She's Speechless
I came home from "She Speaks" without words.

It could be that I talked too much. I averaged 5000 words a day, at least! It could be my lack of sleep. I averaged 3-5 hours each night, at the most. But I think it's more.

I am undone.

I cannot even find the words to describe all that I feel, all that God did. His presence was so powerful, so real. The aroma of Christ filled each room and each heart. I saw Jesus in every woman I met. I remember thinking last week that I couldn't wait for Him to take my breath away - and He did.

The most beautiful memory I have is watching so many different and beautiful women come to the cross Saturday night to meet with Jesus, to lay down their doubts, fears, disappointments and pain, to experience the power of His Truth, His love, His resurrection.

I couldn't help but remember how I had lived this moment just weeks ago in my own life, as I battled with overwhelming doubt and cried out to God to rescue me. I had been to the Cross and layed in His shadow. I had sat at my desk and written out promises that God brought to my mind, to lead me out of the shadow of doubt and into the shadow of the cross.

Something happened that night because God gave me more than promises. He gave me a new name with each one: CALLED, ANOINTED, FREE, REDEEMED, REMEMBERED, LOVED, SECURE, CONFIDENT, ABLE, BLESSED.

God gave me a new strength as I read these words. I ran into the shelter of the Most High, and experienced the power of the Almight overshadowing me. The darkness of doubt lifted. God had allowed this struggle to draw me into a deeper dependence on Him. As I prayed over the list, it also became clear that this was for more than me. This was going to be His gift to His girls at She Speaks.

Hundreds of cards with eleven different promises were created and placed at the foot of the cross on Saturday night. We anointed them with prayer and watched, knowing that as women came forward to lay down their doubts they would pick up God's personal promise and His new name for them. It was beautiful!!!!!!!!!!

The next day I heard that many women didn't know there was a "word" shadowed on the card behind their verse. The news spread that there was more. It was SO powerful to watch women look beyond the first promise to see the second one in a shadow behind it. And again, God took my breath away...leaving me speechless.

If you were at She Speaks, I would love to hear about the promise you picked up, your shadowed word behind it, and what it means to you!!! I'll share mine if you share yours :-).


Blogger Amy L Brooke said...

Hey Renee!

My promise was Ephesians 1:18-19 -- "I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe."

That you may know the hope . . . . Considering that hope is my theme this year, it couldn't have fit better. And I love the idea of calling, that God has called me.

And then there is the idea of power for us who believe. I've lived so much of my life feeling powerless -- powerless in the face of abuse, powerless in the face of depression. But it is so cool to think that believers, that I, can tap into HIS power.

The word behind it was "BLESSED." Another irony for me who thinks I don't have much sometimes. I love that it said blessed rather than will be blessed or might be. It is in the past tense as well as the now.

One of my favorite verses is John 17:3 "Now this is eternal life that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." Too often I think of eternal life as something that is to come. In reality, it began the day I came to know Jesus.

I was so blessed this weekend . . . .

I've started just a bulleted list in a journal to remind myself of every blessing. It is now 3 pages full -- no details just bullet points.

I am blessed.

Thank you for everything.

HI Renee,
My word was "secure" and it was so fitting. My life has been shaken up lately and it was so sweet of God to remind me how secure I am in Him even when the circumstances around me are not. Thank you for sharing one of the most powerful messages of the weekend!

Blogger dapple said...


My promise was Isaiah 43:10 "You are my witness," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am He".

I know that ladies came from all over to hear the good news. I don't think any were disappointed. I have felt for the past three years that God has called me to be a speaker. This year I did some speaking and the week before the confrence made a committment to answer the call full time.

My shadowed word was CALLED. God knew just the one to give me. I have stopped looking for signs saying "Diane do this for me". It could not be any clearer that he is calling my name.

I am sure that when these card were made and printed out there were more than one of the same kind. But getting the very one we did was by divine grace.

Thank you for reminding us that when we lay something at the cross, our arms are free to pick what He wants for us.

Get some rest,

Blogger Renee Swope said...

