I’ve been attending an on-line conference the past 3 days called “She Speaks.” It’s been inspiring and intimidating. And worth it!
For years, I didn’t like attending womens’ events. Today, I am very confident in who God made me to be, but the woman He made me to be is, well – different than a lot of women. I never, ever think about accessorizing. I don’t dye my gray hair. I barely wear makeup. I don’t own foundation or blush or eye shadow. I have a smaller wardrobe than most men I know. I don’t knit or scrapbook or have a lot of shoes (I don’t think 3 pairs of workout sneakers counts!).
Today during the conference, my husband was in the room as I watched a segment on putting together a good outfit, and we both laughed out loud!
I could see these differences and use them to distance myself from these women, but I chose not to.
Why? Because what I have seen so much in the lives of myself and other followers of Christ is that we let perceived differences divide us. In ministry, we call this “terminal uniqueness.” I don’t know who coined this term, but it appears to be based in recovery ministries. To me, it is the line of thinking that no one can help me or relate to me because no one has been through what I’ve been through. We could also extend it to mean that I am so different than this group of people that I have nothing to learn from them.
I spoke at my first womens’ event in 2003. I was sharing a 3-minute testimony because the event was gifting money to the ministry I was a part of. I had been a Christian for less than 5 years and was in a season of depression and anxiety. I thought we were going to a board meeting! When we arrived at the conference, there were well over 1000 people there. This was not what I signed up for! I read off an index card, voice shaking and hands trembling. And at the end, all those women stood up, clapping and screaming not because I put on a good show (trust me – I didn’t!), but because God did an amazing work in my life.
They asked me to come back the following year. And in 2006, I was a workshop speaker.
Am I different? Absolutely. Because God made me different!
I’m glad I didn’t check out emotionally because the last portion of the conference was extremely powerful.
Jennie Allen, founder of IF:Gathering said at tonight’s session, “Satan shuts you down by making you love something more than God.”
This is exactly why I am breaking up with food. Today I’m 20 days in. It’s been a very imperfect week during this imperfect journey. But I’m not giving up. Because God has much more for me than a bag of pastel-colored Caramel M&M’s has to offer.
(Don’t ask any questions about that last part, OK? Rough week.)
Bible Reading: Romans 15-16
Prayer Cards Prayed: Check
Food Tracked: Check
Daily Reading: Check
Worship in Song: Check
Choosing to Trust: Check