For those of you who know my story, you know this trip to San Antonio for Women of Joy was a huge full circle for me. Five years ago I stood on the stage at the San Antonio Women of Joy event as a media partner, an unmarried full-time radio broadcast missionary with my weekly show for women named Always Faithful Radio. This year I returned as a happily married (to the moon and back) pastor’s wife, back in the book publishing business as one of the Women of Joy sponsors for the 2018 Rescued Tour.

I thought when I moved to San Antonio that I would never return to Washington. At least, that’s what I told God! (I guess He chuckled at that declaration!). The fourteen months I spent there was my time in the desert, so to speak. I fought with God, grumbled to Him that I was ready to find my Prince Charming, and whined that it was taking too long. In the midst of struggling to surrender that dream, I helped my brother with my mom in her final months, was given the opportunity to launch an amazing radio ministry, and had some significant encounters with Jesus as He taught me to be still and wait for Him to do His work. Benches, trees and speed bumps were my visual teachers as He taught me the depths of His faithfulness.

Going back this five years later and reconnecting with those who knew me “then” and have only watched from afar my modern day Cinderella story was nothing short of stunning. I want to share just a few of the divine appointments and full circles I experienced over the last five days.

The first was upon our arrival. We scurried over to CBC (Community Bible Church) so I could be part of the Wednesday night choir practice one more time. Being involved in that ministry while I lived in Texas was always such a refreshing and affirming time. As I walked in 30 minutes into the practice, they were singing God of Miracles.

The God who was and is to come
The power of the Risen One
The God who brings the dead to life
You’re the God of miracles
You’re the God of miracles

I could barely contain myself as I looked back on the last 7 years of my life and the way he brought me from death to life and worked miracle upon miracle restoring all that the enemy had stolen.

Then we moved into another song that was familiar to me, but I didn’t really know all the lyrics. As we sang New Wine I could barely breathe as I followed along…

In the crushing
In the pressing
You are making
New wine
In the soil, I
Now surrender
You are breaking
New ground

So I yield to You and to Your careful hand
When I trust You I don’t need to understand

Make me Your vessel
Make me an offering
Make me whatever You want me to be
I came here with nothing
But all You have given me
Jesus, bring new wine out of me

I came to San Antonio five years ago with NOTHING. And as I consider ALL He has given me, all I want is for Him to bring new wine out of me.

As if that wasn’t enough, they ended the choir rehearsal with a song I’d heard the short version of my Michael W. Smith, but we got to practice the full song, which was so much more meaningful.  As we sang Surrounded / This is How I Fight My Battles, again, I was astounded at the lyrics and how they applied perfectly to some challenges I have faced over the last 2 months…

There’s a table that You’ve prepared for me
In the presence of my enemies
It’s Your body and Your blood You shed for me

This is how I fight my battles
I believe You’ve overcome
And I will lift my song of praise for what You’ve done

This is how I fight my battles
This is how I fight my battles
This is how I fight my battles
This is how

It may look like I’m surrounded
but I’m surrounded by You!

The other bookend full circle on the weekend was during the Selah concert on Saturday night at Women of Joy. I had a chance to meet them backstage and asked Alan if they were going to play “Unredeemed.” He sheepishly shared that they only had an hour so that wasn’t one of the songs on the concert list. Of course, I was disappointed, but I understood and didn’t think anything more about it. When I got a chance to chat with Amy, I told her a little of my story and how much their music ministered to me while I was in my desert and gave her a copy of my book.

As we sat in the VIP seats on the front row, I was absolutely undone as halfway through the set they played the song and dedicated it to me. If you are on Facebook, you can watch it here on my Facebook Live from the concert.  If you don’t know the song, the lyrics are below. I cannot express in words the way that song ministered to me during my time in San Antonio. It built up my faith in the only One who could take my shattered life and make something meaningful out of it.

The cruelest world
The coldest heart
The deepest wound
The endless dark
The lonely ache
The burning tears
The bitter nights
The wasted years

Life breaks and falls apart
But we know these are
Places where grace is soon to be so amazing
It may be unfulfilled
It may be unrestored
But when anything that’s shattered is laid before the Lord
Just watch and see
It will not be unredeemed

For every choice that led to shame
And all the love that never came
For every vow that someone broke
And every lie that gave up hope
We live in the shadow of the fall
But the cross says these are all

Places where grace is soon to be so amazing
It may be unfulfilled
It may be unrestored
But when anything that’s shattered is laid before the Lord
Just watch and see
It will not be unredeemed

There were so many more divine appointments and reconnections with special people who walked with me through some lonely times during my short stay in San Antonio, but these two full circles were so astonishing, I just had to share them.

The entire trip was such a kiss on the cheek from Jesus, I cannot keep from weeping (happy tears!) every time I consider all He did for me.

He is, no doubt about it, ALWAYS FAITHFUL!

Thanks for listening!

 

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