Wow!!! I love hearing about the verses God gave each of you and the stories that reveal why each one is special.

There were eleven different designs of the cards. Then we made 60 copies of each kind, so that each one of us, 560 women, could pick up one that would be hand-picked by God.

Yes, God picked the one He wanted each one of us to receive. I love how He knows us!!!

Blogger krista lee said...


My word was cofident. It was the perfect word as I too have been struggling with doubt. I doubt my ability, my calling, my purpose and even my heart. I struggled with doubt both Friday and Saturday. Your message was powerful and spoke directly to me and my circumstances. Thank you for sharing your heart and being available to be used by God!

Blogger Amy Wyatt said...

I can't even begin to tell you how moved I was by your talk on Saturday night. It was as if God was speaking directly to me through each word you said. I've had doubts and struggles for some time asking God over and over again for a sign, just like Gideon, so the scriptures you read were perfect. Then, once I decided about a year and a half ago that God was indeed calling me, I felt like He was telling me to wait. That it would be in His perfect timing. Waiting is a difficult thing for me to do. I am a "doer" so I want things to happen quickly. But I have been dragging my feet on some things that I knew I should be doing, sort of blaming God. I felt nothing was happening because He was making me "wait."
Then you read these words, "Gideon replied, "If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me. Please do not go away until I come back and bring my offering and set it before you." And the Lord said, "I will wait until you return."
All this time I thought I was waiting on God and it was as if the Spirit whispered to me, "I've been waiting on you. Give me your offering."
Then when I went forward laying all my doubts and insecurities down, the verse I received was "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has annointed me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor. " Luke 4:18-19 And the background word was Anointed.
Of course we know when we finally lay down our burdens and take up our promise or our calling that is when our enemy comes at us the hardest.
Last year 2 days after returning from She Speaks, my son had a 4 hour status seizure and spent a week in the ICU. I got very distracted and discouraged.
Today, he had another status seizure and we have spent the entire day in the hospital.
I feel as though I am in an intense spiritual battle, but I am resolved to do what God has called me to do.
Please pray for us and for me to keep a willing heart.
Bless you and all the P31 ladies for the hearts you poured into us this weekend.

Blogger tiggerdaisy said...

Oh, how I wish I could have been there! I've heard from so many that your message was powerful indeed! Will your message be offered for purchase on cd? I would love to get a copy. What a great idea about the cards? What a wonderfully creative way to capture God's blessings and prayers and confirmation for His children attending the conference.

Prayers and Blessings!

Blogger Pajama Mama said...

Renee, the cards sound so awesome!!! What a God inspired idea. I know you girls had a blast.


Blogger Joyful said...

Renee...I'm so glad you wrote this post. I'm thinking many more ladies will discover they have a word in the shadow of their verse.

I met a girl at the airport who had been at the conference and as I was sharing with her the verse I received Saturday evening, and went on to tell her about the revelation of the "word" in behind, she quickly rumaged through her purse to find her verse unaware of the hidden word. As she pulled the card out, she burst into tears. The word printed on the card was the EXACT word she needed to hear written over her circumstances. I was so glad I was able to make her aware of God's promise to her on her card.

I know I read my verse to you on Saturday and that you were there when I found my 'word', but I will share here too. My verse was "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you." declares the LORD, "and will bring you back form captivity." Jeremiah 29:13-14a

The significance of that verse is two-fold. One, I had been praying for a deeper relationship with the Lord. I want to hear His faintest whisper. I want to know His heart so deeply that the silences speak of His presence. As I spent time in the prayer room on Saturday afternoon I was praying that the Lord would reveal more of Himself to me as I was seeking hard after Him.

The last part of the verse brought me to tears - the promise of being released from captivity. Renee - I am held captive by so many things - fear most of all. This entire trip has been a journey from fear to faith and God is promising that He will bring me back from captivity. I read that and just burst into tears. What a precious promise for me. I think of a Steve Green song I posted on my blog not long ago, "He holds the keys". The lyrics say, "And to all of the things that have kept you away, that keep you defeated day after day after day, the heartache that nobody sees that eats at your soul like a cruel disease, He who sets the captives free, it is He, it is He who holds your keys".

