A Big Flop, Overcoming & the WLW Conference

 HealthExpoo9 001

4 years ago, the Outreach Pastor at my church organized a Health Expo as an outreach to our community.  He invited me and Clare from Peak313.com to speak at this Expo (this is us 4 years ago).   She and I went out on a snowy January day and delivered flyers at local businesses, restaurants, and Dr. Offices inviting those in the community to join us.

The big day arrived and I went to the room where I was scheduled to speak and got organized.  I put a pink Women Living Well pen on each chair along with my fill-in-the-blank hand out.  I had my podium ready with my speaking notes, object lesson and Bible.  Then I watched the clock as time ticked on…and on…and on… right past the time I was scheduled to speak.

And the chairs sat empty.

I peeked out in the hallway to see if anyone was coming – empty.

I walked back into the room and wondered what I should do.  I waited a few more minutes.  Nobody came.

So I began cleaning up my pens and papers…feeling like a loser…I had practiced and prepared and nobody showed up.

What a flop.

So 2 years later Katina came into my life!

DSC05894

She approached me with a dream for a conference…and I pushed her away.  I told her not now. But she didn’t stop persisting…so last year together we began planning – but she would testify I was very anxious about it all.  I had to keep reminding myself to trust – have faith – believe the impossible.  The fear of flopping was very real in my mind.  Katina is awesome with lists and details and quite calm – I on the other hand am forgetful, get bogged down with details and am quite hyper at times. lol!  Katina was the perfect Conference Director and friend to me as we planned!

So this past Saturday, we had our very first Women Living Well Conference and Miss Clare from Peak 313 was once again there at my side – along with my other blogger friends!

1 speaker photo

{From left to right…Jen from Good Morning Girls, Clare from Peak 313, Ruth from The Better Mom, Me :) , Whitney from Good Morning Girls, Darlene from Time Warp Wife, Karen Ehman from Proverbs 31 Ministries (and Karen Ehman dot com), Janelle from Comfy In The Kitchen and Angela from Good Morning Girls}

My mom and oldest sister came too! (my other sister was away on vacation :( )

DSC06041

In the weeks leading up to the conference, we sold out but then suddenly people began backing out – asking for refunds or for me to sell their ticket to those on our waiting list.  Even the night before I received 3 emails from women saying they were sorry they were not going to make it.  Every time this happened – it rattled me.

I got anxious.  What if the room is half empty – what if hardly anyone shows up.

Anxiety reared its ugly head.

Fears.

Memories of past flops.

Then the morning arrived and we were hustling and bustling around and as the sound man attached my mic –they opened the doors…and I was SHOCKED as women poured through the doors filling most of the seats very quickly!!!!

They came!  They showed up!

DSC05980

The next 8 hours were all a blur as we opened in prayer and then speaker after speaker poured out her heart.  We laughed and we cried.

DSC_0714

We were challenged and we were inspired.

And today I am celebrating what God did this past Saturday.  It was a good day…and we caught it all on camera for YOU so we can do it again via webcast in just 6 weeks!

DSC05908

DSC05910

I can’t say that Saturday was a success just because over 200 women showed up – God doesn’t use numbers as his measuring stick…God looks at the heart.  All he asks is that I follow Him where he leads me and this is where he led me last Saturday.

So have you flopped???…ME TOO.

That doesn’t mean you should stop trying.  We must remember there are very real spiritual forces that want to stop us, discourage us and make us want to give up!  But God tells us in his word – be bold, take courage, be a light, you are the salt of the world, put on the full armor of God, stand firm, and overcome!

I’m celebrating overcoming today – not just for me but for the speakers who joined me too!  The day before the conference – we gathered together and shared our stories – broken stories. Hurt pasts, painful memories and current trials caused us all to weep together as one…and we prayed hard and God met us there.  Don’t let those smiling faces and fancy clothes fool you – these women speakers are ALL overcomers – by the power of Jesus!

I can’t help but to sing this song along with Mandisa:

Chime In: What in your life have you overcome with the help of the Lord?

Walk with the King!

Courtney

 

Comments

  1. Wonderful!!!! Praise GOD! :)

  2. I am so thrilled that the weekend was a success! I live too far away, but I’ll be looking forward to future conferences. Who knows, maybe you’ll have to do one down South some day! I want you to know that you inspire me, and I pray for your ministry. God bless!

    • Andriana Lamb says:

      I completely agree with you! I wish I lived closer so I could have attended, but I am looking forward to the web cast! Tennessee is a long way from Ohio, so I agree with the notion to have a conference down here in the South! As mentioned, you are an inspiration and a Godly influence! So blessed to have encountered your blog!

