When God does the unexpected

Last year, I was so excited when I heard a few ladies from my local community talking about securing JEN WILKIN as a speaker for a women’s conference in Des Moines.  I am one of those ladies that has traveled the nation to gather with other women for events like the ONE Conference, and I could not believe that such an event was going to be so close to my home! 

I love pretty much everything about conferences.  The learning and growing that happens during a time that is devoted to gathering with others for the sake hearing and studying God’s word always challenges and encourages me!  I love the relationships that are built as I get to stay up way too late with my hotel mates, but the icing on the cake for me is always a room full of women singing praises to our Lord and King.  I always long for Christ return when I hear so many voices unified together in worship!

As the ONE Conference started last year, I was expecting God to work in me, but how He worked was not at all what I had expected.  For the first session, the group from my church had arrived a little late, so we had to sit in the back.  My initial response to sitting in the last row was quite a bit of disappointment.  I am a front and center girl, but God met me in a way that could never have happened on the front row.  As we started singing, God softened my heart and my eyes were opened to God’s faithfulness. 

From my little seat in a huge conference room, I saw God’s answer to years of prayers.  For the first time ever, I was not in a conference that was 100’s of miles away from the placed I lived.  I was at a conference in my home state but more than just my home church was attending!  As I opened my eyes and scanned the audience, I saw a few people that I recognized but would have never thought they would be at a conference like this.  I was reminded of a little prayer card in my old bible that my youth pastor had made me in high school.  He had divided all the students in our school so that every one of them would be prayed for each week. Four of the students from my list were in my sight that night. Tears started streaming down my face and I was overcome as I was reminded of God’s faithfulness.  

As I got a little bit of composure, I started scanning the audience for other ladies I recognized.  I saw a teacher from my daughters school, a dear friend’s mom, fellow ladies from the preschool pick up lane, the lady that first challenged me to read my bible everyday, a freshman girl that I had met with every week when I was a senior, the lady that I babysat for and always hoped to be like when I “grew up”, girls I ran cross country with, and family members I love.  As I watched all of them worshipping God together all I could do was join in with a renewed love for our faithful God.

As I look forward to the ONE Conference this year, I am learning more and more that expectations can be a good thing!  When I expect God to show up, He doesn’t disappoint.  He rarely shows up in the ways I think or hope He will, but when He opens my eyes and reveals Himself to me, I can’t help but love and worship Him more.  My passion is renewed and refreshed, and my daily life is changed as I trust God more.  Which is why the ONE Conference exists.  Will you join me this year and expect God to renew in us ONE life, ONE love, ONE passion for His name?


{ Amanda is a great friend of 1229 Ministries and a returning ONE conference pal too! She's a wife, a mom, a women's ministry leader in her church and so much more.}