The following review is from my friend Carrie that went to the conference with me. Since she loves to write and loves to be heard, we decided it would be fun to include her thoughts since she used the extra ticket that was given to me for the review. I know you'll enjoy her review.....so read on!
Have you ever been in a place in life where you needed something but
didn’t know what? One of my favorite movies is “Fools Rush In”. It is
completely immoral, but I still love the story, and you know there are
several we all have that could fall into that category! (Even “The
Little Mermaid”!) ANYWAY…….In the film, Matthew Perry tells Salma Heyak,
“You are everything I never knew I always wanted.” It has always stuck
with me, isn’t that how so many of us feel about God?
I have found
myself at this huge crossroad in life and I have been desperate for a
little guidance from God. One of my oldest and closest friends from High
School, that I have not really spent time with in far too long was
looking for someone to go to the Women of Faith conference with at the
Key Arena in Seattle. I thought for sure she would have found someone,
so I didn’t even bother to say anything. I know, totally Eyore of me
right? Finally, I spoke up and told her I would love to go. I can say,
with total confidence, that God had planned just that all along.
Danielle and I picked up right where we left off, as if ____ years had
never gone by. I leave the number blank because it scares me to even
put it on paper. I honestly had the best time before we even found our
Then the conference began. They kicked it off with a bit of
worship and it was beautiful. It was a perfect blend of melody and
harmony, accompanied by the Presence of The King of Kings. Then, this
little firecracker named, Patsy Clairmont, gets up and begins to share.
Being the people watcher that I am, I will say she should stick to
blonde and ditch the red hair, but hey, at least she is enjoying it! She
tells it exactly like it is and packs a punch! She has such a great
God Story, you know the story of what God saved you from? She conquered
crippling fear in her life that is very inspiring. To go from being
Agoraphobic to speaking on stages across the country is a serious
testimony in and of itself.
Then ADHD stepped on stage. He goes by
the name Andy Andrews and in Q & A he informed us that his mother
did not name him Andrew Andrews. He is an author and once you get past
the craziness, he is incredible. He made me nervous, I hate when people
even pace, so his speaking style was hard for me. But he had so much to
say that spoke to me.
The way that they did lunch was total chaos
and the food was not at all worth the wait and frustration. But all in
all, the day session was exactly what I never knew I wanted or needed
even. Patsy said something that day that is still ringing in my ears.
“God gave us a will that is stronger than our emotions. Our emotions
don’t have brain cells because they weren’t meant to think.” Remember
the crossroad that I referred to? I am still chewing on that one and
trying to figure it all out, but now I have peace about it all.
The evening started off with a bang after an overly long break of….
FOREVER! Mandisa rocked the house and Mr. Andy Andrews closed it out
with a great, and surprisingly focused message. I really want to read
all of his books and have my eye on The Traveler’s Gift to start with.
His perspective on everything is so simple, yet profound and everyone
could benefit from reading one of his books.
Danielle and I had an
old fashioned sleep over at her dad’s house and honestly there was very
little sleeping. As exhausted as I was the next day, it was totally
worth it and so long overdue! I think that so many women lose sight of
how vital friendship is. We were not meant to do life alone and even in
the privacy of our own home and family life we can feel alone. There is
nothing greater than having a great friend. In today’s society we have
slipped into this “facebook friends” interaction between friends. We
used to get together for a cup of coffee or talk on the phone to catch
up, now we post something on the other’s wall, and we lose touch with
the people we care about. As sad as it is, I have totally fallen into
that routine. This weekend and conference got me away from just that
and it was so refreshing in every way possible.
The next day was
awesome! It was a beautiful clear day in Seattle, which everyone knows
is something to be cherished. I laughed and cried at the conference on
Saturday so much as cliché as that even sounds. Everything said seemed
to be exactly what I needed to hear. You know that feeling in church
where you swear the Pastor has been reading your mail? Yeah, all
weekend. It was poignant and meaningful and thought provoking.
I left the morning session feeling revived and then let’s just say
Danielle and I decided to skip the provided lunch. She opted for the
over salted and over priced pretzel at the Key Arena and I went to the
Food Court for my cold over priced slice of pizza. I am not normally a
complainer, especially about food. I worked in the food industry for
many years and I am very sympathetic to problems and whatnot in that
field. However, if I am going to give an honest review, than I guess I
better be honest! We spent the rest of our break walking around and
taking some random, abstract photos of Seattle and it’s inhabitants.
The Science Center grounds were filled with 20 plus food trucks and I
desperately wished I had brought more money. Well, if I am wishing, I
am actually wishing I HAD more money to bring! Back to the point though,
we had a great time with our conversation and our cameras, taking a
look at a beautiful city through a different lens.
The latter part
of the day was back to the Arena for more worship, Godly wisdom and a
lot more tears and laughter. Selah performed for the second time, I am
only mentioning it now, because they didn’t feel noteworthy the first
go-round for me. I now am addicted to their song “Unredeemed”. It is
precisely where I find myself. It talks about, in my humble opinion,
the darkest moments of our lives. Those times when we feel so alone, and
afraid. The, “in the midst of the storm” kind of moments. Those are,
“the places where grace is soon to be so amazing”……….I cannot get enough
of that lyric. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for a grace from God
that I am so unworthy of. Andy said something to go along with just that
about us not wanting to get what we really deserve. God is just so
good, isn’t He? His love is overwhelming and His grace………. That is a
sentence that I may never complete.
God showed up for me in a very
personal way this weekend. Really, He was always there, I just became
very aware of his presence. It was, “everything I never knew I always
wanted.” I needed to be filled up with fresh wisdom and worship and
insight…..and laughter with a great friend.
Isn't that the truth? Carrie hit on something there really deep when she brought up our relationships with our friends. We both needed that time together. God knew more than we did how much we needed that time. I love U2 Carrie!