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The Christian Conference After-Shock

The Christian Conference After-Shock

Coming home from a Christian conference tends to bring out a really terrible side of me.

After incredible Influence, I felt like I could have flown myself home in the air. I was so pumped for Jesus and what He was doing in the lives of the women I knew. It held these incredible, exhilarating, totally overwhelming moments of nothing I’d ever known before.

So when I came home, I think I figured it was going to be all different. I’d had a spiritual revival and I was going to light the world on fire for my God.

Reality, however, had the same plans as before. I was still a mama, wife, and still grieving the son I’d just lost the month before. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be home or was dissatisfied with my life, but I kept thinking that my passion would change everything. We’d sell it all and move to Ethiopia or I’d go to seminary. Maybe I’d be this amazing, Bible knowing, praying-in-the-corner-with-my-apron-over-my-head kind of woman.

I don’t even own an apron y’all. But I did think about buying one just for that reason.

And to my shock, no one around me seemed to get that. Sam wasn’t interested in moving to Africa for no apparent reason I could tell him. Bella just wanted to eat and yell at Charlie about looking at her. They just wanted to snuggle and watch movies and I loved that but inside I was like, “IN AFRICA THEY DON’T HAVE MOVIES.” I felt very irritated no one seemed to realize how I needed to change the world.

What I forgot was – I was Diana at the conference and at home. I came back to my own brokenness, grief, and anger to deal with still.

I’ve spent since then really working on those emotions. To channel that passion into something that is used for God’s glory while realizing that His plan is for me to be here. Not to have some radical lifestyle change and avoid what needs to be dealt with in my own Christian walk.

So the IF: Gathering was different in coming home because of the intensity I’d had at Influence. I was aware of being all about Jesus for 2 solid days with incredible music and worship,  motivational women who spoke, friends that wanted to share about deep things. I had to remind myself that while someone might leave and shake up their world, it was ok for me to go home and make some quiet changes in being closer to a God I still haven’t found after losing Kaden. It’s ok for me to go home and be a mama, wife, and try my best to show my family the love of Christ before I show others.

These are beautiful, breathtaking, beyond incredible conferences that have life-changing things happen at them. I love going and being a part of a group that loves my Jesus. I love seeing the stories after of how the waves of the conference branch into ripples that just keep going out into the world. Maybe one of these days, that will be us. We will be those people who feel that huge call. I’m open to that if God wants it.

Until then, I’m working on making myself whole again in small ways from others big dreams shared with me.

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Comments

  1. Sweet and dear gatherer – your day is not "one of these days", it is today. My heart breaks at your loss. Although you feel in the middle of your tangled threads – you ARE a ripple that went out into the world when you left that conference. I pray you see the incredible value you have as a helpmate to a husband who lost his baby, mama to kids who lost their sibling and a testimony of God's grace in the midst of horrible pain. Your testimony in the days ahead IS a ripple in this world. It IS your purpose today and tomorrow – what a mighty and powerful purpose. I pray you believe that in your heart and you find great value and honor in knowing our God entrusted you with such a "brut-iful" purpose. I pray for a peace that surpasses all understanding and a comfort that is far more than you can imagine.

  2. You have no idea how I related to this… All day Saturday I was showered with love about/to/for Jesus, then I come home and my kids don’t agree on dinner plans, my Husband was texting while I was just sitting next to him (he did give me a long embrace once I arrived).. but still.. what was more important than me sharing? IT WAS A HARD SATURDAY EVENING, but I got on my knees and prayed.

  3. Diana it was so good meeting you and getting to share 1.5 meals with you ;) thanks for your words. This was one of the first times I came home not wanting to change the world, I just want to be. Be me, be His, be present in my day to say life. I learned that is good and pure in the eyes of out Father. Thanks for sharing your heart :)

  4. I’ve totally struggled coming home from conferences before. In high school, I would be so sad to have left my new friends I would be a total brat to my parents. There was always a funk that followed me for a few days. It was a horrible way to deal with the jolt back to my normal world. After IF, I’m working on taking what I’ve learned and applying it in small pieces to my daily life.

