I had already planned to attend a Women's Summit at church Saturday morning with a friend so I tried to go to bed a decent hour on Friday. I slept like a rock. The conference started at 9 in the morning and lasted until 12:30. I'm not sure of the official head count of women there, but it was a packed summit and I really enjoyed it! Nancy Guthrie delivered the speeches and her words were touching. The title of the Summit was, "Finding Right Side Up When Life Seems Upside Down."
In listening to Nancy speak, it was interesting because I reflected back on my life and how on many occasions when I attended similar events, I "fit" right inside the mold that the speaker was reaching out to. This time was different. Not to say that I didn't walk away without learning something new, which I'll share below, but for once in my life I feel as though I'll living my life, "Right Side Up." I'm not living in a crisis mode of not liking my job, being depressed, or engaging in disordered behaviors and I can't put into words how amazing it is to be able to just be "me."
I tell my husband a lot how thankful I am to have found someone that allows me to be "me," even though I know I'm still a work in progress and haven't figured everything out about who I am. For so many years I wore a series of "masks" to be the perfect gymnast, the perfect student, the perfect daughter, the perfect girlfriend, the perfect anorexic, etc. Living that kind of life is not only exhausting and lonely, but it's down right miserable. I wouldn't even call it living to be honest. It's more of just going through the motions and wondering if you'll make it through the next day.
I finally feel that I'm at a place in my life where I can be myself, wide open, and not have any regrets or worries. There's no need for a mask of any kind. If someone doesn't like me for who I am, then I'm not going to waste my time and energy on being with that person.
There are so many women that I know who still struggle daily with various disorders or insecurities in general and I just want them to know that freedom is possible. Freedom from the chains exists and is obtainable. Don't give up, hold on...there's light at the end of that dark tunnel, I promise.
Don't get me wrong, I remember clearly the days that I shook my head and thought when I heard similar words that the person telling me that was crazy and they didn't know my story and my pain. Here I sit on the other side where the grass is greener and I'm just so grateful that I continued to hold out hope and faith that freedom is possible. Life isn't meant to be lived behind a mask or chained to addictions that control your every thought and movement. If anyone reading this is still in that place, just know that freedom is out there and I pray you experience it for yourself one day.
Before I leave you, I want to share with you some thoughts I took away from the Summit on Saturday:
-Suffering is inevitable in our life and no amount of "goodness" or "Godliness" will guarantee that you won't suffer
-Not everything that happens in our life can be seen in the here and now
-God wants me to be a living demonstration of His glory; to rest in Him even when I don't understand what is happening in my life
-If I belong to Christ, I need to never fear that my suffering is God punishing me for my sin because Jesus Christ sacrificed his life and died for my sin
-Suffering is sometimes just the natural result of my sin or the way of the world
-As I child of God, I can be confident that when I suffer, God will use it for good to discipline me
-God is the Creator and I am the created. God can do whatever He wants with me
-Do not demand from God what I think I deserve but instead thank God for all the good He has given me
-What is it in your life that would change everything about your life if you were to write across it: You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good!
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday afternoon and bask in the goodness that surrounds you!