Don’t forget Him

I was going through some totes looking for something about a month ago and came across all of my stuff from high school. Yearbooks, pictures, newspaper clippings, awards and scrapbooks. In my sports book I found pages of notes of encouragement from several people, but mostly Gretchen.

I was a junior on the volleyball team and Gretchen was a girl in 7th girl who would write me notes before each game. I loved getting notes from her. She was always such an encouragement and she even made the bottom of her exclamation points into smiley faces. As I read through a few of her notes, I found one dated 11/4/86 very relevant for me today, almost 25 years later.

She always let me know that she was praying for me, but in the note she sent as I headed to the state volleyball championship game with my team, she reminded me of how important it was to include God in our pursuit of the gold medal.                                                                  “If Jesus wants you to win you will!! You can’t win the game by yourself; He has to help you. Remember Phil. 4:13. I’ll be praying for you!!                                                                                                                                                              Love ya,                                                                                                  Gretchen Marie Michels

Next Thursday, July 21st, thanks to God and some very supportive people I am heading to North Carolina on prayers and a fully funded scholarship to attend She Speaks, the writers and speakers conference. I will attend hours of writer and speakers sessions and learn more about my passion. When I went before in 2008 I just did the writers track and while most of my sessions are about writing, I am taking some speaking sessions as well. On both Friday and Saturday I have to stand in front of a group of women and give two talks and then be evaluated. On Saturday afternoon I will meet separately with an agent named Rachelle and also Kathleen from Harvest House Publishers. And as I am in preparation,  I have had a few moments where I question who I am and why I think I can walk this path.

And that is when I have to constantly take Gretchen’s sweet words written in the 80’s in her best cursive and decorated with smiley faced exclamation points to heart and remind myself that I can’t do this by myself, He has to help me.  

If I wrote well enough to become the New York Times Best kept secret, but I did it without Him, then it doesn’t matter.

I need His words, His guidance and His wisdom.

I just need Him.

So today, no matter what you are doing in your life, do it with Him, because without Him it’s pointless.

Oh, and Gretchen’s prayers were answered and Jesus wanted our team to win state that year because each of us fell asleep that night with a gold medal around our neck, all because He was our focus.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Him Who strengthens me.                    


      *I am the second player from the left in the top row, #9. I look angry, but I was very excited. A bad haircut and a thick unibrow tends to make one look unhappy when actually rejoicing. I knew I should’ve went with Sheryl’s (#7) teepee haircut, she always looked happy with that do, even when mad.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Don’t forget Him

  1. Susie Orduna says:

    I love love love how the Lord is using you, Lelia! I’ll be praying for your “tourney” this weekend!

  2. Susan Neverve says:

    Precious Lelia…I am trying to hold my tears back…I was so touched by that!! Praising God how He is using you to encourage me and soooo many others!!!

    Know I am lifting you up in prayer…believing He has given you a gift to offer so many of us!!

  3. Jill Beran says:

    Great post!! I had a little friend like that during my basketball days too, well except the Christian connection, but still the value of encouragement is so high!! Thankful I’m a teammate who can cheer you on now!! Just think the medal you won at state pales in comparison to the one you are striving towards for and with Christ!!!! I’ll be praying for you and holding on to the truth in these words myself as the days go by!!! Love you, Jill

  4. Kimberly says:

    What a sweet story! Of course, now I want to know what happened to Gretchen! Have you been able to find her on FB? 🙂 I bet she would be so blessed to know her words 25 years ago have meant to much to you, even today. It just goes to show how our words have the power to bless and curse.

    I am looking forward to meeting you in less than10 days!!! Woo hoo!

  5. Amy says:

    Saying a special prayer for you now. (And praising Him that we have both had the unibrow removed!!) ;0)

    Much love,

  6. Gretchen Garrison says:

    And I will pray for you again next week. Thankful that we have reconnected – your words made me cry today! Thanks for the reminder of the importance of a kind word. Glad that God was able to use me to impact your life. And now it is coming full circle as He is using YOUR words to impact my life today.

    Still love ya!
    Gretchen Marie (Michels) Garrison

  7. jen sandbulte says:

    Oh friend…. I am so excited for you. What time is your publisher appointment? I will pray specific. BTW when do i get a glimpse of the book? Oh how I wish I was coming with. When u come home you will be changed and god will open doors. It was shortly after my first trip that I was asked to lead compel. Where r u staying while u r there. Are you doing the early marketing track.

