Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. ~Philippians 2:4
So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. ~1 Thessalonians 5:11
I was blessed to attend the 2019 SheSpeaks Conference, which is designed for women who have been called to be writers, speakers, or ministry leaders. My two days at the conference were filled with great worship, strong messages of inspiration, and a variety of learning opportunities. My heart and head were filled to overflowing, and I will be processing what I learned at the conference for quite a while.
One of the most uplifting things I experienced at SheSpeaks was fellowship with some very special women—women who were truly living out the scriptures above, and who were doing their best to live into their calling from God. Many of the women I met had lived through, or were currently living in the midst of, very trying circumstances. And yet, these women had come to SheSpeaks seeking ways to share their story, communicate their faith, and connect to other women.
At the end of our first day of worship, keynote speakers, and workshops, I stayed at my table and talked with a couple of women for at least another hour. I witnessed real-life examples of how we should be living our lives as Christian women. I observed one of the ladies as she listened as though she had the ears of Christ. Her attention was completely on the person who was speaking and her eyes displayed genuine interest and compassion. When she spoke, her words reflected understanding, wisdom, and encouragement. She was actively living out the directive from Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:11.
The other woman had been through some recent struggles and is facing potential surgery in the near future. And yet, when she spoke about her ministry passion, and what she believed God is calling her to do, her focus was completely on the interests of the women and girls she wants to help. Although she had concerns about her health, she spoke confidently about God being in control. We prayed with her and she shared her dreams for the ministry she hopes to grow. She was actively demonstrating what Paul advised in Philippians 4:13.
On the second day of the conference, I was again given the opportunity to engage with a group of women who were filled with a desire to seek God’s will for their lives, and to share the Good News with others through their own unique calling. We shared stories from our lives and hopes for our ministries. We lifted each other up as sisters in Christ, and each of us received blessings and encouragement from the others. And we prayed together.
I could not have connected with the women I met, if I didn’t feel safe opening up to them. I believed they were women of integrity who could be trusted with what I shared, and I believed that what I said mattered to each of them. One of the conference speakers stated that, as communicators for Christ, each of us should be a safe place for others who are seeking God, guidance, strength, wisdom, courage, etc. I believe that as disciples of Christ, we should all strive to be that safe place for someone who needs it— in whatever way God calls us. We can all put aside our own interests for the interest of others. And we can all be encouragers to the people in our lives.
I hope that each of you has a safe person in your life, and that you will strive to be a safe person for someone else.