Dear Beth, Please Forgive Me

Just the other day...I was humbled as a result of my own self-righteousness, and I've been feeling like I needed to share the story here, as a lesson for all of us. Let me warn you that you will see my "ugly" before you see anything "pretty".  This is not one of my proudest moments.  I am so thankful God knows that my heart is apt to lead me astray and that He is quick to get me back on track when it does. He never wastes a mistake!

Back in the spring of this year, I found out that Beth Moore would be coming to our area to hold a two-day conference and I got excited! I love her Bible studies! I have led her Bible studies. She is an absolutely amazing woman of God! I promptly put a poster up at our church and fully intended to help promote the event until.........

I found out how much a single admission would cost. Somehow, the price did not sit well with me. I got really upset that scores of women who needed to be reached with the love of Christ wouldn't get the chance, because they couldn't afford to get in the door. I live in a rural area, where most families would be considered "low-income", so of course, it bothered me. I made the decision not to promote the event at my church (other than leaving the poster up).

Fast forward a few months - - I received a phone call from a friend saying that her church was going to the Living Proof Live conference. They really wanted me to go and said that if I would go online and purchase a ticket, I could sit with them. I honestly don't know what I said, but I made it seem like oh I probably wouldn't go this time...no big deal....but thanks for asking.

That one phone call started me thinking though, about how much I really did want to go to the conference! However, I stuck to my guns and didn't dare purchase a ticket. I did, however, say a quick prayer to the Lord, concluding that if He wanted me to go, He would provide a way.

The closer the event got, the more I wanted to attend....but I continued to sit back in my pride and piousness, not budging.

I slept late on the morning the conference was to begin and woke up to a phone call. It was the same friend who had called me before saying, "Becky, if you want to go hear Beth Moore, we have an extra ticket." At that point, you could have knocked me over with a feather. I could not believe that God was giving me the opportunity to go! Within a few hours, I was headed out not only to go to the conference, but to stay overnight with my friend and her church members in a hotel.

It wasn't long after I arrived at the hotel that I heard that still, small voice start to speak:

"Do you run women's events? Do you pay the women who come speak?  Would you expect them to come for free? Have you been paid for speaking? How would you feel, if after all the preparation you put into it, you were not given anything in return?"

A clear lesson was starting to come into focus.

During the conference, I felt like every single word was meant just for me. The worship team had me standing in the very throne room of God. It was an amazing time in the Lord and I will never be the same because of it! I am still processing some of the things I learned at the conference, and I will be for quite some time.

At one point during the event, it's like the Lord opened my eyes and had me truly notice what was going on around me. I saw all the people there with Beth...the large team leading us in worship, those running sound and video, those on the film crew, and even her body guard. Beth talked about her team and how much they invest in these events....that they go home exhausted, having given all that they possibly could. She talked about them getting on airplanes and leaving loved ones behind. She showed us pictures of her husband and grandchildren. It all made sense. I "got it".

This was their livelihood...the way they supported themselves and their families. Clearly they were doing God's work and I was reaping the benefits.

How small I felt to have judged so quickly.

I didn't deserve to go, that's for sure. The grace of God in allowing me to attend is literally overwhelming. What a stinky, self-righteous attitude I had had!!! It humbled me to realize that, had I tried, I could have had a group come with me from my own church. Sure, many of the ladies couldn't afford it, but you know what? There had been plenty of time to raise the money! It was a missed opportunity. In retrospect, I wish so badly that I could have shared that time with the women in my own church.

And don't you know, as hard as I tried, my friend would not take a single dime of my money to pay for my ticket?! She wouldn't even let me pay for part of the hotel room. It was a little like rubbing salt in my wound...now that I wanted to pay (and had received so much), I couldn't!! Oh, the irony! Never doubt it folks, God has an amazing sense of humor.

So that's my confession - - another lesson learned in this journey - - and I pray that you will give me grace and love me still:) I also wonder if the Lord might be using this example to speak to you.

Ask the Lord today for a thorough examination.

Is your heart deceiving you? Any stinking self-righteousness hanging around in there, causing you to miss out on God's best?


"The heart is more deceitful than anything else, 
and incurable -- who can understand it?
I, Yahweh, examine the mind, 
I test the heart to give to each according to his way, 
according to what his actions deserve."
Jeremiah 17: 9-10

P.s. Beth, if you ever read this, I hope my true feelings have come across. I truly am sorry! In fact, I'm already making plans to come see you again...and this time I will gladly pay:)

Linking up at:
A Pause on the Path
Growing Home
Women Living Well
A Little R & R
Beholding Glory

For His glory,