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Michelle Williams speaks at Relentless Conference in Texas

Michelle Williams was a guest speaker at the Relentless Conference in Lubbock, Texas. Michelle talked about her faith, inspirations and finding purpose. She also sang her latest single “Believe In Me”. This is the first year for the conference that also included surfer Bethany Hamilton as guest speaker. View photos and a clip below:

Singer Michelle Williams, surfer Bethany Hamilton speak at Relentless Conference in Lubbock

By Sarah Rafique

Annabell Zapata was looking for inspiration.

She wasn’t disappointed on Saturday during the first Relentless Conference at the United Supermarkets Arena.

“(It’s) something really to feed my soul, for whatever reason,” said Zapata of
Plainview. “Just peace, some peace for myself.”

Jill Brenneis, executive director of Relentless, said she hopes the conference reminds residents of the importance of God in their lives.

“I never, ever would have imagined five years ago that I would be here today, standing on this stage and that I would be introducing this event,” Brenneis said. “I absolutely in my wildest dreams couldn’t have imagined it and I cannot tell you how much God can do and how much he can work in your life if you just allow him to do so.”

After giving her own testimony, Brenneis welcomed two guest speakers, including Grammy award-winning singer and songwriter Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child, and Bethany Hamilton, a professional surfer who lost her left arm in a shark attack in 2003.

This year is the first Relentless conference and Williams gave Brenneis encouragement as she moves forward in trying to reach out to the community through God.

“I have Jill standing up here because y’all don’t know how nervous she has been,” Williams said. “I want you to clap your hands for Jill for being obedient to the vision that God gave her. I know this was not easy for her to do, but we appreciate you. … We’re going to be so happy that in a few years, hopefully next year, this whole place is filled to capacity.”

Sandra Wilson of Lubbock attended the conference and said it’s important for children to have role models who inspire and teach them how to overcome challenges instead of letting the disabilities hold them back.

“I’m a very emotional person, especially with people that are disabled and don’t give up and that they know they can move forward, regardless of their disability and do the things that they used to do,” Wilson said. “That’s such an inspiration. … Disabilities run in so many directions — it could be missing limbs, or not being able to comprehend.”

Wilson said Hamilton is an inspiration for women to accept themselves as they are.

“(There are) young girls who feel like this world is made of these skinny little things and they see the image (of), ‘This is what we need to be and this is how we will be accepted in society’ as opposed to, ‘I’m me, I’m going to accept who I am and so the things that I need to do and as long as I’m happy with myself that we can move forward,’ ” Wilson said. “It’s an awesome thing what (Hamilton) does.”

Although she has watched the film “Soul Surfer,” which chronicled how teenage Hamilton, portrayed by actress AnnaSophia Robb, overcame her fears of returning to the water after the shark attack that took her left arm, Zapata said she was looking forward to hearing her story live.

“I love the movie. I loved it,” Zapata said. “It’s inspirational that somebody can be disadvantaged and still not be disadvantaged.”

Wilson also looked forward to hearing Hamilton speak live.

“When I saw the movie, I bawled,” Wilson said. “Going through what she went through and being able to have the courage to stand up and still fight and be able to do what she loved to do, it was awesome.”

Source: Lubbock Online

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