by Heather Bock
I was absent-mindedly skimming through my Twitter feed when I came across a tweet about an event called Lit by Living Proof Ministries for women with a passion for writing, speaking, and/or teaching in their 20s and 30s. I clicked on the link and disbelief took over as I saw that not only were Beth Moore, Jennie Allen, and Priscilla Shirer going to be there, but it was to be held only three and half hours from where I live, it was only $25, and my calendar for that day was empty! Desire for a conference had been welling up in me already, but I had put it aside, thinking I could only afford to do one every two years. This one seemed tailor fit for me (and for many other women, I’m sure), and we could afford it.
Allow me to back up just a bit and say that starting about ten years ago, I did about ten or eleven Beth Moore studies in a row. God used Beth to renew my passion for the Bible that had waned some after I had graduated with a degree emphasizing theology and biblical studies. Her studies inspired me to write my own Bible study. Somewhere in that time period, I read Jennie Allen’s Anything and did a few of her studies. When I say Anything was life-changing, I’m serious. It is one of the biggest reasons Greg and I followed God to move to Texas. See posts about it here and here.
Can you understand why I would be a little excited about this event?
I knew it would be hard to get tickets. I kept praying and thinking about it during the week before registration would open on November 25 at 9 am. I secured my sweet, protective husband’s approval for me to drive that distance alone. I set reminders on my phone, and I set my alarm (or I should say, I thought I set my alarm) so I wouldn’t miss it. I had in the back of my mind that if God let me go, it would be an encouragement to me to continue on the often discouraging journey toward the publication of my Bible study.
Then I stayed up too late reading, and unlike my usual habit of waking around 8, didn’t wake up at 9. My husband, knowing I wanted to register, woke me at 9:03. I jumped out of bed, and frantically started trying to register, but it was too late. The registration was jammed with all the women trying to do the same, and a minute or so later, I got the message that the event was full. I was 27th on the waiting list. With all those women wanting it as badly as I did, I didn’t even consider getting off the waiting list to be a possibility.
I was devastated. I’m talking ugly crying. I was so angry with myself for not having set the alarm after all and for staying up too late. I also felt like God must be telling me to just give up on my Bible study then and there.
I knew I probably looked overly dramatic to my husband, who couldn’t possibly understand all that was going on in my head. I went into another room and tried to wall everyone out from what seemed like silly pain. But Greg sought me out, went through the walls, and held me without a word.
All of a sudden, I saw in my mind my eight year-old son, and how he looked just a day or two before, crying because he couldn’t watch a movie he wanted to watch. At the time, I thought it was silly for him to cry over something so small. I didn’t give him any empathy. I believe in the moment Greg held me, God was showing me how I should respond to my children in their seemingly little disappointments. “Ugh,” I thought to God. “I’m already so mad at myself and feel so terrible. Do You have to bring conviction, too?” He was right, though, and since I felt it so keenly, I knew this lesson was going to stick. He brought the conviction through the kindness and grace of my husband. I couldn’t help but think of Romans 2:4: “do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?”
After I had calmed down, I apologized to my son for not giving him a hug or kind words when he was disappointed to tears. The next time I was tempted to roll my eyes inside over my son’s tears for not being able to play on a video game, I remembered how I had felt and how Greg had held me without judgment, and I hugged my son and told him I was sorry for his disappointment. I hope I will continue to remember this lesson.
Two hours later, I found an email saying that if any spots opened up, I would get an email, and I would have to respond within one minute. I scrolled through my other new emails and discovered a second email sent an hour and a half before saying a spot had opened. I signed up as quick as I could, hardly hoping anything would come of it.
I got in. Somehow, I got in.
God taught me a lesson through disappointment I will likely not forget, and then He took it away. Oh, how I don’t deserve it, but oh, how thankful I am for such a gracious God.
Journal the Word Bible Giveaway
I was blown away by how many people entered the drawing for this Bible. Thank you so much for your participation! This makes me even more thankful that I will be able to hold a second drawing in the near future for a second Bible of the same type. If you did not win, please come back and enter again through social media sharing.
The winner of the NKJV Journal the Word Bible is Aditya Vallat or Adivallat. Congratulations! Please contact me at heather.bock[at]glimpsesofjesus.com with your address by Wednesday, December 7, so I can send the Bible to you.