Tag Archives: She Speaks 2009

Jehovah Shammah

In Christian circles, we sometimes talk about how God “speaks to us” or “reveals something to us”. I often wonder whether this sounds like something from a sci-fi movie script to those who are not accustomed to such Christian jargon.

At times, I yearn to hear something from God. I am unsure how to listen for it, to hear the specific answer to my question or need. I now realize that sometimes God speaks most clearly when I am not straining to hear him; in these times, he makes himself known in a quiet moment of reflection or a passing thought that can only be from him.

This past weekend at She Speaks, I experienced some of these moments where God spoke directly to me to meet a certain need. Each time, he surprised me by answering a question that was not at the forefront of my thoughts—but a lingering question for him nonetheless.

Here is one of those moments (stay tuned for the other one in a future post):

I move from session to session, oblivious to the entrance of the prayer room that I walk by at least a dozen times on that busy Saturday. Instead, I earnestly look around for familiar faces among the attendees filling the hallway as I search for the next conversation.

Later that evening during the general session, the worship leader describes the time that she spent in the prayer room, mentioning something about the different names of God posted there. My mind wanders. I vaguely recall the P31 team mentioning a special room, a place for prayer specially set up for conference attendees. Oh yeah, I need to find that room and check it out.

After a particularly meaningful time of worship, I strike out in search of the infamous prayer room. It is a short search since I am standing right across the hall from the entrance. As I enter, I realize that many others had the same idea. The mood of the darkened room quickly takes over. Listening to the soft worship music playing, I notice pillows strategically placed on the floor and armchairs waiting to be claimed. Although the room is busy, I hear no voices other than whispered prayers.

Curious about these names of God, I move towards the tables at the end of the room. There are hundreds of personalized slips of paper—each printed with the name of a conference attendee, each attached to a larger piece of paper that proclaims a name of God from the Old Testament. I scan hundreds of names looking for my own, hopeful that the P31 team prayerfully linked up my name to just the right one.

They did. I stop and hold my breath as I read:

Jehovah Shammah
The Lord is There
The Lord My Companion

My heart has been searching for an answer. I am lonely, God. Even with all of the great friends you have provided me, even being in the midst of 600 sisters in Christ this weekend. I still want a companion. And could you please make him in the form of a hunky husband? 🙂

I think of God as my rock, my father, my hiding place, my provider and many other wonderful things. But as my companion? I never considered God in exactly that way. But he knows exactly what I need to understand.

Psalm 46 was one of the scripture references noted on that same piece of paper below the name of God. I love the whole chapter, but especially this verse:

God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day. Psalm 46:5

Recently, I have been saying that God knows and understands my needs in a much deeper way that even I do. He does. And now he wants me to understand that he is the only companion that will never fail, the one who is there within me, the one who will love me without ceasing. Jehovah Shammah.



Filed under Faith, God, Travel, Writing

His Gentle Pursuit

This past weekend, I attended the She Speaks conference in North Carolina. There were 600 women all in one place worshiping God and learning about speaking, writing, blogging and women’s ministry. The Proverbs 31 Ministries team did an amazing job preparing and hosting the conference.

I could write an entire post about any of the following:

  • Attending the fabulous writing courses which re-energized me;
  • Meeting tons of women who are passionate about serving Jesus;
  • Feeling special because the Proverbs 31 staff members prayed for each of the attendees by name leading up to the conference and made it such a special experience;allison annie
  • Seeing some familiar faces from Mount Hermon—including my Nash-friend Annie. Annie is the one who told me about the conference and has been such a great inspiration with all of the writing business;
  • Meeting a couple of my favorite bloggers in person and acting a little starstruck like a fool! Sophie and Melanie were both so sweet and gracious; it was such a pleasure to meet them after reading their blogs for the past year;
  • Learning about exciting new ministries that are planning to serve young women (incourage and She Seeks).

Instead, I want to tell you about Saturday night. After 12 hours of amazing sessions learning more about writing and blogging and ministry, I began to reflect on Jesus’ gentle pursuit of me during the past year. Although I never felt bullied or bossed, he gently tugged my heart into making some really big decisions. He lined up my path with his (much better) one.

I became so full of gratitude as I contemplated the past year . . . how he guided me to quit a job that I hated, pursue dreams I didn’t even know were so deep and real, start a blog, begin to write a book (yikes!), and become the kind of person who cannot settle for living a mediocre life full of busyness and to-do lists.

Most importantly, I am more in love with my Jesus than I was a year ago. I now understand that it’s not about being able to visualize your dreams and do things to make them come true. It’s about taking the first step of faith, learning how be an authentic person, and letting Jesus work out the details. Thank goodness he didn’t let me choose my own path; I would have settled for something far less than the amazing path he chose.

P.S. I feel the need to add something here. This doesn’t just apply to me. Yes, I am special and God is pursuing me. But you are special and God is pursuing you too. He is not going to force you into anything. In my experience, he has been extremely patient and waited a long time for me to turn and seek his purpose. Also, when I made mistakes, he didn’t stand there and judge me like a disapproving father. He stood there filled with compassion because he knew there was a more fulfilling path for me. He doesn’t want us to settle for less than him!



Filed under Change, Faith, God, Travel, Writing