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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Friends are Friends Forever

To update all my new followers, I am in the process of chronicling my amazing weekend at She Speaks 2010. To catch up on how God emptied me of ME before the conference, check out my post Brokenhearted. Then read my two entries Brokenhearted-Part 2 and Seemingly Insignificant.

Done backtracking? Now fast forward to Friday.

After one of the breakout sessions, God blessed me with a new girlfriend named Lisa to encourage my heart.

 She is a Methodist girl; I am a Baptist girl. But both of us are Jesus girls, which raises a few eyebrows at the southern churches we attend.

We openly shared our struggles, our hurts, and our disappointments. We talked about how difficult it was to feel like foreigners within our own church walls.

As our conversation drew to a close, I told Lisa how God had been stirring my heart and showing me that I needed to repent. That maybe I somehow caused the women at my church to treat me differently because my heart had become hardened. I was afraid of rejection. I feared man and not God. And in the process I had built an airtight wall around my heart that few women in my church could penetrate. I had failed to love and in the process appeared self-righteous and judgmental.

Together Lisa and I covenanted to pray for the women at our churches. To reach out to them in love. I shared with Lisa how a group of ladies in New Jersey had poured their lives into me when I was a baby Christian. They didn’t judge me for wearing slinky camisoles and teeny-tiny shorts to church, although I’m sure they wanted to put blindfolds over their husbands' eyes. 

They loved me to the feet of Jesus.

After Lisa and I parted, I headed to the elevator. As I rounded the corner, there stood one of the women I had been telling Lisa about. Robin Downs.

She was smiling from ear to ear, just like I remembered her. I hadn’t seen her in seven years since I moved from New Jersey to Mississippi. She along with my former pastor’s wife, Carrie Turansky, and another friend, Maria Reyes, had flown in for the conference. I had no idea they would be there. But God did.

In that moment God whispered once again, “Stephanie, I am a God of details. I have every detail of this weekend perfectly orchestrated.” I quickly grabbed my little pink notepad out of my bag and showed it to Robin. As tears of joy streamed down my face, I told her of the mighty ways God had moved in less than twenty-four hours.

Little did I know, God wasn't finished moving. He had only just begun.

5 comments:

robin said...

Thanks for the shout out! Love you and am praying for you and Mark!

lisa markley said...

Love you, girl!!! Praying for you and your ministry. God's all over this....

Maria Reyes said...

It's so exciting to see how the Lord has been working in your life! May the Lord continue to reveal Himself to you:-)

Stephanie Garneau said...

Thanks ladies for your sweet words of encouragement! I am so thankful we serve a God who desires a deep level of intimacy with us. Love it that we can know and be known by Him.

Katie said...

Yes, God is ALL OVER THIS :) Love these stories!

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