Monday, November 8, 2010
On Friday, November 5th, 2010 I boarded a bus and joined with a group of 69 women from my church in Kansas City to attend the Women of Faith Conference. My heart overflowed with anticipation, curiosity and excitement. Immediately, I had the opportunity to rekindle conversation with some ladies from the church I had not seen for many years. I thought this is going to be really good.
I walked into the Sprint Center filled with 5,000 joyous women. They all loved their Heavenly Father and were there with the purpose of having that love grow and blossom beyond their wildest dreams.
The morning session filled the auditorium with songs of praise. We listened to Sheila Walsh speak her heart with words that brought smiles to our faces and tears to our eyes. Together we all laughed as Marcus Buckingham shared personal experiences of mere existence and cried at the stories of the reality of the hurts that life brings us.
Okay, I will stop right here. I included myself in the overall emotion felt by the room of 5000 women. That is a fib, at least part of it. I did laugh and cry. I felt the emotion of the tug on the hearts of every woman in the room as Sheila spoke. But, I felt something else that may have been unique to me. The green eyed monster bit me. I wanted to be on that platform sharing my story. I am not even sure if I heard all of Sheila’s presentation because my mind was so busy dissecting it. Let us play a quick game of truth or dare. I will take truth.
Does anyone reading this enjoy cooking? Do you ever go to a restaurant and have an entrée or salad sitting on your plate that is so yummy you want to go home and re-create it. I just described myself. I take small bites, chewing slowly and try to determine the spices that are blended so beautifully together that create the masterpiece on my plate. I want Sheila’s recipe.
There is one problem with my theory. I do not just want her recipe. I hunger for the whole buffet. I want Lisa Harpers formula for a splash of humor, Lucy Swindoll’s method of developing her story, Nicole Johnson’s technique of being able to captivate her audience’s hearts and Karen James strength to relive the powerful nightmare that had become her life. I want a big pot of Women of Faith soup.
My truth or dare game turned into a rabbit trail, I know. I believe it was a necessary one. You will see. By the end of the first day I had learned a valuable lesson. I was in a room with 5,000 women but yet, I felt very alone. I ate my lunch by myself because no one asked me to join them. I ate dinner by myself because no one asked me to join them. I walked around observing the ladies from my group as well as the conference women in general laughing and enjoying themselves. Admittedly, for awhile I had a one person pity party.
Then I realized the obvious. I was not alone when God was by my side. He was there the whole time. During my time walking around I met people I would not have met otherwise. There was a volunteer at a halfway house who through this contact I have a potential speaking engagement. I also met a caterer that was networking for an upcoming women’s event and a woman who adopted a precious little boy 18 years ago. Those and a few more were important stories for me to hear.
I recognize now as I contemplate the weekend conference, that it was Gods plan for me to be there, alone, within that group. I empathized with all the stories of heartache and pain, both on stage and off. My gracious Father assured me I will have the opportunity to speak, in His time. From my bowl I will drink a hearty serving of Women of Faith soup. I Believe. Do you?