Monday, September 19, 2011


"I'm not weird. I'm a limited edition!"

Those are the words of Patsy Clairmont, a feisty, diminutive, hysterical woman of faith. And she was the main speaker at the Women of Faith Conference I recently attended in Anaheim, California.

First of all, you've just got to love Patsy – any *pixie* that can speak so powerfully about the Lord is a keeper! Seriously, the woman is maybe 5 feet tall – on a good day – on her tiptoes! She's also on the - ahem - "other" side of 60. But let me tell you, if I could bundle up her energy, I could have single-handedly prevented the recent power outage in Southern California!

Here's the amazing thing – Patsy has an unbelievable testimony about the power of God.

You see, for more than 10 years, Patsy was housebound. Totally imprisoned in her home because of the overwhelming effects of agoraphobia. At one point, she was terrorized to even leave her bed.

If you don't know, agoraphobia is defined this way:

Extreme or irrational fear of crowded spaces or enclosed public places.

Please tell me you catch the irony of this. A woman too afraid to go out the front door of her house for ten years, stands alone in front of 12,000 women in a crowded (and enclosed) stadium.

THAT, my friends, is GOD!

Patsy will be the first one to tell you that.

And she did.

I'd love to share some of her thoughts.

First – "God can do the impossible with the ridiculous."

Patsy uses her very own story as an example of this. I'd have to agree. God is indeed in the business of using the most unlikely people for His purposes. Think about it –

A crazy guy builds an ark. A very old man, and his very old wife (read very old womb) father a nation. A baby found in some bulrushes leads over a million people out of slavery. A rather reluctant hero defeats an army with only 300 men. A Christ-hater becomes one of the most powerful missionaries in history.

One tiny baby born in a grubby, lonely manger saves humanity.

Reminds me that man's foolishness is truly God's wisdom.

So, I know that I am one of the more ridiculous people in this world – and yet, I have to believe that God can do impossible things in me, through me, and for me. He sorta specializes in that. And He can do the same for you.

Second – "Hardship is formative."

I wasn't a fan of this point. Uncomfortable truth just makes me – well – uncomfortable. But this point is well-taken. Patsy paints such a clear picture of how God has used hardship in her life to shape and mold her into HIS woman of faith.

We aren't formed by our easy times. The Bible tells us that. We are refined by fire – fire that purifies and removes the dross of life. Character is developed by perseverance. Endurance is the hallmark of God's people. And like it or not, hardship has a way of clearing the way for God to do some serious, deep-down work in our hearts.

Third – "Our will is stronger than our emotions."

Another speaker worded it this way: "God has created you with a will that is stronger than the way you feel."


This one really got me pondering. I found it challenging, and I found it thrilling.

Challenging because I am a very emotional person. And I am frequently led/distracted/fooled/obsessed/overwhelmed/confused…(feel free to insert your own word in here)…by my feelings. How often they dictate the way that I view situations and people – how often they dictate the way I act and react.

But…and here's the thrilling part...

God did not create me to be a victim of my feelings. He did not create me to be "run" by them. After all, the Holy Spirit is there to bring control to a life. I think that's an awesome truth.

You see, slavery to sin is just that – slavery to the whims and desires and lusts of the flesh. Sin operates in the realm of feelings. How often have we heard it said, "Just do what you feel." Hogwash!

Faith operates in the realm of will. Faith exists in a higher plane than feelings. It works best in obedience – in willful acts despite one's feelings.

Love your enemies.
Forgive seventy times seven times.
Turn the other cheek.
Don't lean on your own understanding.
Be thankful in all circumstances.
Don't worry about anything.
Fear not.

THAT list could go on and on.

God's way turns our "feely" ways upside down. He calls us to something greater than feelings – He calls us to Himself. He wants believers who are single-minded in their pursuit of Him.

Patsy had so many other good things to say. I'll just finish by listing some of the quotes that I wrote down:

"Say yes to God every morning."
"Allow God to give you the strength to live His song in your heart."
"Leaning into the Lord gives you better hearing."
"Judgment gets in the way of progress."
"Prayer matters – it's significant."

"Try to believe for what you don't understand." (Ouch…tough one)
"QUIT quitting!" (Sigh…yes)
"You have to change how you view God's rescue." (Really?? Yes, really…)
"Change can be good." (Wasn't a fan of this one either…but I know what I mean)

Good stuff, huh?! Especially when these little nuggets of truth are interspersed with the funniest stories and facial expressions! I love Truth when it's liberally coated with laughter, don't you?

So, my friends, I wish all of you were with me in those stands last weekend. But, I hope that I've brought a touch of Patsy Clairmont to you.

A pixie touch of God's word.

She stands as a visible testament to the power of God to do the impossible with the ridiculous. She reminds me that ALL things and most likely, the HARD things – are working to conform me into the image of the Lord I love.