I'm currently going through Beth Moore's devotional, "Breaking Free" as more than anything I long for that complete freedom and abandon.

When you asked me Sunday morning what 'word' I had received, I couldn't find my card quick enough. There printed, beyond a shadow of a doubt, was the word, 'FREE'!

I'm claiming that God has already released the shackles that have bound me for almost 46 years and that I will live in the power of the cross.

What a delight to meet you my friend. My love and prayers continue. You are a treasure! Saturday night's message was the reason God called me to N.C. So thankful I didn't miss all that He had planned for me.

Love & prayers,

Blogger Digging for Pearls said...

Wow! What a blessing to hear how things went this weekend. I had been praying that God would show up in a powerful way and it sounds like He did. Praise God!


Blogger Lisa Roszler said...


My word was "anointed". I looked up "anointed" and found that it means "set apart; authorized for God's service; consecrated".

My name (Lisa) actually means "consecrated to God". How much more confirmation can a girl get?

The scripture on my card was Luke 4:18-19 and speaks about proclaiming freedom for the prisoners, recovery of sight to the blind (very personal for me!) and release for the oppressed.

The special emphasis that God has given me to live and write and speak about is "forgiveness".

Forgiveness does all the things listed in that passage in Luke, first by the forgiveness granted to us by Jesus, and second as the blessing continues when we forgive others. We then serve as a model that forgiveness is real, thus proclaiming freedom, recovery of sight and release from oppression.

Could there have been a more perfect card for me to pick up?

Here's the kicker: The "doubt" that I had laid down was about my being set apart to serve God, to bring this message of forgiveness. This was an old tape that I have had trouble erasing, that was recorded throughout my childhood and recently re-released on DVD! :)

My mother has denounced me, has ceased to claim me as her child, has "kicked me out of the family" and has proclaimed that I will never amount to anything- all because I have forgiven one she deems unforgivable. I have lived my life under the shadow of her doubt in me.

I am released. I no longer need to live as if I have to prove my mother wrong. I need to pray for her... and listen to my Father.

Thank you so so much!
Lisa R.

Blogger Joanne said...


I am so sad that I didn't come forward. I was sitting at my table with tears streaming down my face, watching and praying for all the other women walk to the front.

This weekend continues to bless me after reading your post. The lesson I am learning is that there is so much more for me to hold on to. So much more that the Lord has for my life if I would just reach out. He is opening door after door for me, my part is simply to walk through.

Your message about the enemy begining to attack as soon as you step out for the Lord is still with me. You see, there was one gal who put some seeds of doubt in my head, and Lord knows it doesn't take much for me to sow that garden! After the high of Saturday and my positive publishers meetings, the very last person out of every single living and breathing gal there...who did I see? The women who caused me to doubt. I went to my room and shared with my sweet roommate that the enemy was already at work trying to discourage me. When I woke up on Sunday morning, I had to leave the hotel at 6am to catch my flight back to California. The hotel was asleep except for the gal behind the counter....AND that woman! She was waiting for me at the front door and asked if I would like to share a limo ride with her to the airport!?!

There was no way that I was getting in that limo with her. I joyfully paid my $46 dollars to ride alone.

God is so good Renee. If you hadn't taught on doubt and the spiritual attack we have on our calling, well I wouldn't have been prepared.

Forgive my long post.

Blessings on you and your precious family..and P31 ministries.


Blogger K. Langston said...

Hello, Renee!

I went expecting to hear from God in some way, and I got my message on Saturday, when I picked up a promise after leaving my fears at the cross.

I am writing a book about God's promises for children with autism. I often get questions about certain topics, such as vaccine injury, that I know from experience are hot issues. I had some fear about speaking out what I believe God has shown me to be true, knowing I will be criticized at times, and probably harshly.

The promise I drew from the cross was a mirrored version of Isaiah 61:1-2, a verse I have been holding onto for encouragement for months as I wrote this book. At the cross, I drew Luke 4:18-19, verses where Jesus reads Is. 61:1-2 and proclaims that He fulfills the promise.