  3. I’m in tears. YES ….I have flopped. You are such a special friend, Courtney. You just don’t know how amazing you are, do you…wow. That’s the amazing part of you. Don’t ever change that- girlfriend, you are right where God wants you!!! I am honored to be a small part of your ministry- even though I am a fellow flopper, lol. LOVE YOU!!!! Nelle

  4. Abbie Brown says:

    Courtney, you are such a bright light for our Lord! Thank you for your encouragement and leadership!
    I do wonder, however, if you’ve noticed you smile like a horse? Both rows of teeth hehe

  5. BTW- flopper did not get the memo to wear blue, bahaaa

  6. Angela Dorenzo says:

    I can’t wait to watch the webcast! So thankful for you and all then other speakers.

  7. Ahh! Oh my word! That picture of us is old! I was prego with Lila!!!

    Love you and had such an awesome weekend!!!
    Clare

  8. Dear Courtney,
    I am so thankful that everything went so great Saturday, God is So faithful. This post really hit home, we spoke on Facebook a few years ago on Homeschooling. I expressed my desire as well as my children’s desire and even had my husband’s blessing to Homeschool our boys, but felt I wasn’t good enough or just couldn’t do it. After lots and lots of prayer I have decided to cast all my fears and doubts and give them to God, knowing I can do All things through Christ who gives me strength. I can do this, I have surrendered it All to Him. This year will be our first year Homeschooling, Thank you for your continued encouragement through the years and even now. God bless you

  9. I am very happy that the conference turned out well! Congrats!

    Like always your story of encouragement is exactly what I needed to hear. I have been feeling like a big flop lately. I feel that God has used you to convince me to continue in my journey.

    Thank you!

    BTW- I love your smile. You have a pure, child-like smile that is very comforting and lovable! You exude confidence which is very encouraging! Never stop being the authentic, God created, you.
    Lou Ann

  10. Courtney, you have much to be proud of. You brought together women from all over the country (and out of the country) all for the glory of God. I felt so energized and inspired as I listened to the speakers, the songs, the prayers…I want you to know a good friend of mine from college was led back to The Lord through this conference. A friend of mine had to give up her ticket and was looking for takers. I shared her post to my Facebook and added a link to the conference page. My friend contacted me almost immediately. She said her faith had been shaken badly by a tragedy in her family a few years back, and she had really lost her way. She is seeking to refocus on her husband and children and felt completely called to this. She sat next to me at the conference and took copious notes!at the end of the day, as we parted, she expressed how grateful she was and that she got so much out of it! So I just wanted you to know that. My best friend was also there and we talked and talked about the principles we heard about…she is the most godly woman I know and there was no one else I would have rather shared the day with. So thank you for a beautiful day and for bringing 3 women who are in very different places in their walks with the King together for such a blessing.

  11. I’m so glad it went well! I wish I lived closer and could have attended – looking forward to the webcast though :)

  12. liz young says:

    no, God doesn’t measure in numbers, but in the heart. And still today I am in awe of what He’s done in my heart. Answering prayers, big and small. Meeting me in the dark places of my heart to show me that He is enough. I am enough. Thank you, all of you.

  13. What a wonderful post for me to see this evening. I have had dreams of blogging and touching peoples lives, connecting with them. I have never been able to do it. I decided to jump in again this past week and started blogging again. I was feeling discouraged that its not an “overnight sensation” (realistic, right.. LOL) and I was losing sight of why I started it. I want to glorify my Lord and when I do that, all else will fall in to place. If I can touch and reach just 1 person with a post then its all worth it.

    Thank you again!

    Will the conference be available online to people who did not attend? I would love to see it or hear it.

  14. Courtney this is so encouraging to me! I’ve felt a calling into Children’s Ministry since I was 15. I was a church camp counselor for two years and wanted to continue going and stay the entire summer with all the different age groups. Then I graduated from high school, was married and wasn’t able to go back. Then about three years ago I led a group of young teen girls at our church for a while but it flopped. I was so excited to finally have an opportunity to answer His calling and felt very much like a “loser”, as you said, when it didn’t go as planned. The girls wouldn’t show up for meetings, seemed uninterested in the lessons I spent hours planning and preparing for, and I ended up getting burnt out. I felt like I messed things up for God and His plan for me. O how good He is at creating beauty from ashes, right? I still have that calling on my heart and am following where He leads whether that will be fulfilled through my blog, writing, or something else, I know I have to trust Him.

