That’s what this weekend was to me–
In so many ways.
Love binding up and bringing close.
I went to Allume (a writing-blogging-conference) with my eyes scanning for these answers…
#1) Is it worth it? Does God want it?
Is it real? — all the friendships and connections and my writing?
And sigh — is it worth it?
To spend time on these words in this space?
#2) Is my hand open? Are my words reality-overflowing?
Do I enter this online space with freedom and purpose?
With His Truth?
How do I mesh in-the-flesh with these blinking icons that often seem to shout the artificial?
Because on one hand we say we write waiting on His timing, His wording, His leading, but on the otherhand there is the offered:
“Build Your Platform” and “Promote Your Branding”
And here is the tension for me.
And there’s a bit-of-junior-higher in all of us, I think.
Where we wander a room and look for our spot,
At which table we should sit…
Where we hope someone is saving a place–
And I saw a bit of that too–
The frantic-running-climbing where stats equate value and self is the focus and
I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say I saw it…
And I wondered about these friends I would room with and felt I knew with.
And wanted to be with– for the first time minus the avatar-glazing.
Would they be who I thought?
Who would they be when we tip-toed-out from behind the monitor?
And they were–
A love confirmed.
Kelly with her care-taking and boldness and kindness…
Rachel with her uplifting and sharing and teaching…
Ruth with her laughing and processing and heart-meshing…
Sacred deep-sharing and prayers in the darkness and silly self-stories that left us,
Leaning against hotel hallways doubled-over in snorting laughter.
A love so confirmed.
And so I went to every session I didn’t plan to go to–
Because for some reason He wanted me there.
And I tried to listen closely for
Wisdom and practicals and how-to’s and mostly,
For His loved confirmed.
And Elizabeth who called out–
“Fear as a liar and love as courageous.”
I needed to hear her because I’ve entered her space,
Hiding in corners because of our differences.
But I want words that carry,
That move hearts and share journeys.
And for years she’s moved my heart,
Her pain and her healing,
A seeking-truth-teller of–
God’s love unchanging.
And Mary who said,
“Choose small, but tend large”
And strained out my courage and banished safe living.
Who read my words in her session,
And gifted me boldness to keep on with this sharing,
Whose light on dark canvass
Is now whispering–
And Sally, who pressed for that First Love forgotten,
Where His voice proclaims beauty,
And my true words are actions.
Because my heart quakes to know,
Our children will whisper-
“I listened to everything you ever did.”
Where I am a piece in the puzzle of–
And Ann concurred–
Bend down close to write on lives in secret.
Where the most feared should be–
An echo of earth’s clapping,
While Heaven is silent…
The secret of good writing, is good living in secret. ~Ann
Your writing is only as credible as your life. ~Ann
The words of your story belong to the Word of God. ~Ann
Having Christian convictions never negates Christ’s compassions. ~Ann
And then I think of those love words sent from home–
To be so far away and see messages from
Home-friends who know me in and out.
Who cheered me on in this journey
And who rejoiced in my JOY.
And from online friends, who couldn’t be there…
Who swept away the entangling web of envy,
But instead chose a friendship that–
Rejoices even in the undeserved blessing of another.
And my husband always says…
That is the litmus test.
Friends who weep with those who weep,
But maybe sometimes more telling–
Friends who rejoice with those who rejoice.
A love confirmed.
And this husband who packed lunches,
Who juggled work loads and laundry loads,
Who shouldered– the load.
Who gave resources and asked questions and listened to me pour out my joyful-thanks-stories,
Who brought excited, hugging, screaming children to airports in the rain,
Because he wanted to show–
A love confirmed.
And on the final night…
We sang– God’s light of the world,
Who came down into our darkness,
Who opened my eyes that I might see.
Beauty that made my heart adore Him,
With hope of a life lived through Him.
And my eyes were lifted up.
Every heart in the room reminded that His love is what compels us.
Heart overflowing with–
His love confirmed.
…so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. ~Ephesians 1:12