Refreshed, Renewed, RESTORED: My Pinky Promise Conference Experience

 

Pinky Promise is a movement originated by renowned Pastor Heather Lindsay for women of all ethnicities to join in spiritual sisterhood with a common goal — to live whole-heartedly for Jesus in every single way.  This organization promotes sisterhood and wholeness while encouraging women to honor themselves in Christ.

I’ve followed Heather Lindsay for quite some time now and there’s no doubt in my mind that she has been called to lead in ministry.  She often preaches how she “falls at the feet of Jesus” and her character provides witness to that. For years I’ve been blessed by her teachings, e-mails, videos, books, and her walk of life so eloquently documented on her Instagram account.  img_7036

One of my long-time friends, Erica, introduced me to her about 6 years ago by loaning me the first book Heather had written titled, “Pink Lips and Empty Hearts”. Reading this book was the pre-cursor to my soon-to-be developed relationship with God.

Erica and I had been discussing going to the Pinky Promise Conference for soooooo long; I mean we’ve talked about it for at least 3-4 years. Here it is, 2018, and we still hadn’t gone prior to now. One day, Erica and I were texting and she asked if I wanted to go this year. *PAUSE* I felt bad for saying I couldn’t because we made a verbal agreement in 2017 that we were DEFINITELY going in 2018! Truth is, I wanted to go, but money was tight and I was (and still am) going through all sorts of transitions; a failed job, piling debt due to that failed job, having to move, and coping with anxiety.

It’s funny how God shows up when you least expect him to because Erica paid for my ticket without me asking. As much as I hate to take a handout (my pride can be a monster to deal with), I knew that it was for the best being as though my relationship with God had been struggling in the months up-to-date.

June 7, 2018, Me, Erica, and two of our other close friends, Jasmine and Bianca, all headed to Atlanta’s Downtown Marriott Marquis to join thousands of other women in prayer and worship.

The hotel was beautifully filled with women, majority African-American, crowned in braids, curls, locs, ‘fros, bundles, and every versatile hairstyle a black woman could possibly rock on her scalp! Upon entering I could feel a shift in the atmosphere. There was a calming spirit that rushed over me and I could not WAIT to kick off the weekend and receive whatever God had in store for me. What my friends did not know is that I needed to be there more than I needed anything, to eat, to sleep, or even breathe. I NEEDED something that nothing on this earth could provide. I was dying inside, I was numb. I needed some REVIVAL.

After we arrived, we hurried to the room to get dressed for our first worship experience that night. Listen, Thursday night QUICKLY 

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(L to R) Erica, Jasmine, ME, Bianca

taught us that if we wanted good seats, we’d have to get to the events at least an hour early. Worship service was amazing. The air was filled with voices, music, and prayers being lifted into heaven’s corridors. The spirit of God came right in, within minutes, and I was already beginning to feel a sense of relief. From that night forward the music ministry was MIND-BLOWING!!! Every night during praise-n-worship I felt like I was at a concert and Jesus was the headliner! I especially enjoyedimg_6792_dvd.original Johnathan Traylor’s selections because not only were they spirit-filled but they had enough “bop” to them that they kept us dancing all night! Lol! We spent countless minutes jumping up and screaming “FILL MY CUP! FILL IT UP! FILL IT UP! FILL IT UP SO HIGH! SO I CAN POUR! I CAN POOOUUURR IT OUT!!”

 

Friday was pretty BUSY! The girls and I got up early to attend the Zumba session and burn off some off those calories we had been packing on since we got there! The gag is, the room they had chosen for Zumba was about 2xs too small because they had twice the turnout they had projected. Just imagine about 400 women in a room designed to hold about 200! The crazy thing is, WE MADE IT WORK AND WE WORKED IT OUT!! Our instructor opened our session with a prayer and followed up with a fun-warm up session. Yaaaassssssss, our Zumba instructor was LIT and the christian music she used for the routines matched the energy of everyone in the room! My friends and I laughed, sweated, and hit a couple of bad dance moves out there but it was all in good fun, good health, and in the name of the good Lord! We closed out Zumba just as we had opened, then went back to the room to prepare for the rest of the day.

