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More On She Loves Out Loud

More On She Loves Out Loud

More on She Loves Out Loud 2020

By Jodie Montgomery

 

In all the years I have been doing women’s ministry, I have never had so many women at an event come and tell me how much they wished more had known about and attended a gathering. The men driving the trams after the event said that was what the ladies were talking about, regretting not having brought someone or that the event wasn’t more widely attended.

 

As the leader, the comments affirmed that the event addressed many of the concerns I have for women. As the leader, the comments were bittersweet; I do not know how to get the word out on ministry opportunities any better, so often there are just not ears to hear. The word “prayer” in an event posting typically doesn’t bring out the masses…even in the church. 

 

She Loves Out Loud was a free event, a simple event. It was a simulcast of women giving their personal experiences (with dignity and brevity) on anxiety and depression, abortion healing, infertility, adoption, addictions, surviving human trafficking, the church and racial reconciliation, the military and hardship, the church and pornography/marriages/how to help families heal, our children and their heartaches… Yes, there were many tears. Yes, we witnessed women encircling and praying for one another as women confessed a need. Yes, there were smiles, freedom smiles and softened countenances. Yes, the prayer huddles aid healing.

 

It is good to gather and talk openly about our burdens. It is good to gather and talk openly about victory in Christ. It is good to gather and talk hope in the midst of our tears.

 

Is it possible to recreate this experience? No, but I think the simulcast is available online through YouTube and Facebook. Look for it. 

 

Let me tell you just one of the stories from our church:

 

“Like many mature women to enter She Loves Out Loud, I wasn’t exactly sure what a simulcast was, and I wasn’t sure how seeing prayer on the Big Screen might affect me. I was in for a surprise from the first testimony as each item shared reminded me of something in my life! As a survivor of domestic violence, I wasn’t prepared for the onslaught of emotions that I felt when a lady shared of her survival after being sex trafficked. How after being rescued, she was in need of a mentor, and how she did everything she could for everyone else– but felt that sleeping in a bed was a luxury that she just could not give herself! She discussed what it had been like to sleep on the floor. ‘If she is anything at all like me’, I thought, ‘she thinks that if all God did for her was save her, that was enough, and to be set free from domestic violence (or in her case the sex trade) was already quite a lot’. 

In the midst of these thoughts, I realized something about myself. You see, I have been divorced from my abuser since 2003, 17 years, but until She Loves Out Loud, I have slept on a bare mattress on a frame in my room, without sheets, and without a pillow. Raised in a “fundamentalist” church, I didn’t think that I was worthy of sheets and pillows because I had the audacity to file for divorce from my husband who had hit me at least once a month, broken my cheekbone, broken our furniture, tried to strangle me, and (thank God) left me. My church leadership back then  told me that I wasn’t allowed to leave him. My worth was jeopardized by the lack of ring on my finger, and I felt horrible for raising my kids without a father. I felt worthless. The speaking at She Loves Out Loud addressed me, my situation. I realized that the only person that I hadn’t been taking care of lately was myself, and that this person (me) was worthy of clean sheets and a fresh bed. That broke me. The rest of the Simulcast, I cried. Every time Sheila Walsh spoke or cried, I cried, and she cried the entire time. The ENTIRE time. Also, I do struggle with depression and anxiety, so after hearing Sheila Walsh talk about taking meds every day for depression, I don’t feel so alone because I take TWO meds every day to keep me healthy. 

I let a friend know my situation, and they came out from Brandon and brought me sheets in a package. I got a recommendation from Jodie for a counselor in Wesley Chapel. I’m taking steps to enjoy being loved by God, to enjoy being worthy, to walk in victory, forgiven and whole. 

In addition, I don’t have to be alone anymore at church because one of the ladies said it is okay for me to sit with her whenever I am alone. And that lady prayed for me. I am blessed!”