Heart hammering, I edged my way through throngs of busy women sporting identical teal tote bags. Which was more terrifying? Being a first-time attendee, knowing no one, or being a green-as-grass writer at a writers conference? As panic set in, I settled for a three-way tie.
We all arrived filled with hope. Many literally toted hope in the rustling pages of book proposals for prospective publishers. Others hoped to make life-long friendships. Like me, some hoped to feel qualified enough to be there and to find a place amongst so many accomplished women. And yes, we all hoped to find a friendly meal partner!
Last weekend, hope was palpable in the air like the thick North Carolina humidity blanketing the conference center. The She Speaks Conference had begun!
Riding waves of emotion, I asked myself…
What am I doing here?
How did this science girl end up at a writers conference?
I suppose only God can answer those questions. But I do know that the road there has been weary, full of almosts, broken dreams, and crushed hope. Yet that same road has forged my imperfect story that I was there to learn how to share.
I soon learned that my tattered story also had companions to spare.
In an attempt to quell my raging nerves and seek peace in some sort of connection with at least a sliver of the 800 perfectly coiffed and accomplished women surrounding me, I started asking questions.
Do you have any publisher or agent appointments?
What is the subject of your book proposal?
Little did I know that these questions would build a beautiful vulnerability bridge between us.
Each She Speaks sister seemed to have a story like mine. Stories that dethroned the mythical lives I’d assigned them minutes earlier.
• An adorable young mom shared the devastating loss of her husband.
• Another bubbly sister recounted how her young son passed unexpectedly.
• Beautiful single moms shared the pain of divorce.
• An accomplished writer revealed her struggle with the shame of being a teen mom.
• Some sweet moms shared struggles with their faith and their journeys back to God.
• A spunky mama and I even bonded over toilet training our teens with special needs.
But even as heavy as these conversations became, they all returned to God’s grace, the gateway to hope (2 Thessalonians 2:16). Each story underlined God’s power to transform our troubles into a door of hope (Hosea 2:15). These simple truths became our unspoken anthem. They reverberated throughout the conference center with as much power as the mammoth amps bathing us in Elevation’s praise music.
So, my She Speaks sisters, may God’s grace dwell within you as you fulfill your calling. Run your race with grace as the Holy Spirit fills you with His power. “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7 NIV 1984).
I’ll see you before your door of hope when we meet again!
Learn more about the ladies of She Speaks! Visit this link now to be connected with their blogs, all on one page! Be sure to swing back frequently, as more blogs will be added through August 31st!
1. How have hope and God’s grace intertwined in your life?
2. How has God blessed you with vulnerability bridges?
Dive Deeper: Why Hope? Grace! By John Piper
Win a $20 Target gift card! Just leave a comment and you’ll be entered to win. Winner will be chosen on July 31st!
FOR BLOGGERS: Welcome to the Mom-ventures Monthly Link Up!
Theme This Month: She Speaks Shares 2017 – If you attended, feel free to share a blog post recalling your SS experience or even your most favorite post – whatever suits you, honors SS, and glorifies God!
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25 thoughts on “She Hopes”
Thanks for sharing your experience! I wish I could have been at the She Speaks conference! Hopefully next year!
Hi Erika! Thanks for swinging by today to comment! Yes, can’t wait to meet you next year at SS! In the meantime, I look forward to getting to know you better through our COMPEL FB pg!
Hi Erika! Yes, we’ll meet in person next year! In the meantime, I look forward to getting to know you better through our COMPEL FB pg! Blessings and prayers!
LOVE this first linkup of yours, Allison! Your writing is fantastic and I had no idea you’re a green-as-grass girl. Can’t even tell it! Blessings to you, friend!
Oh, Sarah! Your words are a blessing over my trepidatious heart!
I’m so humbled that my little bog is resonating with you. God is obviously hard at work! Blessings and prayers back atacha! So thrilled we’ve connected yet again!
So excited you’ve already join the link up! I can’t wait to read your post! I so admire your work, faith and support of new bloggers!
I love this! Meeting you was a privilege and I get to stay connected to you!
