A few weeks ago, volunteers and leaders in from iCKids attended the Orange Conference, a strategic children’s and student ministry resource for churches, pastors and families. Dawn writes about her experience below.

by Dawn Kelley, Immanuel attendee

What’s next?

I have been challenged this week beyond what I could have imagined. I came into the Orange Conference not expecting much. I went in with an open mind and heart to hear from God. I new I would hear some great speakers and learn one of the most effective way to put on a great family experience. I also came to the conference in a place of uncertainty, unsure of my physical health, knowing that once again my life was about to change. So, what do you do when you know your world is about to be rocked … naturally you freak out! Well I was coming in to Orange freaking out … and what does God do? He rocks it even more except He gives me this amazing peace in the midst of it all.

As I sat and listened to Reggie Joiner speak, in which he began his message with some personal things he has been dealing with, he spoke some words that went straight to my heart. He said whatever you are going through —  surround yourself with people. The people you came with — talk to them. At that moment I couldn’t help but smile at God’s provision. He provided three families from my small group at the conference who could come around me with relief and prayer support. At that moment I knew I needed to share with them and and allow God to hold me. He held me in the words spoken, the prayers offered up to heaven and the constant support of two of my closest friends. I felt God’s arms wrapped so tightly around me and a peace that surpassed all of my understanding. At that moment I knew all would be well, but that didn’t keep the fear from creeping in.

I wanted God to remove my fear and help me to trust Him completely. God quickly reminded me through the words of Jon Acuff that my fear would remain and that what I really needed to do was to pray for God’s boldness to trump my fear. Jon Acuff said, “Why would God remove the one thing right now in my life that keeps the line of communication open between us.” So instead I began to pray that God would give me the boldness to not let my fear take over as I enter this new stage of my life. Leaving this conference I am not left wondering ‘What next?’ I am left with the amazing feeling that no matter what is next God said yes.

He said yes to my mess, drama, laughter, my joy.

He said yes to me.

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