Identical words,identical promise, but placed in different locations of the Bible...why? I thought about this and realized that in the Luke version, JESUS is speaking the promise...and fulfilling it at the same time!

I now know that I can put my fears to rest because I understand that Jesus is the One setting the captives free, in this case, children with autism. I'm only a pen in His hand!

I find a lot of comfort in that promise, and it encourages me to know that He does, indeed, here the cries of so many children with autism whose little voices are gone. (1 in 150...)

My word was "ANOINTED". Wow. I can face any giant with confidence that Christ is in control. (Even Big Pharma!)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My promise was security for the little girl within me. It's time to let go of the very thing the Lord gave back to me. Thank you for the message of the Cross and for sharing your own doubt and fear with so many. You my friend have blessed us with your faithful obediance. It was so good seeing you.

Love you to the sky and back

Blogger Running My Race said...

My promise was security for the little girl within me. It's time to let go of the very thing the Lord gave back to me. Thank you for the message of the Cross and for sharing your own doubt and fear with so many. You my friend have blessed us with your faithful obediance. It was so good seeing you.

Love you to the sky and back

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Your message was absolutely Holy Spirit Inspired!

My promise was also Eph 1:18-19
with the shadowed word Blessed. I actually picked up 2! :) My other one had the word ABLEon it. Both of my promises ministered to me greatly as I have believed some of the lies satan has whispered in my ear.

Also, one of the ladies in my speaker group went into the prayer room and told me that where she choose to pray, there was my name. There were many names of God that were coupled with ours. My name was with Emmanuel- God is with us.

It was very evident that the entire team put alot of time and prayer into this past weekend. Through the P31 team, everyone who was there was able to reap the benefits of the labor put forth.

WOW! That is just a tid bit that I walked away with.

Thank you for answering the Call!

Angla Whitmire

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was praying for you, that God would speak through you Saturday night. And by visiting all the blogs of those who were there, I can tell that He did. Many, many of them are citing the verses they picked up, and how much it spoke to them.
I printed all those verses myself and have them put up on the wall right above my desk here, so that I can read them every day.
Praise God for the blessing you are to so many, and for Him using you the way He did! Thank you for being so open with your heart and life, and so willing to be used by Him.
God bless,

Freedom, that was and is my promise...the full measure of which has not yet been fully tasted, but this weekend went long and far toward the feeding.

Thank you, Renee, for all your encouragement and genuine "realness." You will never know just how much your pep talks meant to me.

Check the blog when you get a chance. I've posted some second thoughts about the weekend.


OH Renee,
I was so blessed by God by the word He gave me. I have been recovering from being beaten down by man's opinion of me. God gave me an unspeakable freedom from that this whole conference. It was unreal in a way or should I say SUPERNATURAL. I am talking even about being evaluated in my speaker groups and meetings with the publishers. This year I went with it not being about me at all. There was a new freedom. Well, Sunday while I was driving home I checked out my card and it said, "FREE." Oh and the verse was from Jeremiah about seeking GOd with all your heart and Him bringing you back from captivity.

Renee, that was so special-thank you so much for your obedience to God. I needed that word as confirmation. I am truly at a new place in freedom.
Much love,
BTW-Your message was so wonderful too. God did a great work.

Anonymous Alyssa said...

Your message was powerful. I didn't get my card until Sunday morning as I didn't realize Sat night that they were there, but I still got the word I needed from God. This is a word he's been giving me a long time, yet I took it for granted. Months and months ago I had bought one of those wooden cutouts of the word and placed it on a wall in my home, now it was given to me on the card at She Speaks, and for once I feel it, it's real. Here's more:

Blogger Pamela (MrsJoeB) said...

