Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?” says the Lord. “Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?” says your God.
Around March of 2014, I remember sitting at the red light crying tears of joy. I was on the phone with Pastor Cheryl Lacey Donovan. I had expressed to her my call to ministry and my struggle with answering that call. She said with such boldness “I am going to help birth that thang in you!” I cried hysterically because I could not fathom how a stranger, hundreds of miles away could care so much about helping me. True to her word, Pastor Donovan came to Dallas in July of 2014 and this was the launch of our very first women’s conference.
I remember thinking “this is it!” I thought the baby was finally here. To my surprise, it was just the beginning. In fact, that was the conception stage. We weren’t Tabitha’s Tea Party we were just a women’s ministry. Since that day, I have endured a very extended process that I liken to the trimesters of pregnancy.
Conception- this stage started with desire and intent. However, I had no idea what God would trust me to bring to life. I was confused about the future of it all, yet sure that I was right where I needed to be. I knew that I would do ministry that would have something to do with women. That’s pretty much it. Everything else would soon reveal itself to me throughout the process.
First Trimester- after the first women’s conference we began to host small Bible studies in my media room. Most people didn't know I was hosting Tea Parties. I even questioned if I was really carrying anything. I was extremely fatigued and because I wasn’t ‘showing’, I questioned if any of the stress was worth it. I often wondered if it was ALL for NOTHING.
Second Trimester- this is when I could see us poking out just a little bit. We were growing, and the growth was becoming uncomfortable for the media room setting. Therefore, we took the Bible study from my media room to a hotel up the street. Little did I know the hotel space would also prove to be unaccommodating to our growth. However, I was afraid of moving forward. I was like a pregnant woman refusing to wear maternity clothes. I believed that we could make the hotel space work, but it just didn’t fit! The baby was making movements as if it wanted me to know that it was here to stay. So, we upgraded our wardrobe and began hosting Tea Parties throughout various locations in DFW. This is also the stage when I decided on a name- Tabitha’s Tea Party.
Third Trimester- I'm nervous!!! I've been trying to suppress it like crazy but I'm nervous. My senses are heightened just like the first trimester. Some days I'm frustrated, don't want to be bothered, and look a hot mess. The difference now is that I know that I am carrying something. The evidence from previous trimesters has been enough to keep going. In fact, there is NO turning back now. The cute stage is over, and this baby is getting heavy. All this time I thought the conception stage was my birthing stage. Now, I know I know that it was just the beginning, and each trimester has been preparing me for delivery. In this stage, I understood that I am at the verge of breakthrough. It’s when you’re feeling the heaviest and the most frustrated that you know the baby is ready to hit the ground running. So, if you see me wobbling, tired, or frustrated just know that it's because I'm preparing for delivery so that others can be delivered.
I share this story to remind you that everything comes with a process. The days that you feel looked over or even question yourself are normal. The long uncomfortable nights are normal. The heaviness is normal. It’s all normal. You may feel like giving up, don’t. PUSH THROUGH. Every bit of what’s inside of you is necessary for the Kingdom. This is my journey. Please share what stage you’re in and any “aha” moments you’ve gotten in the process.
Tabitha’s Tea Party