Reluctant Banquet Speaker

I’ve attended a lot of women’s luncheons and while most have long been forgotten, I will never forget the spring banquet when Julie spoke.

Pat and I were excited about taking a big leap and reaching out to the women in our little town by inviting them to a mother-daughter spring luncheon sponsored by our church’s Women’s Ministry.  We immediately began praying for the right date, the right restaurant, the right theme and the right speaker.  When we agreed on the speaker, we decided to ask her and that was when we hit a snag.

We observed Julie and her husband taking her mom to the 9:00 a.m. church service Sunday after Sunday.  Julie and her mom looked like the perfect duo to grace our podium at our banquet-of-the-year.    When asked, Julie said:  “You’ve got to be kidding.  Trust me; you don’t want my mom and me.  We barely like each other.”  I quickly apologized to Julie and admitted I probably had not heard from God correctly during prayer.

It was to our benefit that Pat and I waited on the Lord and did not line up another speaker in haste.  Two weeks later, Julie called me and we met for lunch.  “Is the invitation to speak at the banquet still open?”  Julie asked.   After meeting with our pastor, Julie realized that a great deal of healing occurred in counseling sessions with him over the years and that she just may be God’s mouthpiece of how He can take a troubled relationship and bring restoration to it. 
The day of our mother-daughter banquet arrived and every seat in the room was filled.  Pat’s centerpieces were exquisite and the menu we chose was a hit.  I introduced Julie to the crowd.  Her elderly mom sat at the head table and admired her daughter’s eloquence along with the rest of us.  Julie was a powerful business woman with a flair for public speaking.  She divulged just enough of the truth to let every listening mom or daughter know that God can take our mistakes and turn our pain into gain.  She talked very little about the abuse and neglect in her childhood that flooded our private lunch with tears.  Instead, she labored the point that God forgives and restores.  Mothers are far from perfect.    Circumstances in life may prevent us from loving them at times, but God always requires us to honor them.

It was obvious that the ladies enjoyed Julie.  I closed the meeting with an invitation to come up and pray with us.  To our amazement, lines formed.  Julie was the last one to leave the restaurant and was exhausted after praying with broken women who suffered with damaged emotions from their mothers. 
The enemy tried to steal our banquet, but the Holy Spirit nixed his plan.  Women were healed and delivered by the truth of God’s Word that day! Months after that luncheon, women were still stopping me in the supermarket, the church parking lot, and at the kids’ school telling me that they attended that luncheon and how much Julie’s message hit home in their hearts.  I had no clue so many women were hurting.

Julie continued to work in her profession, but she never missed our women’s Bible study on Tuesday mornings.  In no time at all God raised her up to lead support groups for women with a gift to nurture them to healing through God’s Word and Spirit.

This is a true story and connects to these blog websites:


  1. Thank you for sharing your lovely story on "Tell Me a True Story." Yes, there are hurts on both side, from abuse in parents to rebellion and dis-respect in children. God is able to heal the hurts when forgiveness is given in all directions including God to His wayward children. I am happy that Julie was such a blessing and that this meeting gave her freedom to grow.

  2. Great post, thank you for sharing.Yes, there is much hurt in the world between parents and children. Thank the Lord for His mercy and grace.

  3. What an inspirational story!

    In case anyone is in need, Sheryl has a great blog for parents who need healing in the relationships with their children. Sheryl will be praying for restoration. Here is her blog:

  4. Forgiveness is so beautiful... so necessary for healthy living. Loved it.

  5. Isn't it beautiful how the Holy Spirit orchestrates things! Lives are changed, hearts and emotions set free, Glory to God!!

    Thanks so much for sharing, Mary!



  6. This is beautiful Mary. It brought tears. I am such a believer in the hurts and healing of our lives allowing others to see hope. I can sense that happened that day. If all we have to share is a string of perfect stories, we scare everyoe away. It's the very fact that we are all sinners saved by grace that makes these stories so valuable.


  7. I just love how God takes messy situations and crafts them into a powerful life-lesson. It is good to hear that our lives aren't always pretty, or perfect ... or that there are actually people (our mothers or daughters included) that we don't always like.

    This was a divine appointment if ever there was one.

  8. How moving is this!!!
    I'm reminded of that saying, "We're only as sick as the secrets we keep." Im wondering how many women might never have come up were it not for Julie.

  9. I love that Scripture you shared. It's beautiful to be reminded that no matter what the enemy and men do, it still is the Lord's plan that prevails! Glory be to Him!

    That's wonderful that a lot of women were inspired by His truth, His love and forgiveness through all of you. Oh...I can't imagine the weight in their hearts that they carried and the powerful lifting up once His message of love and forgiveness penetrated those wounded hearts. God bless you sister and always be strong in His mighty power!

  10. Yes it is true ... posting real can heal.
    Just did that today.

  11. An inspiring post....and a reminder to give thanks that Gods greatest attrutribute is His mercy.
    I am your newest follower.

  12. Hi sister Mary! Of all, I would love to treat you for "coffee" because I know you're someone fun to be with and is always full of passion for the Lord!!! I took notice of your prayer request. Your daughter and I could really use incessant prayers. I think it doesn't matter what place we work in...The load is a lot of times stressful and could easily burn us out. May His strength be your daughter's daily and that I pray for our workplaces to be filled with His grace and mercy. Love to you sister!

  13. I love that His love trumps everything...even the toughest relationships. Great story

  14. Just want to wish you a Happy Mother's Day. God bless and protect you and family. Have a great weekend! Blessings and love.

  15. Oh, this was a wonderful story. I know that there have been many things that my sons have had to forgive me for - and in their gracious love, they have. God has taught me so much through my relationship with those guys.

    Hope you had a wonderful Mother's (Grandmother's) Day, Mary! Know how cherished you are by your family - and how lucky they are to have you!


  16. Wow, that's amazing! I'm one to say no to things like that too...feeling under qualifed, etc. But sometimes God uses our messes to make messages!

  17. Hi Mary -

    Thank you for this gem of a message. It spoke volumes. Certainly, this is a pleasurable and meaningful read.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Unwritten Songs

Scary Scars

Surviving Limbo