And I felt an urge, and a nudge, that I so desperately wanted to ignore. But as I felt my cheeks flush and my tears run hot, I needed to know. I needed to hear from these ladies how to have what they have, when I don't.
I raised my hand from the very, very back.
With shaking hands and a trembling voice I asked what kills my heart the most. I voiced the lie that Satan tells me most often. I can't remember the exact words, and I know I quoted Emily Freeman like a fan girl, but I spoke what my spirit was longing to say.
How do you have influence, when you are single?
When you so desperately want to be married.
When you want the ministry these ladies have with their husbands and children and women in their churches and on their blogs.
I'm not a mom. I'm not a wife. Which is hard on me day after day after day. I intentionally pray that marriage would not be an idol to me. Yet, my heart longs for a family. And I feel lessthan everyone.
I feel like what I bring to the table isn't enough. I feel like God uses them women who have their whole life in perfect order (and I recognize the ridiculousness in that statement. I really do). I feel like because I'm not married, I am worth so much less to his kingdom.
And I cried.
I cried my eyes out in front of 200 women. Standing. Hands trembling, voice shaking and tears for not only the entire world to see, but also several of the women I respect and cherish the most in this community.
I was a hot.mess.
But then grace upon grace upon grace was poured over me.
The amazing panel spoke soothing to my soul. Jessi calmed my heart. Emily looked me in the eye from across the room and told me that Jesus is in me. Several lovely ladies cried with me and hugged me and shared their stories. Several married women came to me later, hugged me, and told me marriage didn't make them minsters to women. Jesus gave them their ministry. Later, Casey Wiegand said, "Your mess is your ministry." And oh, sisters, how tightly am I holding onto that right now.
Jesus is in me even though I'm not married.
Jesus is in me even though I'm not a mom.
Jesus is not in me any less because I am single. He does not love me any less. My influence is not any less important to his kingdom.