It’s like the first day of school. but worse. the entire church was filled with women. lots of women. lots of pregnant women. all dressed so cute. all chatting with someone they know.
i want to run. i want to bolt for the door. i don’t understand myself. why did i decide to come to this? to spend $45 for this? to spend 15 hours of my precious weekend? to attend a women’s conference at church?!?
i’ve been hurt by “christian” women in the past. high school was particularly brutal. it’s funny now how the details are fuzzy and i’m sure i’m not remembering my own culpability in the whole situation but i was so pained by the cliques and “cool” group of girls that didn’t like me a church that i ran from church for years. i let that be my excuse. i know view their lives thru facebook, blogs, and instagram. they seem to have found happiness and i am working on forgiving them and focusing myself on God. it’s funny how certain situations bring you right back around to stare your buried memories in the face.
that was last weekend.
i walked into the conference confident i didn’t want to be there but that God wanted me to be there. i was nervous. and i was over analyzing. and God was holding out a bucket of water to wash me with if i would just sit back and listen.
Elyse FItzpatrick was the speaker. i had never heard of her before. there was no magical allure that the other women had about how wonderful she was going to be. i sat on the back row with some women i know and prayed that the suffering would be quick and started planning what i was going to do on saturday when i skipped out.
God truly spoke through Elyse’s lips to me. straight to me. straight to my heart. and told me to shut up and listen. she started by erasing every fear and excuse i had about the event – there were no steps to success, no how-to-be-a-better-christian-woman-by-folding-napkins, no easy conversations – no. just reality. like being angry the person in front of you at the grocery store has 16 items in the express lane designed for 10 or less.
she spoke The Truth. The Gospel. The Good News. It was the first time I really heard it. the first time. i’ve been to church more sundays than not in my life and this was the first time.
The only law I have been given to follow is to love God with my whole heart and to love my neighbor. To be perfect like my father in heaven. it’s impossible. and that’s the whole point. Jesus came to be the good news of the Gospel. He died so that God can see His perfection when he looks at me.
with God’s help and Jesus’ blood, I am just as if I’ve never sinned and always obeyed.
can you imagine living your life like that? perfect? sinless? guilt free? i pray that God will guide my heart in that direction in all that I do. the Lord knows I am fall short and He forgives me and then sees me as perfect in his sight. He looks and says “This is my beloved daughter in whom I am well-pleased.” -Romans 8:1.