I'd heard Barb teach before, so I knew the great things to expect from her. I'd also heard Hannah's testimony before, but she had polished it up and it was even more powerful (hard to imagine). I also enjoyed hearing Amy's testimony and learning more.
I really benefitted from the 3 classes I took, plus the casual conversation in between. In Susan Swafford's Personalities class, I heard her describe a situation with her daughter that could have happened with my own daughter! After listening to her discuss the personality types, I knew I'd found hope in my consistent parenting struggle with my daughter. I walked away with her words, "I'm not more like Jesus when I'm being more like me. I'm more like Jesus when I step out of my comfort zone and step into the needs of someone else." In the Spiritual Conflict class, I heard Richelle discuss how to live unoffended; how to keep short accounts. She encouraged us NOT to hold onto offenses (perceived or real) and to quickly choose forgiveness. Finally, in Amy's marriage class, I learned that God can have a bigger purpose for my pain, as He did for Amy's. I was reminded that self-pity is only a pit with self in it - and it's a miserable place to be. Just like Amy's past, I visit that place often to see if it's improved since my last visit. I'm alway disappointed. I was also reminded that my worth comes from Jesus alone, and with Him as my foundation and my life, I can be insulated from life's circumstance, finding steady, uninterrupted joy. I walked out of her class determined to serve my husband more (especially sexually) and pray for him daily.
The times in between the classes/sessions gave me little insights into God's goodness. There was the lady at the first responder chaplain table who gave me a salvation tract. She walked me through the salvation dialogue and encouraged me to be gentle but direct with my mom. Five days later, I used that tract to lead my mom to Christ! Hallelujah! Finally, in one of those times, I ran into 2 people from my old church. I was able to talk with them and explain why I left their church. I found that they didn't have any hard feelings and were genuinely happy to see me and catch up. I found great healing in those few conversations and I felt God lifting a burden of worry and sadness over the end of a season in my life. The REAL Conference provided me real teachings, really useful life applications, real healing, and real hope. It was fantastic.
~ Mary Arnholt
I was on the fence about going to the REAL conference in January 2016. A friend had invited me and as it was drawing near I took the leap of faith and showed up. I didn't know what to expect but I knew God wanted me there.
As I listened to one of the speakers talk about being in isolation I realized I had been living in self inflicted isolation because of my own sin. I went home the first night and God took me to Luke 15:3-7 that talks about how Jesus left the 99 sheep to go find the one sheep that was lost. For the first time in my life that story was for me. It was enough encouragement to go back the next day. Worship was never sweeter the next morning. We sang a song a about the chains falling off and I might have been shout singing because I started to feel free. I went to Jennifer Smith's workshop and was reminded of a God who pursues us lovingly and heard an amazing testimony of how big God is. I was terrified to go to Amy Allen's workshop on being real. I listened to her God stories about confession and healing and wanted that but didn't know how to get there. As she started to wrap up I closed my eyes tight and prayed she would not ask us to pair up and share with someone. But she did anyway. So I kept taking steps of faith and shared my sin with someone and I did not die. I was not judged. I felt such relief. As I obeyed God blessed me more than I could have hoped for.
If you're on the fence about the real conference just take the step of faith. God will sustain you and He will give more than you ever thought you needed.
~ Julianne Lovato
I really enjoyed the conference and met some really wonderful women. I started taking Barb's class called Hope Ahead...very powerful and will be very difficult for me but I'm gonna do it anyway. God definitely lead me to Barb's class as our lives are very parallel in many ways. God definitely used it to take me down a new road for healing. I know this because I've been doing a lot of crying and reading lately. Anyway, I'm just one of many women I know God used your conference to redirect, begin healing, enlighten, open doors, bring closer to Him. Muy importante!! Thank you...
Many things about the REAL conference reminded me of God's specific love for me as I'm going thru a difficult season. Also Jesus prayed before leaving this earth for his disciples to be one (John 17:20-23) speaking to unity and harmony among His followers. It really is good and pleasant when sisters dwell in unity! It is an encouragement to see God bring people from different backgrounds, different seasons, and different churches to share their testimonies and gifts to build up and encourage one another. Thank you.
I really grasped the fact that I cannot do this by myself. He must heal me and others in His time and His way. And His Sovereignty enveloped my world. It was a huge relief for my tired heart. It's still a process but wow did I learn some life changing perspectives there. Thank you!
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