Friday, August 17, 2012

Spokane, Washington

The Celebrate What Matters tour is officially up and running, and my second date is here!  Today, I am in Spokane, Washington busy preparing myself to share God's message with thousands of wonderful women, while reveling in the presence of God.

Deep down, I always knew that He would be there, but it's crazy how the enemy will attack before your breakthrough. Boy, did he attack.

All through rehearsals last week, I would stand in the rafters or sit at the foot of the stage, watching all my teammates and friends and girlfriends in Women of Faith. And as I watched, feeling the power of their ministry and seeing the comfort that comes with 10, 20 or even 30 years of experience ministering on the road, all I could think was: "I can't do this."

The enemy told me I wasn't in their league, that I couldn't follow up. The enemy told me I'd walked into a setup, that this was like everything else in my life. I thought this was going to be a win for me, but instead, the enemy told me I was about to be defeated.

Even though I knew that I was there on God's assignment, even though I knew He was there with me, I began to panic. And the more I watched and waited, the worse it got. Every day it got a little bit tougher. Then, just hours before our first show, I lost it.

It was during our lunch break when I started to feel like I was in trouble. Suddenly, I was overwhelmed with doubt and fear and loneliness. I felt the brokenness that had accumulated in me; I felt it powerfully. And I was supposed to go out on stage in a matter of hours.

Suddenly, into my dressing room (and to my rescue) came Sheila Walsh and Sandi Patty and my spiritual advisor, Cathy Moffitt. And they were all praying over me. They reminded me that I was on an assignment from God, that He would be with me throughout this whole process. They lifted me up in a way that I will remember forever, and suddenly I found myself going out on stage to minister. 

After an incredible two days of hugs, love, and prayer in Oklahoma City, I got this text from Angie Smith:

Reading Angie's message, I realized that this past weekend in Oklahoma City was a setup. But it wasn't the enemy doing the setting up. It was God showing me what we have to go through to do His work, how deeply we have to commit to what He's planned for us. I know and feel that commitment now, and not even Satan himself can defeat me because of it.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Tonight's the Night!!!

It is truly amazing what God will show you when you are acting on His plan for you.

On Tuesday morning, I touched down in Oklahoma City to start rehearsing for the Celebrate What Matters Tour. It's an opportunity I'm truly blessed to have, and it's begun better than I could ever have imagined. From the minute I got off the airplane, people have been so friendly and so supportive, and it seems as though everybody is ready and focused on doing God's work. I am so incredibly humbled that God chose something so special for me.

It comes in the midst of an incredibly eventful time for my family, with my husband Emmitt about to embark on another season of Dancing With the Stars and my children being weeks away from important years of school. But like always, when you're in the middle of doing good for God, the Enemy has sprung an attack on us. Our 13 year-old daughter has been in the hospital, battling a virus that put her in the emergency room over a week ago.

Like all mommies, I hate leaving my babies for any reason, but these circumstances made it really tough to pack my suitcase. I had to find something to lean on for this trip, and I found it in Exodus 33:14.

And He said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.   

And the moment I got here, that rest came because I felt almost overcome with purpose from God. I do not know much about Oklahoma City. I have never been involved in a production so big and so elaborate (I've done things on TV before, but I'd barely even dreamed of being on a stage as big as Chesapeake Energy Arena!). But I feel at peace because I am on the path that God gave me, the one He put me back on. The best part is, He used Women of Faith to put me back on it a few years ago.

When I attended my first Women of Faith event just under a year ago, things could not have been any more different in my life. I felt silenced in my marriage, sitting in the background, in my husband's shadow while his public career had a second wind. I felt my dreams and ambitions slipping away from me.

I didn't think about it in these terms at the time, but I really just felt apart from God, cut off from what I felt was His plan for me. Going to Women of Faith with my dear friend Brenda Warner changed that. It planted the seeds for my ministry, for Treasure You, and for the work I do with Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities. It even renewed the love that I have about my family.

I know the next few weeks are going to be crazy - rehearsals starting at 7am, figuring out travel and logistics and schedule and somehow trying to stay connected to my five beautiful babies! But so much of the hurt and brokenness I felt when I first discovered Women of Faith has been replaced. And it humbles me so much to think that God wants me to do the same for all of you!

In just a few short hours, the Oklahoma City event kicks-off.  Please pray that God's work is done here and that all of the fabulous musicians, speakers and prayer warriors are blessed with good health and clear messages that serve His purpose.  I am so excited!!!
With Love,

P.S. Don't forget to "Treasure You"!