Yesterday I was honored and so happy to speak at the Olathe, Kansas Aglow. I spoke on my signature talk, The Cinderella Story: The Power of Shoes, which is also the title for my new eBook. (It was an Amazon Best Seller in its category and sub-category the first day. You can get it at Amazon by clicking here for just $2.99).
God amazes me how He orchestrates things. Olathe is my old stomping grounds. It is where God first called me to ministry.
In 1989, when I was in the middle of a suicidal depression, living in low-income housing with my precious little girl Heather in Olathe, I was crying one late night in my bedroom, having no hope. I felt guilty for feeling this way since I had Heather, but I was filled with emotional pain.
I opened my Bible, Russian roulette-style, and it landed on Isaiah 61. God spoke to my heart in His still, small voice: “Beth, this is what I have called you to do and to be.”
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
Because the Lord has anointed me
To bring good news to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners;
To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To grant those who mourn in Zion,
Giving them a garland instead of ashes,
The oil of gladness instead of mourning,
The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.
So they will be called [d]oaks of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
At the time, this seemed impossible. How could I help set the captives free, God, I prayed and cried, when I was a prisoner myself in a dark chamber of depression, panic attacks, fear, and hopelessness? Yet that word from God has now come to pass.
Today I’m an international speaker and author, encouraging women to use their gifts for God’s glory, doing what they love.
God turned things around 180 degrees, and has used the most painful things in my life, such as my childhood sexual and physical abuse, my 3 abortions, and adulterous relationships, to minister to other women who have been through the same hurtful experiences to help set them free.
As I spoke at Aglow, I realized, humbled and so thankful, that God had brought me full circle for the glory of Jesus.
Only He could do something so amazing! Today on my Facebook wall, a friend posted this:
“Very happy for you. And as someone who is conquering depression without meds, your testimony gives me hope. Thanks for sharing!”
I was so happy yesterday speaking in front of a live audience, connecting with the women face to face. I was in my element. I know in my heart that it is what God has called me to do and to be. You can see the joy on my face in this pic below:
I’m a visual learner and I love using visual aids (what some call “props”) when I speak at live events. I requested a small table to put my visual aids on, which had the Cinderella “pumpkin” white carriage and dappled grey horse, my Cinderella child’s story book, many of my shoes, and my Cinderella glass slipper, which our daughter Heather bought me as a Christmas gift.
You can see it in this pic below with my other Christmas gifts.
I also used the red shoe picture that our daughter Heather painted at a painting party with friends, which she gave to me. It hangs on the wall in my office where I work each day.
One of the few good men attending the event commented later that he really enjoyed the visual aids. One of the women in the audience wanted the glass slipper, asking where I bought it! She said she loves the story of Cinderella. It resonates with women, and most women love cute shoes!
My beautiful, precious friend Joanie Qualls introduced me to speak at the meeting. I met Joanie and her husband when Ray and I went to a marriage retreat in Branson, MO, last year. Joanie and I connected in heart instantly. I just love her!
Below here I am with the Olathe Aglow leader, JoAnn Walsh. She and her husband Phil generously host the Aglow in their home. JoAnn is such a cute, sweet little thing!
She and the other ladies prepared a wonderful brunch before I spoke: spinach quiche, ambrosia salad with blueberries, coffee cake, and more. JoAnn had a lighthouse in her front yard and a picture of a lighthouse hanging on the wall in the living room, where the meeting was. Their home is truly a lighthouse for the Lord!
When I speak at live events, I like to give away a gift (door prize). This is also very effective for building your subscriber list! (You can sign up for my mailing list by going to the top of the page on the right-hand side and enter your name and email address. You’ll receive my video and bi-monthly newsletter with encouraging tips, videos, and the latest updates).
In exchange for their name and email addresses (with their permission), you can have a sign-up form “for the opportunity to win a free gift today!” You give away something of value (either physically or virtually).
I gave away a pretty “Cinderella” bag, a cute toy princess tiara, lavender bubble bath, a Cinderella-blue bath sponge, cute Walk by Faith shoes notecards, a pen with different sayings on it like “Let Go and Let God,” a Dove chocolate bar, and a physical copy of my book, Promises In The Dark: One Woman’s Search for Authentic Love.
The winner was Debbie, a multi-gifted woman, pictured below. I just loved her! She will be speaking at the Olathe Aglow in November 2015.
I used my visual aids of the Cinderella glass slippers and my shoes to visually and symbolically illustrate walking in your own unique glass slippers~ God’s Divine purpose for you. Below I’m showing our daughter Heather’s purple heels.
Are you walking in your unique shoes~or are you jealous or envious of someone else, wanting to walk in her shoes? You can’t succeed trying to walk in someone else’s shoes!
After I spoke, women came forward for prayer. I love this one-on-one time. My friend Joanie posted this testimony on my Facebook wall about it:
“This was a wonderful meeting in many ways led by the Holy Spirit of God! Such a blessing and thanks to have you, Beth.”
Here’s feedback from another attendee, Vicki, there:
“Your talk was good and I know at least one who was there that had an abortion, so glad you included that forgiveness message, also.”
An attendee, Lisa, messaged me on Facebook, saying:
“So glad I reconnected with you Saturday. You were such an inspiration. I will be praying for your ministry. You have a timely message. You need to tell others your wonderful message.”
The leader of Aglow, JoAnn, said this about my speaking and my prayer time afterward for some women:
“You word for each one was right on. Many thanks for obeying the Spirit.”
I’m so honored God chose to use me there and had so much fun speaking, meeting the women, and praying for them. The meeting, which is usually held until 12 noon, lasted until after 2 p.m.!
Afterwards, of course, I had a Mexican late lunch (one of my favorite meals!), treating myself.
The service was good and outside they had statues of a serenade of Mexican men in hats. The Mexican meal was the perfect touch for a great day.
Thank you, Jesus, for all You have done and will do!
I have written a book on this signature talk topic, which became an Amazon Best Seller the first day in its category and sub-category: The Cinderella Story: The Power of Shoes. You can buy it for just $2.99 by clicking here at Amazon.