Sunday, October 21, 2007

Life-Changing Words

I just got back from a speaking event in Hagerstown, MD and it was supposed to be a Women’s Conference, and that evening I was the keynote speaker on “Living the Passionate Life” geared just for women. And since it was Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I combined my “Touched by An Angel Story” in the new Chicken Soup book. When I got to the Four Points Sheraton, I saw men in the conference room—thinking they were there to set up. No, there were “men” in the audience and my speech was geared strictly for women. I quickly poured over my speech and wondered what I would need to change. Suddenly, my “passion” started to fade and I thought, “Lord, help me, this is not the target audience I was intending to speak to—I thought it was going to be ‘all’ women.” As I got up to the podium, I realized that all of us have to be ready in and out of season and that it’s never me speaking anyway, it’s God who speaks through me. After my speech a man came up to me and said, “My wife and mother both have breast cancer and I needed to hear what you had to say tonight!” With tears in his eyes, he shook my hand and said, “I wasn’t going to come this evening, but now I know I was meant to be here.” How many times have you been in a situation where you thought, Oh no, now what do I do? This wasn’t what I was expecting, but God worked it out for good!

When I came home, I received my author copy of the book, The One Year Life Verse Devotional by Tyndale House Publishers. My story is titled, “Passing the Tests.” My life verse is Phil. 4:13, “I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” I didn’t have the time or the strength to re-do a speech in five minutes to be appropriate for my new target audience of “men,” so I used what I had prepared and God went before me and used it for “good.”

We will never know the impact of our words in the lives of others, and yet sometimes we are fortunate enough to get a small glimpse into lives changed by Christ through our words. That's the miracle of it all!


Susan Kelly Skitt said...

So encouraging when that happens my friend. It's all about Jesus! His strength, His love, His story...

Connie Pombo said...

Hey Susan Girl,

We're both in the same book--I love that when it happens! I read your "life verse" story this morning and had tears in my eyes. Oh, how precious. You have a great heritage--how blessed you are. Let's do some book signings; I think this book would make the "perfect" Christmas gift--don't you?


Jan Parrish said...

It's great that you didn't know about the men in the audience because you would have revised it. God had a better plan.

Breast cancer effects everyone, even those who don't personally suffer from it. Keep spreading your story of healing. I believe it's why God healed you - to spread hope and encouragement.

Connie Pombo said...

Thanks Susan and Jan! It's so true, I would have revised the message, but God had a better idea!