I spent two wonderful days in Georgetown, TX speaking to the Texas Baptist Weekday Education Association. The close to 1,000 attendees were nurturing women who deeply love children. The group had hearts as big as the Lone Star State.
The conference theme was entitled, “Imagine That” based of the fabulous Christian song by Mercy Me, “I Can Only Imagine.”
My transporter, Celina, was delightful and drove me to see where I was speaking. Yes, everything is bigger in Texas and proven again when I saw the Georgetown Texas Baptist Church looming in the distance. I toured the education building and from that experience, I knew the sanctuary would be spectacular. I was not disappointed. My little Harmony United Methodist could fit in the church lobby.
As always the fun is connecting with women from all over Texas some with cowgirl hats, big hair and others more understated. We bonded when I told them W. Bush (42) made me an Honorary Texan. I have a proclamation hanging in my office. I knew I had been given a title almost as big as Miss South Carolina. When I went home, I knew what I had to do. I bought a Suburban and got my concealed weapons license.
I enjoyed every second of sharing my presentation. Afterwards, many were dear to make comments and share some of their struggles. One woman thanked me many times over and I got a glimpse into her life. She looked very beaten down and stressed.
I heard some of my favorite colleagues speak the next day. Suzie Humphreys, on the fringe of her seventies is as sharp as a Texas boot spur. Along with her hilarious humor, Suzie throws in a zinger or two just at the right time. A bottom-line, hip-shooting Texan, Suzie tells it like it is.
I love her take on depression. She said if you are going to be depressed, get into it. Call in sick, put on that old terrycloth robe with grape stains on it, complete with non-waterproof mascara on your eyelashes. Then cry. I mean really cry. Then think of more sad stuff and let that mascara run down your face. Top it off with looking in the mirror. In about two hours you will decide, that you are sick of all of this.
Not to act like depression is not a serious condition, Suzie ends her dissertation with being confronted by an audience member at one time who scolded her for making light of this condition. In their conversation following her presentation, Suzie listened to this hurting woman whose husband abandoned her many years ago. Suzie was brave enough to comment, “You are angry at this man. Depression is simply anger turned inward. Do yourself a favor and forgive him.”
After “carrying on” with Suzie sharing speaker tricks and new ideas, I was greeted with a hug from that same stressed woman. For a moment, I did not recognize her. She was different. Her walk was straighter, her face brighter her personality charged. I told her the difference in her look was an amazing transformation.
“I needed this,” was her response. “I need to hear what you-all had to say.”
Messages filled with honesty, encouragement and pure Godly love can change a person’s heart.