Sharper Focus

Many people dream of seeing the world. Ask vision-challenged globetrotter Amy Bovaird, and she will settle for seeing it in a little sharper focus. Follow Amy--but not too closely--on adventures foreign and domestic as she recounts tales of trips and travel.

His Staff Guides My Feet … to Lakemount Church

Speaking at Lakemount Church Ladies Retreat

Before I left for the Lakemount Ladies Retreat where I presented my first ever keynote talks, I prayed  that God would use my imperfect words along with my imperfect vision to somehow touch the lives of the women listening.

On the morning before I left, I had an appointment to trim my hair.  With my cane, I sped along Main Street. A young woman driving slowed down and stopped beside me. “Amy, where’re you headed?” I told her I had only a few blocks to go and gestured down the road. She said, “Hop in. I’m going that direction. I can take you.”

While I didn’t recognize the driver, I still “hopped in.”  But that wasn’t unusual. As you know from previous writings, a lot more drivers see me than I do them!

I squinted out the window at a blurry building. “That’s it. That’s the place. You can drop me off here.”

“There? Are you sure?

“I’m getting my hair trimmed,” I explained.

Why did she sound so shocked?

“There? Uh, that’s Burton’s Funeral Home. They do cut hair, but not until after…”

“There? Uh, that’s Burton’s Funeral Home. They do cut hair, but not until after…”

“Whoops. Wrong timing. I’m still alive.” I laughed. “Try the next place over,” I suggested to the stranger at the wheel.

The morning and afternoon passed without any other out-of-the-ordinary events.

I arrived at Lakemount Church at 5:30 pm and greeted the organizers of the Ladies Retreat. Kathy was a classmate from Ohio Valley University and Cheryl became a new friend. It was so nice to chat as I set up my display. Finally I asked, “Can I see where I’ll be speaking tomorrow?”

They led  me into the sanctuary.  There, I looked around. Pretty stained glass windows framed the large room filled with pews. Flowers graced the stage. I slowly climbed up the stairs, stood at the podium and let the power of Jesus flow through and around me. When I looked out over the pews, I knew I’d be all right. His peace came over me …

That is, until I stepped off the edge of the platform and landed between the communion table and the stage!   “Communion anyone?” I quipped.

Was it any wonder that just as I found my peace, Kathy and Cheryl lost theirs! They exchanged a look that said, “What if she steps off the stage during her talk?” They weren’t taking any chances, and moved the communion table flush against the stage. I wanted to say, “Now if I walk off it, I’ll be standing on His promises.” Not the same as walking on water but pretty close, in my estimation! Instead I calmly assured the women, “Don’t worry. I won’t wander during my speech.”

The next day when it came time for me to deliver my first speech, I opened with these two stories. It broke the ice, just as all-knowing God planned.

I’m always floored and delighted by God’s sense of humor.

I’m always floored and delighted by God’s sense of humor.

When I spoke into the microphone, I didn’t realize it would be of such excellent quality. I kept leaning into it to speak, not knowing the audience would hear LOUD and LOUDER.  The mic was off to one side of the podium so, of course, that side of the room got more eye contact (or seeming to, since I couldn’t see much).  I talked to them about this problem and I went into the next speech with a headset containing a microphone. I felt like a pilot at the cockpit and probably looked like one, too.  Good thing to imagine because I safely navigated my way through the second talk and made a smooth landing as I descended down the stairs, poised and pleased.

In between I had a few God-moments where He powerfully took the controls and touched the hearts of the audience.

Of the scriptures I shared, the one that really stood out to me was Hebrews 4:12: “… It [the world of God] is a discerner of the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” It was such a comfort to know that God could see into the broken places of those listening and mold my ill-fitting, bare-boned words to fit those places.

If I was ever in the dark, I wasn’t anymore. I could see God working in the sanctuary that day.

What I discovered that day was that yes, I was alive!  Not mistakenly lying in some funeral home getting my hair trimmed, and not stepping off the stage.  I was right where God placed me—proclaiming His love. Loud and Louder.

I was right where God placed me–proclaiming His love. Loud and Louder.

God places each of us in pivotal situations to impact others—our family and friends, our co-workers, even strangers. But we need to continually trust Him, sensitize ourselves to see His will in the evolving circumstances that come up in our lives. That way, we’re sure to tap into our courage so to stay  in step with the perfect and predestined plans He’s prepared for us.

Here Cheryl (L) and Kathy (R) and I shared a moment together after the retreat

18 Responses to “His Staff Guides My Feet … to Lakemount Church”

  • Great post. Thanks for sharing your walk with us.

    • Amy:

      Thanks, Fred!
      This walk was pretty straightforward ~ only one stranger and one fall! Ha ha!
      I know exactly what you mean by my walk. God enabled me to do everything. He kept my path straight. =)
      Come back and read more of my stories!
      Amy

  • What a beautiful story, Amy! Thank you so much for sharing.

    I can’t believe that you are so accepting of rides with strangers. Keep the faith but be careful too!

    • Amy:

      Hi Kimberly,
      Since I live in a small town, I figured if we had more time, I would have found out who she was.
      And she was smart to question my destination, right? Wouldn’t that have been awful if I’d entered the Funeral Home looking for a hairdresser?!
      Thanks for taking time to read about my experience!
      Amy

  • Kathy:

    Amy, You did such a wonderful job speaking at our ladies day! We truly enjoyed having you there and it was so exciting to hear you tell the story of Esther with such enthusiasm! I can’t wait til your book comes out this spring! Hope to see you again soon!

    • Amy:

      Kathy,
      Oh, I’m so glad you liked the story of Esther! Kathy, I got Linda’s phone number and am trying to arrange something for this summer!
      Take care for now.
      Amy

  • Bettie Lou:

    I knew it would turn out well and be a blessing! xxx

  • Cheryl Coalmer:

    Amy did a great job of speaking at our Lakemount Church of Christ Ladies Day! Her story of Queen Esther in the Court of King Xerxes was so interesting. She shared some of her personal stories and adversities with us. Amy always seemed to come out of those hardships still praising God. She was such an inspiration to us all!

    • Amy:

      Thank you, Cheryl!
      When Kathy asked me to speak, I went on a wing and a prayer but just see what God did through it! Thanks for entrusting such an awesome responsibility to me.
      Amy

  • Carron Montgomery:

    Hi Amy
    Loved this story and you look great.
    xx

    • Amy:

      Carron!
      So happy to hear from you!
      Thank you. It’s a good thing I bypassed the first hair trimming establishment, huh?
      The book is coming along.
      Miss you! Hope everything is going well there.
      Amy

  • Hi Amy,
    I enjoyed reading your post. It was very inspiring and motivating. I admire you greatly for getting up there and speaking.

    Have a wonderful day, Monna

    • Amy:

      Monna, so glad you enjoyed it! It was a large group so perhaps NOT seeing here was a plus!
      Really, I just think that God equips us to handle these challenges and for the little things that go wrong, He gives us humor to cope!
      You have a wonderful day, too, and stop by again.
      Amy

  • Great story – thanks for sharing

    • Amy:

      Hi Grace,
      Thank you! Looking forward to the next speaking opportunity.
      Thanks for checking out my story!
      Amy

  • Vicki:

    Wonderful story, Amy. Makes me wish I had been there to hear your presentation!

    • Amy:

      Thank you so much, Vicki! I would love to have you come to any one of my presentations!

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