Confessions of a Speak Up Newbie

“Hello! My name is Donna and I am a Speak Up Newbie.”

Honestly, when I registered for the Speak Up Conference in June, my palms were a little sweaty. Having never attended before, I was quite uncertain of what to expect and admittedly a little anxious about the whole experience.

My heart raced when I read about the small group critique sessions and even more when I considered the thirty-minute video critique and the personal interview with Carol Kent. Visions of the time in high school when I hyperventilated during a presentation haunted me. 

Then, I prayed, and prayed some more. As I pressed in with the Lord, two words came to mind: “more” and “beyond.” The words ran through my mind over and over again. There was no mistaking the voice of the Lord. As I spent time in His presence, God replaced my anxious thoughts with anticipation and excitement.   From that point on, I knew God was going to do something amazing at the conference - something more and something beyond.

I couldn’t wait to get to Grand Rapids. I prepared with eagerness and forgot all about my high school fiasco.  Instead, I wondered and pondered, what exactly does more and beyond mean? 

 What, I wondered, was the “more” and “beyond” ahead? 

More and Beyond

Before leaving for the conference, emails from Bonnie confirmed what the Lord was speaking to me. Each email seemed to offer more great opportunities like the one to one appointments and the head shot photos. This was certainly beyond what I’d anticipated.

Once on site, the more and beyond of God was evident. In every large group session, the praise and worship glorified God and took us right into His throne room. The testimonies and words of the keynote speakers and other platform guests, were filled with scriptures, promises, and with an urging to each of us to follow our individual calls to write and/or speak. The breakout sessions were far and beyond informational. They were transformational. 

Today, as I sit in my office writing this blog, I am moved by the memories, committed to the call, and empowered by the experience. 

I’m reminded that our God is able. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen (Ephesians 3:20-21) 

So, if you're tackling something new this week, remember: God can do immeasurably more and far beyond what you think or imagine.

What has God done in your life that might be described as “more” or “beyond?”

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