I have been to Women of Faith and Extraordinary Women conferences many times in my life. I truly believe if I could I would make a living traveling around the country attending them. Two times in that duration of time I have had a very unusual event happen to me. Once in Charlotte with the Bee lady and once in Atlanta with Sandi Patti. In the bible we are told: "When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'" John 8:12 (NIV)
In Charlotte I felt this strong urge to touch the Bee Lady. I don't know why...but I needed to just touch her hand. I am sure it is how many felt when Jesus was near....they just wanted to touch Him.....and so very deliberately. intentionally I made my way to where her book table was. She was autographing books for whoever bought one....I could hardly wait my turn....and when it was I wanted to hold her attention for as long as I could so, I commented on her bee pin. I told her my bee story and the next thing I knew she was removing the pin and pressing it in my hand. I had tears in my eyes as I walked away. She told me that when someone approaches you and tells you a story like that you must give them the item. I have given away many (including the bee) pins since that day. I love pins and bling.....but when someone loves something or has a story....I don't think twice as I pull off whatever piece I am wearing and place it in their hands....just like the Bee Lady did that day for me. Her eyes were fixed on me... on what state I must have been in....at that very moment —I saw her as a woman who might understand what was happening in my heart. Later, amid the huge crowd of women...from my aisle seat up the stairs I saw her walk across the stage. She stood there....right in the middle of the stage and for a moment....I fingered the bee pin....and felt as if I was standing right beside her. This woman of great faith....knew me....and she did not even know my name. In that brief meeting in the foyer of the stadium she recognized that I was a soul who was needing more than words. I, personally, thought that if I stood close enough to her....or perhaps touched her I might be able to feel Him. I'd never had this happen before, but it has happened one other time since. But for a brief shining moment....there I was and there she was. I was desperate for Jesus and I simply needed to touch someone I felt was close to Him. Her touch was the catalyst and I discovered much....one thing was that there is a big difference between being close to people who love Jesus and being close to Jesus Himself. He is the One who must be pursued. I have to listen to the whispers from my heart, "Show me, Jesus. Show me how to follow You, be close to You, let me press into You, help me be more like You...show me. Show me today. Show me in this minute. Show me, please Jesus, show me."And over 20 times in the Gospels we are told His patient answer...."Follow me." And I so wanted to be one of those who whispered back, "yes!" and then begin to walk in His ways, to find the One I am longing for. "Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:12-13, NIV)...and on that day in Charlotte....at a Women's Conference....there I was.....and there she was....and after shaking her hand....and being given the precious bee pin....heard myself whisper..."yes!" It was a choice I have always remembered.
I am a woman who wears many hats and loves them all. I am a singer - I sing with the group Still Magnolias. I was part of the original First United Methodist Church Arbor Praise Team until we moved. After 24+ years of teaching English 11 and Spanish I - II at Benjamin Russell High School I decided to take a job closer to home. I now teach Spanish I & 2 at Randolph Co. High School and Wadley. I thought I was getting close to retirement and looking forward to it, but decided to move my cheese and try something different. I am a preacher's wife and a preacher myself. My husband Frank is the pastor at Rock Mills United Methodist Church and I am the pastor at Midway (Wedowee). It has made our conversations interesting, to say the least.