Renee-I left my "self" behind when I got on the plane to fly to the conference. I had been prepping for this conference-mind fasting, prayer, relenting of evil/sins. I had such a peace and calm about my spirit as we took off. When I kneeled at that cross that night, it was a committment of saying "Yes Lord"-it is all behind me-the trash, the faiures, the insecurities. It was redeeming. As I walked back to my table I looked at the card I was handed and gasped..."Secure" (Deut. 33:12)...for once I was secure in the Lord as that was how I felt. This new journey I am walking, the steps of faith I am about to take in making significant changes in my life...I am secure and I can rest between His shoulders. What a vivid picture of my life at that moment and at this moment still. I had blogged I was ready to arrive to the conference. I have arrived. Not to sound selfish or concided, but the Pam God has been seeking me to be has arrived to the humble state He requires so that He can fully use me for His glory and honor.
I spoke to you at the conference and selfishly said your message from God was just for was, I still believe that. But I also know it wasfor everyone. I am living in the shadows of the cross, looking towards the light of His grace, not in the shadows of my past. Again I say, thank you for being so willing to be used by God and send forth His message which I cherish!!

In His Graces~Pamela

Blogger Barbara K said...

Hi Renee,

I had no idea why God wanted me to be at She Speaks, but I knew it was His idea. Saturday night as I came to the cross ,I felt like I needed to JUMP. It is time to go past ankle level water (Ezekiel 47). I don't need water on fall on my fleece anymore. He has done that for me. God has been so patient with me, his little turtle girl, that wants to put her head in her shell. It is time to MOVE FORWARD. God has spoken so clearly to me about His plans for me in my call to be a voice for Him.
My verse was EPH. 1 18-19 I pray also that the eyes of you heart may be enlightened... Blessed is the shadow word behind His words. 'Barbara, if you will just WALK by FAITH in what I have called you...BELIEVE. You will be blessed and remember you are blessed to be a blessing for OTHERS! What I am calling you to is very important to ME.' The Call is not about me and what I can do. (Relief floods my soul!)
The first sentences in my God Calling and Jesus Calling devotionals that day contained the words...I bless you. I had already underlined them. A key verse God brought to my attention a few years ago: Luke 1:45 Blessed is she who has BELIEVED what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished! I believe what He has said. I have found favor with God and He wants me to show Himself strong in my life! Let it BE Lord as You have said!
Thank you for the prayer Saturday night Renee. God had been talking to me about shadows and spotlights too. I love how He speaks something out and gives us all different ways to use it. By the way, you said you had relatives in GB, FL. I wondered if I knew them...(maybe they are those relatives that we don't mention in mixed company : ) We all understand those things.
Walk in His love for you! It is a beautiful day! Thank you Jesus!
Barbara K
Gulf Breeze FL

Blogger Laura said...

Your message Saturday night spoke the story of my heart. You gave me courage and encouragement in this journey. Your heart is beautiful and I was so touched by the story you shared of your childhood. Thank you.

Blogger Kathy S. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Starr said...

I so enjoyed your message Saturday night. Thank you for teaching on a subject that I struggle with all the time. I am always doubting my abilities and never seem to have enough self-confidence to step out and pursue my dreams. But, I am learning to have God-confidence!

Appropriately enough, my card said "Able". It brought tears to my eyes when I read it as I know it was a word from God. Who else could have known the inward battle I had been facing? Only my Creator. Thanks so much for the prayers you P31 gals offered up for us all. I felt His presence so strongly at She Speaks and hope with my whole being that I can return next year to be filled again.
Love and Blessings,
Starr LaPradd

Blogger Linda said...

Renee, I was in the speakers' track, but I loved hearing you speak. Thanks for a great conference. I hope to come back.

Blogger Lelia Chealey said...

Hello Renee!
I loved my time with everyone this weekend. I am definitely not the same woman who boarded the plane. I loved everything about Saturday. The word God gave me is ABLE and the verse is Habakkuk 3:19 "The Sovereign Lord is my stength; he makes my feel like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights."
You have no idea how I needed this word in my life. Totally 100% God-breathed word blown over my life as only He knew what I would be dealing with days after my flight landed.
God is so faithful and I thank you & the P31 team for choosing to be faithful when so many give up and are faithless. He is just so worth all the bumps in the road. Skinned knees and all I am resting in the shadow of the cross. Especially today.

