We’re counting down to April 26 & 27 when our (in) real life conference kicks off! In the meantime, this month we’re delighted to be featuring a few of our favorite posts from women who participated in last year’s event. We’re sharing them here so you can get a peek at what all the excitement is about. Then be sure and register here — it’s FREE!
Did I ever tell you about the time I didn’t go to Hilton Head with the ladies from (in)courage? Who am I kidding? Of course I didn’t tell you. It’s not something I like to brag about. Because it’s not brag-worthy. But it’s the truth.
For each of the past three years, DaySpring has invited the writers of (in)courage to a retreat at a beach house on Hilton Head Island. The first year I received the email inviting me to join the crew, I nearly fell off my chair with excitement. I got up and danced around the family room. I slid across the kitchen floor a la Tom Cruise (with pants on). I could not believe I was being given such an amazing opportunity! I was rejoicing! My husband had to bob and weave to keep from running into me as I cavorted about in my glee.
Well, the closer the time came for the actual get together, the more nervous I became. I’d read the words those brilliant and brave (in)courage women wrote and I’d feel less and less sure that I would fit in. My resolve began to seep out of my pores like garlic after a meal at the Italian restaurant downtown. I kept “forgetting” to book my flight.
In the end, I made an excuse and I stayed home that weekend. I regretted every minute of it. Photos and blog posts about the retreat on Hilton Head were all over the internet, all weekend long. For weeks and months afterward, those photos and blog posts just kept coming. I was miserable. I cried. I sulked. I chided myself for being so small and so weak.
At the end of that miserable weekend, my husband looked at me and said, “Listen. If they ever do that Hilton Head thing again, or if they ever meet up anywhere, anytime, ever again…you’re going. Whatever it takes. You’re going.” He hardly ever tells me what to do, and when he does, he’s not joking. He’s dead serious.
So, the next year, I went. And it was glorious. We’re just women. Women who don’t have all the answers, and who laugh loudly, and who cry big tears when our hearts have been broken. We have fears and insecurities and amazing talent and spectacular faith in God. And sometimes our faith disintegrates into dust and we do the wrong thing or speak the wrong words. Because we’re women. Just like you.
I’m telling you this because I know there are women who didn’t get to (in)RL last year – for whatever reason. I know there was a lot of talking and Tweeting about it. There were photos. Lots of photos. And it may seem as if you were the only person who didn’t experience (in)RL.
Maybe you tend to shy away from community altogether. Maybe the thought of trying to fit in sends you into a panic. I just wanted to let you know that I’ve been there. But you should know that, when you’re not there, you are missed. I want you to know that yes, you’ll fit in! You might sweat through your t-shirt, or lose your breakfast on your way to the small group, or lose sleep the night before. But it will be worth it. It will. We were meant for each other. God made us for community. As bad as that sweaty shirt, or lost breakfast, or sleepless night might sound, they don’t come close to living life without community.
How do you feel about walking into a group of women you’ve never met?
Have you ever talked yourself out of an opportunity to experience community?
You’re each invited, you know. It’s free, it’s fun, and it’s so rewarding to connect with other sisters in Christ beyond the blog post. Tune in from home on Friday to watch the Webcast and meetup with friends on Saturday and watch together. Go on, you’re much braver than you think. Just CLICK HERE to register.Leave a Comment