    As far as the song “Overcomer” I actually wrote a post just recently on how I’m an overcomer through Christ. I hope it’s okay if I share the link… http://www.artistichandsoffaith.com/?p=765

    I know for a fact there were even more women who wanted to come to the conference. My best friend and I came out to Akron together. She didn’t know her work schedule until two weeks prior and happened to be off. By then all the tickets were sold out. So she came, dropped me off and then explored Akron during the conference. She picked me up when it was finished and we stayed the night and went on a train ride the next day and made a “Sister” getaway out of it. :-) I think next year (if you have another conference *wink wink*) She’ll buy a ticket and request some vacation days off.

    It was amazing to see how many women were already lined up at the doors and I arrived at 8:37am!! God moved in an amazing way there! (Okay I’m done writing my book now! haha)

  15. Kelly K(@RNCCRN9706) says:

    Save for the death of an immediate family member, NOTHING was stopping me from coming to this conference!!!! I got to meet the lovely Faith who commented above me! I finally met Our wonderful Courtney! I was inspired by all the ladies who took time out of their busy lives & away from their families to minister to us on Saturday! For me, Karen’s talk spoke to me the most. I’d say it was God’s intervention in getting her there to replace Joy. Her skit was just hilarious!!

    I searched my local Kohls for a blue top as its obviously Courtney’s favorite color & ended up picking a blouse that matched the decor above the couch on the stage! Mint, khaki & white! Lol Courtney’s welcoming smile lights up the room!

    SO looking forward to next year :)

  16. Oh Courtney,

    What a perfect follow up to the conference! I love what God does with our messes, and so admire the transparency in this post! I am humbled and beyond grateful for our time together – yes, God did meet us there. Missing you already!!

    Much love and excitement as I watch God use YOU,
    Whitney

    • KellyK(@RNCCRN9706) says:

      It was nice to meet you Whitney!(when we gathered for the GMG pic after the conference) Thanks for the hug!

      • Oh my goodness, Kelly, that was my favorite part of the day!!! So excited to see so many GMG face to face, and so honored to meet you! God is so good to bring us together on this journey…

  17. Yes, I have. And this weekend’s conference was such a blessing for me! I was shocked to hear one of the bloggers tell her story – because it was my story (exactly my story). As she shared the words that God had poured into her, the tears began streaming. It’s been 2.5 years of learning, healing, trusting, and forgiving, but it’s never done…and I’m coming to cherish that! I may think I’ve forgiven myself everything, and then God reveals another lie, another heart break that I’m holding back, and I fall once again to the foot of the cross!! Thank you for trusting, Cortney!!! For letting God do this good work and speak to so many hearts through you and your friends!

  18. Thanks for all that you do. I needed to read this today. I would love to be able to click and hear the testimonies. I feel like a complete flop. Thanks so much for helping the hurt, wounded wives and moms out there.

  19. Great post! I so appreciate your transparency. It helps us keep you blogger types who seem so perfect in perspective (thus, keeping our own selves in perspective). God is doing a work with you ladies and it is wonderful.
    Ok, the Mandisa song rocks!! My daughter is a major encourager and she sends that song to people as well as other stuff but we love Mandisa here.

  20. Congrats! I wanted to be there…maybe next time!

  21. Such a great and inspiring post! Thank you so much for sharing your ‘flop’. I can’t wait to view the webcast. God is truly working through you ladies and that is soo good to see. God’s richest blessings to you all!

  22. I thank God you have persevered through flops. You are such a big encouragement to me. I only recently discovered you and if you had given up I never would have had the chance to listen to or to read the things you share. Thank you.

    When you ask what I have overcome with the help of the Lord the first thing that comes to mind is cancer. I was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer just weeks before my 21st birthday. Then later after struggling with menopause (diagnosed by three seperate doctors) secondary to the chemotherapy, the Lord blessed me and my husband with not one but three little girls. Our girls are ages 3, 2, and 6 months. As a couple and by the grace of God with have overcome infidelity, military deployments, and the stressors of another job that was Monday-Friday travel.

  23. stefanie montijo says:

    Hello Courtney it makes me so happy that the conference went well. I was waiting for a post about it. I live in AZ so there was no way I could make it, however I am looking foward to listening to it online. Thank you for your obedience to God. I cannot wait for your book to come out. Your site has been an encouragement for me.

  24. Christina Burkley says:

    It was a wonderful, God-filled conference. I am so blessed to have been able to come. When I clicked on the link to your blog from Karen Ehman’s not too long ago, I never realized how God was going to move. To find you in my own back yard is truly a blessing. May God continue to bless your ministry and that off all the speakers involved in the conference.

  25. I would have been there if I weren’t so pregnant. :) Looking forward to next time! It sounds like such a blessing, and I am enjoying all of the pictures.All of you ladies are a huge encouragement to me.

