I can't recall for sure when I first knew God was telling me that He was about to open new opportunities for me to speak to Christian women, but I do know it was in the early part of the decade. At the time, I was still being asked to speak at writers' conferences on a regular basis. I had no idea how this change would come about, but I felt no calling to pursue such speaking engagements. Just as well. God had no need of my help. (Imagine that?)
Over the next year or so, invitations to speak at writers' events came less and less often at the same time that I began getting calls and emails, inviting me to speak at Christian women's events and retreats. Closed doors and open windows.
I have to say that leading weekend women's retreats is among my favorite things to do. I love encouraging women while sharing the lessons God has taught me through the years. To me, this falls under the category of what God promised back in 1997 (that what was in store would be beyond anything I'd imagined or hoped for). It would never have occurred to me to want to lead retreats or to believe I was capable of doing it. And yet, that's what happened.
My mom used to worry about me as I set off on another trip to the mountains of Idaho or to some other state. "Isn't someone going with you?" she would ask. I would answer, "No, Mom." To which she would say, "But you won't know anyone." How wrong she was. No matter where I go, I am with sisters. They are family, and we share something wonderful—our faith in Christ. We know one another by heart rather than by acquaintance.
Open windows after doors have closed often take us to the most delightful places.~robin