The Author of Life

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Dear Reader:

For the past two days I have been attending a women’s conference in Mt. Pleasant… called Chosen/Twenty16.

Mollie attended it last year and felt so uplifted that she wanted to share it with me this year….a loving gesture from my daughter-in-love. The speakers did uplift our spirits, but also made us examine the fears in our lives that have held us back from being the best we were created to be.

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The introduction to the two-day Chosen Women’s Conference announced this year’s theme: Fearless. The brochure said:

“We too often find ourselves living in fear. Fear of failure. Of not being good enough. Of letting others down. But God doesn’t want us living in that place. He is calling us to step out and into His arms. He has chosen us to become fearless women on fire for Him right here, right now. And it all begins at Chosen.

………………………

All of the speakers were good but Lisa Surrell, actually the Associate Pastor’s wife helping with the conference, spoke both to my mind and heart in vignettes I could “aha” about in layman’s terms…relating the stories back to my own life.

Each presentation was aimed at getting us to examine our own fears to take the leap of faith that God will provide us with everything we need to be successful, if we don’t let fear rule our lives.

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Lisa started out by re-telling the story of the Exodus from Egypt and Moses’ reluctance to accept the leadership position in this momentous undertaking.

Even after Moses explained that he stuttered (as if God didn’t already know) and therefore would not be a leader others would respect….God came up with the one solution that Moses couldn’t squirm out of….some brotherly help.

“Aaron will be your spokesman to the people. He will be your mouthpiece, and you will stand in the place of God for him, telling him what to say.”

(Not only was Moses not “fired” from God’s plan, nor demoted, he was actually promoted….since he, alone, “would stand in the place of God for (his brother) Aaron…telling him what to say.”

Lisa confessed that public speaking was a fear she carried within her…As long as she had her “Aaron” (her pastor husband) by her side she could manage to keep this fear at bay, but to give this important presentation all by herself, had produced some sleepless nights and stressful days.

While complaining, for the umpteenth time about the pressure she felt, a close friend looked at her and said, “Get over yourself Lisa, it’s not about you.”

At first she admits, her feelings were hurt, but the next morning she felt the presence of God basically telling her the same thing. She had been complaining that she couldn’t do it alone….and the whole time God was sighing, “Of course you can’t, I am with you and will put the words in your mouth you need to say and people need to hear.”

And God did. After my divorce I was scared of just about everything….especially anything financial (which still scares me to this day but I have learned to “fear” through it now.) Things, like monthly budgets, re-financing, taxes, buying a car, etc. I just felt so stupid about economic/financial terms I didn’t even know the meanings of, much less, comprehend what to do with them.

But God never let me go it alone-….He sent “Aaron” friends, like Virgil Cordray, (old teaching buddy) who worked in car sales later, to help me purchase my first car. He gave me Brian Mitchum, (First Citizens Bank) to teach me about re-financing, and Anthony Sterba to legally advise me years ago… to name just a few among many selected spiritual appointees.

God is the “Author of Life” and in His book are designated blank sections, with our names on them, waiting for our story to be told. The book will never be complete without each of our stories in it.

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We have all been “Chosen” to co-author our story with God’s permission and stamp of approval. However, we must learn to self-edit when we lose sight of our  chance to “live happily ever after”  and wander too far off the story-line God has envisioned for us.

IMG_9772To conclude her talk, Lisa asked each of us to look in our seats, open up the box beside us, and pull out our gift – a magnifying glass. We can choose to magnify our fears by choosing the wrong lenses, namely our self-imposed perceptions of life, or change our lenses to God’s perception of the amazing life we can choose to live with Him.

In fact, with a little help from the sun and our magnifying glass on our story (paper) we can even start a fire within us that will produce a story for the ages.

imagesSo until tomorrow…. “God is calling us to step out and into His arms. He has chosen us to become fearless women (and men) on fire for Him right here, right now.”

“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh

This two minute video will make you pause today and smile at the gift of life around you. Promise….. “God’s Whisper.” Thanks Donna Williams for sharing!

*I spent the night with Eva Cate at John and Mandy’s house Thursday night…so I would be close to the conference. Jakie is still learning to be fearless when it comes to walking….but with dad he is getting braver.

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img_6562*Happy Birthday to John Lee, designer and carpenter of the now famous garden moon gate….a benchmark birthday for a benchmark life.

*John was working on the moon gate when I took this picture of him starting my new clock for me….the man can even fix time! Amazing!

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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