Hope Spoken wasn't just a good conference. It wasn't a "blogging thing", it wasn't a women's retreat, It wasn't a place to hear good speakers and take pictures with friends.
It was a place God showed up.
His presence fell and His Spirit got the attention of many women there.
Women who, like me, needed a fresh taste of His goodness.
Amidst all the beautiful women and beautiful stories of God's redemtion and power and grace,
the most beautiful part for me, was seeing women open up and share their stories.
THEIR stories. THEIR souls. THEIR heartaches, THEIR fears. THEIR lives.
THEIR encounters with the goodness of God.
I think a lot of times we can so easily think that other people, "bigger" people than us, have stories that matter more that our own.
It's easy to think that amazing author or that "big" blogger has a story and a life testimony that matter more than ours.
YOUR story matters. Anything and everything you have been through...it's valuable.
And what I saw happening all around me at Hope Spoken, was women opening up and telling their own stories, because when God's presence comes, it creates a space to be real and comfortable.
(that's my tribe, my girls I can't do life without. We all got to be together, which made the weekend even better)
Not only were the decorations and goodies sheer perfection (though I did not get a macaroon! tear.), the community building aspect to the weekend's flow was perfect. The way it was set up and run and scheduled was so good. The speakers were awesome. The worship leaders were wonderful. The small group aspect was perfect.
Danielle, Casey and Emily left no detail undone and I am so amazed how the weekend went, especially it being the very first one. Those ladies should be so proud of themselves for following their dream and seeing it come to life so beautifully
God showed up in all the details.
I had the honor to lead a small group throughout the weekend, and I could not have asked for a better one. The openness, the tears, the loving spirits shared between all these women who had all just met was really inspiring. God showed up...kindof the theme here, right?
I was humbled to hear different stories and to hear these women encourage each other.
I actually had things in my head to say for each session, but the Lord always just took over...which is really exactly what I prayed would happen. His agenda, not my own.
And things the women shared? I needed.
I needed to hear other people's stories.
And I came away with a love for these new friends, which is awesome
(love you ladies, miss you!)
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The reason I started this blog was because after our first miscarriage, I needed a place to tell my story. I needed an outlet to help me process, to just "put it out there".
(I think a lot of bloggers can relate to this).
And so I did.
And then I realized how much it helped me, and even connected me with others who were going through the same.
My point is...through that inner-hurting need and desire to be heard, I gained life.
Through sharing my loss, I gained life.
And through continuing to share my story here...I have gained SO much life.
So my encouragement to you?
Find a place to share your story.
Seek it out. If you don't have people you feel safe sharing with, then journal in some way.
I promise you...you need to tell your story.
And I can promise you this too...someone else needs to hear your story.
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I will share more about Hope Spoken next week, but just wanted to say all this for now.
Also, here are a few pics of the weekend!
*Tickets for next years conference go on sale soon. Last weekend of March 2015 in Dallas! Please consider going! Ill keep you posted here ab it all!*