FRANKLIN, Tenn. (BP)–Affirmation, hope, encouragement, practical living and enjoying life in the moment– these are the lessons of Vocé, a five-city, two-day conference for young, single women.
Italian for “the voice of a woman,” Vocé is sponsored by the single adult discipleship area of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Vocé features three program personalities: Margaret Becker, an entertainer, RoseAnne Coleman, a teacher, and Cindy Sneed, a counselor. The women use music, Bible teaching, humor and group interaction in an intimate setting to speak to single women.
During the event’s kickoff conference in Franklin, Tenn., March 17-18, 120 single women from various professional, denominational and ethnic backgrounds listened to the trio comment honestly and vulnerably about their own lives, fears, dreams and hopes.
“The future is God’s, not ours. Be open to his direction; then you will find your purpose,” Sneed said.
“It takes courage to live in the moment, no matter what comes,” Sneed added. “Stand tall, learn to savor it. Savor what God has already put you through. If nothing else changed, would Jesus be enough for you?”
Sneed told of an incident that happened to her in the eighth grade, which she said shamed her and caused depression and anger. The resolution came through accepting forgiveness and grace.
“Jesus didn’t come to take our burdens away, but to empower us, and to live in us to look at life from God’s perspective. You don’t have to see your shame and guilt when you look in the mirror. You see how incredible you are. Our value comes from Jesus Christ, nothing else. You have nothing to fear from your accusers. The burden is there, but we deal with them in a totally different way.”
Coleman, author of the devotional, “Moment by Moment,” was humorous and poignant as she shared the spiritual journey that led her to quit a teaching job in Birmingham, Ala., and to begin teaching Bible studies without a salary in Nashville, Tenn.
Using Scripture to illustrate her point, Coleman told listeners, “God will humble you and test your heart. He may let you go hungry so you might know man does not live by bread alone, but by the hand of God. Your self-discipline, your perfectionism will break down. I’ve been too arrogant to admit I need him for every breath I take. We’re not to live by self, but by God.”
Becker, who performed a mini-set of songs from her latest CD release, “What Kind of Love,” also led worship and read a piece about self-disclosure from her book, “With New Eyes.” She shared her fears about being single and encouraged women to ask, “Lord, what if I’m supposed to be single forever?”
“It’s a scary prayer. How is God meeting my relational needs? Who is in my life that provides nurturing, a sense of family, accountability?”
Becker then outlined practical ways to assess finances, physical health, emotions and spiritual gifting.
Becker encouraged women to fight the media lie that “if you buy this, if you adjust that you will feel better, look better.
“That’s idolatry,” she explained. “If you’re not happy with yourself, that’s like saying, ‘Lord, you made a mistake.’ God made you exactly the way you are. Don’t be deceived by ‘the lie.’ Replace the lie with the truth. You have a sword to fight for truth. It’s God’s Word. It says exactly what you need to hear.”
The remaining four Vocé events will be in Charlotte, N.C., March 31-April 1; Overland Park, Kan., April 7-8; Austin, Texas, May 19-20; and Corona, Calif., June 23-24. For information on upcoming Vocé events, visit the website at www.vocetour.com or call 1-800-254-2022.