It has come and gone! In(rl) 2014 went by far too quickly. This was my second time attending and I was a lot less nervous than the first time. This time when I walked into the room, I was greeted by familiar faces. But I confess: I was disappointed that many faces I wanted to see weren't there. Instead there were many fresh faces. Only a selfish person would be disappointed by that.
But God was working.
The ladies seated at my table were people I could connect with. Two other ladies have husbands who have deployed. One lovely lady I knew from the previous year and every time we chat I fall in love with her honesty and grace. Another girl and I connected over our daughters, both girls close in age. I think we could both sense the toddler-age craze in each other's eyes. We even have tentative plans for a play date!
Each lovely lady brought something wonderful to our table and our discussions. I was blown away by how God orchestrated events so I could chat and connect with these particular women. I would have loved to meet and get to know all of these ladies! But God knew who we all needed to connect with the most. He is ever faithful!
That's not to say in(RL)MN went off without a hitch (anyone else still have ringing ears??). But lovely Amanda kept it all running so smoothly. We hardly noticed, and I dare say everyone had a fabulous time!
The theme this year was about telling our stories. I have heard and seen such wonderful bravery as a result of this conference. I am not sure I am ready to tell all of my story just yet; I think I am in the middle of mine and am still struggling to figure it out, what it is and how to work through it. Hearing all the testimonies from the lovely ladies on the video was incredibly (in)couraging. They all had such beautiful things to share. I have pages of notes and quotes in my journal!
The in(RL) conference was worth it. Make time for this conference next year, ladies. Mark it on your calendar now. Make community and relationship an importance in your life today!
Have you shared your story in real life? Have you been willing to go deep with others? Are you willing to go beyond the shallow?We all have a story, and I am desperate to hear yours.