In April of 2010, my family and I attended a family conference to hear speaker Jim Gardner from Answers in Genesis. As he spoke, I felt God moving me to do something similar. What exactly, I was not sure. The only thing I knew for certain was that God wanted me to do something special to further His Kingdom.
For months I prayed, seeking God’s direction in this. Whatever I did, I wanted to be sure of God’s leading. Was it really speaking? I’ve always been shy and afraid to speak in front of people—I couldn’t even give an oral book report to the other five members of my family! Could I really stand in front of an auditorium full of people, speaking to them about God’s Word and how to live by it? What would I even speak about?
In September of 2010, my parents attended an Answers in Genesis Pastor’s conference. When they came home, Mama handed me a book she had purchased: “Before You Meet Prince Charming” by Sarah Mally. After reading the book, I went to my mother: “This is a message that is desperately needed around here–and I think God wants me to be the one to share it.”
So I started brainstorming and praying harder than ever. Was this what God wanted me to speak about? I felt more and more sure that it was.
Suddenly, a whole ministry was formed. My dad helped me come up with a name for it: Hearts for Purity. It was so exciting to watch as God continued to show us each step to take. From starting a Facebook page to opening an email account, God continued to provide outreach opportunities.
A conference was planned for April 9, 2011. We could hardly wait! The preparation took a long time, and as we were inexperienced, there was a lot of extra work put in to make it special and worth attending. We spread the word about the conference. Eagerly I prayed that the Lord would send people to the conference who needed to hear our message the most, but only those who would be excited about truly applying the principals we stood for in their own lives. Nearly forty people registered to come, but only about thirty-two actually attended.
The conference was a success! Everyone who attended stated how happy they were that this ministry had begun. All I could do was praise the Lord for the work He was doing and the blessings and encouragements He was sending me. I had experienced moments of discouragement during the months leading up to the conference, as I wondered, “Will anyone really want to come? Will they really care?” But God had a plan and a purpose, and now I could see clearer what He was doing. I still praise Him for the wondrous things He has been and is doing in my life!
After the conference, I thought again of all that had gone on since that first stirring I felt in April of 2010. My mouth literally dropped open when I realized that that night was April 9, 2010, exactly one year before we held the first conference! Of, course, God knew all along what would happen; I didn’t know how He would work in just a year, but He did! God had plans for me to be involved in this ministry. And you want to know the best part? He still has great plans for it! His work is not complete; there is still much work for us to do!
Hearts for Purity continues to grow (slowly but surely). Our plan is to make each conference better than the last, with more information, resources, fellowship, and most importantly worship for our Savior.
Never doubt that the Lord knows what He is doing in your life and the lives of those around you. True submission to His will can only result in glory for Him and joy for you!