I gave my first speech at age 13, but didn’t begin taking writing classes until I was almost 50 years old. Writing is work for me, whereas delivering a speech is my joy!
It’s interesting how the chore called writing has enhanced my joy called speaking. Speaking opportunities were few and far between pre-publication of my books, but that changed drastically when His Majesty in Brokenness was born.
Now David and Judy go where the books lead. First came His Majesty in Brokenness, then Living in the Names of God and most recently the Living in the Names of God Bible Study – with each book come more invitations to speak: Atlanta, San Antonio, Seattle, Portland, Colorado Springs, San Francisco Bay Area.
The venues vary and I love every one:
- Brunches, luncheons and teas
- Church services
- Christian schools
- Bible study groups
- Hospital support groups
- Christian Women’s Clubs
- Weekend retreats
How I treasure the rapt attention of audiences of all ages as I tell my Jesus-Judy stories – how Jesus met me in the pit, cheerleading me on and carrying me out. And that same Jesus wants to meet you in your pit.
I love the heart connections that follow the talks, when people tell me that my stories help them see God in their story.
I count it a privilege to encourage the grief-stricken, the devastated and those with brokenness of all sorts. I knew my story of brokenness would strike a universal chord, even as Christian editors rejected my submitted chapter manuscripts. Over and again I was shot down by these words: “Your message, Judy, is good but limited to too small of a population – those who are physically disabled and their families. Christian publishers are looking for material that will reach a broader audience.”
From deep down inside I would counter their No-Thank-You’s with, “Aren’t we all disabled?”
God knew what they didn’t know: Elohim, the Creator God who makes no mistakes. would use a woman with no legs and feet to get His foot in the door to heal humanity’s pain and shame, be it physical, mental, intellectual, emotional, social, financial, and above all else, spiritual.
Yes, we are all broken. And classic God-style is to choose a blatantly-broken spokesperson like me to publicly model connecting brokenness with the Only One Who Can Mend Us – Jesus Christ Himself.
Satan licks his chops intending that humanity’s suffering kill, steal and destroy, but Jesus Christ disabled all forms of dis-ability on the cross turning the sting into holy ground.
What an honor to help others peak out of the storm cellars of their lives to behold the nail-scarred hand of Jesus welcoming them, oh, so tenderly:
Hand over your handicaps. Give Me your physical, and emotional wheelchairs. I’ll take your empty chairs of loneliness. Your size 4X shirt. Your unresolved conflicts at home and at work. Give me your bankruptcy papers. Your tear-filled hankies. Your shame. Your aging body. Your stumbling block of can-do pride. Entrust to Me your sense of unworthiness. Your fear of tomorrow.
The battle’s won. From now on, we’re a team. I AM yours and you are Mine. Whatever you need, I AM!
I love the afterglow of a speech – a time of connecting, a time of rejoicing. I thought my 2013 hug from little Brantley in a church outside of Atlanta could never be topped. Initially I thought this little guy must have mistaken me for someone famous, as he and his little ankle braces ran unabashedly into my arms to deliver his million-dollar hug. I heard and received his message loud and clear: “We’re special and don’t forget it!”
Just recently Brantley’s power-packed hug was equaled – once again by a little child who was one of 500 first through eighth-graders attending her school’s weekly chapel.
Little Lizzie, a first-grader struggling with dyslexia, told her mom the following: “We had a speaker in chapel today, Mom. Her name was Judy and she was born without legs. Judy doesn’t struggle with reading like I do, but Judy had lots of struggles. It’s okay because God used them and He’ll use mine too. You know, Mom, my brain is like Judy’s legs!”
Lord, help us all to connect the dots like Wise Lizzie, Your little lamb with dyslexia.
Thanks for inspiring me, precious Lizzie. You inspire me so that more than ever I want to get the message out: Indeed, His Majesty meets us in our brokenness and from that wasteland He promises to make His Masterpiece!
My bags are packed. My speeches are ready. I invite any one of you to call me or e-mail me. Do you need a speaker at your church, your club, your school, or your retreat? I’m on a roll, blessed by God’s promise in Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord God is on me. The Lord has chosen me to tell good news to the poor and to comfort those who are sad. He sent me to tell the captives and prisoners that they have been set free. (ERV Easy-to-read Version)