Last Friday night was the annual women’s conference at our church. The theme was “Brave”, all about inspiring women to live with boldness and courage. I’ve been looking forward to going for months, but you know how these things go. When Friday night rolled around, I was exhausted. My body was begging me to stay home and rest.
But my heart was beckoning me on with a quiet whisper.
Because I host a monthly event, I know this is the cadence for most women. We get excited about getting together. We want community in our lives, but when it comes time to do the real work of showing up, we are tired. We’ve been taking care of everyone else and so many times, we’d really rather rest than put our big girl clothes on to go somewhere. But I’ve learned a simple, yet profound truth in those moments.
The good stuff can only happen when we choose to show up.
After school, I got the kids settled in and before I could blink, Holly was sitting in her car out front to pick me up. I kissed the boys, ran out the door, (make-up bag in tow) and plopped down in her front seat. As soon as I saw her smile, I knew I was going to be glad we did this. We laughed and told stories with huge group of fun ladies over dinner before caravaning over to the church, where the conference was amazing.
The image above was my very favorite moment of the whole night.
That beauty on the right is our friend Kelly. You may remember her. She has been through THE craziest couple of years of anyone I know. We ran into each other in the lobby with a giant hug and a “How are you??” And I kid you not, within 60 seconds, we dove down deep to talk about something huge, and important, and hard. We laughed out loud together and said, “Oh, I guess we’re going there!” We barely scratched the surface of that bomb when it was time to move along. We gave each other that knowing smile, said our goodbyes, and headed back to our seats. But I took that moment with me.
I want more of that in my life.
The conference was amazing. Full of inspiration, more laughter, encouragement, connection and all sorts of wisdom bombs. Most of all, it provided the container for connection. It was the catalyst, and the safe place, to show up and allow yourself to be known with women who love you and are cheering you on.
Whether you know it or not, you need more of that in your life too. We all do.
I leave you with this quote from Ryan Leak (one of the speakers Friday night):
“You don’t have to go heal yourself or your relationships first. God wants to use you right now. Right as you are.”
No matter your relationship with God, those words call out and dispel the lies that play so loudly in the minds of women everywhere. You don’t have to be perfect to live out your purpose and call in this life. You just have to show up. And then keep showing up, over and over again.
Even when it’s hard and you don’t feel like it.
Even when your mind is trying to convince you that you’re not good enough, you’re not worth it, your flaws are too deep. . . whatever that story is for you, it’s a lie.
Keep showing up, with the women you love by your side.
Make, “We’re totally going there” your friendship mantra.
to more love,
But what if…you don’t have people by your side…
If you don’t already have people by your side, then that’s hard. It hurts to see a picture like this and hear a story like this, no doubt. It certainly makes it hard to “go there”.
That makes showing up to the places (like GNO, church, women’s events, networking groups etc…) even more important. Albeit, even more difficult. Building those friendships takes time, vulnerability, risk, and so much courage. But it’s how we’re wired, right?
I overheard a woman at the conference step right up to another woman and say, “I came alone tonight, can I sit with you?” And my heart cheered for her!
She was going there, even if she had to take the first step alone, with knees trembling. She showed up alone, but she refused to “be” alone.
If you don’t have people by your side, you have to own that and do the next right thing to change that for yourself. It’s easier to stay alone. People are messy and you risk getting hurt. But if you don’t risk that, you miss out on all the joy, meaning, encouragement and inspiration that comes from living in community with other imperfect humans.
I hope that helps girl. Life is too hard to do it alone. ❤️