I spent last weekend with some of my favorite people...my mom, my sister, my sister-friend Kathy...and Sandi Patty, Steven Curtis Chapman, Mandisa, Luci Swindoll, Patsy Clairemont, Marilyn Meberg, Sheila Walsh...and 7,000+ sisters in Christ. And I made some new friends. Like Lisa Whelchel (yes, Blair from the Facts Of Life), Henry Cloud, and Lenah Kavata (more on her to come).
You see, I spent the weekend at Women Of Faith. A conference for, well, women of faith. The first year I went was 2006. The Friday four days after my car accident. My back and neck and shoulders and heart hurt. I was scared to death to drive, so I rode with a friend. I didn't want to go...but I did want to go. By the first three notes of the very first worship song I was in tears. And not like quiet running down you cheek tears. Big, sobbing, wish I could sing but I can't tears. Because at that moment it hit me. I had been saved again. I felt His arms around me and remembered that I had felt the same thing four days earlier as my car flip-flopped off the road. So there I stood, with my body aching and my heart beginning to heal.
I've gone every year since and love it. Each year brings forth a different response. But no matter what the topic. No matter what I hear. I am inspired. Inspired to be a better person. And this year was certainly no different. Each person who spoke shared their story and how God was with them through their darkest hours. And even if my darkest hours seem like the middle of the day sun compared to theirs, my darkest hours seemed like midnight with no moon at all dark to me. And so I thought about those times and how now I can look back and see that there was always a glimmer of light. And I realize who that light was. And is.
Okay, now let me say that I want to sit on the porch. Every year that I go and see those amazing women sitting on the "porch" I want to be one of them. I want to travel around and inspire and touch other Christian women. I want to be a part of what is surely life changing for some. And I want to be friends with such an amazing group of sisters. Wait...I just realized that I have a porch. And I have some amazing sisters. Hmmm, stay tuned for more on that thought.
I was struck as usual at Women of Faith, by the goodness of God. Not only by the speakers, but by the mere fact that thousands of Christian women can sit for two days straight and do nothing but praise Him. And by the fact that He is there, working in the lives of each and every one. Wow. But this year, the most amazing and inspiring moment for me was seeing Steven Curtis Chapman perform. It's true that he is an amazing songwriter and performer. It's true that he does wonderful things for God's kingdom. It's true that he supports and advocates for adoptions of God's children. All these things are inspiring on their own. But what got me most was that even though a horrible accident one year ago took his baby girl, Maria, he was able to stand on that stage and sing of the glory of God. That, my friends, is a true testament to faith. And faithfulness.
So another Women of Faith has come and gone. But the wonderful thing is that it's not gone at all. I will ponder what I heard. I will use what I felt. I will move closer to my Lord because of two days of spending time with him. And 7,000 of his daughters.
And just so you are prepared, I have about 100 more posts about my weekend running through my head. Get ready...