More Than I Expected

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I came to Boise, Idaho, on a retreat for Scentsy's top leaders. I came with the intent to learn, and I definitely learned more than I ever expected to.

But what I didn't expect was that God would use me in the right moment for the right people to make a big difference. The closer I get to Christ, the more I know God's voice. And very slowly, I am learning to not only listen, but to obey.

Yesterday was quite the day. Heidi Thompson spoke to us about the legacy that each of us are leaving. At one point during her speech she asked us what some of the most defining moments in our lives have been.

Obvious responses came to my mind, the birth of my children; the day I married my best friend; my mom's battle with cancer; the day I signed up to sell Scentsy.

And then another one popped in my head.....

What about the day I changed my future?

What about the day I decided to stop lying to myself?

And before I knew it, Heidi was asking for volunteers to tell about those defining moments. Someone stood up and told about the Christmas they bought and gave away a car to a single mom; others talked about service opportunities where they were really changed by the opportunity to serve someone else in a less fortunate position than them.

And through it all, I hear God telling me that I have to stand up. And I am throwing back every good argument I can think of like:
"That story is not relevant to this conversation."
"The people who need to know about it, know about it. These women don't need to know about my personal issues."

But someone needed to know, and He keeps nudging. It's a nudging that I know won't go away unless I speak up. If I let this moment slip by, I will live regretting it and wondering why He wanted me to say something.

Heidi commented on someone's experience, and I thought for a moment that she was going to move on. I knew that if she asked again for other stories, that this was my only chance to rid the beating of my heart.

I raised my hand, and the microphone was handed to me.

If you've ever seen me on stage, you probably know that I very rarely get nervous speaking to a crowd anymore. I've become accustomed to speaking with a microphone in my hand, loud and proud for all to hear.

But this was different. I was not speaking because I wanted to this time, but because I thought I had to. I thought if I didn't speak up, I would feel that I wasn't obeying what God called me to do.

So I stood, and my heart beat a hundred miles an hour and tears welled up in my eyes as I became extremely transparent to one hundred of my peers.

I told about my slow slip into a life of daily drinking. I talked about how I didn't even realize it was happening. What was one glass of wine occasionally became a glass of wine every night and then two glasses and sometimes more. I told them how I started to search for peace and calmness through a glass of wine.

Tears rolled down my checks and my hands shook. In front of people that I usually feel completely comfortable around, I found myself feeling extremely exposed. And even as I spoke the words, I was wishing that I could stop.

But in all reality, it was huge moment in my life; That moment when I decided that all I needed for peace was Jesus Christ changed everything for me. The more I sought Him through God's Word and prayer, the more I found exactly what I had been desperately searching for - peace in Christ.

As I sat down amidst numerous tear-filled eyes, a weight was instantly lifted off my shoulders. I knew in that moment that He asked me to share because someone needed to hear it, and I let peace fall on me like a blanket of comfort.

Throughout the day, numerous people came up to me and looked me right in the eyes to tell me how proud of me they were. Not only for the decision I had made to be a better influence for those around me by deciding to stop my game with alcohol, but more so because I stood up to speak about it.

Then this morning I got exactly what I was looking for. As I was pouring my orange juice in the hotel lobby, she walked up to me and touched my shoulder. What I thought was going to be another, "I'm proud of you moment" started instead with the words, "Thank you."

She went on to tell me that she had a similar story. She had only been drinking about three months, but it was a glass every night that turned into two and then three and then a bottle a night.

"When you stood up and told your story, I decided that I'm done. That's it for me. I don't know how I got to this point, but I don't want to be here."

The heart beating and tears rolling suddenly made sense. All my nervousness about sharing my story was completely worth the life that was changed through one moment of obedience.

And I knew that this trip was intended to be far more than I ever expected it to be.  Who am I that God would use me to move someone else?

All I know is that from now on, when I'm called or moved to do something, I'm doing it.

I trust Him enough to know that He can and will use me to make exactly the right impression on exactly the right people at exactly the right time.

Legacy is a mighty big word. Have you thought of the legacy that you're living?

My daily prayer is that my Legacy is one that involves me living everyday with Christ as the first person on my list, and that every day I ask Him to use me as a living sacrifice for His kingdom.

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
~2 Corinthians 12:9 41 of a year of writing.....


  1. Ally,
    Wow! I am so very proud of you for listening to the Lord and standing up to share your story. I am learning that it is hard at times, but when we obey His leading, it brings such a blessing. I just wish I listened to His voice more often, instead of my own, instead of the worlds. The world tends to be so much louder in my ears most of the time. I want to learn to recognize & hear His voice from just a whisper... still working on that.

    Love You,

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