“And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, ’The Lord is with you….’” (Judges 6:12 ESV)
I had finally made it. After years of praying, waiting and saving I was finally here. I had traveled almost 800 miles, flying alone for the first time in a long time. I knew no one. I had attended the pre-conference making this day two for me. And the voices I entertained in my head were beginning to make me wonder if I should have come, if I belonged.
We had been warned that the enemy would assail us, cause us to doubt if attending was really the Lord’s idea or our own. But honestly, I didn’t feel like I was being attacked, it was the voice of my own insecurities and general angst playing havoc in my tired mind.
I was very happy that I had made it through the cab ride without spilling tea on my white pants (really wasn’t sure if I could manage that). Moving through the crowded hall I decided to make a stop at the restroom. I mentally calculated the speed at which a woman was crossing my path and … AHHH!!! I went flying. While I had avoided her I had failed to notice the rolling luggage she pulled behind her. I fell out of my slip-on sandals, dropped my pocketbook, lost my canvas bag full of conference stuff and – of course – released the full cup of still reasonably hot tea. In a miracle only God could orchestrate I recovered my balance before hitting the carpet (which was now soaked with tea) and didn’t get anything on my white pants.
The luggage bearer apologized profusely as I tried to reassure her that I was fine and no harm was done. Then she launched into a litany I wish I could remember verbatim. What I remember hearing was: “I’ve been coming to this conference for ten years. The Lord told me to accost women [her word] though not in quite this way. He wanted me to tell women that they belong here and especially if this is your first time attending or you came alone don’t let the enemy convince you you shouldn’t be here. You will learn much. You may not be able to use it all immediately but that’s okay; you may be able to use it in the future.”
I got a little misty-eyed. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. It was a message of affirmation given to me in a way only the Lord Himself could arrange. I thanked her for her obedience to the Lord, for sharing His words of encouragement.
Stepping out in faith – even when you feel certain of the Lord’s will – may still bring anxious moments of doubt and fear. But one thing is certain: when we walk in obedience “the Lord is with [us] wherever [we] go.’” (Joshua 1:9)