My Prayer Room Story

Though the She Speaks conference has turned out to be the spiritual highlight of the year for me, it didn't come without a price.

There's always a cost, isn't there?

Friday night's speaker evaluation was quite possibly the most intimidating moment of my life, simply because speaking is the the last thing on earth I desire to do. Truly. When I sensed the Lord nudging me to begin speaking at the beginning of the year I thought, Surely You must be kidding. I'm a writer. I like writing; it gives me time to think, backspace, delete or just start over.

Then I thought, Maybe I'm just making up the speaking thing. Maybe I'm imagining one of those worst-case scenarios my brain seems compelled to create. Like when I'm driving over an impossibly high bridge on a freezing day and I try to figure out if I could get my window open and unbuckle my seat-belt and swim to the shore without freezing in the event my car plunges over the guard rail.

Finally, the Lord accosted convinced me while I drove one afternoon, (not over a bridge) and I surrendered, uttering a simple yet incredibly brave one-sentence prayer: Lord, if you want me to speak, please confirm it.

Two days later my laptop slid to the floor when I saw my name on Lysa TerKeurst's blog as a scholarship winner for She Speaks with this post.
But still, months later as I cried on a comfy bed after the She Speaks speaker evaluations on a Friday night in Concord, North Carolina, I couldn't help but think I do not want to speak. God, why are you making me speak? Furthermore, my body betrayed me when I did speak. I could do without the internal earthquakes and the Niagara Falls armpits, thank you very much.
My comfort zone had not only been imposed upon, it had utterly vanished.
Saturday morning found fresh tears on my cheeks. Another speaker evaluation loomed like a pistol-waving terrorist only inches from my face. After choking down a few bites of breakfast, I hurried to the prayer room for some desperately needed spiritual fortification.
And there He was. My Prince of Peace. My courage. My strength. The lover of my soul. And the One through Whom I can do all things.
A beautiful prayer warrior named Charlotte whispered, "Would you like to pray with me?" Heads bowed, hands clasped together, we prayed.
God showed Charlotte a few things, and she shared them with me. And just like that, everything changed; my perspective, my countenance and most of all, my heart. I left that prayer room equipped with His grace and His joy, which is my strength. And I suddenly realized that I was walking, with Him, toward my destiny.
How about you? Do you have a prayer room story? I'd love to hear it!


23 comments:

Lisa B @ simply His said...

Beautiful Julie!! Awesome story. I keep having visions of being a speaker and I've gone through the same thoughts you have -- God, surely you are joking. I was going to take the Speaker's Track this year, but as it got closer, God was moving in me to be in all the blogging sessions this year.

So I have no idea if I'm truly meant to speak -- I do know I felt very uncomfortable on the blogging panel talking :)

I pray that God continues to lead you and give you the strength. Most often He shows up in mighty ways when we can't do something on our own.

Charlene Kidd said...

Julie,
Yours is one of so many from this weekend. I am so glad you had an encounter with our Lord. I checked in on the room Saturday night to refill the tissues; people were laid out all over the place. The presence of the Holy Spirit was so strong it saturated the room. I did not want to leave and go back to working the book table. Be blessed.

Truth4thejourney said...

Hi Julie,

What a beautiful testimony of the power and presence of God. Thanks for sharing with us. I'm so glad He is leading you!!

Heading for our conference in the morning!

God Bless,
Sonya

Bonita said...

Julie, I do have a prayer room story. It's identical to yours, only it happened in 2006, I didn't win a scholarship and it was Luann, not my precious friend Charlotte, who prayed for me in the prayer room.

I won't tell you what happened less than a year later because it might send your little speaker heart over the edge. All I'll say is the comfort zone you once had you'll probably never see again!

Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful experience.

Heather said...

I am hoping to get my prayer room story posted sometime tomorrow or the next day. I visited it Friday night. It was a definite God moment. One of many the whole conference!

I wish I had had the time to go back there later on, but it just didn't work out... I should have taken the time on Saturday night, but for some reason felt very self-conscious..... so I didn't.

ah well. Interesting how easy it is though to get back to the real world, and I find myself worrying about something, and instead of going right to prayer like I did for the last 5 days or so, I find myself just worrying and wondering, rather than asking God for the answers...
Back to the "prayer room" for me, and maybe this time I will remember my lesson from it more easily!

God bless,
Heather

B His Girl said...

When God speaks it gives you peace to speak. You have to love that! I can see you being called to speak because of your gift. This is important Julie.
God confirmed my call to speak on the 3 mile bridge in Pensacola. I really didn't need confirmation but I did need a push: ) I have one word to suggest as I read this Julie...are your ready?
Toastmasters
It will help you get started. This is exciting. Remember you are a Word Chick! B

~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said...

