I just spent seven amazing days in Orlando Florida, and I didn't even make it to Universal Studios, Disneyland, or Sea World.† I had an amazing plethora of experiences standing on concrete floors until my ankles resembled tree trunks!† I hardly noticed.† I was so caught up in the excitement of the show, the wonder of Christian fellowship with hundreds of people whom I had never met until those seven days, and the opportunity to share my stories with†hundreds of people who seemed remarkably interested in what I have to say.
All this was delightfully overwhelming for the girl (okay, slightly elderly lady) from Arkansas who lived thirty-three years before she found her voice.† Thirty-three years of silent suffering.† I felt like Jack coming out of the box--springing to life right there on the Convention floor.† "Hey, fellow travelers though this wide and treacherous world, I am here!"† "I am alive and I am talking to you!"† "Yea!"
And yet, there were moments of introspection, moments when I was filled with awe at the power of God-- a God†whose Grace is sufficient to take us as we are and make us what he wants us to be.† He is still working on me--and He proved that often throughout the last seven days.† I thank Him for it.
There were tender moments, as well, as the floodgates of the past opened up for some who came to visit at my booth and we shared both sorrows and joys that had brought us to the place where we were standing--a place of victory, a pinnacle of triumph over the past--and an aching desire to be all that we can be in His service.
That is why we were there--at the International Christian Retailers Show. To share His goodness and network our skills, our talents, and our lives into a tapestry that will bring glory and honor to the One whom we love and serve, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.