You guys, I am exhauuuuusted. I am mentally, emotionally, and spiritually drained beyond all recognition - but in the very best way. I spent the weekend with roughly 400 amazing women at the Influence Conference - my first time attending something like that, my first time leaving Peanut ever, and Bug for more than 2 days! It took quite a lengthy inner monologue to even persuade me to drive away on Thursday, but I am so, so glad that I went.
I'm not entirely convinced that I'll ever be able to properly convey what I felt, heard, expressed, and thought over the weekend...even just trying to describe pieces of it to M, I could not come up with the words that would help him get a good picture.
I will say that I went in with great expectations - I wanted to hear God's voice leading me in a new direction. I was waiting for divine inspiration of some sort, as I had been feeling as though I needed to be doing something in a positive, influential way. When I wasn't floored and overwhelmed within the first few hours of the conference, I started to feel a bit dejected. I mentally started writing off the weekend as purely a brilliant social one, the opportunity to finally meet some fantastic ladies in person who I had gotten to know via our blogs in the last year plus.
But then, all of a sudden I was floored. It came through a later speaker's words and resonated deep within my heart. I couldn't ignore it, and I couldn't pretend that it wasn't meant for me. And it continued, throughout various sessions and speakers, and fantastic meaningful conversations.
I was definitely meant to be there this weekend. I was meant to cement my friendship with Emily and Amy in the best way possible - as forever friends, sisters in Christ. I was meant to hold hands with these women and pray aloud, despite being well out of practice and worrying about not sounding right. I was meant to find the spiritual refreshments that I had been craving from inside this desert season I've been in for the last while. I was meant to open my heart to healing of some deep, deep hurts that I've been carrying with me for a very long time...
I have dozens of pages of notes and verses to go back and read through, and questions that I jotted down that I now have to think about and reflect on...there is much processing still to happen before I can fully understand the things that are now weighing on me. But I am so very grateful for the friendship of these beautiful ladies, and for their openness and honesty and laughter this weekend; for my epic husband, aka Dad of the Year, who kept pushing me to take the 4 days and go (despite our 7 month old not taking bottles yet...); for my sweet girls who did wonderfully whilst I was away - and greeted me with such joy on my return; and for the unwavering forgiveness and fierce love of Jesus. I'm praying that I continue to feel this pumped energy and renewed conviction in Christ even as we've returned to regularly scheduled real life programming. So now, with my eyes and my heart wide open, "I seek you with all my heart; do not let me be swayed." Psalm 119:10