You can read my recap post from last year right here.
On Sunday night, after taking two planes and a three hour car ride to get home, after feeding my kids Wendy's and laughing at their shenanigans, after ignoring the laundry and the to-do list, I crawled in bed and facetimed my sister. We laughed a little about how sick I'd gotten the first few days of the tip - literally got the stomach bug from you-know-where a few hours after getting off the plane and eventually infecting a few other members of the Influence Core Team. I tried to explain to her how amazing some specific things were compared to last year. Our decor, the audio/visual, the actual hotel... these are things that get MUCH better the second year of a conference. But then she asked me about the big things, the important things. And I told her the truth.
It was better than I could have asked for or imagined, thank you Ephesians 3:20. It was really better than I could have dreamed. There are so many pieces I want to recap - the relationships, the worship, the market, the speakers. And I absolutely will, in time, tell as many of those stories as I can. But since I'm focusing on wild and free for these 31 days, I want to write a little about what it was like to walk on stage Saturday morning and speak freedom over women concerning the pieces of femininity that have left me feeling trapped, scared, small, and fearful for the better part of my adult life.
This year has been one of storming for my identity as a woman. It has been a year of wrestling and searching scriptures and long talks with my husband. When the year started, I found myself with so many questions and not so many answers.
Why is there so much fear associated with womanhood? Why are women scared to be women and why are men scared of what women will do?
Why do women typically root their femininity based off the culture they're currently in while men seem to be so much more sure of what their biblical masculinity should be based on?
Why do so many women I know, beginning with myself, struggle to believe that God made me as something good for His glory and pleasure? Why do I revert to viewing myself as a tool for Him to use rather than a treasure that He bought with a price?
Rather than answering all those questions here (since it took me an hour and fifteen minutes and a good bit of tears and hand waving on stage), I'll tell you that something very wild and free happened when I walked on that stage. I held my hands open to the Lord and asked Him to use my questions and desires and words and when I looked out at those women who I love so fiercely, something shifted inside of me.
The biblical truths that I'd been shakily preaching to myself and pouring over rose up in me like an armory of weapons and I was no longer scared to fight, because I wasn't battling for myself or my heart alone. Suddenly all my storming and questions had so much less to do with finding my own footing and standing on my own because I realized that He had been holding me in the midst of it all. I was walking wild and free, for all of those women in front of me. For Glory. For the future wives of my sons. For the women I love who weren't there.
And I think that might be a starting place for wild freedom for all of us.
Taking the area where we feel scared and challenged and getting outside of ourselves long enough to see and be broken over the collective issue.
Then taking a step forward with the knowledge that though the battle might be hard, the war has already been won.
So what's yours? Where do you perceive bondage and caution and timidity in your own life and how might the Lord want you to minister truth to others in the midst of that?
Let's talk below.
Wild and free.
Walking in the influence God has given you.
This is stuff we're all about at The Influence Network.
if you want to be there next year, go ahead and snag one of our early bird tickets for next year.