And she inspires me to be a willfully obedient Woman of Faith.

What spoke to you today?

(P.S. Sorry I haven't been visiting your blogs as often as usual. Playing *nurse* to a husband laid up with a broken ankle takes a lot of time! I'll be by as time permits - and thanks for understanding. You do, right?!)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. Someone gave me her book to read, and I never read it. When I finish the one I'm reading, I'm going to pull it out.

    From where I'm sitting, I must be really, really "refined". No wonder I drink with my pinky in the air.

  2. I am going to share this post. Great one. God can move mountains.

    Did you know Paula Dean suffered from the same thing?

    love, sandie

  3. WOW Sharon! What an amazing batch of wisdom from Patsy.I just was blessed by every word. I especially like...

    "Try to believe for what you don't understand."

    and "Leaning into the Lord gives you better hearing"... :)

    I know this was a rich time for you, and an encouragement to your own heart. Thanks for sharing it!


  4. Hi Sharon, first I said a prayer for your husband in his healing and a prayer of strength for you as you love/nurse him back to fully recovery.

    Loved what you shared on Patsy. I didn't know her story at all. Wow! Show's the absolute move of God in so many ways!

    Thanks for sharing! I pray you are well dear one! Miss visiting with you. I'm not on blogs as often as I was up until this year. I'm glad I was able to visit with you today. Much love!

  5. Limited edition, I like that. Her writings have been a blessing to me. Thanks for sharing all of this -- Our will is stronger than our emotions. I needed that reminder!

  6. Blessings Sharon... another power packed summation of so much. And this is just one speaker from Women of Faith! I can see you enjoying Patsy Clairmont, because the way you write with humor reminds me of her humoristic way. Even knowing her personal testimony speaks to all God can and will do when we are willing to be used.

    Now you know I could write forever... but you, my limited edition have once again shared so well...that I feel like I was sitting there... catching each point and waiting for more... then you had to go and quickly sum it up. So, which part would I pick... hmmmmmmmmmm because we are similar in this... and I'm trying my best to do the ICD study on "Pure Emotion"... I'll go with God not creating us to be victims of our feelings... nope, no way. Our will is stronger than our emotions..." well, I can second amen that one. But as always, you capture and draw such a vivid picture with your words... I did feel as if I was there with you, yet I know that
    "where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." So as confined as you may be caring for loved one, who I'm praying well,
    I pray you enjoy moments of freedom, where your spirit soars and you are one with Your Designer, limited edition... Love you,

  7. of course we understand about blogs! I can imagine nursing hubby can take lots of time, but time well spent of course!

    loved this about the speaker, definitely God indeed! It is amazing how a lot of what you wrote, Sharon, the pastor talked about at church yesterday, which I know for sure he probably wasn't at the Women of Faith conference, LOL. But it is true who God chooses to do his work, which might not make sense to us (he gave us the example of Saul turned into Paul, very unlikey person compared to Stephen, who was well liked, respected, etc).

    thanks for sharing her and others thoughts at the conference, Sharon! I am sure it was life changing for you as well as all the other women who attended!


  8. Hi Sharon,

    Great blog, thank you for sharing so much with us. I know, or have known people who suffer from agoraphobia I know how limiting it can be. This is a great testimony to the Power of God and I love some of the quotes.

    Hope your hubs, recovers soon.

    God Bless - Nita

  9. Hitting the nail on the head, again, my friend!
    I said "ouch" a few times here, too - but all in all - this is such a confirmation of the tunnel I'm walking through. Light at the end - knowing Jesus is leading - but still clueless in the particulars. Thanks for sharing your Patsy experience with us. You gleaned a good deal and summarized it perfectly - hearing the Lord and thanking Him for His goodness today!

  10. So true, we do not grow in our "good" times, but its those adverse circumstances that bring growth. I liken it to mountains and valleys. Valleys are rich and fertile, the higher the mountain, the sparser the vegetation and soon - nothing grows.

    Another great post, Sharon. (And I do pray the hubby is better soon.)

  11. Hi Sharon -

    I enjoyed this piece, and reading about Patsy's testimony.

    Especially, I love these comments:
    "We aren't formed by our easy times. The Bible tells us that. We are refined by fire – fire that purifies and removes the dross of life. Character is developed by perseverance. Endurance is the hallmark of God's people. And like it or not, hardship has a way of clearing the way for God to do some serious, deep-down work in our hearts.

    "Third – "Our will is stronger than our emotions."

    Glad you were so inspired, dear sister warrior.

    And yes, it is understood that you must tend to your husband. Indeed that is priority.

  12. What fun!

    I felt like you all attended the conference with me! And I'm glad you were able to stop by and read some of Patsy's very wise words.

    I appreciate the comments you left - as always, you add so much to my thoughts and understanding.



"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)