Quite an inspiration Julie. My whole life is full of these types of stories. However, being my brain is fried at the moment from so much stuff going on, I'm unable to pull anything specific from my hat. God is so awesomely powerful. He is always there, with us. He is our comforter, our strong tower, our All. Praise HIM!

lisasmith said...

Love the feeling of walking with him to my destiny. My journey into speaking has left me feeling the same way. Utterly dependent on him at all times!

Jean Wise said...

wonderful descriptive writing here , Julie. I really felt your fear! You really are brave to step out with God's hand on you to be obedient, no matter what happens. Praising God for you this am.

Especially Heather said...

Oh Julie, I so get you. The prayer room was one of the most .... trying to find the word here...most heavenly experience I have had in a long time. And Charlotte... just wow. She took the words right off my heart and delivered them to the feet of my savior.

I am so glad that you told this story, but most of all I am so inspired by your realness in the story. Fear is a good thing!

-h

Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama said...

The prayer room was absolutely awe inspiring. I wrote a post Saturday night about my experience there- God's presence was so palpable! Thanks for sharing your story!

http://www.multitaskingmama.com/2009/08/outstretched-arms/

Christian Mommy Writer said...

Isn't it great that the Lord used that lady to give you peace, comfort, and courage? God is awesome and so is the power of prayer!

By the way, thanks for visiting my blog. We are not at Ft. Campbell. My husband is in the Air Force.

Be blessed!

Rachel B said...

Thanks so much for sharing this, Julie. From just reading your blog throughout the past few months I invision you as this woman who "has it all together". My thinking...why would YOU be intimidated by a speaker evaluation group?! It made me feel not so "all alone" in my own doubts, fears and insecrities. I could say so much more, but I won't. You were so honest and open in this post. I appreciate that!

So glad God put Charlotte in your path to pray with you. He is sooooo good like that! :)

Denise said...

Beautiful story Julie! I too had an awesome experience.
http://choosingtoday.blogspot.com/2009/08/so-much-to-say-so-little-time.html
Thank you so much for sharing.

Denise
Your sister-in-law look alike:)

Jill said...

Great words and reflection Julie!! I too visited the prayer room - what an absolutely amazing experience. The whole conference really. It truly is amazing to see and feel God at work! Perhaps I too will post about the events of the prayer room, I feel like I could write about the experience for weeks! Blessings to you and may He continue to hear and answer the prayer of your heart, Jill

LauraLee Shaw said...

Oh wow, have I had this conversation with myself! It is pretty obvious to me after talking to you for awhile, that you are definitely cut out for speaking. You're an engaging communicator. What a beautiful post, my friend.

Deb said...

I just finished reading your story.

About when you were growing up.

My heart hurts for that young girl.

Her compassion. Confusion.

Her pain. Rejection.

Her broken heart.

And I cry for her.

At the same time, I rejoice for her. Because she got healed.

By the only one who can heal a hurting heart.

Our One and Only. Our Jesus.

You can speak. You can. Because He has.

And He will.

Sweet dreams.

Whitney said...

Julie,

Hugs from Atlanta. I love your story. And can I just say that despite what your flesh screams the Spirit shouted more audibly to those of us in that room on Friday and Saturday. God is at work girlfriend. Can't wait to see what He does!

Terri Tiffany said...

Wonderful story!
Years ago, friends asked me to buy a Christian bookstore with them. I hesititated because I had a good job, and I'd never read a Christian book before and I felt inadequate. Well we prayed and prayed for as long as a year. And finally I knew it was what God wanted me to do. The former owners sold us the store for only one dollar. The five years I did that gave me some of the best opportunities to witness.

Cheryl Barker said...

Wonderful story, Julie. I love the way God confirms His will for us when we ask Him to. What a loving Father!

Glynnis Whitwer said...

The Prayer Room is always a highlight of She Speaks. I think it's because there we peel away all the expectations we might have brought with us (especially those about why we are there) and meet directly with the God who called us. It seems God uses She Speaks to do some mighty shaking in our lives. We need to let that which is of us fall off, and that which is of Him stick. You are doing awesome! And when you feel like you want to throw up over speaking, give me a call.
Hugs - Glynnis

Shelly said...

Oh sweet mercy! Julie, you wrote my story (well, without the She Speaks experience - this year is my first time).

I don't want to speak either, but I feel like God is asking me to. I have asked Him for confirmation after confirmation because I fell under the sin of disbelief. I could not believe He actually wants me to speak.

I am the "least of these". . . and I do stutter. I also talk very fast and have a hard time being cohesive when telling stories.

I LOVE to write. Writing allows me to write and rewrite until it all makes sense. Speaking does not afford such a luxury.

Thanks so much for sharing your story!

Jill Beran said...

Thanks for sharing Julie...it was great to read again! And neat to think we've been connected for 3 years! Hope things are going well for you! Let me ask, "Does speaking still bring the internal earthquakes??" Just curious where God's brought you! Hope all is well!! Again it was so good to spend time with you! Love, Jill

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