July 21, 2011
I sat on the plane in a seat that wouldn’t recline. It only added to my discomfort. I was heading to a conference with 649 women, none of whom I had ever met in person. Certainly I had made some new Facebook friends and I was looking forward to the real life version of these people I had only seen in photos the size of my thumb.Absently, I flipped through the magazines I brought with me. Am I really doing this? I thought. The conference was something I desired to attend for the last three years, but the timing was never right. This year, the Lord tugged on my heart on New Year’s Eve and whispered, “Go.” Six months later with my husband’s blessing, off I went.
For days and days leading up to the conference, I had prayed over every single detail. I prayed for the people I would sit next to at meals and in seminars. I prayed the Lord would show me why He wanted me to go in the first place. I prayed the Lord would direct my steps and my words as I took this giant leap of faith.Thanks to a new FB friend, I had dinner plans on the first night. Since the conference does not technically begin until Friday there are no organized plans for those arriving early. But, I responded to the blanket invitation to meet in the hotel restaurant for dinner. “No, no, no,” said my introvert head. “Yes, I’d love to,” typed my fingers, which somehow knew better.
It was like a giant blind date, this first gathering. There were 30 of us split among three tables. And here is the crazy thing about social media – the people in those tiny pictures? They are actually real life, 3D versions, funnier and smarter and wiser than you even knew. Because She Speaks is a writer and speaker conference, nearly everyone there had a blog or two. So then I began to identify them by their blog titles: “Look! I’m having dinner with the LazyChristian! And there’s Jessie’s House! I can’t wait to go to the seminar with Chatting at the Sky.” It’s an odd thing, really, the way our minds work sometimes.When I returned to my room, my discomfort had lessened. I had made some friends. I had gotten some of the vernacular down – “Are you on the writers’ track or the speakers’ track?” I learned to answer “writers’ track” without laughing. Still, I wasn't certain why I was there.
Next - SS Part Two: Jehovah-Rapha