 65 of "your church girls" and expose so much.......almost had me throwing up in the ladies room! What if.....

they don't like me any more?

they don't see what I'm trying to offer?

they miss the whole point of what I was hoping to share?

But, I believe with all my heart that God showed up in His glorious way and truly gave me the story to tell at that given moment. He was present with me. He was felt so deep within my heart. It was like He just placed His arm around me and said..."Go on and spread the Good News.....that is what I have called you to do right at this moment." was time to begin. But, 1st a prayer from my precious prayer partner, Carolyn. Of course I got teary-eyed. We have prayed 100 times together. We've spiritually grown together. We've experienced signifcant growth in our passion for Jesus. There was not a better person to pray for me. Thank you Carolyn. May His mighty hand continue to guide and strengthen you! I hope you have many "Carolyn's" in your life.

I did my thing and honestly I don't know what I said. I followed my notes, but added in a whole bunch of stuff that probably made our retreat leader very nervous. :) You know, the whole time issue thing that they want to follow! But, I went exactly where my Savior took me for that amount of time and I loved the laughter, the reflections, the scriptures that mean so much to me now, and believing that God spoke hope and encouragement to at least one woman in that room.

I give Him all the glory and praise for the work He does in my daily life. I give Him such praise for the Resurrection Jesus that He is. I am in awe of what He did in my life. He is utterly amazing to me how He can change hearts and lives COMPLETELY AROUND!

He was there this weekend. I thank you for your prayers. My sweet friends here at home, my best girls here in blogworld, and our sweet Heavenly Father held me up. I'm overflowing with love and gratitude for you all. Truly. I'm different through Him and through you.

A few pix with some of the girls.....and, you never take as many pix as you would like. Oh well. You can look around the website of where we were here. Talk about an amazing Christian camp for kids. Truly amazing. Thank you Victory Ranch. I wish I could go work there. :)

We had a blast hanging out together. I laughed so hard I cried at times. I loved being with some new friends and my old friends. I loved experiencing God in very different and personal ways at one time. I can't wait for next year!! I had a complete blast with y'all. It went by way too quick.

And, to my church girls....I smiled over you and gave thanks for you as I fixed my cereal tonight and waited on my electric blanket to warm up! (wink wink)

Have a great time with God in ALL things. He blesses me beyond words.


mariel said...

Praise Him for all He did in and through you this weekend!
blessings, mariel

Toknowhim said...

Awesome!!! I was wondering how things turned out... I don't know about you Fran, but there is freedom in sharing your heart with others...being raw in front of them, and from your post it seems that God will get the glory...Have a great week!!

Denise said...

So glad that things went so great for you sweetie, be blessed.

annette said...

And you're still giving Him some glory...doesn't surprise me, but it does warm my heart so. You're humble heart touches many, Fran. Many Blessings, annie

He Knows My Name said...

fran, i know God was with you. your strength came from Him. lives will be changed because of your testimony because he is in the life changing business, right? i am so blessed by you sharing your story with me you have no idea. you give me such hope, and i need hope. so the victory ranch stays true to it's name. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. i praise Him for you today. ~janel

Earen said...

Oh, that sounds like such a refreshing time with the Lord and I'm so happy to hear that He probably used you in ways you have no idea of. Praise the Lord for your humble heart that allowed the Holy Spirit to move on your own heart & through your words. Way to be a vessel used by Him!!

Unknown said...

Yay Frannie! I am so happy for you! God is GOOD! Maybe you might want to travel now that you are a speaker! Come on up here and take my spot at our retreat..I will gladly give it to you!

BTW, you look fabulous in red my friend!

Have a great day!

Charity said...

Oh Fran...I am so glad y'all had a great weekend! I knew He would show up! I am sure there were some seeds planted...and there will be a harvest to come from your weekend. Oh God IS SO GOOD. Thanks for sharing!

Love and Hugs!

BethAnne said...

Praise the Lord! I know exactly how you felt. I was asked to speak a couple of years ago at our womens retreat. We have a huge womens ministry and the thought of standing in front of all those women and telling my story was enough to make me puke! But God was there and so were a few tears, but it worked out wonderfully. I have been praying for you - I am so happy that everything went well and I know you blessed those women with your story. Now they know the 'real' Fran and I am positive they love you even more.

