Something clicked in my heart and my mind that Thursday morning. Something which had been broken for years. I stood in a huge roomful of 800+ women. All creatives like me. Writers. Speakers. Christ followers. They spanned from wall to wall and I saw myself among them for the first time, not as a competitor, like it has always been, but as part of a team.
Maybe it was all the overachieving I did in high school when I strove for valedictorian but ended up salutatorian or third in my class (I really don’t remember). Perhaps it was the pressure from professors in college to major in subjects I was good at but didn’t love. I have been competing for a long, long time, and it’s exhausting.
I want to stop running for unattainable goals and start really living, not for myself, but to help others, however I can. There I stood at the She Speaks conference as a seasoned writer who often thinks she really has it going on. But I didn’t know how to break down this gnarly brick wall that’s been staring at me my whole life: the challenge to do what I love with others. Together. On the same side.
Writing online is a journey for the stout-hearted—I get that. We’re not privileged to see our fellow creatives face to face all the time. But I needed to see them. To meet them. And I did. I held their hands, hugged their necks, cried over dinner, and prayed boldly. I rode the elevator with them as they told me their stories and shared their dreams. I saw their faces, insecurities, hurts, and humility. Their beauty, scars, and willingness to go to the ends of the earth.
On the way there and the way home, I met up with them in city centers and lake beaches, played with their kids and talked for hours. I saw them: individuals making big and small waves in a world that needs every drop of hope any of us can muster. All comparison aside. All judgement banished. It drowned forever in that sea of beautiful faces.
I almost lost it right there as the music played over us.
We always have been together. We are writing to change the world for God and we are on the same team.
I got to meet so many beautiful writers on my recent trip. Thank you all for changing my heart and saving this writer with your love.
This post is part of Five Minute Friday, a flash mob of weekly creatives who write on one word collectively. This community has been instrumental in breaking down the first bricks of that wall. We are an amazing team. I hope you’ll join us.