Well. I can’t even. I’m still soaking up all of the wonderful, amazing moments from Saturday. My. heart. is. all. big. and. full.
I was given the wonderful privilege to be the guest speaker at the Union Mills Women’s Retreat on Saturday. This was perfect. To have my first speaking engagement be back in my hometown, at my home church where it all began…totally a God Thing.
Ever since I was in 8th grade, I have had this passion in my heart to want to speak to people and encourage them to love God and remind them of all the good things He has done for us. It was back in the fall of 1986, when I sat in a pew with my friends (wearing a banana clip, I’m sure. And my big Sally Jessy Raphael glasses.) and we listened to this fiery little Asian man who was so full of spunk and love for Jesus when God put that desire in my heart. To do what Sam Rijfkogel was doing…share the love of God and encourage people to follow Him.
Years later, God is fulfilling this dream that He gave me. On a beautiful Saturday morning at Union Mills, I was honored and humbled to share with so many women what God has laid on my heart. This retreat came about because Pam Smith was obedient to what God put on her heart. After attending a women’s retreat at my cousins Rhonda and Pastor Tom’s church in Lynnville, Pam felt God nudge her. She knew that she needed to go back to the women at Union Mills and share with them that they should host a women’s retreat.
When God lays something on your heart, He will provide. After Pam shared this idea with the ladies, she wasn’t certain of what they would do or if they’d have someone speak. And then…my Aunt Nancy saw my Facebook post.
Aunt Nancy told Pam that I was wanting to start the journey to becoming a guest speaker for events, where I could share about what God has laid on my heart. And within a few days…I had my first speaking engagement scheduled. Awesome how God works!
Fast forward to Saturday, February 27th and this happened…
One of the best days of my life. As I was in the presence of so many amazing women who love the Lord, my heart just wanted to burst. These women. So many of them had prayed for me when I was only 15 days old and death was creeping in on me, trying to take my life. But these women. They are prayer warriors. My sisters in Christ. And I was so humbled to share with them how through my life’s ups and downs and tosses and turns, God has continued to fill my lamp with oil…allowing me to shine for Him.
That was the message I shared with the women…how to fill our lamps with oil, so we can shine brightly for Jesus. And amongst my mom, my Grandma Helen, so many of my aunts and cousins, my bestie, my high school friends, my Stonebridge sisters, and my hometown ladies…I let God be God and He used me to encourage them all. To keep shining bright for Him.
By far, this is one of my most favorite days EVER and from behind the lens, this is what the day looked like….
So, as I walk down this new path, I’m praying God will open doors and use me for His glory. It was an honor to have my first speaking engagement be with my loved ones back in my hometown.
Are you looking for a guest speaker to speak at your next event (women’s, youth, or men and women)? I’d love to visit about the opportunity!
Were you at the Union Mills Women’s Retreat on Saturday? I’d love for you to comment below on the blog about your thoughts and what spoke to your heart!
Share this blog post, spread the word…I’m ready for all that God has planned and I’d love to share my heart with you!
xo ~ Angela Banae