of water skins and the shore

I stuffed my purse full of Kleenex because I knew Angie Smith would be speaking.  God knew I’d catch a cold and be carrying around an entire box of Kleenex before the conference was over.

I was looking forward to the weekend as a time of refreshment and renewal.  God had already given Angie the words that would remind me to cling to Him—not a a person, a book, or a conference.

For the first time in a long time, I wasn’t holding a baby during worship or trying to make someone sit still while someone spoke. I could sit and listen to my sisters in Christ worshipping all around me.  I could stand with open hands (except for the Kleenex in one) lifted up, singing “It is Well” and “In Christ Alone” with tears in my eyes.

By the end of the weekend, I was hoarse from more than just a sore throat.  And my scribbled notes showed I’d been reminded that it was not just what He was going to do this weekend, but that He was always faithful, always enough, no matter the situation.

Angie Smith’s illustration of a photo taken of her as a child, walking into the ocean holding her mother’s hand, gripped me.

“I’ve spent my entire life letting someone else hold me up,” Angie said, “and I’m not proud of it.”

But He says His right hand will hold us up (Psalms 63:8, 73:23, 139:10).

“I have always believed Him from the shore but I knew Him in the deep.”

(And if you’ve ever heard the story of Angie’s daughter Audrey, you know Angie has been in the deep.)

Her words pictures from the story of Hagar and Ishmael were powerful.

“It’s time we empty our skins of water and run to the well.  And that might mean we need to open our eyes.”

Lord, forgive me for staying on the shore, relying on the skins of water to quench my thirst.  Help me to learn to let Your hand — and only Your hand — hold me up, as I drink deep of Your well, the well of Living Water

I’m so grateful to Tommy Nelson Kids for the tickets that enabled me and my sister-in-law to attend a Women of Faith conference recently.  All of the speakers had a neat message to share, but Angie Smith’s especially gripped my heart.  Angie is married to Todd Smith of the music group Selah, and we were blessed to hear them sing, as well.  If you haven’t, you’re missing out!

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  1. I read Angie’s book, I will carry you – the secret dance of grief and joy. I loved it. If you haven’t read it, it’s an amazing read 馃槈

    I’m actually a little jealous 馃槈 I’d love to hear her speak!
    Thanks for sharing 馃槈