  5. (Mrs.) Mary Lichlyter says:

    Well, you have little idea what an influence for the world you are right now! You don’t know what or whom you’re shaking up. And it’s probably just as well that you don’t know. We are called to belong to Christ and follow Him in the little things and the big things, in the nobody moments and the somebody moments. They’re all His moments. The difficult part is that He doesn’t write life as a movie scriptwriter would. And for a good reason: It’s real life, not a script. So we feel let down when we come down the mountain. Feelings! Has He *really* let us down just because we live in the valley? That’s a big question.

  6. Honestly, the fact that you carry on with such strength and grace shows what wonderful things our God is capable of. He fills us up so we have the fuel to trudge through our trials. Your fire IS contagious and you don’t have to be baptising people in Africa to create change and spread His glory. Keep on keepin’ on, pretty lady!

  7. You are in inspiration Diana! YOU, your family, AND your little angels are world changers! Yeah, maybe you can’t just pick up and move to Africa – but sweet lady, you have touched the lives of every single person that reads your blog and has come in contact with you. You have amazing strength in the midst of the storms in life. I only wish I could be as strong. You inspire me to be better. many hugs, many hugs :)

  8. Your words about after the conference are so similar to what my heart has been challenged with for days and days. My burden though passes our generation and looks at the next generation of mamas and wives and women in the workplace. Those who right now are in high schools, colleges, or 1st jobs. After years working in youth ministry, my heart is tired of seeing girls give themselves to Jesus at an alter call because of the passion and emotion, but come back home to life and reality and temptations with no life experience at all to help them be strong enough to REALLY give him control. Fear makes it all go back to normal.

    I want there to be something different, something more that we are giving them in the name of Jesus at these events that makes it REAL. Like Jen Hatmaker said, I want to make the Bible real for them. Then when they return home, they have an anchor, it is real in them. But more than that, I want them to be surrounded by “so great a cloud of witnesses” that they literally feel the weight being lifted from them and the life worn shields of those who have gone before them surround them and help fight off the attacks that will come when they return to a world that is not about praising Jesus.

    I don’t know exactly what it looks like, but it will happen. God placed this burden within me and I am going to see it through. Thank you for your words. They confirm for me that what I feel is true. No matter the age of the woman.

  9. I so appreciate you being REAL and letting others know it’s okay to just be faithful women and not super women. Re-entry is always difficult whether it be a spiritual conference, a vacation or a quick weekend with friends. Yes, reality shows no mercy– husband’s need our attention and children need our time and love. Not to mention pets, laundry, dust bunnies…

    I think you deserve a BIG hug (and a high five) for even finding the strength to go. After what you have been through in the last months most would want to walk away from God, instead of running toward Him. You are an inspiration to those of us who have suffered loss.

    Be gentle with yourself and know that God has you right where he wants you for now. There will be time for serving outside your home and you will know when it feels right to do so. As it was said all weekend, resisit the urge to measure yourself against others. You are serving God right now, by being there, right where you are behind the keyboard being true and giving encouragement and just being with your family.

  10. Columba Lisa Smith says:

    Thank you for linking to Susanna's Apron, and I hope and pray you are comforted and blessed always. Your faith really shines through your trials. Hugs, Lisa

  11. I wasn’t at the conference, but you have no idea how much I resonate with your post! I have two amazing friends who shared some wonderful testimonies with me the other day about how God is working in their life. After we lost two pregnancies in the last 7 months (plus a lot of other things happening) I just felt a little jealous and so very damaged. I still am having trouble trusting God. Reading my Bible and praying are CHORES because I’m not finding joy in them. I hope that you can find your way to God and find a way to work through your pain, but do know that you are rippling out into the world through sharing your pain…because so many of us understand (maybe not exactly, but in ways). Thank you for being open and honest!

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