I don’t get to go to many conferences, though I’d love to if I could. I’d conference hop year-round given the opportunity, because I get so much out of them! The one conference “must” for me is the annual reCreate women’s conference at our church. This year’s reCreate conference did not disappoint! From the moment I received my packet in the mail and saw that the conference theme was “Without Fear”, I knew that God had fresh word planned just for me!
I chose to attend the conference this year by myself. That is something I never would have done just a few years ago! Let me encourage you, if not having a friend who will come to a conference with you is something that keeps you from showing up: there is so much value in coming alone! In years past I would have avoided the conference altogether for the fear of being alone. Fear used to be my friend, you see. Even though I thought it was protecting me, Fear has kept me from experiencing many things over the years!
I spent plenty of time with some of my friends at the after party, but when I arrived, I prayed specifically for God to lead me to the right place to sit and new people to talk to. I was able to make a couple of sweet new friends this way! This was perhaps the best reCreate I have ever attended. Here are some snapshots from the weekend:
- “The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger.” (Psalm 27:1)
- Charlotte Gambil, session 1/Friday evening.
- Rollerskating and fireworks at the after party. Not shown: plates full of wings and nachos followed by dessert trucks!
- Jesus, You change everything! 🎶
- Lysa Terkeurst, session 3/Saturday morning.
- The worship team gets silly after lunch on Saturday.
I took a copious amount of notes over the weekend! Here’s a few of the things that really stood out to me:
- Potential without purpose cannot shine. There are three voices that speak to us, attempting to disconnect us from our purpose: limitation, manipulation and intimidation (1 Samuel 17). The only voice that can connect us to our purpose is the voice of validation, and that is the one that comes from the Lord! Charlotte Gambil, session 1
- Fear is not an emotion. It is a spirit! The origin of fear is the unknown, but what I do know changes everything! We can know for sure that God knows everything, He is at work, and He is always with us. When I grasp these truths, I can face whatever comes my way. Pastor Chris Hodges, session 2
- Circumstances can cause us to feel we have been shattered beyond repair and ground into dust, but God loves to craft beauty from dust! Looking at circumstances through the lens of God’s love fills us with faith. Fear entered the world as soon as Adam and Eve bought satan’s lie, that all-knowledge was desirable. However, we don’t need whys. What we really need is to be wise. We were not meant to bear the knowledge of good and evil, and it brings us death. But death is a gift- to return to dust so that we can be resurrected by God! Lysa TerKeurst, session 3
- Sometimes, walking away from a mess is not the answer. Rather than leaving and losing everything we have worked for, we can roll up our sleeves and repair the broken things in our lives. The enemy has a vested interest in our choice to quit, but God often wants to heal us right where we are. We can observe the process of healing through five sets of tears that Joseph cried. When confronted with the family that betrayed him, he cried several times. First, tears of residue, followed by tears of regret. He cried tears of reconciliation and tears of rejoicing. Finally, he was able to cry tears of restoration and his family was brought back together. What the enemy intended for evil, God used for good! Charlotte Gambil, session 4
- We are living life like we are in the Garden of Gethsemane, which lies between the Garden of Eden and the Garden that awaits us in Heaven. In this garden between two gardens, we will often, as Jesus did, experience “sorrow to the point of death”. But in it all, we can trust Him, because we can trust the friend who has experienced the same sorrows that we have experienced! We are to “run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2-3). “Just like we can’t eat a cake one ingredient at a time, we can’t look at our life one ingredient at a time. We may have to go through some heat, but we will rise… mature and complete, not lacking anything!” Lysa TerKeurst, session 5
Do you ever go to conferences? I’d love to hear about your favorite conferences to attend! Do you prefer to go alone or with a posse? Leave me a comment below!