For those who have been following along with me here, you’ve heard me mention how excited I am to be attending The Influence Conference for the very first time. Well, following a week of work and appointments, I’ll be on my way next weekend to the big event and I couldn’t be more stoked as the final countdown to it begins!
Over the past few weeks, I have been preparing my heart, mind, and soul for what I believe is going to be a most amazing and refreshing opportunity to connect, grow, learn, and worship. I have heard from others via social media that this conference is a life-changing experience as it brings together women from all over the country whose desire is to honor and glorify God through their unique gifts, talents, and abilities. Friendships have been made, hearts have been transformed, dreams have been fulfilled, and blessings have overflowed from this weekend of drawing close to the heart of God and being in the midst of incredible people from all different walks of life. And I could not be more thrilled to be a part of it this year.
I joined The Influence Network at the beginning of this year after two years of regular blogging and working on what would become my first published eBook. I was aware of the network for a little over a year, as I learned about it through the #SheReadsTruth community as well as from other authors and bloggers I follow; but I finally committed to becoming a member as I felt God calling me to put more time, thought, and energy into this space and the creative gifts He’s given to me over the year to come. And I am so very glad I made this decision. As a member, I have access to monthly classes and forums that encourage my efforts and help me further develop in this arena, as well as opportunities to publicize my blog and my eBook, all of which have fostered bravery and confidence for me as I put myself out there as a fellow creative and writer. I appreciate that this is yet another community I am free to be a part of, a community where I am accepted for who I am and what God is calling me to do with my life. I am grateful for the network newsletters, magazine, and frequent updates on the blog, Facebook, and Instagram that remind me to “keep running the race” that God has called me to run (Hebrews 12:1).
With all of that said, The Influence Network is not just about what we do on the Internet; it’s purpose is not about ego and self-promotion of what we’re all doing in our corners of the world. The purpose is much bigger than that. It’s about God and The Gospel and how as a body of believers, we are each doing our part to build up the body of Christ as we press into the passions He has placed in our heart, and point others to Him, and Him alone. And that’s why I love being a part of this. My faith is a huge part of my life and I want the things I do and say and write to reflect how great the God I serve is and what He is capable of doing in the life of a person who places his/her faith in Him. I am so far from perfect – none of us within this community are – and so much of what I hear and read from those in this community is about the imperfect lives all of us live and how by God’s grace, He is transforming our lives into something beautiful, day-by-day. And rarely does it ever look like we envisioned. We are women who face real challenges, difficult decisions, and even complete and utter failure at times. Yet, we fix our eyes on Him and press on toward the goal and dream He has for us (Philippians 3:14), because we believe that even at and in our worst of circumstances, He will do things beyond our wildest dreams (Ephesians 3:20).
If you would have told me a few years ago that I would be blogging every week, or that I would have published a book before the age of 30, or that I would be an active part of an online community of creative women, I would have said, “Yeah, right.” No, seriously. I was the girl who was so focused on striving in school and then in my career as a social worker, and making sure everything in my marriage was ‘just so’ that I didn’t have, or rather, make time for things like this. I remember not wanting to have a Facebook account initially because it would be ‘one more thing to do and keep up on’ and I already had enough on my plate. I smile thinking about it now. I’ve changed so much in the past few years and my ideas of what I want for my future personally and professionally have transformed as well.
God has been showing me a different way of connecting and ministering through this medium of social media, still using my education and professional skills, as well as the special talents and gifts He’s given to me, to help others. I was so scared to publish my first blog post after the idea had been nagging at me for months, and even just recently, I felt anxiety as I shared my eBook with all of you. This process is one of vulnerability and intention and keeping myself in check, so to speak; making sure that I’m not glorifying myself, but the One who is making all things new and working all things out for the good of those who love Him. It can be scary, but it has also been incredibly rewarding and something that I look forward to doing on a regular basis. It’s a part of who I am, just like running and travel and family and friends, are a part of my life. I’m thankful for this opportunity and am so honored to attend the Influence Conference in just a few days to learn how I can develop even further in this area and deploy myself into positive change for our generation and the world altogether. It’s going to be AWESOME!
I’ll be back on here in October, friends! Have a great end to the month!