One of my many take aways from the She Loves Conference, were three of Lisa Bevere‘s books; “You aren’t what you weigh,” “Out of Control and Loving it” and finally, “The Measure of a Woman”. I fell in love with Lisa as she spoke throughout the weekend- her frank boldness, her quirky, unapologetic demeanour and her unbashful love of serving God and empowering women to do the same…
Funny thing is, I bought the books before hearing her speak and to be quite honest, I had never heard of her. I walked into the conference, unknowingly nearly 2 hours early and found myself perusing the book store. I felt led to these books and despite putting them down multiple times, felt compelled to buy them. I didn’t know why these three….. until I opened the first page of book one and started to cry.
I had gone to the conference expecting to hear from God, nearly demanding that he reveal himself to me. My nerves were on full unrest; I knew full well, a revealation was coming… I would not be the same woman walking out, as I was the woman walking in.
I devoured the first book in less than 48 hours, [unheard of for me! I’m a slow reader and I can’t bare to sit still reading unless in bed or the beach] feeling as though a veil was being torn from my eyes. I saw myself, my bondage, my sin and God’s character in a whole new light. I had work to do and it was time to set things straight… to put God before everything else, including myself, my business and my social life.
After seeking guidance and wisdom in prayer, in became clear I needed to do a fast, but not that which you would typically think, food. I needed to fast of the distractions in my life- the things that keep me from seeking God throughout the day- the things I put before him – the things that keep his will at bay, in favour of my own, despite my best efforts for the prior.
While everyone’s distractions are different, mine became clear: Social Media , the internet, TV and Movies, coffee, wine, makeup, mirrors, comparing and a few food vices [chocolate, chips and ice cream]. For one week, I clearred the clutter entirely, cold turkey and sought God whole heartedly, like never before.
“Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning” ~ Joel 2:12
While I can in full honesty say I was a little scared, my desire to hear from God was stronger.. almost like a dull, burning, nagging hunger. I had no idea how I would “fill” my days, but as with the conference, went into it fully expecting answers- that God would reveal himself in a whole new way. And that he did….
I prayed. I read my bible. I went for long walks. I ran, played with my poochy on the ground and visited with neighbours I never seem to find the time to see. I listened to worship music, I journalled and journalled some more. I read two whole books! And as if he were sitting beside me, I heard from God.
He revealed my deepest fears; the things that were holding me back. He shone light into my darkest areas and powerfully broke chains from my past- both in my doing and done to me. He healed me. He loved me. He spoke… his love became real like never before.
My love for my husband deepender and my appreciation grew for who he is, his strengths and all that he adds to our marriage and this world. I saw the areas I needed to serve him better, as his wife and partner and ways he served me so willingly that I had taken for granted.
I experienced food for what it is truly meant to be… nurishment and community, not the idol I had made it in my life. It does not define me, my worth is not wrapped up in how much or little I eat nor does it determine my mood. [I battled an eating disorder for most of my youth and while I’ve managed to subside its harmful physical affects, it’s still held me slave mentally for years. More on this later] He broke the chains, restored my metablosism and brought life to my tampered digestive system.
But the most powerful revelation was what I discovered in turning my back to social media. Its rewards more prominent and life changing than I imagined…
In the time I spend “away from the world,” it’s opinions, it’s busyness and it’s expectations, I experienced life, full and vibrant, like never before… even in the simple, quiet moments. I felt more alive than ever, my mind stayed focused on God and his will for my life, I stopped comparing myself and my business to other people ENTIRELY, I didn’t get off course from my mission and goals, I listened and had more meaningful conversations than I can count on two hands, I saw God every where, every single moment and I heard from him, clearly, audiably.
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” ~ Romans 12:2
Ground breaking, life altering revealations, my friends.
Even more so, he removed the desires of my heart, that were not my own and were holding me back from all he has planned for me. And in turn, filled me from the inside with a deep sense of belonging, contentent and new found focus for him- One more refined, heightened and alert than I’ve ever experienced.
Coming back to reality, I see the world a new, with eyes opened to the distractions that keep me from becoming the person he wants me to be and I carefully pray about bouncing back full hilt.
I’ve lost my desire for social media, nearly all together. It puts the created on a pedistol, rather than the creator and keeps my eyes focused on this world, rather than on him. And as wonderful as it is to stay connected with friends and colleuges afar, it taunts my weakness of feeling like I’m not enough, that I should be doing this or that instead of what I’m doing or causes me to spend more time in peoples’ words rather than HIS word….
I haven’t fully reintegrated and I’m still slowly but surely processing all he revealed in my week of fasting, but what I can say is this… if your striving, struggling or intent on knowing God more intimately, I would encourage you to break away for a while. Cut loose from the distractions [all of them] that keep you from seeking God with your whole heart…
Put your money where your mouth is and act BIG. Show him your serious and demand he reveal himself to you. He promises that…
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” ~ Jeremiah 29:13