Many people have asked me how it came to be that I was invited to speak at the Angelus Temple, home of the famous Dream Center, in Los Angeles, at the Ascend Conference, the same event as legendary Cece Winans and Lisa Osteen Comes, sister to beloved Joel Osteen, a pastor and mighty woman of God in her own right.
Right. How did that happen?
Was it through an agent? A ton of networking? Sending out massive amounts of pitch letters? That’s often what we speakers are taught.
Uh… no. So, how did a fairly obscure, older woman from a small farming town in upstate NY (that would be me) manage this? Here’s the skinny:
Bottom line – I was swept up in the flow of God’s favor.
But that doesn’t really tell you anything, does it? It’s important though, for me to say it in this way because ~
so often the favor of God is working but we are so focused on circumstances, daily tasks, or even the negative voices in our heads, that we fail to note all the ways in which God is leading and directing our path.
So, consider me and my example a clarion call to us all: God’s favor is a super power that we need to fulfill the call on our lives and without it, we exhaust ourselves trying to make it happen, or worse, give up all together.
And believe it or not… YOU have a message, a magnificent work, and call on your life for which you have been uniquely designed, and as my good friend, Maurice DiMino says, “I forbid you to go to your grave without sharing it!”
So back to how this all happened…
Sometime in 2014, a beautiful friend of mine, Carol Doyle, Regional Director of Christian Women in Media, (CWIMA) , Hollywood, asked if I would come and speak to her group that met in CBS Studios. Quite frankly, I don’t remember what the topic was, but I do remember how hard it was to get there!
Before that, though… how did I meet lovely Carol? Several years ago when she was just starting her now highly successful online magazine, Living Better at 50, she was looking for articles online. I had no idea how she found me since I was not (yikes, still am not) a very consistent blogger, nor were my SEO rankings even on any one’s radar… but she found me. (Favor even supersedes low marketing skills!) Over the years we have stayed in touch and have become great friends. (She is super fun!)
You see, God has a way of connecting you with the right people at the right time! It’s always important to stay open! You just never know!
Well, the day of my talk with CWIMA I had another talk I was giving in another part of LA. and the host of that talk was running late, which made me late.
Rushing to get to CBS, I did not realize that my cell phone, with my GPS, was almost out of juice. As I got on the road, and noticed this, I was not alarmed, because hey, how far away could this be? I mean, it’s all LA, right?
2 hours later…
Yep. And a dead phone, in a car that I borrowed, which had an unusually dark tint to the windows, which added to my stress, I must admit. But even more… I… was… lost…in rush hour traffic. I’m not making this up.
Pulling over to find a pay phone… yes, one of those antiquated contraptions that hardly anyone ever uses… I decided to call my friend to tell her I may not be making it. But not able to find that, and getting even more lost, I did the only thing I could: I pray. Very specifically.
You see, I’ve been in many, many sticky situations before, and I have found great relief and success in soliciting angels to come to my aid. I need a sign!!
Well, that’s where I was. I needed some supernatural help if I were going to get to where I wanted to go. Though I was already very late, a new surge of energy came rushing forward. I was determined. Somehow, someway, I knew I would get there.
Recalling that as part of my GPS directions before it died on me, I got on the highway, and around the bend… there’s another sign for, oh yes… CBS! Sweet! Did I say I prayed for a sign? I didn’t exactly mean literally, but ok!
Ok, now.. before this long missive makes you forget what this post is all about… it’s about how I got to be a chosen as a speaker for the Ascend Conference. So, hang tight… almost there.
Back to CBS. I pulled up all excited… I made it! Except, the guards did not have my name, so I couldn’t get in. Really?! Nor did they have Carol’s name, or the organization, which met there regularly, nor any of the other people who were already there. We didn’t exist.
How is this possible?
Was I in the Twilight Zone?
So being the persistent, pit bull princess that I am, I leaned on Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum and asked them to please double check, call around…there must be a way to find where these ladies are… I know they are in there!
So, at the speed of sludge, they picked up the phone, made some calls, and what do you know… there is a meeting, and I can go through… However, one more complication: the studio is shooting in front of the spot we are meeting and so, there’s no nearby parking.
This was starting to get comical.
After being directed through a complicated labyrinth of streets, I found a parking space, which is quite a hike, in my heels, which hurt, of course, and I arrived… sweating and wilted. But, yay! I made it.
I give you all these long, on-the-verge-of-boring details because sometimes the obstacles in our path can be oppressive! But I want to encourage you, in case this story has discouraged you from even stepping out… when you are operating in your destiny, you have to be a warrior and keep on going!
Flowing in the favor of God does not mean smooth sailing each step of the way. But it does make a way, if you keep going!
Now at this point, I know nothing about where this is all leading. I’m just following the bread crumbs and doing a friend a favor. And guess what, I wasn’t even that late given all the pre-talk activities they had planned. So, after our dinner, we watched this gorgeous video promo of a conference coming up the following month… the “Ascend Conference, a conference for remarkable women.” I’m impressed, but disappointed that I won’t be in town for it. We move on to my turn to speak on a panel with another woman, Suzanne Niles of Salvation Army TV Network.
Because this story is already way too long, I will spare you some additional details, that make the story even more amazing, but the most important remaining fact is this… as I walked out the door to head back to my hotel, a woman came rushing out to find me: Kathleen Cooke, the founder of that amazing conference to which I referred, and asked me to exchange information. I didn’t really know why, but sure, I was happy to.
Well, over the next 6 months, Kathleen and I had a few short conversations, and I discovered that she and her husband were instrumental to the launching of Joel Osteen’s TV ministry, along with giving Joyce Meyer’s TV show a new look. I’m duly impressed by all this humble woman and her husband have accomplished, but quite frankly, at the time, I was still unsure why she had made it a point to contact …. me?
Well, as it turns out, being a woman who wants everyone to feel included, she had been on the lookout for Asian women who are strong Christians, dynamic speakers, and plenty of overcoming stories. I was and am grateful that she considered me such.
This was particularly redeeming for me because rarely have I been sought out BECAUSE of my Asian looks. It’s typically been the opposite. I love how God’s favor takes the things that might have been problems for us, and throws a restorative spin on them!
Anyway, we made a date to meet next time I was in LA, which was this past March, and it was then, that I discovered, I was being invited to speak at the Ascend Conference. And that’s the rest of the story.
Phew… why did I go through all those torturous details?
Because at so many points, I had the opportunity to give up and go home. I have heard many Christians take opposition, obstacles, and obstructions as a sign that maybe it’s not God’s timing, or way, or something.
But I have come to be convinced that the bigger the mission, often the greater the obstacles. We can not back down. That is also why I am so big on us embracing and flowing in the favor of God and man.
We need a super power to help grease the skids more often than not, and certainly if we desire to not have to work so hard all the time! Hands down, favor is my super power.
Ok, if you got to this point of the post, I hope it has been an inspiring, if not entertaining, read for you. Do you have a big mission for which you need favor? The world would love to know. Please share!!