  8. Dena DeBoer says:

    How exciting with what’s coming at the conference!! Here’s what I know to be totally true is that if God means for something to happen, it will, and if He does not want you to be a part, then you won’t. Kinda takes the pressure off if ya know what I mean…you just have to follow Him and trust Him. Have an amazing time my dear friend!

  9. Terri says:

    Thank you so much Leilah for being real. It helps me to see that there are women out there who have real life situations happening to them. I have learned that not everyone’s life is easy, mine hasnt been thats for sure. Once again thank you so much for being “real”!

  10. Susie~I covet those prayers of yours my friend. LoveYou.
    Sue~God is working in you, continue to let Him. It’s so worth it.
    Jill~You are so encouraging and the things you share with me just make me love you more. I so wish you were flying out with me on Thursday.
    Kimberly~Yes, she is still as sweet as her 7th grade self. 🙂 You are so right, there is such power in our words. Can not wait to meet. 🙂
    Amy~love. That’s it. Just got love for you. I love you so much I would’ve hugged, I mean waved to you from a distance when you were drenched in poison ivy. 😉
    Jen~I love that God gave you the role of being the director of Compel. You made it look like you have been doing it for 10 years. I’ll be back in January only if Michelle and I get to room with you and Jill. 🙂 I’ll call you later.
    Dena D~Thank you so much! When I get back…lunch. Dinner. A cookie. Whatever, I just want to sit and catch up with you. 5 minutes at Beth Moore was not enough for the history we have together, Sister.
    Terri~Thank you so much. Being anything but real is too much work for me! So, I guess it’s a good thing that I’m lazy in the area of trying to look like I have it all together! 🙂

  11. Gretchen girl….
    I have so much love and respect for you. Thank you for all of your little notes with such big encouragement. And your little “P.S. sorry if I bug you” was so sweet. Little did you know how much I cherished your words. If I could make exclamation points with smiley faces on the computer I would make a dozen!
    Love to you,

  12. Bless her! What an amazing thing to keep all these years! And to think a 7th grader wrote that! What faith! Man!

    Thank you for sharing, girl! I needed to be reminded!

  13. Jackie says:

    I will be praying for you too!! I am still praying about you speaking at our women’s retreat. The Lord keeps laying your name on my heart. In spite of the fact that I just love you as a person I really think He wants you to speak there but I want His will not mine so I am continuing to pray. Sometime I just want to sit with you and explain the whole retreat and what it would entail.
    Anyway have a blessed time at the She Speaks and come home full and blessed ready to give back to Him. Very good post by the way. Neat gal to encourage someone she looked up to.
    Love ya

  14. Beth Herring says:

    love your new place Lelia! so excited to see what God is going to do through you.

  15. It’s so weird to read this and see so many names I know. I taught sweet little Gretchen Marie Michels. She’s a gem. Of course I know Susie from LCS and was close to her daughter too. I know Dena through her husband and Norris school. And I’m wondering if the agent you’re meeting with is Rachelle Gardner. (If so, I am having a hard time not being jealous of you girl! I’ve wanted to meet her for years.)

    I’ll be anxious to hear how the conference goes. It’s one I’ve had on my radar. Some day. I pray God gives you your next step in this journey.

  16. Jackie~I love you too my friend. I will join you in praying about the retreat and when I get back let’s make a date to get together. I’d love to hear more about it. After the conference, I’ll put back up my Speaking page, but wanted to wait and learn some more before I posted it. You’re the best, thank you for those needed prayers. Email with any requests you have and I’ll pray for you too. xo
    Beth~Thank you and I’m praying for you son-in-law and trusting in a God who restores!
    Tami~so fun recognizing people from our past! :0) It is the same agent! I would love to share about She Speaks with you as this time I’ll be taking sessions from the speaking track as well as the writing. You’re a great writer so I know you’d benefit from this conference. I went in ’08 and have learned so much over the last 3 years so can’t wait to learn some more about what we love. I’ll email you at the beginning of August so we can connect in person! Thank you for your prayers. 🙂

  17. I would LOVE that Lelia!

Leave a Reply