I left for Allume on Thursday morning. It was early: still dark and my mind had not truly grasped the fact that I was going to a Blog Conference. Honestly, when I started writing here, I had no intention of writing for anyone other than my family. So, the thought of going to a Blog or Writer’s conference was the farthest thing from my mind.
I boarded the plane with my friend and was blessed to meet another friend who lives near me. It was wonderful to see her smile and hear her voice. While we hugged, another traveler was boarding, heading to the same conference. A new friend, wanting to share the Angel Tree Ministry with everyone at the Conference.
It seemed God had something planned (he always does, doesn’t he?) and he was granting me a sneak peek.
The flight was short. We arrived and honestly, I was overwhelmed by the emotions I was feeling. I was so happy to finally meet so many women who have prayed with me over the phone or online…and here they were.
Would they like me? Would they know me? Would they talk to me?
That little voice of insecurity that seems to shout out loud and overwhelm the heart was screaming at me.
Escape was easy. It was time for lunch. Three of us walked to a small restaurant and enjoyed the quiet, the laughter and oh the food was divine. This was easier-smaller. The voice of insecurity was not screaming.
We ate lunch and returned. More hugs, more laughter, more fear….
Before I knew it, it was time for dinner and the keynote by Sarah Mae. By now, over 400 women had joined the conference. And all I wanted to do was to run and hide. I knew I could not. I knew I needed to face this, to be me, to find my voice in the noise that seemed to be everywhere.
That keynote took me to a place I knew I needed to go. You see, Sarah Mae has been successful in her writing and speaking. She has a successful blog, she has written books and she runs this conference. She has officially found the brass ring that many bloggers, writers and speakers seek.
I often wonder, as I sit writing….is that what I seek?
But, her message was one that was close to my heart…….. Keep your life and CONSIDER THE COST.
Consider the cost of minutes, hours and days writing. Are you willing to pay the cost now? What will the cost be when you reach the success you think you want?
Then, it began. I wondered if anyone noticed the glassy eyes that stared back at them. I wanted to engage, I wanted to be real…but the fear of rejection was so real. I sat there, surrounded by so many who were ‘somebody’. Me, I’m just me – wanting to encourage, not wanting to focus on the numbers, but trying so hard to focus on the words God wants me to share-the stories of my life and the miracles he has performed.
He does it all. Me, I just try to be a broken vessel.
After dinner, it happened. I broke. I stood among friends and their discussion cut me to the core. I felt I was on the outside looking in. And for some strange reason, it hurt.
I all but ran out of the room into the quiet security (I thought) of my hotel room and cried like a little girl. Oh, I was silly but truly wondered why I was there. And my friend…came out of the bathroom. She was there to witness the ugly cry. You know the one that you try to hide even from your best friend or husband.
She sat and listened to my silly rant, my insecurities…and she reminded me of my Father. She reminded me of where I had been and where I am. She reminded me that she sees a wife and a mother – placing God and her family first. A
And she reminded me that the most important value I could ever find – is my value in God.
As I sat there, she smiled, she hugged me and I wiped away tears..
As the tears were wiped away, and I could hear the quiet again, she reminded me of a beautiful quote from the Velveteen Rabbit:
I’ve always been the girl who was invisible. The one behind the scenes helping others. In this online world, a person like that can easily be taken advantage of. I know that because I’ve been there. Through helping others, I’ve been hurt and used. That thought is what drove me from the room….the room full of success into the reminder that God values me and that he sees what is done in the dark, without the accolades of man.
I know he sent me to the room that night. To tell me that He loves me and my insecurities are a sin – a sin based on the desire to please man. I know he spoke through her….
Because the next morning, Sally Clarkson gave the keynote and in it, she not only quoted the same portion of the Velveteen Rabbit, she had it on her presentation.
That moment was when I knew why I was there. I was there to learn how to write better. I was there to remind me who I write for. I write for God. I write to share my broken parts. I write to share how God puts those pieces back together for His glory: not mine, not man’s glory.
For the next two weeks, I may not be writing here a lot. I have several things I want to share with you. I can’t write those, maintain his place in my life (first) and take care of my family. I also want to take time to pray for everyone impacted by Sandy. It seems a good time to sit, find the quiet and provide a peaceful place for many.
So, please…. be patient and know….God’s working.
Insecurities are not where we need to hide the beauty of the broken.
Do you struggle, too?