  26. I can’t wait to watch the webcast!! I know it was a great conference. I love to read all the ladies blogs/posts who were there. I would love to come one year,I’m down south in Alabama. Maybe a conference at the beach?? :)

    I am a big flopper,I flop everyday. Thank God for my Jesus who picks me up and helps me along the way.

  27. To all my “fellow floppers”—whether we’ve “flopped” or we’re flying high: (what I’ve been telling myself a lot lately….)
    God cannot love you any more than he does right now and God cannot love you any less than he does right now.
    That is grace.
    Thank you Courtney.
    Hugs from Kim A. in PA

  28. I’m so happy that the conference went well and that you filled the room with godly women and shared your hearts and dreams. Wish I could have been there. But thank you for your transparency, Courtney. It’s encouraging to know that you pressed onward after a flop – when most of us feel like giving up. Many blessings!

  29. Congratulations on your successful conference! God moves when and where He needs to!

    As for “overcoming”, my husband and I are about to separate from our marriage, after about 16 years together. While my heart is breaking, I have leaned on my faith SO MUCH over these last few months and I KNOW that God has an ultimate plan for my life. I hold on to that hope during the dark moments, and continue to ask for His strength.

  30. Thanks for sharing and being real! The times I have had the worst flops it seems like it was cause I was relying on my own strength and God wanted me to just learn to trust in Him COMPLETELY. Its definitely not easy on the pride, but afterwards it yields the fruit God is looking for. (if we allow it)
    Love reading your posts!

  31. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! It is so scary for me to try again after a flop. I have had many… You are an inspiration and I so appreciate your honest posts and your personal, heartfelt stories.

  32. I’m so grateful that you are going to post the webcasts from the conference. I saw the emails for it too late. The moment I realized Jesus was real, was the moment everything changed! I started overcoming my past; emotional traumas, bad choices, regrets, and everything in the present that didn’t fit with the way we should be living. I became stronger in that instance…strong enough to start directing my whole family into a different direction.

  33. I have flopped more times than I can count!! It has always been a challenge to my heart – the questions nag: Are you living for an audience of ONE? Are my goals self-glorification, or God-glorification? It hurts when I examine my own heart on these matters. But God is faithful – “He doesn’t ever think of us as ‘losers’. He continues to use us in spite of ourselves! I’m so blessed to know He is with me in the flops and seeming successes of life!

  34. I have learned that the times when we fall, fail or are disappointed hold some of the most important lessons in our lives….if we would embrace them as such. Thanks for sharing!

  35. Courtney, it was a wonderful, wonderful conference. Each one of you where an encouragement to me and I’m sure to so many others. God’s glory was shining.

  36. Glad you had a wonderful conference. Do you suppose people backed out because Women of Faith was also in Columbus that day?

  37. Barbara Prince says:

    Hi Courtney, Your story is so inspiring to me. Ten years ago God put a dream in my heart to teach about Intercessory Prayer. I had given my idea to two pastors who just brushed it off. Well, we got a new pastor four months ago and he has the same vision. I hadn’t given him my plan, he came to me and asked me if I would head up an intercessory prayer team for our church. Wow! After years I was doubting my dream, but God had a time frame. He still had work to do on me and all things must be on His time and His work, not mine. I am so excited to see what God will do!

  38. Thank YOU Courtney for such an amazing weekend! It was such an honor and joy to serve along side you this past weekend and pour our hearts out to the women there. Thank you for being so generous and sharing your conference with us! :) God answered our prayers and I’m still in awe of how He worked through us! :) Love you, dearly!

  39. I’m not sure how I ended up subscribing to your blog but I’m really thankful that I found it. This post is important to me because I feel like I’m “flopping” every time I turn around. I’m in the middle of dealing with past hurt and anger issues so, even though that’s not exactly what your topic was about-it was encouraging to learn that there are all kinds of flops – and also important to realize that it is true about the spiritual forces that are out there actually discouraging us and trying to keep us from, for lack of a better phrase, staying the course. Thanks for your blog! I do hope that I can catch the webcast of your conference.
    Peace & Blessings!

  40. KellyK(@RNCCRN9706) says:

    I took notes during each session….I plan to go back and watch each one over again as I’m SURE I missed some things each of you said :)

  41. Deborah Starr says:

    Oh I’m so bummed I didn’t contact to see about a wait list. When I read it was sold out I thought I wasn’t meant to go. I had a thought to contact to see if there was a wait list about a week before but never did. Next time I will get my ticket as soon as they go on sale. Thank you for recording it & sharing it with us who couldn’t be there.

  42. I’ve heard good things about the conference….and am wondering if you are going to have one in 2014. I’d love to try to come if so! Thanks!

I love hearing what is on your heart.

*