Janet Trout Speaks at Ladies in Action UPCI 2016 General Conference
The room was full of women. Women were young and old, from all walks of life, and they were all around the room as Sister Janet Trout came to the front to speak. I was in the overfill room, as there had been several women who decided to attend this year. The Ladies In Action Seminars for the UPCI General Conference have grown significantly over the last few years. I am grateful for the leadership of Sis Connie Bernard, Sis Cindy Miller, Sis Linda Gleason, and others who have helped plan this important women’s event for Pentecostal women in our movement. This year several women spoke, but I would like to highlight Sis Janet Trout.
The overfill room was full and women kept pouring in throughout the session. There was coffee, bagels, and a spirit of fellowship. Around the room were different booths highlighting different ministries women are involved in: the Women in Ministry Network, the Grief Share Program, Self-Care, and others. Sister Trout walked up to the “pulpit” which was a standing table and began to speak. It is interesting what women are capable of doing: changing, going with the flow, and using what they have. She came to the pulpit with notes in hand and spoke with fervor and passion about a subject dear to her heart. The word boldness comes to mind when I think about Sister Trout’s personality. As she spoke, it was like receiving rain droplets of wisdom from her many years of service and ministry. The life message poured out of her. She spoke from the heart about her journey in caring for her husband who has been deathly ill, and how he died and was raised from the dead when she shouted “JESUS” before the ambulance arrived. His heart had stopped and then started again when Janet Trout shouted the name of Jesus in her desperation, shock, and fear. Suddenly, he came to life again. This event and other hospitalizations have changed her life and have led her to a different season in life.
Sis Trout spoke about different seasons, and about how the seasons of our lives change. She spoke about how we need to reflect on our lives and find balance. There are things we might do for a season, but when we take on another project we might have to let some things go. I thought about my own life and habits and how I have had to say no to certain things the past few years as the ministry of hospital chaplaincy has been very demanding. We all have events in our lives which use our time, and often leave us wondering how we will find the next minute or hour for a project dear to our hearts. We have limits. We are humans. We cannot do and be everything for all people. Trout spoke about balance both from a physical, spiritual, and emotional standpoint. This was refreshing to hear in her message, because we do need to find balance in all of these realms. We are holistic beings and we need holistic care. She also spoke about self-care and finding enjoyment in life. Everything cannot be around our work. As Pentecostals we like to work, and often this is based on a works righteousness theology. Sister Trout encouraged female leaders and ministers to enjoy life, rest, go for a walk, and find a hobby.
The main point of her sermon was to help us understand there will be times we need to make adjustments and set our current priorities to the things which matter the most. We need balance and need to be able to adjust our lives to focus on the things which matter the most for this current season we are in. My prayer is that we can with the help and guidance of God know the season of our life and act accordingly. Then we will be able to “Take Action” has Sister Trout said, because we will have reflected, gained awareness, set priorities, reorganized, and will be able to live out the call of God in our lives.
Copyright 2016 Women of Vision Leadership and Crystal Schmalz