This post was written by Heather Patenaude.
In 2008, when I attended my first True Woman Conference, I had no idea how God would use that weekend to set me on a new path in my walk with Christ. It was the day after my 34th birthday, and Mary Kassian’s message rocked my thinking. I was a feminist! The culture had infiltrated my mind way more than I cared to admit. God had some foundational repair work to do.
At the end of the weekend, I was more than thrilled to sign the True Woman Manifesto, and with gusto, I took this message back to my church and girlfriends. But I found out that most of my friends weren’t interested. I felt like I was hitting brick walls and eventually just got frustrated with even trying to talk about biblical womanhood. (Insert Heather not following the Holy Spirit here!)
By the time True Woman ’10 rolled around, I was beyond excited, longing for deep fellowship with other sisters. And that’s just what I got. I didn’t know it at the time, but God also had plans to peel back another layer and dig even deeper into my heart and attitude.
It started when Nancy Leigh DeMoss shared that she had just come from her cousin’s funeral, where the line to visit the family was hours long. She explained that her cousin didn’t have a big platform, but simply lived out biblical womanhood with her husband and sons. That impacted me greatly!
Then Holly Elliff said that we’re busy doing things, but are we busy doing the things God has called us to do? Those were two of the most impactful moments for me at True Woman ’10.
I came away from the conference knowing just what God wanted me to do:just do it. Just live out biblical womanhood with my husband and sons. Be a true woman in my home for an audience of One, the One who really matters.
A couple weeks later, I was listening to a podcast with Mary Kassian talking to Bob Lepine about The Art of Marriage. After looking over the website, praying about it, and talking to our pastors, my husband and I decided to host an Art of Marriage conference. That stirred in us a desire to do more marriage ministry.
Now, a year later, we have a newlywed ministry at our church and are pouring into the lives of five newlywed couples. These couples are watching our life, marriage, and family—watching us live out biblical manhood and womanhood.
I smile as I think how God had to rearrange my heart, attitude, and ideas. He was so tender and gracious with me. His patience is priceless!
This is why I am beyond excited to talk about True Woman ’12. If you want God to pick you up, put you on a new path, and do a new work in your heart, then plan on joining me in Indianapolis in September for True Woman ’12! I can’t wait to see what God has for me (and you!) next.
How about you? Did God rock your thinking at a True Woman Conference? I’d love to hear about it!