It’s Friday afternoon. According to “them” (blogging gurus) writing one post a week and then publishing that single post on a Friday afternoon is all kinds of wrong. Since I just got back from a 3-day blogging conference you’d think I would know better.
Hopefully I don’t offend my dear friend Logan by saying, for me, Allume wasn’t a blogging conference. It was a God conference.
Yes, a majority of attendees were online writers. Yes, many breakouts addressed different areas of blogging.
But I met with God at this conference. And He did some soul work. Healing that yucky-deep-down place of continually seeking others' approval.
Silly me. I asked friends back home to pray about pitching my book proposal and meeting with my literary agent. Thankfully their texts read, “Praying for you to be encouraged” and “Praying for God’s clear direction.”
In a way only the Spirit can lead, their prayers were answered. I was encouraged and God clearly directed. And this conference also had nothing to do with my book proposal.
The only interaction I had with a publisher and in giving an “elevator pitch” was in a literal elevator when I told a Zondervan editor she could lick me. (I’m great at first impressions).
(For the super curious, here's the whole story…I made my way to the back of the elevator. Standing next to me was a lady smiling as it was clear by our nametags we were attending the same conference. I introduced myself and she shook my hand. Then she apologized for her wet hand. To which I responded, “Don’t worry I have four young boys. There is always something on me. I don’t think I have any sensation left. In fact, you could lick me and I wouldn’t feel a thing.” Yep. Then I leaned in to get a closer look at her nametag and asked the name of her blog. She said, “Oh I don’t have a blog. I’m here with Zondervan publishers.” Open mouth. Insert foot.)
(what a blessing to have my longtime Dallas friend, Erin, get a last-minute ticket to Allume. she rocks, y'all).
From previous years (and here. oh and here.) at Allume, I knew God-sized connections happened and mega-Spiritual inspiration would be absorbed. But could God really do that for a 3rd year in a row?
Yeah, never underestimate God.
The theme of the keynote speakers (not a planned theme, mind you, but a Spirit-directed theme) coincided perfectly.
“Your hunger to be known is a God given appetite…to be known by God.—keeps you alive…feed it with that which makes you beautiful not anxious. If anyone loves God, she is known by God. He has called you, “accepted”. He counts you redeemed. He knows your darkest moments and He chooses you. Appoints you. Hides you safe in Christ. I know you and you are accepted and loved. And you don’t have to perform anymore. You are beautiful. We are Christ’s own.”
“How does someone in a cute prison cell set other people free? Tell Him, ‘I surrender. I give up the love, passion idol of my life. God. Set. Me. Free. ‘ He wants you to turn in the thing you have loved more than Him. He is after you. You have millions of people looking to you to show them freedom. “
Bianca reminded us to trust God in the hard times (based on Ezekiel 37...definitely recommend reading it):
“Faith is not needed to do the possible but to do the impossible. Can you prophesy over the dead things in your life? Do we trust God to do the work He has entrusted to us? Till we hear God say, ‘I have done what I said.’”
Truth. All their words directed my heart to do business on Saturday afternoon.
A group of us 5 moms headed out of the hotel to the underground coffeehouse. With 19 kids between us, we breathed deep while sipping warm beverages and sharing conversation.
My dear friend, Francie Winslow led us through an intimate conversation in the presence of the Holy Spirit. Each woman there found freedom and healing she longed for, in a specific and personal way. Then upon returning to dinner our final keynote Jeff and the amazing worship leader, David Walker, sealed the deal.
It is for freedom that we have been set free.
Once you taste God's pleasure and those hurt places from the past no longer drag you down...you want to open up prison cells for everyone around you. Free others from fear. From shame. From working sooooo hard!!!
Now that I’m home I want to lead other people to the throne of God to open their eyes to His massive love and overwhelming acceptance. He is with you. He has never left your side. He is good. He has loved you and will continue to love you.
Need to hear this truth spoken in a lovely British voice? Listen to this...on repeat: