Why I Almost Didn’t Go To The Women’s Conference
This past weekend I attended a women’s conference at First Baptist Church of Irving. I have to admit I wasn’t sure about going initially. I typically don’t look forward to women’s church gatherings, but at the same time, I do have a desire to connect.
When an event comes up, I immediately start to imagine what it will be like. Women being all girly, praying together, holding hands, crying maybe, and then there’d be me being all awkward. I also tend to worry that I won't fit, and going to a big gathering where I’d feel alone in a crowd isn't my idea of a good time. I also start to think about whether I want to give up my Saturday, and I know that sounds selfish, but my Saturdays are just precious. I enjoy spending them with my family. Jude is only one and needs me. Or maybe I need him.
I ended up going because of Michelle, the women’s minister. She asked me if I’d like to volunteer. Something changed when I went from seeing this event as a place that would serve me to a place where I could serve. I now had a purpose, and that purpose took me from thinking about myself to thinking about others. I thought about all of my insecurities and how I could steer that nervous energy towards making other women feel welcome. I’m not sure that I did anything that helped anyone else, but it did get me thinking about how to reach women who need community, but can’t get past the fear.
The conference experience surprised me. What I found there was a group of 150 or so women working together, supporting each other, and being open and honest about life. The ugly truth is so liberating. It helps put to rest insecurities, and it also helps other women realize they’re not alone.
The message was about spiritual gifts as described in Romans 12:3-8. The message pushed me to explore and use my gifts to serve the church. It reminded me that I MUST do my part. I know the initial rush from these types of events can fade so I’m hoping to put my thoughts into action. Start serving now. Don’t wait until you know exactly where you think God wants you.
My final thoughts are about the food of course. I couldn’t not talk about lunch! Kristine, can you make my dinner every night? She made the best chicken salad with dried apricots and almonds. Seriously, it was the kind of sandwich you take home to meet your mother. Kristine, the Food Services Director, prepares dinner every Wednesday night. Go check out her amazing spread any Wednesday from 5-6:15. You won’t regret it. Or you will because you ate too much.