My brain works in weird ways. I often realize that I live in my head; thinking about things that have occurred in the past without reason or rhyme. Today I was reminded of one of the best memories of recent times; and I thought today was the day to share it.
I was attending a woman’s conference that weekend- the theme was called “I’m with you” . The conference talked about how as a woman we need girlfriends to share our lives with, to laugh and to cry with. The presenters shared their personal experiences with how their friendships are. They shared sad moments together and how they supported each other through it all…and happy moments; their laughter and pure joy on screen was contagious with the audience. It was an awesome inspiring conference and I felt the love and bond that these ladies shared with each other. There was one problem…. I had attended alone. I didn’t have any friends sitting with me, and hearing their stories of how they were doing life with each other; I was suddenly hit with an onslaught of negative thoughts. How I didn’t have anyone that I felt close enough to invite to attend to me…how all my friendships with girlfriends seemed so distant that I couldn’t share what these ladies were sharing with any of them.
If I was honest with myself- I had friends that would have loved to spend time with me that day; and likewise there were several people that I would have loved to be there had I taken the time to connect with them and extend the invite to attend. However in that moment, my negative thoughts took over and overwhelmed me. I remember trying desperately to hold back the tears as I quickly ran to the bathroom. The message that was ripping thru me was opposite of that weekends whole idea…I felt alone and unloved. I felt not worthy. I felt defect…I kept asking myself why couldn’t I have more friends and what was wrong with me that I didn’t have friends like these ladies. I was jealous and hurt. I felt like everyone in that crowd of women that attended that day had someone sitting next to someone that they could call a friend, everyone except me. Blame it on whatever you want, but something at that moment broke me.
I left the conference a half hour or so early. That same evening I was volunteering at an event called A Weekend to Remember; thru Family Life, this is an event where couples focus on their marriages. I left trying to pull myself together as I was about to minister to a group of people that desperately needed healing and faith in their marriages. I drove alone; as I pulled into the parking lot I noticed that the lanyard I wore had the theme of the woman’s conference “I’m with you” written across it…I scoffed at this idea as thoughts of about how unlovable and alone I was reverberated in my head.
Then it happened….the group that was volunteering for the marriage conference was lead into prayer by an older lady. She was a regular volunteer for this ministry from out of town; some would call her a “prayer warrior”, She was amazing to watch in action. She started to put her hands on each individual and prayed out loud for that person and the prayers that she said were spot on….she hadn’t met most everyone in that room until that day but the things she prayed spoke into each persons life in almost a eerily accurate way. There was an individual there that was involved in young men’s ministry- she prayed for guidance for him to specifically guide the young. I was inspired by her gift as I watched her walk around the room and pray these awesome prayers that were clearly influenced.
She got to me…I was thinking; what on earth was she going to pray for me for, she couldn’t possibly know my heart. She put her hands on me and didn’t speak for a few long seconds and then she said words I will never forget. She looked me in the eyes and said “wow….do you know how special and loved you are? wow…God has big plans for you.” I was speechless. I remember a wave of peace going thru me; and I couldn’t help but thinking- wow I’m loved….and for the first time in a long while I DID feel loved.
I’ve thought back to that day and that moment…..I have wondered several times after she said those things …why am I special? Is it something that I did? Is there something that I am suppose to do? What are these big plans that he has for me? There are some days that I think…yeah…maybe I am special because I did this thing or maybe I will do something amazing in the future that God will smile upon. Truth of the matter is God thinks everyone is pretty special. He created me and everyone else for goodness sakes! He knows me pretty intimately and there is none a darn thing I NEED to do for him to love me. I am his child, and of course he thinks I’m awesome!
Reflecting back to that day, During the conference while I was focusing on my perceived deficits he was working on a plan to draw me closer to him and remind me how much he values me. While I was blinded in my moment of self pity; I thought the theme of the day “I’m with you” was about a friend sharing your experience. While I still wish I had taken the time to invite one of my friends to come with me; I realize now that I was far from alone at that conference. I had an amazing God with me. While my friends may know me and share some life experiences with me, noone but him can understand my heart. While my friends are busy with their lives and cant always be there, God is always there. He has always been with me, and he always will be…and wow he loves me! I am simply in awe.