Thank you dear friend.

Blogger Lisa said...

Hey Friend!
Loved your comments on my blog. Thanks for stopping by, girl, and for your gracious words. I truly have mad love for P31 and all you amazing women! I just like being with you. :)

I didn't get Libby's number, but I can find her, if you want me to! I know where she goes to church and actually found out through talking that we have a mutual friend. Just let me know! (She has absolutely no idea I blogged about her, of course, because I didn't tell her anything about me or my site, etc.)

On another note, I have heard such amazing things about your talk Saturday night. I wish I could have stayed to hear it. I know you are not about the praise of "men," but surely God is pleased with you for your obediance to share His message. (Just look at the results!) Soak that in, Renee, as it is huge. You can see the results of taking your own message to heart, my friend!

Love you much!
Lisa :)

Blogger Bonnelle Pagel said...

Hi Renee,

Thank you for sharing your heart and life with us Saturday night. Thank you for speaking words that God used to stir my heart.

My promise is:
"For you are a chosen (woman). You are a royal priest, a holy (daughter). God's very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9

What struck me was: you CAN show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

I was struggling with my own doubts, fears, and discouragement by the time the session started Saturday night. "WHAT am I doing here?" I kept asking the Lord. I knew though that He had brought me to this place and that He had to have a purpose and plan for my being there. And indeed He did!

He confirmed that He has called me to write and to speak of His goodness and grace. There has been much that has happened in my life over the last 10 years and now is the time to begin sharing it. In the prayer room I found my name on "The Lord, my companion". He told me that He would always be my companion, my guide and that He would lead me where I need to be (and even supplied a visual).

The word written behind my promise is CHOSEN. He has chosen ME! He has called ME! Now it's time to step out. My first baby step has been to set up a blog!

I'm excited to see what He has in store.

(First time attendee & Chosen daughter of God)

Blogger Kelley said...

I don't know if you read Lysa's post on being cool vs. being a dork but when I saw that Renee Swope had left me a comment I felt way beyond cool!!
Seriously, thank you for the encouragement and your sweet words. My promise was Proverbs 3:26 and my word was confident. This was the PERFECT word for me as I doubted myself and God's plan for me all weekend. My biggest problem is that as I speak I am too scared to give up my written, line by line copy of what I want to say. And yet I know I can't be effective if I don't. Like a kid who can't ride their bike without training wheels, I become dependent on something that is holding me back from really enjoying the ride! Does that make sense??

Anyway, I was so blessed by your words Sat. night. I loved how real your story was (boy could I relate)! I am sorry we didn't get to meet but I am praying our paths will cross again!!

Take care and thanks for leaving a comment and making me feel cool!

Blogger Truth4thejourney said...

Dear Renee,

I posted today on the amazing way God healed my heart at your session on Sat. Night.

The link should be:

Blogger Joy in The Truth said...


Sure, I'd love to be your big sister! What a joy! :) And I think I can fit that in around being Wendy's assistant and all! (Your assistant is lovely, by the way! Wow!)

God has knit my heart together with "y'all" at P31.

Thank you for your sweet comment. It was a highlight for me, too, to squeeze you in person! You are so sweet. Although, I have to say, I do feel like we have known each other. Thank you for calling me "friend" so that I could call you friend, too, and for your sincerity in love.


Blogger Tiffany Stuart said...

I've read a few blogs about the blessing of this experience. I feel like I missed out. I so wanted to go this year. Maybe next, Lord willing.

Glad God used your talk to minister to women.

God bless your calling!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am writing again here. Because I mentioned that I printed out the verses and words from your previous post.
Well, the one that jumped out to me, that I think has become my theme verse; because God has pointed it out before and reminded me of it time and time again...
"Fear not, for i have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine." Isaiah 43:1
REDEEMED and called by my name... I am His.
To think, as I have been struggling with whether I am safe with Him, struggling with my identity... and this verse was brought to my, through you, through a post you did weeks ago.
Thank you so much for posting those verses. Thank you so much for being obedient to Christ.
God bless you,

Anonymous Moshelle said...

