Two weekends ago I had the pleasure of attending my first Women’s conference ever! It was the LifeWay Women Live Women’s conference, and I had no idea what to expect, but I was ready to receive the word of God from these phenomenal women who were speaking at the conference.
Prior to the conference, I had only heard of a few of the speakers, like Lysa Terkeurst, who is the founder of Proverbs 31 Ministeries, and I listen to their podcast. Whitney Capps is also part of the Proverbs 31 Ministeries family, and I usually hear her on the radio, and of course, I knew Mandisa.
The event took place at the Addition Financial Arena on the UCF campus in Orlando, Florida, from Friday, July 19th through Saturday, July 20th. It was two days that consisted of empowering, impactful, life-changing, eye-opening, Jesus filled messages that really spoke to me. Emotions were definitely running high during most of the messages, and I’m not one to cry, but some even had me teary-eyed.
Friday, July 19th
As we walked in, we received the program, a goodie bag, and a rock. Each rock had either a bible verse or a cross on it. Mine had the verse Psalms 46:10, “Be Still.”
There was enough time to mingle, get some food, walk around and see different sponsors and organizations that were available. Finally, we got to our seats, they had a first come first serve seating arrangement, so we ended up sitting in the center in section 102 with a perfect center stage view.
Christine Caine started her talk with Luke 7 verses 1-10, stating this is one of the two times in the Bible where Jesus is marveled. In this verse, she explained that he was marveled at the man’s faith. In Mark 6 verse 1-6, Jesus was marveled at the lack of faith the people had. She mentioned that we need to have a faith that marvels Jesus because sometimes Jesus marvelous at our unbelief. We need more believers than unbelievers, and at times, we get so used to the Christian culture that we forget that Jesus can shift things in our life. She said how we get so caught up in posting the perfect life that we forget to be intimate with Jesus. We are so busy trying to impress others when, in reality, we need to be impressing him. She reminded us that we are in this world, but we are not of this world. Faith is not about understanding it is about trust. Do you fully trust Jesus? And she ended with asking us that everyone is going to die but are we going to live the life that Jesus called us to live?
I was left in awe afterward because as much notes as I wanted to write down sometimes, I would just listen and take it all in. She was funny, but she spoke with so much truth!
We then heard the story of sponsorship through the organization Compassion. Through compassion, you can sponsor a child in need and help with their medical needs, give access to education, and much more. The story we heard was a girl who was from Uganda, and she had lost both her parents from an early age but because of compassion and her sponsor she was able to receive medical care and finish her education. She then went on to become a nurse. It is incredible to hear about organizations like this that provides aid and help to those in need around the world.
After compassion, we had the privilege to see Mandisa perform. She sang so beautifully and powerfully. I absolutely love her voice and her songs, they all have a positive message. During the middle of the performance, she shared a beautiful testimony of when her brother got saved. She even wrote a song for him called, “Dear, John.”
Saturday, July 20th
Saturday morning started again with worship led by Lauren Chandler. And the first speaker to start us off was Kelly Minter. She began with the book of 1 Samuel chapter 25 verse 13 through 31, and she told us how she identified with Abigail in this story because she was a woman of courage. She came with God’s word. Kelly reminded us that no one will stop the will of God in our lives and that we sometimes take matters into our own hands when we are in the in-between. Her message was about when we are in the in-between season that we sometimes get impatient want to do things on our own. Sometimes we make our own battles, battles that God didn’t even want us to fight, but if we stay true to God’s word and come with God’s word he will fight the battles for us. She told us to walk the path of the straight and narrow, there is no other way. Hang on tightly to God’s promises, remember them. Kelly reminded us to not give up and not to fight the wrong battles.
The following speaker was Lysa TerKeurst, and her message was about forgiveness. She started her message with, “I am a sinner.” It’s essential that we recognize that we are all sinners, and no one is perfect. We all have been through hard things, and we are all carrying a lot of weight, many deep emotions. Everyone makes mistakes, and we are going to have to forgive others for their mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes will hurt us or have hurt us. She highlighted Ephesians chapter 4 verse 26 to 27 and how it talks about not letting the sun go down on our anger and how we sometimes argue with our significant other, and they want to go to bed, and we pull out this verse and try to finish the argument right there but she mentioned we need to remember the verse says, “our anger” not their anger. We need to find the deeper meaning of our anger. Why are we angry? Lysa tied this back to Genesis chapter 4 verses 1 through 6, but specifically verse 6 to 8, where the Lord asked Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face, downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” She reminded us that when we are angry, we leave the door wide open to the enemy and he will use the anger against us, but we do have the ability to rule over sin, with God. Lysa said forgiveness is mandatory even if reconciliation isn’t the outcome. She also explained how forgiveness is a decision and a process, and she explained like this. You decide it was time to forgive but you will have triggers, and it will hurt, and feelings will come back, the anger will come back, but you must remember you decided it was time to forgive. It won’t be easy, but you can do it, with God. She left us with this powerful statement, the more battles we do on our knees, the less we have to do with our flesh.
