In recent years I’ve discovered I love attending conferences. This is not to be confused with conventions, i.e. the stuff that ends in “-con”. Well, I guess I may like those too, I’ve just never been to one. If there’s ever a “puppycon” or “ice creamcon” I might just be all in (and I might even be willing to dress up as either one of those).
In particular, I love conferences that stimulate and challenge my creativity and faith. It’s encouraging to hear people’s stories; my favorite kind are the ones about how “everyone told me ‘no’ but I kept going anyway”. It’s the gritty parts that pump me up most because it reminds me that these world-famous speakers are just human and maybe, JUST maybe, I have something meaningful to contribute to the world too.
Part of going to these things is a little selfish I suppose. I want to be thrilled, excited, and fired up. Obviously it works which is why I keep coming back: I come home glowing, renewed, and ready to take on the world!
That is of course until “Monday” hits (whether literally or figuratively, which may or may not be less than 24 hours later).
This is how it usually goes:
Week of conference: I can’t wait!
Day before conference: Wait, why am I going to this? What’s the point? This was a dumb idea.
Morning of conference day 1: I must look so nervous and stupid, but what the hey, I’m here and there’s no turning back. (I go to a lot of them by myself.)
End of conference: *In tears* This was the best thing ever!
Monday: Back to life, back to reality…
All the feels wear off way too soon for me to get anything done; before I know it, the wave of courage has already crashed and gone. My brilliant ideas grow dim and end up back in the box, locked up, key tucked away until the next conference.
Not this time…
Last weekend I flew to Houston to attend Beth Moore’s “Lit” conference, “An Event for Women in Their 20s & 30s with Fire in Their Bones to Teach, Speak or Write”. This came at an interesting time when life has been painfully slow, creativity is running dry and I haven’t been able to land a job. That’s okay though, because I had the margin to do the required “homework” for the conference and really spend time in God’s Word praying that something – anything – would happen.
I’d like to say I boldly stepped out in faith but I don’t know that I can call it that. Since I had nothing on my calendar back in November, I bought the $25 ticket on Black Friday (Which is a steal when it comes to things like this!), found a $2.86 round-trip plane ticket and booked a nice hotel for another ridiculously cheap amount, one of the random perks of my line dancing job (Weird, right?). In other words, I couldn’t NOT go and I was curious to find out if this “too good to be true” thing really was good and/or true…
I went, I learned, and I was fired up. What I was not expecting was to be showered with so much love from powerful women of God and most of all, from God Himself.
I don’t know why I’m continually surprised by God’s faithfulness but I’m definitely grateful for His grace and patience with me. Most days I’m still the guy on the right side of the illustration above, but I’m gonna keep creating regardless of whether or not I feel like it because I want to be faithful to the One who always is.
❤ amanda mae