she speaks erich and marias classroom 021

When we were placed in our beginner’s speaker evaluation groups, we had to share our story in “three minutes.”

Christi, pictured with me above, shared about her life of being in beauty pageants….Miss North Carolina pageant alone 5 or 6 times!!

She works with girls who are in pageants now, but her passion is helping women find true significance in the Lord.  I just adored her spirit.

But I think I was also intimidated by her past.  I just remember thinking, “Out of 20 some groups, how did I end up with a beauty pageant girl who is so beautiful and sweet!?”

Every  time I saw her, I would say, “Hi, Miss America, and we would laugh and smile or visit for a minute.”

Little did I know, God was working in my heart.  Opening me up to a message He had for me.

See, on Saturday afternoon, I was in a workshop where I met a woman from Equador whose son has been battling leukemia for 8 years off and on.  We had a sweet visit and then she asked how my son was doing (she had heard I had a son with cancer).  I hated telling her that Nick had passed away for two reasons.  One, I didn’t want her to feel bad and two, I didn’t want her to begin worrying even more about her sweet boy.  Well, needless to say we both started to cry.

When I returned to my seat, the lady next to me handed me a Kleenex and then after the workshop we had a good visit and she went with me to the prayer room for a bit.

The prayer room was a very special place lowly lit room with pillows, Kleenex, a cross, and tables covered with sheets of paper that contained different names of God from the Old Testament.  Around these sheets of paper were the names of all 600 women at the conference which had been cut into strips, prayed over, and then placed on top of a particular name of God…the name they felt was most needed in each woman’s life at this time.

As I walked around to all of the tables, I could not find my name on any of the sheets.  I thought, “It will probably be on the last sheet or maybe they somehow missed my name.”  As I went back around to all of the tables a second time, I couldn’t believe it when I found my name on the name of God, Jehovah-Nissi, which means, “The Lord is my Banner!” 


Miss America banner..not necessary

Miss North Carolina banner..not necessary

Miss Carter County banner…not necessary

No, I was loved simply for having “The Lord as my Banner!”

On Saturday night as our group met for the second time, I was amazed at how many stories were coming from experiences in the prayer room!

God was definitely working. I shared mine and everyone had a good laugh..especially my new friend Christi!  She is truly precious.

I’m thankful for Christi and her ministry.  I’m thankful for a God who takes me “Just as I am” and is willing to place His name on me as a banner.

I pray I wear it in a somewhat worthy manner.

Running the Race for Him Alone,