How many different promises did you have printed out up there? I was so amazed at the verse I picked up.

First, I have to confess that while you were talking I got so absorbed in my thoughts over what I wrote out on my card that I somehow missed the instruction that we were all suppose to take that card of doubt producing thoughts up front and lay them at the cross.

Instead, astounded at what I had just written down, I wanted to just sit there and think about what I had put on my card...because that is my nature to be a thinker, to a fault.

I had also written on that card one of the verses that you put up on the screne which I liked, "1 Peter 2:9."

But then one of the other ladies from my table walked over to me and told me, "You're suppose to go put that card down at the cross, Moshelle."

I told her I didn't want too. I wanted to keep my card and think about it and it had a good verse written on it.

She just smiled and showed me in her hand the piece of paper with a verse on it that she had just picked up. Then she said, "When you lay down your card, they will give you a new card with a new verse on it."

"Oh." So I went to the cross. And exchanged my card of shame for a new card with a promise.

And what was that promise?
1 Peter 2:9 "You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a noly nation, a people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy."

My verse!

I never expected so much blessing from She Speaks. It's launched me into a new and deeper understanding of my identity in Christ. I haven't even given that junk on my card a second thought since returning home. It doesn't matter, it does not define me, it is not who I am.

Blogger Joanne said...


I just got my word in the mail from you, "Able"...

Well, I am speechless. You have no idea how this has touched me.

Would you believe that in the prayer room, my name was lying on the paper with the word of God, Adonai...and one of the scriptures listed on that sheet of paper was the very same one that the Lord put on your heart to send to me?

Oh friend, I am speechless. Maybe that needs to be a word for me...speechless. God knows that my husband would love to hear that one prayed over me after receiving this in the mail.

My plan is to hang it above my computer as I get to work, writing the book that the Lord has put on my heart to write.

I will keep you posted.

Love you! Joanne

Blogger Joanie Butler said...


Here is an excerpt from the post on my blog describing "my verse" and how it ministered to my heart.

The following is the verse that I received.

“. . . for you are a chosen (women). You are a royal priest, a holy (daughter). God’s very own possession. As a result you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.” I Peter 2:9

I have to admit that the first time I read my verse my thought was something like this, “Oh, well, that’s nice. “ But as so often happens with God when I read the verse again when I had a little quiet time, several of His perfect truths from this verse began to penetrate my heart.

The first words that reached in and touched my heart were, “you can show others the goodness of God.” Since the adoption of my son I have been struggling with what I guess would best be described as an ‘identity’ crisis. I have been a working professional woman for most of my adult life, and now I find myself in the position of having a child to raise. And albeit a true blessing from God that I find myself once again in the role of Mommy, I do admit that this role has been a challenge for me.
I have been feeling God calling to me and asking me to join Him in a very active role in raising my son. I have sensed the Spirit asking me to give up my job, take my son out of daycare and spend these very important first years of his life teaching him about the love of God.

For me, this has seemed like an impossible task. First, the issue of finances and how can we make ends meet if I am not working? “Trust me!” Seemed to be His reply. Second, my doubt, fear and insecurity as I complained, “Lord, I am so inadequate. How can I, with all of my sin and failings, teach my son about Your love?” But through this verse, God once again spoke to me and reminded me that I can, with the help of the Holy Spirit, show my son the goodness of God.

In my wrestling within myself over this calling, or ministry if you will, I have realized that I also have been fighting the sin of anger. I have been angry about many things. I have been angry because I was diagnosed with Early Onset Parkinson’s Disease in 2006. I don’t want this disease and I know that the disease steals my energy, causes aches and pain, and often impairs my ability to cope with things in a calm and rational manner. I have struggled with anger because I have felt that I am being asked to give up a part of who I am to take on the full-time Mommy role. But most of all I have felt anger because I feel so inadequate to take on the challenge that God has placed before me. I know how to succeed in business, however I am less convinced about my mothering skills, at least if I am to do the job with any amount of success. Yet God’s promise says that He has “called me out of darkness into His wonderful light.”

