It was a beautiful morning in Sugar City, St. Kitts. My energy was high, spirits lifted, and I was ready to take off with a big idea that I was certain would change the lives of many. I was tasked with hosting my first conference; an instruction from the Holy Spirit to invite women into one room to unmask and address varying issues. Little did I know that the very book I was writing (my second book: The Conversations on Her Pillow: From Brokenness to Wholeness) would be the brainchild behind that took place on May 23-25, 2019.
The conference was themed: 'Addressing the Conversations on Her Pillow'. Truth is, although I was preparing to host an event that would shift the trajectory of the lives of the registrants, I too was conversing on my pillows; battling with the idea of whether the conference would be successful, whether anyone would attend, if I really had what it took to stand in front of a room filled with women my senior to help them identify, navigate, and heal from detours, pain, rejection, trauma, divorce and the like. The weight was heavy, but the desire to do what had not been done was exciting.
I remember meeting with the Events Manager at the hotel where the conference would be held, and him walking me through the room. Immediately, I had a Mary and Elizabeth moment. Right there and then I saw the conference in action. I saw the registration tables, musicians, dancers...I saw a packed room. Everything about the room was perfect. It had a modern touch with plasters of ‘class’ written all over its walls. And guess what? It had a seating capacity of 300 persons-; the exact number of persons I was anticipating.
Nothing had ever felt so real and attainable in life at that moment. It was really about to happen. I was all smiles and worshipping as we approached the exit of the conference room. Perhaps, the prudent and only thing left to do was to ask the cost, right? “So, what’s the cost of utilizing this room for the three day period?”, I asked. This was the question that would confirm the authenticity, objective, and heart of the conference, but more specifically the authenticity, objectivity and position of my heart...whether I trusted Him (God) more with my words or my actions.
How much does it cost to fulfill your purpose?
“Oh! That would probably be anywhere between $20,000 - $25,000”, he responded. The doors must have been tightly hinged to its panel why they didn’t break. I held on to the handles and squeezed them with every ounce of strength I had. As if they could hear, I screamed out for help. I wished to God that it was all a dream and I was waking up from what was trying to instill fear inside of me.
Standing in silence, yet seated in a mental conference room around a table with fear and its board members, I was interviewed with questions I just didn’t have the answer to. “So what are you going to do?”. “Do you realize this cost only covers the conference room?”. “What if you invest all of this money and no one registers?” “Why don’t you postpone the conference until 2020?”. “Everyone else starts off small, why can’t you?.”
Questions pelted at me faster than I was able to stabilize an answer in my hand to throw back in defence. Uncomfortably positioned between fear and the cost of my assignment, I felt unequipped, unarmed, and unprepared. I gradually quivered into a fetal position: mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The Events Manager must have wondered if everything was ok with me. The only words that could come out of my mouth were, “ok. I will stay in touch”.
I left the venue and drove back home with tears streaming down my face. Why? The assignment looked and felt impossible. Parked outside of my house, I cancelled my other appointments one by one. And ofcourse you know whose head I was now going for! Yup. I went to God. “Why would you give me such an assignment?”. “What if it doesn't work out?”. “Do you know how stupid I would look?”. The questions and the tears poured at the same pace. But somehow God wasn’t moved. Each time I attempted to forcefully abort the assignment, a conviction came over me-...“it has to be done; it must be done.” Committed to prayer and fasting, the more I feared, the stronger my faith grew. Most times it made absolutely no sense.
Fear is an open invitation to faith.
Did I tell you that there was a 50% deposit that was required for the conference room use? Oh, and perhaps I forgot to tell you that I had not attained as much as 5% of the deposit three months prior to the conference. Yet somehow, something hit me! Something welled up in my belly that said: “Esther, go! And do it big!”. Well bless God for that push because that’s exactly what I did.
It was now February 2019 and I sent an email (still a bit fearful, because I had become used to being rejected) to the Hotel Manager, requesting permission to use the conference room and the hotel’s name on the flyer, without paying the 50% deposit. I prepared my heart for a ‘no’ and decided, there are two responses he could give-; it couldn’t be that bad. Later that day I returned from work and was greeted with an email. The Hotel Manager responded, “sure Esther, that’s not a problem!”. What? Who? How? I thought to myself, “okay, we’re off to a great start”.
