home about speaking she cares resources contact

Friday, April 16, 2010

Crying Out and Speaking Out

*****UPDATE: My appointment with the radiation oncologist is this morning at 9:15.*****
“I cried out to you, O Lord. I begged the Lord for mercy, saying, “What will you gain if I die, if I sink into the grave? Can my dust praise you? Can it tell of your faithfulness Hear me, Lord, and have mercy on me. Help me, O Lord.” Psalm 30:8-10
This has been my prayer since January 25 when I was diagnosed with cancer. Lord, can I tell of your goodness if I’m dead? Save me so that I might tell the world of your great love.
That’s it. I just keep reminding God who He is, what He’s done and what He called me to do long before cancer was a common word in my life. He called me to write of His good deeds in my life. He called me to speak of His redeeming mercy and great love. He called me to share my story.
For years I have asked Him to teach me how to do that. Last year, I finally felt Him moving me forward, felt Him ushering me down a clearer path. There aren’t many things I know about what He’s asking me to do. One thing I do know is that He wants me to attend a conference for Christian writers and speakers called She Speaks.
Each year Proverbs 31 Ministries sponsors this conference and each year they hold a scholarship contest to award some lucky ladies scholarships. Last year was the first year I heard about the scholarship. I entered. I was nervous. But I was obedient. I posted my writing with a hundred or so other nervous women. I didn’t win the scholarship. I was slightly disappointed but knew that I knew that I knew “next” year was the year. Not the year I’d necessarily win the contest but the year that I would go to She Speaks.
Next year is now this year. This year I got cancer. This year everything changed in an instant. Money is tight. Andrew and I agreed last year we would seriously consider me attending She Speaks. This year tuition money dwindled and finally disappeared as we went without a steady job for a few months, visited more doctors than we could ever imagine and paid for a surgery our insurance wouldn’t cover. She Speaks was slowly falling off my radar and I was so sad. My last hope would be the contest.
Contest day came and I posted my entry along with about two hundred other nervous women. This year was different. I knew I would win. I was nervous but confident. You know, there just aren’t that many instances in life when you think you’ve got it but for me, this was one. The winners were posted at 12:00 AM on Good Friday. My name wasn’t there. I cried. Alone in the dark that night, silly, little girl tears fell down my cheeks. Tears that made me feel like I did the day my name wasn’t on the list for fifth grade cheerleader.
I was so disappointed I didn’t win, my good news was overshadowed by discouragement’s dark cloud. I questioned God. I questioned myself. I reasoned God knew what my future held and maybe I wouldn’t physically be able to travel in July. I was still sad.
In the sadness, I realized something. Last year and all the previous years, I wanted to attend She Speaks because I know that this is the place God will show me what my next step is to be. I know He will reveal to me things about my book, my vision, my calling. But on Good Friday as I was driving down Highway 105 on my way home from MD Anderson Cancer Center, I realized I wanted to go this year for another reason too. I wanted to go because it was something to look forward to. The thought of boarding a plane and sitting in a place with others who share my passion excites me. Going to a place where God speaks makes me want to fight. Realizing this dream makes me want to endure treatment with grace and dignity and without giving in to the pain, fatigue or depression that cancer treatment brings. It makes me want to fight hard… and win!
As I shared that with Andrew, we decided then and there I needed to go. We committed to register and make She Speaks a reality for me. We decided as soon as our house sold I would register.
A few days later I received an email. It was a message from Renee Swope of Proverbs 31. She was calling to tell me that she had a scholarship to give away and she was giving it to me! I was stunned. I sat speechless on the phone as tears slipped down my cheeks.
God had heard me. I had heard God. He is allowing me to receive the training I need to preach His name and His message in the form of my story to the world. I am so excited I can hardly stand it! I have to pinch myself each time I think about it and I am grateful beyond words to this ministry and these ladies. God has surely brought the rest of Psalm 80 to pass in my life.
“You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever! “ Psalm 30:11-12


Bernie said...

Lisa, your story, your life and you are a real inspiration to all of us.....The love you have for God and his word and his love for you is a true love story. I am so happy for you, She Speaks will be better because you are there I'm sure. God Bless sweetie, always keeping you in my heart and prayers
.......:-) Hugs

Denise said...

Praise God sweet sis for this awesome news. You are so deserving, I am very happy for you. Shine on, shine on. I love you.

Nicole said...

This post as well as your blog is so encouraging. I am praying for you, because I have a dream and a vision to be a novelist. I'll tell you when God speaks sometimes it seems that when things don't go the way we think they should or like we thought God said they would we can lose faith, which is what I am fighting against right now. I have faith for you Lisa. God is not through with you, you still have people to impact and share your story with. I am one of them.

Melanie said...

Oh, Lisa! Yay!!!
"Ready? Okay!"

Jan said...

Ohhhhh Lisa, how absolutely wonderful!!! It couldn't of happened to a more deserving soul! Happy dancing down South for you today my dear and wishing you the best of luck w/your appt this morning!

Gigi said...

This post just reduced me to tears...our God is so faithful and loving - down to the smallest detail! It absolutely humbles me and brings me to my knees in adoration and gratitude. To Him be all the glory, honor and praise!!

Christiana said...

My eyes are filled with tears.

This is precious. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story of God's tender care and provision for His children. Thank you for believing in Him and holding fast to your faith through the hard times. Thank you for being vulnerable and honest and sharing the story of your personal journey with others.

These - and so many others - are the reasons why you are supposed to be there.

It's going to be lifechanging. Have a total blast, my sweet friend.

Angel Muly said...

Lisa, that is the best story I have heard in a while. I am so happy for you. That is a conference I have wanted to attend and I know someday it will work out for me as well. You are an inspiration!! Love, Angel

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful story and miracles are happening every moment in all our lives. Your miracles are just moving faster right now. Blessings

Cindy Bultema said...

Rejoicing with you, dear Lisa!! Woo Hoo!!
Cindy :)

Shanda said...

I'm so excited for you Lisa! I love Renee - out of all the speakers there the year I attended "She Speaks" God spoke to my heart and soul the loudest through her.

May He bless your time there mightily and open your eyes fully to those next steps!

Tea With Tiffany said...

God has not forgotten you. Instead He chooses to handpick you! I'm so touched He picked you. Thank You, Jesus for blessing Lisa during her time of need. This will be a sweet gift for your soul.

I'm hoping and praying I can go too. I entered a writing contest for a She Speaks scholarship this week. Only God alone could make it happen to where I can meet you and so many other sweet friends in person. That would be beyond, beyond good. I'd cried.

Hugs and love and always praying for your healing.


Renee Swope said...

I am crying as I read this!! I am so thankful God would allow me to be part of your miracle. Part of His provision. So, so thankful HE MADE A WAY!!!

The day I was given a scholarship to give away I started asking the Lord what kind of contest He wanted me to do. I cannot tell you how clearly He directed my heart not to hold a contest but to take the scholarship He'd given me, split it in half and give it to you and Kimberly, making up the difference with monies He'd provided. I cannot wait to see you both there!!!

Love you my sweet Lisa. Praying for you now!!