Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Speaking at my first Pregnancy Center Banquet!

I have been waiting to announce this until I got the official confirmation in print! I am super excited to share that I will be speaking at my first Pregnancy Center Banquet this October! 

For a long time, I have known in my heart that part of the Lord's plan for my life and future is to share my story, both in speaking and writing. I just wasn't sure exactly how this would look...when it would happen, how it would happen, or where exactly I'd be sharing. The Lord has truly worked it all out and scripted the story so beautifully. When He writes the story of our lives, it's always so much better than anything we could ever write. :)

This is how it happened...

My dear friend, Dusty, who I met at Ellerslie, started volunteering at her local Crisis Pregnancy Center where she lives in Illinois...which is really awesome! Anyways, she randomly mentioned to some of the ladies there about my testimony and they sort of raised their eyebrows and looked at her and said they were looking for a speaker for their annual fall fund-raising banquet. She had an audio recording of me sharing my story at Ellerslie last April and let them listen to it. They said that was what they were looking for and they were going to present it to the board of directors at their next meeting. She sent me a letter and then called me (this was around the time I got back from the March for LIFE in D.C.) and asked if I would be interested in speaking there...would I?! :)

The meeting took a few weeks to happen...In that time, I was praying and surrendering this dream to the Lord. I was already so excited about the possibility of this actually happening, but didn't want to get too caught up in it that I was so disappointed if it ended up not working out. The Lord gave me the grace to surrender it into His hands. I really wanted it, but only if it was what God wanted. I knew if it was in His plan and timing, it would all work out...

Well, on February 18th (I like to keep track of dates) I got the email from Dusty saying that the board of directors decided that they do want me to come and speak! It was my first unofficial email. 

A couple days later, I spoke on the phone with one of the ladies who is on the board. She was so sweet and encouraging and invited me to speak! We had a lovely conversation and I happily accepted the request!

Then, I waited to get the "official confirmation" in the mail - which came yesterday, March 11th. I just noticed that at the top of the letter, there are two butterflies (which are very symbolic to me, symbolizing new life. This is a part of my new life in Christ and the purposes He has for me...and two...Luke and Lily). :)


This was a really special way to start off Lily's birthday week...like a sweet gift from my Jesus. :) I am going to keep this invitation in Lily's memory chest always...as a precious reminder of how the Lord brings beauty from ashes, restores and redeems, works all things together for our good and His glory. It is amazing, almost dream-like, to see these things becoming reality. For so long, I have known this would happen, but didn't know how or when. It is incredible to watch it all unfold, only by the hand of my God. It is so humbling to see how He gives me the platform to share His redeeming story of LIFE. 

The first time (actually, the first two times) I spoke in front of a large group of people sharing my story was at Ellerslie. This was such a gift because of how much the Ludy's ministry has affected my life and walk with Christ. And now my next time speaking (besides the March for LIFE) will be through someone I met at Ellerslie. God has opened many doors and worked many awesome things in my life through this amazing place and the people there. 

Here's what I know about the banquet so far...it is October 3rd and I will be given 15-20 minutes to share my testimony with an audience of around 220 adults. They are praying for me as I prepare for this special evening and they are expecting God to move in a powerful way "as the cause of Life is defended, God's grace is extended, and God's name is exalted." What I really love and appreciate about this particular Center is that they are focused on Christ, the Author of LIFE and that is why they are passionate about unborn LIFE. I am so excited, humbled, and honored to be chosen to be the featured speaker for this event. 

Here is a piece of the letter:

"We have listened to your testimony and feel that yours is a compelling story of God's grace triumphing over difficult times that gives evidence to His love for all human life."

God is so good to open this door for me to walk through. I know that He will give me the strength, grace, and words. If He has called me to this, He will give me what I need...even though I know I am supposed to speak, I am still quite an introvert and it is nerve-wracking to think of being on stage in front of all those people! That's how I know it's God's will for my life...nothing in me desires to stand before a crowd with a microphone, let alone to share something so raw and intimate...yet I do so because of the burning passion within. I must be the voice of my children. And I must share what Jesus has done for me!

I know how difficult it is to get started speaking publicly because places don't know you or how you will speak unless you have experience and speaking endorsements. I was stressed out about this for a while, but the Lord showed me I needed to surrender that fear. I knew I wasn't supposed to "try to make things happen" myself, but wait on His timing and wait for Him alone to open the doors. Each time I have shared, in writing or speaking, God has worked it all out, without manipulation or control on my part. It's so amazing to see how this is happening. And I believe this will help open doors for more similar speaking engagements! :)

I am very much looking forward to this for many reasons...I get to share my/Luke's/Lily's story in another state and share how amazing Jesus is and the value of LIFE! I hope to visit Chicago for the first time and visit my cousin, Daniel, who lives there! I also hope he can come hear me speak. I get to see some of my dearest friends in the world, my beloved Ellerslie sisters (mini-Ellerslie reunion!) They also get to hear me speak. And as I mentioned above, hopefully this will open up more doors for speaking!

I still don't know exactly how this life of mine will look - how all the chapters will be written, beautifully intertwined. But, I have come to the point where I am okay with that. All I need to know is what God has called me to today. I need to just take one step at a time, in obedience to what He's asking of me. Today, I know that I will be speaking at a Pregnancy Center Banquet in Illinois in October. Beyond that, I'm not sure what God has in store or where He'll lead me. But, I don't need to know...not until the time comes and He reveals the next step on this wild adventure of living for Him...

Not only do I post this to share it with others, but also because I want to record each season of my life...it is so incredible to look back on my life and see how faithful God has been through everything. It is neat to see my feelings, thoughts, and how God orchestrates everything.

Please pray that preparations for this event continue going smoothly. It is a few months out, but pray for good health, safe travels, the power of Jesus to minister, and that God will give me courage to stand up and share my story! I look forward to sharing more about this in the coming months.

I have some more exciting news coming soon! :)

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8 comments:

  1. Praying for you! xx Praide be to God! He is so good when we trust and obey!

    Gale

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  2. It is so amazing to see God's work! So happy for you, Hannah! <3

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  3. Yeaaa I am so happy for you and for all that will hear your amazing testimony! I know Jesus has big plans for your life and the legacy of your wonderful children! Many prayers and much love to you this week!

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  4. Well done, you will do Lily proud!

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  5. Great news! God works everything in his way and time. Love you...

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  6. How wonderful!

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  7. I will Definitely be praying for you Hannah. I can't wait to hear updates on how it is going! Congrats!

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