Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Hi...my name is Judy I blog at.......what is your blog? ....OH YOUR THE MAMA of the Newbie group!
I heard the above conversation many times this past weekend at Allume. I didn't really put much thought into it when I created the Allume Conference Newbie Facebook group. I have been to another conference...and they have one of these groups. It helped me tremendously before going to that one. I simply asked Sarah Mae one day if there was a group...the answer was no....then I asked...should someone start one? Her response.. GO FOR IT!
You see...I was the girl in Junior High School that didn't want to run the mile. Because I didn't think I could do it. There was no paved track to run on. Just a grassy bumpy football field. Inevitably my foot would find the one hole in the field and I would twist my ankle and fall. Fallen, embarrassed, ashamed. Even now just thinking about this scenario makes my heart race. Since I didn't want to run because I was afraid of falling, or sweating, or being out of breath, or being the last one, or people lapping me....I rallied other girls to walk with me. THEY can't make us run. THEY shouldn't make us do this if we don't want to. WE will be totally cool rebelling against the teacher and walking! Yes...I convinced others that we should walk the entire mile because WE were the cool ones. I was afraid to do something. But I was afraid of NOT doing something alone. So I made others do NOTHING with me.
I started the group because I don't like the feeling of being the one on the outside. The one with out a bff. Without a huge fancy blog. The only one who barely blogs. The one who doesn't have a room mate to stay up all hours of the night chatting with.
What happened at the conference I didn't expect. I finally got it. There were clues leading up to it...but they weren't clear. As I arrived Wednesday afternoon...and after I went to lunch with some other girls that I met on the airplane....as I joined in with the other handful of women that unboxed, unwrapped, and bagged up all of the contents of 420 swag bags...I started to get it. I was accepted with open arms from the start. I sat on the floor unwrapping plastic from the fresh beautiful Dayspring swag bags...
I began to feel this tug on my heart. This feeling that I wanted to cry. I didn't feel sad. I felt satisfied. I felt like I belonged. Like these people got me. They don't even know me, yet they understand me. What I felt was...happy to belong to something. And as I choked back the tears not wanting to appear as a complete loon...I continued on.
Thursday I went on to get a massage...and then to get my hair done. The massage was to relax. The hair was to help. I made a statement to my hairstylist that I didn't have the body...but at least I have good hair...and having my hair done made me feel confident...especially when meeting new people. He said back to me..."are you kidding? You are beautiful! Society tells us that we need to be pigeon-holed into this ideal of being skinny to be beautiful, but I could tell from the moment you came in that you are beautiful!"
At the conference we even had a newbie meet-up in the lounge before the opening ceremonies began on Thursday.
It felt good to have most of us who had been chatting online for the last month together. There were looks of excitement. Looks of fear. Fidgets and fixing of hair...pulling on shirts....fumbling of words. Elevator speeches that had been rehearsed and memorized all of the sudden forgotten. Feeling like that conference binder you had worked hours to perfect might not be good enough or others may think are silly.
But we stood strong. Hugged each other. Shrieked with excitement as we finally met in real life! Put our fears aside to listen to the hearts of other daughters of the King. And as we talked, and cried, and laughed...fears eventually just melt and then you remember that you are indeed a grown up now...the playing grounds are even. There are no Junior High School football fields to fall onto.
Sure, there were still embarrassing moments for a few of us...like when I first arrived to the hotel and one of the first people who introduced themselves to me was Sally Clarkson...and I had no idea who she was. I was post-travel tired & drained from choosing not to sleep at all the night before since I had to leave for the airport at 3:30 AM. I did not stand up to greet her. I fumbled my answers. Didn't ask her much about herself....then later I was told who she was. Honestly though....at the OTHER conference I attended in February....that type of scenario didn't happen. Lines weren't as easily crossed with the who is important and who isn't list. Sally was gracious and so real. I mentioned that I started the newbie group...she said something about the fact that must make her the mama of the conference with all of her years experience. I laughed. I had no idea what she was talking about.
Then...there was the time that I stood in line for 15 minutes waiting to meet Phil Vischer...
Ok...back to my main point. I went to a session with The Nester...
Now that I have seen these new things about myself...I will begin to peel the layers back with Jesus...ask him to help me find the lies that I am believing...and ask him to help speak truth to those lies. I can begin to be healed...you can't be healed if you don't think there is anything wrong...and now I see it.
Thank you so much to all of you who have accepted me in this community. It means more to me than you will ever realize.