MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Understanding the importance of learning to wait on God as he teaches women valuable life lessons will be the focus of the New Beginnings Conference slated for this weekend.
Women from all walks of life are invited to attend the event that is being held Saturday, Jan. 18, at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Murfreesboro. The event, which will also feature local Christian vendors, is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. and will wrap up about 4 p.m.
“The New Beginnings Conference is a nondenominational event for women who want to have a fun, yet enlightening, time sharing in the word of God and hearing inspirational messages from several local ladies,” said longtime stylist Cherie Jobe, who is sponsoring the event.
In its third year, the idea for the conference arose from the success of “Secrets from Behind the Chair,” a book Jobe said she was inspired to write after listening to clients talk about life, love and heartache for more than 30 years.
For the past two years, more than 250 women have attended the New Beginnings Conference, and just as many are expected again this year. As such, Jobe said women are being encouraged to buy tickets ahead of time.
Tickets may be purchased for the event until Wednesday, Jan. 15, online and are available at Penny’s Closet, as well as the Salt and Pepper Christian Store, in Murfreesboro. For individual tickets, the cost is $49 per person, and group discounts are available.
Among the women scheduled to speak is Lacey Buchanan, whose online video detailing the story of her pregnancy and the birth of her son Christian Buchanan gained worldwide recognition.
Early in her pregnancy, Lacey Buchanan and her husband learned their son would have disabilities, though they were unsure of how serious his condition would be, and decided against having an abortion.
Since his birth in February 2011, Christian Buchanan has endured several surgeries to repair his cleft lip and palate. Now a toddler, the Buchanans are best known for their involvement with Special Kids Inc., a local Christian nonprofit organization that provides therapeutic rehabilitation for children with special needs.
Jobe said their story is just one of several that will be told during the conference, noting, “There is a message in waiting, which can test our faith.”
“It can be hard because we want to make things happen in our life on our own time, especially when we are busy with work, family and other responsibilities,” she said. “Often, we want change immediately and become frustrated when we will feel like it is not coming soon enough.”
In many cases, though, God must force women to slow down and sit in his waiting room, so that they can hear him, she said.
“Sometimes, God pulls us over to tell us his plans,” she said. “A lot of times, we discover that we have been heading in the wrong direction. … Most of the time, we have been unable to hear his voice because we are going too fast.”
Being forced to wait “rearranges our priorities, slows down our schedules, and forces us to listen to God” on his terms. Eventually, he always reveals the answer, she added.
“I have discovered that while we are waiting on God to answer our prayers,” Jobe said, “it increases our gratitude when there is change. … I think God permits us to be in these situations, so that we have nothing but him to hold on to. I have learned over the years that the waiting room is where we discover truth during some of the darkest and most difficult times in our lives.”
However, she said, once women listen to him without demanding an explanation and just trust in his word, God will lead them out of the darkness.
“Our goal for the conference is for women to have the opportunity to rejoice in God even when life becomes difficult because all of the good and bad times are part of his plan,” Jobe said. “We just have to remember that God is never late, and he is always in control.”
To find out more information about the New Beginnings Conference, visit www.cheriejobe.com.