We were then dismissed for a 30-minute break.
The third speaker of the day was Whitney Capps, and she was hilarious! I absolutely loved her honesty. She initiated her talk by saying how when she gathers with girlfriends, they always talk about everything that is wrong with them, like what they are struggling with or what is going on in their lives. She said we say a lot about us, but what about Jesus? We don’t ever talk enough about him. She spoke about how we try to fix our own problems instead of leaning on Jesus. Self-help leads to frustration, and this is so true. She then went on talking about sanctification and explained how this is the process of becoming more like Jesus. It’s about who we are coming, and we have to remember it is God’s work. Whitney asked us a fundamental question, are you more like Jesus today than you were a year ago?
Let Jesus work inside of you. Let Jesus be the hero of your story because he is the hero of your story. Stop doing yourself what Jesus is trying to do in you. She went on to explain regeneration and how after we accept Jesus into our lives, we are alive. Then justification happens, which is the process of Jesus awakening us. Getting legally right with God. She reminded us to live out our faith and walk in faith. Although we live in a cultured Christianity, God’s word is always the truth, and we need to be gospel anchored in the truth. Although the church is a community, another person shouldn’t be the first person you conference your sins to, she went on to say. You should have talked to God first about your sins before you go on and talk to a friend about it. Whiney said, confession is easy, but change is hard, another truth. The last of my notes say, I am better because of Jesus. Jesus is changing me. Whitney did an altar call and had us pray an acceptance prayer for Jesus into our lives. Women who had prayed this for the first time that day, she called them down to have prayer over them. It is so beautiful to witness people who accept Jesus into their lives and be saved.
We were then dismissed for lunch.
After lunch, there was a Q&A session with Mary Beth Chapman. She announced The Great Alaskan Adventure cruise that she and her husband will attend next year and how anyone can go with them. Her husband, Steven Curtis Chapman then surprised everyone by coming out on stage and performed two songs.
The second to last speaker for the conference was Lisa Harper, she came out on stage with her beautiful daughter, from Haiti, and she told us this horrific story about a time when she was riding her 3-wheel motorcycle with a sidecar, and she was with her daughter. As Lisa was riding she noticed some fellows, who had caused trouble before, were coming up behind her and she started praying that nothing would happen, but they caught up right beside her and threw cola cans at them, while yelling racial slurs, and also drove them off the side of the road. When they arrived home, Lisa sat her daughter in the living room to try to explain what had happened and she told her daughter that there are specific individuals who have really small hearts and minds and only associate themselves with people that look at them. Her daughter then replied that she knew what they had to do, they had to try to make their hearts bigger! I’m not usually one to get emotional, but this story really shook me and got me teary-eyed. Lisa told us to open our eyes and our hearts to the Lord and to love always, even when it’s hard. She said the world will recognize we are Christians based on our love. She referenced James chapter 2, verses 14 to 27 and asked if we aren’t living God’s truth do we really believe? Another scripture she referenced was 1 John, chapter 4, verse 7 to 21, and this one speaks about Love and how we need to love one another.
The last speaker was Jackie Hill Perry, and my notes from her message are short because she spoke so fast, but I was so intrigued by her message that I just wanted to take it all in. Her whole message was based upon Jude, chapter 1, verse 24, and 25. She mentioned that we struggle to trust God because we have a hard time seeing God. We are used to “see to believe,” but God really is who he says he is. She said it’s crazy that what sets us free is what we are most afraid of and that is truth! Jackie told us that even if everyone around us is falling God will keep you in your place. We cannot idolize because only God can be God for us. God is the only things that can satisfy us. She also spoke about community and said Jesus is the savior of many people, so we are never alone. God doesn’t want us to be alone. Be in the community of fellow believers. The last reminder is that God does not change.
This conference is something I really needed and I’m glad I was able to attend. I related the most to Lysa Terkeurst because I had been through a similar experience and I understood exactly what she was talking about. All the women were wonderful and each had a powerful message to give us. I do believe I am closer to Jesus this year than I was last year and I want to continue to grow in my faith. I find myself to be calmer and more at peace than I was years ago. I really do see God working in my heart and in my life. I’m helping people more, not getting angry as easily as I used to, little things that used to bother me don’t bother me anymore, and my hunger for God’s word and love is growing. I’m excited to see what more God has in store for my life. I will definitely attend another LifeWay Women’s conference or any other Women’s conference available. I also recommend for any women to attend one of these wonderful conferences.