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.