I went to my first "Women of Faith" conference this weekend. A group from our church went, along with several other groups from churches around Oregon and neighboring states. There were about 11,000 ladies there, (and a few gents).
I've heard about Women of Faith in the past, but had never gone because of the anxiety i get in large groups of people.
I went this year because I think the Lord 'arranged' it, and i didn't want to miss out on anything He had planned for me. I want to be obedient when He calls me to do something, even when it is uncomfortable to do it, and once on the road to the conference i was fine.
I'm not going to write in detail about our 'adventures' of getting lost, (or as a friend said "temporarily on a different path"), or details about speakers and singers. There were some good insights from speakers, and some good praise music, and that is enough.
What i would like to write about is what i came away with, or maybe, didn't come away with.
I didn't come away with a mountain top experience, or a high that has me bouncing off the walls, and wanting for more, and not wanting to come down from the mountain. That would be the norm, and that's what made me examine what was different this time from the times I have ventured out before.
What I did come away with is an appreciation for getting to know some of the women from my church family; a realization of how much I enjoy the quiet of my home and every day life and how much I enjoy being with my husband, doing anything.
How much i appreciate that my walk with the Lord is a steadfast, day in and day out, can trust Him in anything walk. It's not dependent on my feelings, high or low. It's not dependant on outside influences or sources of music or people to lead me in worship. I can do that in my own heart, anytime, anywhere. It's not dependent on other peoples teachings, (though there's always much to learn), but on dependence on Him, searching His word, and knowing Him better.
So, I would say i came away with a lot. In the midst of 11,000 women singing and praising, worship teams, flashing lights, professional singers, comedians, speakers, and writers, I was able to settle into the presence of the Lord.
I was refreshed by the Spirit in the quietness of my own soul, and feel the calm of His peace in me.
Thank you Lord, for a day away, but even more for every day with You.