IF THE SHOE FITS
A few weeks ago (I promise I will get better at this Blogging) I returned from the most amazing, empowering, and soul-stirring Women’s Conference. The EmpowHER Conferences’ theme was; “It’s OUR Time to Shine”. If you are anything like me (prior to his retreat), you have had some trepidation when it comes to women gatherings. If I am going to be totally honest, when I was initially asked (by my own church no less) to not only teach a session but to host the 3 day event, I said without reluctance NO. The Coordinator in her great gift of Exhortation would not relent. She knew why I said no and assured me “this” time would be better. So, with some prayer I agreed. I was in the midst of launching this Website, My Birthday Double Vacation, Work Stressors, Doctorate Homework, being Ordained, and going home to PHILLY to see my EAGLES win the home opener, but here I was agreeing to be an active part of this Women’s Retreat. Overwhelmed and seeking GOD more than the usual, I found myself buying shoes. Stay with me now!! There was a crazy sale going on at Dillards, and I couldn’t resist. As I was trying on the shoes, it was dropped in my spirit, If the Shoe FITS. I’m like, yeah buy it right?? But as the saying goes, If the Shoe Fits…..Wear it.
Still a little confused with what did “if the shoe fits” have to do with me or this retreat, I pressed forward to the kickoff on Friday Morning. I can’t speak for anyone else, but as for me, this weekend was about EXPOSURE. GOD had to expose me to ME. With every speaker, I was being EXPOSED. Now no one else would know of the inner turmoil and revelation, but GOD’s voice was very clear to me. If the Shoe FITS. Like an Old School View Master, I saw some not so pleasing flashbacks of how and who I was. If we are honest with ourselves, there are areas in our lives we struggle with in silence and/or in private. If you are in the Ministry, you know even more how “careful” we have to constantly live our Lives in a manner that is not to offend the Aint’s and even the Saints, and everyone in between, all while making an even greater effort in ALL we do to PLEASE GOD. During the conference, the Keynote Speakers in particular made us look at ourselves. Who are you? What is it that keeps you up at night? What passion is burning so deeply inside you that it brings you to anger or even tears? What are we doing about it? Is it fear, haters, or our own procrastination that’s blocking OUR Dreams is what Jennifer Keitt forced us to asked? Saturday Night, Robin May came hard in the paint daring us to live the “Couture Life”. Yes it sounds fancy, but baaaaabyyyy (in my Best Louisiana draw) once you realized that the main reason your blessing is not revealed isn’t because we are waiting on GOD, but could it be GOD is waiting on us? I had to sit there with a stone face to not let anyone know she was stepping all on my toes.
To culminate the weekend, we had a Praise & Worship Service like no other; lead by Antionette Sims. My plan was to leave early and beat the crowd, and GOD said NOT Yet. The artist’s microphone was muffled, we tried switching them out, changing the batteries, calling the Conference Center Maintenance and Audio Video person, nothing!! You name it, we tried it, but when I tell you GOD STILL showed up and healed, delivered and set free even in the midst of all that. To see my Sisters in full, unapologetic, no barriers or walls worship was Priceless. No sermon was preached as OUR Authentic Worship to HIM I pray was enough. I know I left Filled.
It wasn’t long before I realize what GOD was saying when I heard, “If the shoe fits”, we have to wear it (whatever we are struggling with) and similar to a 12 step program to wear it means we have to first acknowledge it. If the shoe is too tight, take it off, if it’s too big, it doesn’t mean you’ll never wear it, it could simply mean it’s not your season, but here’s a preview of things to come. If it’s old and classic, dust it off and go back to it. For example, the shoe of worship was there, and we wore it, the shoe of peace was there and we walked in it. And most importantly the Shoe of Forgiveness was there and we received it.
I know that GOD requires so much more from US (and I know from a personal level from me), and just like the confidence and bravado we have when we slip on that new pair of shoes, we have to walk in that same boldness in the gifts and talents HE called us to. It truly is “Our” time to Shine with Strength, Dignity and NO FEAR…