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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Time Out for Women - Spokane, WA 2010 - S. Michael Wilcox

At the beginning of the day, the presenters were introduced and I felt like someone was missing, but couldn't figure out who it was.  The pamphlet we had gave a general outline because there are different speakers in each city.

After Linda and Shawni spoke, we had a 20 minute break to stretch.  When we came back from the break, the TOFW director, Laurel, came out as she normally does and talked a little bit until everyone was in their seats.  Once it was time to get back to the program, she began telling us about why there was someone missing in the introductions.  The week before they were in Pittsburgh.  Michael had spoken and given a wonderful talk on HOPE.  Little did he know how much he would need it at that very moment.  Following the program, he found out that he would need to get home right away because of health problems his wife was now facing.  She was having seizures and other issues and found that she had a brain tumor.  They are doing (or have done) a biopsy to find out if it is Stage 3 or 4 of Brain Cancer.  Our hearts reached out to Michael and his wife during such an emotional and difficult time in their life.

Laurel told us that this is a commercial business and they make no secret of that.  They value our presence and our dollar and because of that they wanted to make sure that we had someone in place of Michael to speak.  After a few attempts earlier that week at trying to find someone, she said that she felt very impressed that Michael was not to be replaced.  Instead they showed the video of his talk in Pittsburgh.  I'll be honest with you I didn't write down a whole lot because I was a little too focused on my adorable 8 month old nephew (too young for mommy not to bring with her), but I'll share what I did get from the talk.

Michael began his talk with the story of Hagar and Ishmael (Gen. 21 staring in verse 14).  Did you know that Ishmael means "God Hears"?  He told of how Hagar was expelled and she ran out of water.  So, she put her child, Ishmael, "under one of the shrubs" and went away from him and said, "Let me not see the death of the child."  Then, (in verse 17) "And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is. (Verse 18) Arise, lift up the lad and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation. (Verse 19) And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink."  I love the story of HOPE that is taught here.  When you think that you are alone, God Hears and provides a way for us.  

Michael also shared that when his daughter was little, they had bought a small pink phone for her.  They would pretend to talk to her on it and she would love it.  He joked that he didn't know then that they would be prepping her for a cell phone.  Haha.  One day he came home to find his daughter talking on her phone.  He asked her who she was talking to and she pulled the phone away from her ear and gave him a look like, "Dad!  I'm on the phone!", then said, "Dad, I'm talking to Jesus."  She went back to talking on the phone and he decided to ask, "What is he saying to you?"  Again, she pulled the phone away from her ear and gave the same exasperated expression and said, "He's telling me to get married in the temple."  Michael said he was tempted to take the phone and say, "Hello?"  Haha.

Sometime after that, Michael's wife had put a glass cup on the stairs and forgot about it.  This same daughter was coming down the stairs, when she slipped and her elbow landed right into the glass.  It, of course, broke and shattered on her arm causing nerves to be severed.  There was a serious fear that she wouldn't be able to use that hand again.  Everyone was scared and feeling worried, except for his daughter.  Michael asked his daughter why she was so calm and she replied, "Because Jesus told me everything will be alright."  As it turns out everything was alright and no permanent damage remains.  She had faith because Jesus told her everything would be fine over her pink telephone.

*When you need HOPE, look beside you.*  He is always there to guide you through the darkness.
*In our time, in our season, He will come.*

I found so much comfort in those last words.  I know that my Heavenly Father is looking out for me and when I need Him, He will come.

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