Whew, end of day 2 and I'm wiped out! I completely underestimated how awesome this conference would be -- really, it's just that I didn't know what to expect -- but it's been amazing, really amazing.
My favorite part has been the worship. It's a concert every time a band comes on stage to perform...lighting, sound, audience is engaged, it's thrilling, moving, and powerful! I've never experienced something quite like it.
And the speakers have been so engaging! Today we heard from John and Nancy Ortberg, who spoke about the idea of good leadership and family. Great, great ideas they shared. This afternoon we heard from Reverend Run (remember Run DMC?!?)
He's a very entertaining speaker, and he was sharing great deas about being an engaged parent and keeping in touch with God constantly throughout the day because we need his wisdom. He said a great line, "Since I don't know all the answers, I want to to know the One who does!"
My only complaint, and keep in mind, it's not a criticism, but the only thing I don't LOVE so far is the "overload factor" that feels like it came into play today. It's an entirely amazing experience, every single minute of it - the conference, getting to know the other leaders and volunteers who are here with Cove, the worship, the information, the revolutionary ideas - but all of that, boom, boom, boom, one thing right after another, one session to the next...whew, well it's just a lot all at once.
In an ideal world, we could attend the conference for one day, have one day to digest what we learned, then attend day 2 and so on...but of course, that's not practical, so it's all crammed into three action-packed days.
I'm really glad I'm here; it's been awesome. Tomorrow is the last day.
But I had a real low point of my day too...At times, I felt totally out of place.
TOTALLY out of place.
Specifically, I was surrounded by so many people, so strong in their faith, it was literally just oozing out of them. In the form of passionate singing, outstretched hands, convicted faces you just knew connected to God right there through prayer or whatever we happened to be doing.
And in a nutshell, I just didn't feel that strong connection. And I don't know why?!? And I'm frustrated! Really, really frustrated. It's like I'm waiting for that "a-ha" moment, whatever it is that stirs up people's souls and causes them to abandon whatever insecurities they have and just be in that powerful relationship that comes from knowing God.
I believe in God, I've seen His work being done, I've experienced forgiveness, I read the Bible, I study it to equip myself with the knowledge I'll need to make wise choices, I'm genuinely excited to go to church and attend C-Group, I try to grow in my faith by talking to other Christians and non-Christians, I've no doubt in my mind that God created us all, all this, and that I'm here for a purpose. And when my babies were born into this world - or whenever I meet a new baby - I'm in awe of God's work and unbelievable gift of life.
What I saw everyone experiencing today - what seemed to be such a closeness to the Lord, I want that... I think it's there for the taking - heck, I feel like I have taken it, but today I couldn't shake the thought that maybe I just think I have.
It's like when before I had given birth, and I'd ask friends who had, "What does a contraction feel like? Will I know when I'm having one?" And every person would chuckle and say, "Oh, you'll know when you're having one! You'll KNOW!"
Surely, people who have a relationship with the Lord know they do, so what does that mean that I'm unsure if I have one?
I mean, I wasn't unsure when I was experiencing labor; I wasn't unsure when I said my wedding vows, I'm never unsure of how much I love Jack and Lucy.
What do I need to do differently? What am I missing? Is there something I'm afraid to let go of? I'm just feeling at a loss...
Ugh, oh well...that's it for tonight...time to let everything I heard and learned today settle a bit. There's a new Office recording waiting for me...time for some laughing! (Which by the way, we learned today that the two most successful ways to draw people to you (or something like that) is smiling and making people laugh... ;-)