And finally, as I looked at my promise from scripture I realized that the shadow word is “CHOSEN.” Any time a person becomes a parent, God has chosen to match two individuals in this unique relationship. But I think that in an adoption situation the truth in that statement is even more profound. God CHOSE me to be my son’s mother! Flaws and all! I am God’s royal priest, His holy daughter. I am His possession, and so is my son. God is calling me to this highly honorable mission field and He can and will equip me to carry out my duties.

It is with this assurance that I am free from doubt, fear and insecurity. It is now that I can embrace this mission field and teach my son to know God, and to love and trust in Him.

“Dear Lord, Your love is amazing! Your word brings life and truth. I give myself to you and to this new area of ministry. I place my son in your hands and ask that you strengthen me for the journey ahead. Please bless me with wisdom, compassion, strength, and grace to display the love of Jesus in everyday life. Help me to make you real in my son’s life. Not some far away, living up in the clouds God, but a very real and personal God who loves to give good gifts to His children. I wholeheartedly seek you and ask you to become greater in my life. I seek more of you and less of me. I thank you for answering righteous prayer. In Jesus name, amen.”

Blessed to be Mommy!


Blogger Renee Swope said...

Ya'll, these are some incredible stories!!!! I know that is bad grammar but when God moves this big, my southern Bible girl voice takes over. WOW, I am just amazed as I read each personal experience, each hesitancy, each doubt and each powerful step you took to the Cross and each tender step Jesus took to meet you there. Even those who didn't go Saturday night;God is making sure He gets word to you that He loves you and He has a promise and a calling on your life.

I hope you will read through these comments and be reminded of His faithfulness.

Moshelle, I so wish I could find you to tell you that your story left me with my jaw on the floor! I just love the details and how God worked in your letting go and trusting. Beautiful!!!

Well, I am still speechless and I'd love to keep hearing all that God did. So, if any of your friends have a story, please send them here to "tell of the wonderful things He has done." I plan to print your stories and create a remembrance in my scrapbook of our time together in the Shadow of the Cross.

Blogger Elwoods said...

I came to the conference not knowing at all why I was there except for the fact that God told me to go. At this point in life, I am not a speaker. I am not a writer. I am not a leader and I am definitely not a teenager. The whole weekend I really felt God calling me and in his small voice letting me know I am supposed to be there. He kept telling me he has great plans for me but also that he wasn't going to let me in on the secret quite yet. I am just supposed to trust. This was also quite evident when I tried going to the "women's ministry" tracks (since I fit no where else) and found myself feeling very out of place. Sure they had good ideas but it just wasn't clicking with me. Every session I went to that was a general session really was powerful for me and I knew that God had ordained me to be in each one of those. I just kept thinking... How am I supposed to go home and tell people that I had a great experience but I still don't know what it is God wants me to do? Anyway, Saturday night came. I knew without much thought that the "doubts" and "fears" I had to let go of where my family. You see, I am the youngest of 7. In my family, everyone has their own talent that no one else can take. One sister is the singer, one is the homemaker, one is the crafty one.. etc... Well, by the time I came along I think they lost any imagination on who I was, just I couldn't be those things that were already taken. It doesn't matter that Yes, I do like to sing in church, I do like to bake, I do work part time as a floral designer. I am still the youngest. God just really dealt with me about giving up that burden of who they think I am and living to be who he has called me to be.

So my promise is Isaiah 43:10

"You are my witness," declares the LORD,"and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he."

Later that night, my sister in law saw the word behind the verse (not sure why I couldn't see it through all my blubbering... : )he he ). The word is CALLED. It doesn't matter what people think I am. It doesn't even matter what "track" I fall into. What matters is that he has called ME to do his work. Wow, that's just an awesome thought. The creator of the universe has called me up asking if I'd like to join him.

I still don't know where he's leading me. My husband says that the bible tell us the HE is a lamp unto our feet, he's not a mega blinding spotlight to light our whole future. That's where I am right now is just trusting each step he tells me to take.

Thank you so much Renee for saying "yes" to God,

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