I’m doing a short Q & A series to answer questions from other speakers. I hope these will help you too! If you have a question you’d like answered, feel free to send it in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll answer it here on the blog so everyone will benefit.
Here’s a question from my friend and former Next Step client, Dixie. (Thanks for the encouragement too, Dixie!)
I hope all is well! I just wanted to write a quick follow up with a thank you on our working together. I’ve just gotten a few paid speaking engagements and they are not quite what you and I worked on (they are vision board workshops) they are a start and I could not have had the confidence with out you! I also wanted to ask a question, do you remember when you first started out speaking, how did you go about getting the assignments that you truly desired and ultimately end up connected with P31, I never heard you say in your talks and I am still trying to find my footing in that area and thought if I heard your journey it may help propel me a bit faster.
I don’t want to sound at all trite, but the beginning of my speaking journey truly was a God story. Although I rarely journal, I had been prayer journaling following a move and writing the words I believed God was speaking to me. For about a month, I wrote words about a speaking calling, but I was skeptical. Were these really God’s words to me, or was this an old ambition raising its ugly head again? I prayed God would completely purify my heart and that He’d open doors of opportunity.
Months later, I was struggling with depression. The move had left me feeling lonely and purposeless, and I cried out to God. “I’ve never asked for a sign,” I told Him. “But I need something to show me that you see me.”
I’m being completely honest when I say I had low expectations. Do you know what my heart really longed for at that moment? Just someone to invite me to lunch. Seriously!
Nothing happened that day, and I was crushed. Two days later, however, I walked into my home to a blinking answering machine. The recorded voice was someone I didn’t know from a church I had never heard of asking me to lead their women’s beach retreat. I stood and wept. God had answered my prayer in a fashion so exceeding my expectations.
The retreat weekend was a true blessing, and I began to wonder how my speaking ministry would grow. Would word of mouth begin to spread? In my prayer time, God spoke almost immediately. He let me know I wouldn’t control this ministry or make anything happen. He told me that He would provide opportunities that were clearly His doing.
And that’s exactly how it happened.
Every opportunity was separate and unusual. One woman even got my name after being at my church for a funeral!
After about a year and a half of these God-generated opportunities, I attend She Speaks. I loved what I was doing, but truthfully, I was completely winging it, and I needed help! After the conference, I applied for the speaker team, and the rest is history.
I love telling my story, because it’s such a beautiful example of how God grows your ministry. Does that mean we don’t participate with Him in marketing? No. However, I want you to be encouraged. God is in control of our ministries. Him. And Him alone. You can rest in that truth.
How do you grow? Step into every opportunity God gives, even when it doesn’t look like you expected. Take steps of obedience even when it means hard work. When there are no opportunities, wait, serve and grow spiritually.
Would you like more encouragement? I’ve added a page on my new personal website just for you. Click here to visit.
I’m cheering for each and every one of you to have the opportunities to share God’s message!