Kelly said...

I wish I could have heard you - I bet it was SO great!!!!
P.S. you look cute in your pics!!!

Darlene R. said...

I absolutely love ladies retreats. There is just something about being with other women that brings out the best in people. I am so glad that everything went so well. I knew it would.

By the way, great pictures!

You are such a blessing to me. I am so glad that we have this little corner of the bloggy world!


Alana said...

Yay! Go God. Isn't He amazing? Truly His peace passes all understanding. And I can only imagine the lives you blessed with your testimony. More than you will ever know, I am SURE!

Patty said...

I am so happy that you had a blast with a big group of women, and praise God for blessing you at this retreat! I would love to hear your testimony. I know you touched every heart of every woman there, more than you will ever know!
Love You,

Mary Lou said...

Wonderful...He answered prayer and will continue to do so in the lives of the ladies that you shared with and in your own sweet heart...God showed up...Praise His holy name.....

marina said...

Fran, I have never had to speake like with somemany people looking at me and seeing what you have to say I would of been throwing up with you LOL!! but it was God who work through you only he could of done these and I know the words you spoke came form God and him only!! Parise God!! marina

Jackie said...

Wow, what fun and what an awesome God. I jsut wanted to stop in and say Hi- thinking of you today and praying for you!! Love ya friend!

Linda said...

I am so glad the Lord carried you through. I sure can be scary to speak in front of others and wonder what they are thinking or how they will react to what you have said. I have been to Victory Ranch and it is a really neat place.

Denise said...

Please come by my blog, I tagged you for a meme.

Julie said...

I hear you. We are having a women's retreat at the end of February. I am speaking at 2 of the 3 sessions.

I have not taught anything since I taught Captivating at my old church 2 years ago. And that was my first time teaching. God showed up mightily for me, for the women, it was awesome.

The title of our retreat is "Love Story". "You are God's Love Story."

I know about the nerves thing.... I have already had the thoughts "WHAT WAS I THINKING????"

I am so glad your time went well. That is just awesome.

Have a blessed day,

Bev Brandon @ The Fray said...

Did you open your mouth and God did Psalm 81:10---He filled it with Himself---I know He did!

Thought of you so many times this weekend and prayed for words to pour out of stories from your heart. I bet the women loved you! How could they not???

Angela Baylis said...

Awe, Fran! I am so glad your retreat went well! Your smile is shining His Love all over the place! I love it! Thank you for your obedience!
Much love,
Angie xoxo

Shonda said...

Fantastic! Praise to God! Glad to hear this good report. All things are possible with HIM.

Blessings in Christ--

Joanne@ Blessed... said...

Sweet sister, what a blessed time in your life. I pray that is the first of many many more opportunities the Lord will lay at your feet.

I am sad that I couldn't have been there. When the Lord brings you out to California, I will be front row and center, your biggest west-coast cheerleader.

In Him my friend, Joanne

Kim@Seasons of My Heart said...

WOW...I love it when God shows up like this!!!

What a precious spirit you's written throughout each of your words.

Pressing forward with him.

jennyhope said...

I so wish I could have gone. I thank God for the Holy Spirit and our bond in Him and how He shows up when we seek to draw near to Him. I am so proud of you! I want to hear the testimony too!!! =)

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

So happy for you that this all turned out. I can so relate!

Shelly said...

Girlfriend...this was so tender upon my heart. I praise the Lord for your obedience to Him and I just know He was clapping in the heavenlies for you as you took a (knee-knocking) stand of authenticity all for His Great Name. Bless you siesta!

AbbyLane said...

ms. fran you are just amazing! i love that every time we share our stories, the Lord gets another opportunity to take all those things the enemy meant to harm and destroy us, to use for His good to redeem those circumstances in our own lives and continue to encourage and blessing others.

and praising Him that you didn't throw up!! i shared my testimony this summer at camp in front of 1000 camper and chaperones, and felt quite the similar stomach ache! i just love you!! :)

I blog so you can get a glimpse into my life as wife, mom of 3 boys, and someone who simply wants to bless others along the way. Have fun and be sweet :)

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