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My Women of Faith Weekend: a much-needed retreat

A month ago, I wasn’t sure I’d be coming to Seattle this weekend for Women of Faith.  Free tickets to the conference was great, but I still had to get here and find a place to say.  And I hadn’t found anyone who could come with me.  As I tried to decide what to do about the event, my focus began to change.  Instead of thinking of someone I’d like to spend a weekend with, I began praying, “Lord, You know who needs to be at this conference.  Please put us together so I can help her get there.”

Soon after, Joanna commented on Facebook that she was thinking about it.  I said I’d love to have her join me.  Within a week, we booked our plane tickets to Seattle and began emailing each other about what we wanted to do before and after the conference.

Seattle Washington - a collage of the Space Needle, Library, beach, and more

This weekend has come to feel like a divine appointment.  From the moment Joanna and I met at a small cafe here, we’ve talked nonstop—about editing FellowScript, homeschooling, the conference, children, our husbands, Seattle, our dreams, etc.  We knew we would like each other because we read each other’s blogs, but I feel like God must be smiling at how much fun we’re having together this weekend and how He orchestrated it.

Joanna arrived here Thursday night and navigated the conference by herself during the day on Friday.  When I flew in just before supper, I simply had to follow her around… to the Key Arena for the evening of the conference, to our B&B for the night, and back to the Arena this morning for the main event.

Women of Faith conference in Seattle

And what a conference it has been.  Today, I was scribbling notes in my little black notebook as each speaker seemed to say something that spoke right to my heart.  I blinked back tears so often today and thought of so many things that I want to write about and change in my own life.

Sandi Patty, Brenda Warner, Lisa Welchel, Mandisa, Patsy Clairmont, Marilyn Mebourg—all these ladies shared their stories with us this weekend, opened their hearts to us.  Sandi said we need to share our stories with each other so we can see how God has been faithful in the past—and we can trust He’ll be faithful in the future too.  It’s easy to get bogged down in our current problem (or to just get busy with kids/school/work/etc) and to lose that focus.  This weekend, and the stories these women shared about their own struggles—with weight, kids, faith, illness, loss—has felt like a drop of water falling into the desert my heart had become.

I came to Women of Faith skeptical.  Yes, I like conferences, but I don’t always go for big crowds and flashing lights and loud music.  In part, the conference was just an excuse to get away for a weekend.  Yet God knew that Women of Faith was just what I needed.  I think He put my name in the right place to be chosen as a conference blogger and then nudged Joanna to come along (we’re already talking about the possibility of returning next year… for another “drink from the well”…)

Joanna and Bonnie Way at Women of Faith conference in Seattle, Washington

I am so grateful to the Women of Faith team for putting the weekend together, to my husband for saying “go for it,” to Joanna for coming, and to God who really did know who needed to be here.

To see what Joanna had to say about the conference, check out her post.

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