Hey Debbie! You’re a sweetheart! So glad you stopped by today and are in the link up! Yes, so blessed we met! Until SS 2018!
Allison – I’m blessed to be your neighbor at #Holley’sCoffeeformyHeart. I loved hearing your story of your experience at She Speaks. I love the ‘door to hope’ (Hosea 2:15) theme and how God opened doors of connection for you. Blessings!
Hi Sandra! Thanks so much for visiting from Holley’s site today! I look forward to returning the favor! Blessings and prayers to you!
Allison, this post made me all kinds of happy, seeing Jesus be the uniting spirit behind all of of yours and others’ words. Praise Him.
Hi Jody! Thanks for stopping by! Yes, isn’t it awesome how He works! Blessings to you and your blog! Can’t wait to visit!
I looked for you at She Speaks…searching womens’ abdomens seemed a little strange after while looking for names lol. Wasn’t it wonderful? I am still trying to get through re-entry into the real world again. What a wonderful few days I will always carry with me!!
Hi again Bev! Sorry we missed each other at SS! Next year!
So thrilled to have you back on my blog! And glad you’ve linked up too!
Having fun “getting to know you” as we exchange comments on our blogs! Blessings!
I’m hoping to get there someday…. Just not feasible in our summer schedule and finances but hopeful another year! (With three kids in college right now and just buying a new house last year… we have other priorities 🙂 ) But I’m so glad you were able to attend! Thanks for the inspiration!
Hi Rachel! Yes, looking forward to meeting you at SS 2018! In the meantime, I’ll pray for your finances; 3 kiddos in college isn’t cheap! Blessings!
It sounds like She speaks was an awesome experience! It is wonderful to hear of Christian women sharing their faith and testimonies. I enjoy your posts so much and have been blessed by them! I think you are such a talented writer and God will use that gift to bring him glory!
Love you, my sweet and loyal friend! God must be working hard in me, as writing doesn’t come naturally! So glad you’re enjoying the Link Up! Sending you virtual hugs across state lines! Miss you!
Wow–I can totally relate. Well, if I was there that is! But so many times being vulnerable is when we get the big pay off–a huge heart hug and reminder that what we’re doing matters. Love this!
Hi Gloryanna! Yes, vulnerability bridges are the best!
Thanks so much for stopping by today! Looking forward to checking out your blog!
I’m realizing more and more how important connection is with other writers. And the importance of vulnerability. I liked your term ‘vulnerability bridges.’ God’s keeps blessing me with sisters ‘n Christ, and I realize I could receive more in that blessing by letting them more in to me! I’m in Canada where Target tried to win a market, but didn’t quite make it. There’s still a few empty retail spaces around where they once occupied. So out of the contest, yet that’s very generous of you!
Hi Lynn! So glad you stopped by! Glad my little post resonated with you! I’m cheering you on in your writing journey! Keep up the great work on your blog!
As a very new blogger I was encouraged by reading your perspective! I’m still in the space of wondering what I’m even doing in this blogging world full of amazing writers! Following God’s call hasn’t been easy, and the temptation to over-compare my “less-than” abilities is a daily struggle!
I would never guess you feel “green-as-grass!” as I find your words incredibly beautiful and inspiring! Thanks for sharing!
Hi again Lindsey! Having fun exchanging visits and comments! Yes, we newbies are in this together, girl! So glad we have each other! Blessings!
Allison, hello science girl! I find myself in the same place – MT(ASCP) and an MBA. Now Writing. Who knew? The WHO of all time authored our stories oh so long ago…
Your writing is BEAUTIFUL! I’m so honored to have found this thread in SheSpeaks17!
Have I invited you to His Girls Gather? God put this message on my heart as I left my first SheSpeaks. Gather My girls. Between conferences. Create a community that locks arms and lifts each other up. So that’s what we do. May I add you?
Hi Susan/business girl! Glad to hear God has set you on a different path too!
Aw, you’re so kind! It’s all His work, not mine!
Would love to join His Girls Gather! Add me to the list!