It's amazing to me that know matter how many times God shows up for me, I'm still not convinced He will the next time. I also know that when I ask God for something, I have my ideas of how I would like it answered, but often God gives me something different.
Last Saturday was my Birthday and I attended a Freedom Conference Friday night and Saturday. On Friday night, I began to ask God for something special to happen the next day in honor of my Birthday. I said, "Lord, I'm positive You are able to show up and I'm hoping my heart is in the right place to hear You. I'm expecting something to happen. I don't know what...but since it's my Birthday, I hope You will keep that in mind." I liked the idea of receiving a Birthday gift from Jesus. He told me I would not be disappointed and He asked me to hold out my hands. In my mind, I saw Him give me a pair of ballet slippers. I didn't have a clue what they were for.
Let's back up a bit. I had attended this same conference four or five years earlier and had been disappointed because my heart wasn't in the right place. You see, I had received much freedom about ten years ago and my life changed. I now knew that God loved me and that his love made a difference. But I still struggled with people. I knew God had more freedom for me, but I thought God should do it my way. I had a bad attitude because I didn't like what the Freedom Conference was teaching about how to get free. It didn't matter that it had very positive results for others. I thought they should listen to me and my ideas (not that I shared them).
But here I was now, attending it again and I knew my attitude was different. I was open. I had co-led a table with my husband in the fall for the Get Free classes that led up to the conference. It had been great! I was excited to attend. And I wanted God to do something. It didn't have to be my way or my agenda.
On Friday night, God revealed to me some lies I was still believing about myself. I am an introvert and don't always know how to join a conversation or many times I don't really want to make an effort. When a break came, I didn't get up. I talked to a few people who came to me, but then I was alone. I started to think there was something wrong with me (a thought I have often had). I looked around and everyone seemed to be talking to someone. I thought how pathetic I must look (a new thought). It was more of a fleeting thought, not one that lingered. But when I got home and was processing, I remembered those thoughts. I asked Jesus about them. He confirmed they were lies and said, "Other people feel the same things and think the same type of things as you. Just because some people are better at talking doesn't mean they don't struggle. Some are more free, some are just good talkers and some work really hard at talking. Those who are free and don't mind not being social, are bold and not intimidated and still others who seem to be able to talk easily have gone through many years of freedom. Soon that will be you." I've learned that "soon" in God's vocabulary doesn't always mean the next day or even week. That's what I used to think. So I was glad it was coming but I still didn't know when.
I would love to tell you that Saturday God completely freed me from my struggle with people and now I can talk easily. That didn't happen but what did happen was when I didn't have anyone to talk to, I was content. No negative thoughts came. Everything about that day was wonderful! It was the perfect Birthday gift!
I know there is more. I still haven't figured out what the ballet slippers were for and am looking forward to that. And only time will tell if the struggle with people is over...if I will continue to be content and not think badly about myself. But overall, I will remember this Birthday as one of the best I have ever had. Thank You, Jesus!!