Jasmine, 4 years married, and Bianca, who’ll soon be married in a few months, attended the session for married women. Erica and I attended the singles’ session. Unbeknownst to us, Heather Lindsay was the speaker. In that session, Heather explained the wisdom in NOT having a “build-a-man” mentality in the season of singleness. I could heavily relate as she explained the way us women can nit-pick over the smallest of flaws, possibly img_7037missing out on our potential husbands! Using her pot of soil and pumpkin seeds as visuals, Heather explained how we can plant seeds little-by-little, to cultivate the things that may need refining. My biggest take-away from her message was to become a student of your spouse, practice agape love by taking up the heart of Abigail (1 Samuel 25:3-4, 10-12, 18-23), and that once seeds are planted on a solid foundation there will ALWAYS be a harvest to reap. NOW THAT’S A WORD!

Afterwards, I was off to the Entrepreneurial session. I was blessed to hear the tips that Heather had given because I’ve struggled with monetizing my work and taking my ideas to the next level. I was overcome with comfort and a sense of belonging as I sat in that large room filled with like-minded women. It felt good to know that I wasn’t the only one struggling with start-up, consistency, support, etc.

Leaving that session I was sure of 3 things: One, to be faithful over little because if I show myself faithful over small, God will bless me to become a steward over more! Two, I should always remember that everything I do is for the glory of God and with that understanding, He will take what’s in me and make MULTIPLE streams of income, just as he did with Paul (Acts 18:3), and what he’s doing with Heather. Three, it’s okay to feel alone in my journey. God calls EVERYONE for their purpose. Just as doctors, teachers, lawyers, accountants, etc. are called to do their jobs, Entrepreneurs have been called as well. Often times, they were called in the bible (Like Moses built the Ark) to work for God and had gotten ridiculed by people simply because they didn’t understand the visions God had given ONLY to those he called– just as HE has given my vision to ONLY ME. Although it may take more time for me to be ok with not being completely understood, I can now stand firmer in the knowledge that all I need is my vision and my God.

That night, we were LITERALLY PUSHED into the doors of service being as though Sarah Jakes-Roberts would be delivering the sermon that night!!! I know Sarah’s sermons are poppin’ and are blessings to fall upon any pair of ears, but her presence brought the OTHER spirits out of women that night! I guess everyone wanted a seat close enough to catch the sweat off her prayer cloth or something, I don’t know but it was a hot mess! Lol.

img_6762_hd.originalimg_6765_dvd.originalRegardless of the rough start, Sarah delivered a message so convicting that it left very few dry eyes and very few people left sitting. Sarah began her message explaining the story of Eve and the serpent. In Genesis 3:15, God declares a feud that would forever go on between the woman and the serpent; the serpent shall bruise the heels of Eve’s seeds and Eve’s seeds shall crush the heads of the serpents’. She used this scripture as a metaphor, declaring how bruised heels can still crush serpents heads, meaning, no  matter what you go through in this life, you still have the ability to defeat your demons. She goes on to tell us how our very existence carries seeds to crush the serpent’s, or the enemy’s heads, and that we each have personalized serpents with our name on them that only we can crush.

Still in the scope of that message, she talks about Mary and how she once thought she had lost her seed, Jesus, when it turns out she had never lost him at all. Mary’s seed, Jesus, had just out run her and was out of her reach for he had taken his position as the Messiah. Mary, still perceiving Jesus as the child she raised, was not ready to receive Him as such. However, God was there to snatch Mary back and reveal to her the seed as she needed to see it.(Luke 2:41) Mary needed to be molded into the woman that could once again reach her seed. Sarah advised us that in order for us to take back our seeds, we could no longer perceive them through worldly perception but to seek God for it’s the only way we could retrieve them. She explained how looking for our seeds by way of the world causes us to make demands from our seeds that it was never supposed to serve us with. She then goes on to tell us “Snatch your minds back” and to only serve what GOD DOES and not what he COULD DO. Circumstances out of our control are no longer our business to attend to.img_6763_dvd.original

This message convicted my spirit in such a way that I could literally feel my soul being washed, entering spin-cycle, and then hung up TO DRY. For as long as I can remember I’ve always stressed over things that I simply cannot control. I’ve stressed and cried over so much for so long that I’ve completely shown my mistrust in God. Three years ago I started to experience symptoms of anxiety– racing heart palpitations and insomnia. Three years later, I’m still struggling with insomnia but now chest-tightening and urges to cry even when I’m not experiencing any emotions. Depression has joined me on this journey several times and while I long for medical assistance some days, I pray every night and that has kept me thus far. However, that night, I felt a stronghold loosen. I felt the demons of anxiety and depression grow weaker. Since I got a hold to that word, each day has been a bit better. Although it’s not easy, I’m so blessed to say that I’m SNATCHING MY MIND BACK. I’M SNATCHING MY GOOD SPIRITS BACK. I’M SNATCHING MY JOY BACK. I’M SNATCHING BACK EVERYTHING THE DEVIL HAS TAKEN AWAY FROM ME. That numbness and loneliness I carried weeks before hearing that message is here no more. God has been healing me and he’s helping me snatch my soul back little by little. I know God placed me in that very room at that very time to hear that very message. Every time I feel myself beginning to drown in sadness I hear Sarah’s voice say, “Depression and anxiety is A LIE!” And I’m quickly reminded to SNATCH IT ALL BACK.