My organizational skills and dedication picked up the pace; so much so even I had to try to keep up. I prepared and distributed over 50 sponsorship letters, 60 invitation letters to churches, along with conference packages. There were two destiny angels who were divinely and strategically positioned to physically assist in executing this mission: Matisse and Michelle. But even with their help, there were just some things I had to do on my own. It’s like giving birth-; you can have 50 midwives in the birthing room, but only you can push that baby out. I died completely to self. I was sold out to the assignment. Nothing anyone said mattered at this point. It was as though I transitioned into a realm where my brain was only able to interpret the impossible, and my spirit only felt comfortable walking on water.
Let’s fast forward to the day before the conference!
Usually, everything is checked off and everyone is excited the day before a major event. However, I shared a different sentiment. My only words were, “God, I am willing to look stupid.”. “If this is how you get the glory, you don’t even have to take it, I will give it to you!”. Here I was with no sponsorship, less than 30 people registered for a 300 seating capacity conference, yet, I had prepared for hundreds. Even then, I continued and prepared my mind, heart and spirit as if all 300 had registered. Then and only then I knew that Esther was living at a place where fear had no power.
Death to self qualifies you to live on the other side of fear!
Needless to say, the conference was nothing short of amazing, God ordained, impactful, healing, eye-opening, and rejuvenating. Look, the Holy Spirit met us there and He did not come to play! The only problem was, after such a beautiful experience, I was confronted with the fact that there were bills to be paid and I didn’t have the finances to cover the costs. Expenses after the conference totalled in excess of XCD $30,000.
What was I supposed to do? Where was I supposed to get the monies from? Imagine what would become of my reputation if word on the street was: “she is a thief!”. The average person would think this was a financially irresponsible thing to do. But the truth is, there’s only so much power that you have when you’re ‘dead’. Financially literate, tertiary educated, with banking, audit, and accounting experience in excess of 10 years, there are some decisions you refrain from making. They refer to them as ‘poor business economic decisions’. But in a realm where you are dead to fear, there is no such thing. The only requirement and law is: FAITH.
In that space and place, my faith skyrocketed. Simultaneously, I experienced low days and periods where I cried myself to sleep wondering if I was left for permanent death. “How is it that you would allow persons to have such powerful testimonies coming out of this conference, but I leave being broke?”. I questioned Him (God). And all He would do was remind me of His promises. All I could do was declare them repeatedly over my life. I plastered His promises on my bedroom walls. I sobbed, yet prayed and believed that His promises would come to pass, even when my sight argued with my faith.
It was only weeks after the conference that I remembered my prayer for the year was: “God, blow my mind.”. What I did not know was that blowing my mind, meant blowing into my fears. I learned that God will bring to light the fear that suffocates the impossible thing that only your faith can produce. Producing faith meant parting ways with fear. I had grown accustomed to cohabitation. However, growth highlighted the varying purposes we were both individually created to serve.
God will magnify your fears to the extent that He will blow your mind.
Was the process painful? Yes! Was it costly? Yes! Would I do it again? Yes; this very minute!
I’m sure you’re still anxiously awaiting to hear how it all played out! Here goes.
Unknowing to me God had already gone ahead and planned that the hotel would reduce their XCD $15,000 balance to less than $1,000, and registrants would be led to sow into what they believed changed their lives. Everything...absolutely everything, was taken care of! I didn’t care that I had no monies left in my bank account coming out of the conference. I didn’t care that I didn't make a profit. I didn’t care that 300 people did not register. What was most rewarding for me was the fact that my obedience produced faith, even though I was initially fearful. I obeyed God and jumped at a time that I may have been critically injured, had I landed on my own two feet. Although I did not land on my two feet, my faith landed me in the hands of God. My entire perspective changed. The questions and the interviewee changed. I then asked myself: “What would become of these women had I not been obedient?”.
There are hundreds of experiences I can share with you that have forced me to JUMP; strategically landing me in positions of influence, power, and visibility, unlocking levels of potential that I merely dreamt of as a child. If I were to describe the feeling of life on the other side of fear in one word, it would be: FULFILLED. Yet, there are so many people whose experience and relationship with this word is confined to what’s documented in a dictionary, because of fear.
Today, irrespective of what you're faced with, choose to live on the other side of fear.
You can also pick up your copy of The Conversations On her Pillow: From Brokenness to Wholeness here: