Last weekend. Wow. I had every intention of writing this post the second I got home. I wanted to unleash everything, my thoughts and excitement about what I learned at the Hope Spoken conference. But. Then I didn’t. I am so overwhelmed by what I took away. I don’t even know where to start! I keep reading through my notes, trying to sum up my weekend with a theme that God laid on my heart, but instead I feel like God whispered (and sometimes roared) ideas to apply in every nook and cranny of my life. Too much to organize into this post… or even two or three.
I like these words from a sweet new friend I met at the conference: “…still feeling a bit overwhelmed, but my justification is that anyone who was there and has a heartbeat likely feels the same way…” I know that doesn’t help you understand what happened in that hotel in Dallas, TX last weekend, but it’s validation that I am not the only one who was so moved beyond words.
I want to share. I want to tell every inch of my heart and all that was and has been flooding my mind. So I will just start… one idea at a time. One post at a time. I hope my thoughts are not too scattered for you to follow along.
I want to say, first off, that I was blown away by the rawness and vulnerability from every woman I encountered. None of us are perfect and I never once felt like anyone wanted to portray that they had it all together. The second we were all under one roof we were turned inside out and exposed to all that God had in store for us. One of my favorite tangible experiences was during worship. While the worship was amazing and completely saturated with God’s presence, it nearly made we weep to hear 200-something women raise their voices in song without abandon. 200-something women crying out for the same thing….more of Him. 200-something hearts uniting with Jesus, one by one. My eyes are hot with tears again just remembering such a precious sound.
I went into last weekend not knowing what I was hoping for. “Open minded,” someone said. “That’s a good thing.” So I went with it. You know how sometimes you feel like your walk is really good? You’re in a good place and there is no immediate turmoil that needs sorting out, you’re just… satisfied. Even though Dan and I are in the midst of dealing with infertility, I still felt satisfied. Looking back it feels a bit ignorant or smug. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to learn something. I wanted God to show Himself in a big way… and He did. Absolutely. But I almost had a feeling of “I don’t have anything that needs healing right now.”
That couldn’t be farther from the truth!
On the last night of the conference the enemy found a way to slip a thought into my head and I allowed it to fester there until it destroyed my joy. It wasn’t till after a conversation with one of my best friends and my small group the next morning that I realized I have a serious insecurity problem. I knew I was insecure about the normal things women feel insecure about…sure. But I am terrified of anger. I am terrified of being someone that others fear. I am terrified of the person I used to be. I’ve come to a place over the last couple of years where God has healed my angry heart, but the devil uses my scars to tell me that I am still the same person. In response I beat myself up until I believe the lies and I’m convinced that I am worthless. I can see now where I have allowed this time and time again. This is a problem. My friend was in tears trying to convince me of the person she knows me to be… and she knows me VERY well. She doesn’t know the old me. She can’t be clouded by who I used to be, which is my biggest fear with people from my past. She only knows me now.
My small group leader encouraged me to dig into the word and find truth. To meditate on scripture that can replace the lies. A huge theme throughout the weekend for many women was to be still… let God tell you who you are. How He sees you. That is the truth. That is what matters.
Pslam 139:13-14 immediately started flowing through my thoughts. “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mothers’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
And then I read this…
“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.” Psalm 139: 1-6
It is ok that His love doesn’t always make sense to me. He understands my confusion and loves me anyway. He created me to be beautiful in His eyes. I need to trust in that when I start to doubt my worth. I am everything to Him!
I’m not sure how to wrap up this post since there is still so much that I want to share. I will hopefully continue to process my thoughts and be able to put them down in this blog as the year goes on. One great point that someone made is that these stories and experiences… they are not ours, but God’s. They are His stories through us, and they need to be told.