Saturday was pretty chill. The sessions being held that day didn’t readily apply to us so we used that day to kick back and hang out. Although we anticipated hearing Heather that night in service, we were all starting to feel a bit sad since It would be our last night in that atmosphere together.img_6793

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For the first time that weekend, we got really close-up seats! Lol. Heather’s message was self-explanatory: BLIND FAITH. She assured us that God had a plan for us, although we often cannot see what He’s doing, we should take up his hand and trust him BLINDLY. She encouraged us to continue building our relationship up with God as the more we talk to Him, the more we’d trust Him.

As Heather called those to the alter who hadn’t been walking in blind faith for a special prayer, I was hesitant to go. My friends were moving to head up there so I followed along. As we all stood at the alter, heads bowed and eyes closed, I felt the Holy Spirit take up room in my heart.img_6789_dvd.original For the next twenty minutes I trembled in my heels while standing in the need and in the midst of prayer. img_7028For the next twenty-something minutes I prayed and thanked God and prayed some more. For the next twenty-something  minutes I cried and declared out loud that I knew where my help cometh from. I prayed for forgiveness, for my sins and for not fully entrusting my father with my affairs. I prayed for my well being and familial relationships. I prayed for my friends and those I’m not friends with anymore. I prayed for my finances. I prayed for people I knew and people I didn’t. I prayed. I prayed. I prayed. And I know that God had taken it all up in heaven. Hand-in-hand with Jasmine, I finally broke. I can’t tell you of every demon that had been loosed just yet, I haven’t worked my way up to sharing that. But what I can share with you all is that I left that conference in a better mental and emotional state that I had been in for a very, long time.

In closing, I just want to thank Erica for allowing God to use her heart for kindness in securing my seat at that conference.

I want to thank Bianca for grabbing my hand at every service, allowing God to use her heart for empathizing with me.

I want to thank Jasmine for having my back at the alter, allowing God to use her as my back-bone during that time of vulnerability.

And although she wasn’t there, I want to thank my mom for all the extra expenses lol. Without her I wouldn’t have made the trip at all. She’s my rock.

After service, we went to the pool to reflect on our weekend. We discussed our strengths and weaknesses, high and low points, what we had learned and what we’d do going forward. That night, we vowed that in moments of weakness we’d learn to lean on each other instead of falling victim to our same old shortcomings.img_6771

I can’t speak for the other girls but that weekend intensified the love I have for them and the love I should always have for myself. The nights of burnt Domino’s pizza, turkey sandwiches, moscato (don’t trip, even Jesus drank wine), hot wings, trapped gas, and laughing ’til we almost turned blue went by WAY TOO FAST.

As I grow through this life God continues to reveal his goodness to me time after time; each time in a way I had never seen before. I’m not perfect and I’ll never portray myself to be, but I can say I’m better than what I used to be. And I’ll always pray to get better so that I may be seen fit for the Kingdom of God. I still get impatient, frustrated, annoyed, upset, hurt, and mad when I can’t seem to exercise control. But It’s such a relief to know that no matter how I may lose sight of my seed, God will always snatch me back! as long as I continue to practice blind faith in HIM, I will continue to CRUSH EACH SERPENT’S HEAD that the enemy has laid out before me. I have officially been refreshed, renewed, and RESTORED.

I LOVE YOU GIRLS & I’M GRATEFUL FOR EXPERIENCING THE SISTER-SHIP WE BUILT IN THAT CONFERENCE! IT’S IN MY PRAYERS THAT MORE OF MY FRIENDS GET TO EXPERIENCE THIS CONFERENCE WITH ME!! UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN!

#THEPINKYPROMISEPACT

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*check out my pup Logan! LOL!*

P.S. I CAN’T WAIT TO GET STARTED ON OUR BOOK & I’LL SEE YALL NEXT YEAR IN MIAMI!!!!!!!!

I included some clips from the sermons I talked about in the article below. Remember girls, JESUS LOVES YOU LIKE CRAZY!