In 2009, I ran the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco. Not only was it cool because it entailed a visit to San Francisco, which is always fun, but also because it was the biggest group of women united for one cause that I had ever been a part of. I stood on the starting line surrounded by thousands of women who were passionate about running, who had trained for months, and who, no matter what their background, were focused on a common goal: run this race.
It was awesome.
Never since then have I experienced such a tidal force of, for lack of a more academic term, girl power.
Never since then have I realized I missed it.
A month ago, my friend Carrie invited me and a few other friends to attend Living Proof Live, a Christian women’s conference led by a woman named Beth Moore. I had never heard of Beth before, but Carrie had heard great things, so last Friday night we all trekked out to the venue, curious and excited for some good female bonding time.
The place was PACKED. It turns out Beth Moore is a huge deal [if you are a Beth Moore fan, please be patient with me; I truly had no idea]. She informed the audience that there were 5,500 of us there.
5,500!! Have you ever experienced anything like that??
I loved it. Like the marathon I ran in 2009, here was an immense gathering of women united for a common goal. Only this time, instead of 26.2 miles, the goal was spiritual growth. Hey, both require passion, focus, and stamina, no?
Now: about the message laid out before us that weekend. I’m not going to give a summary of everything, because that’s about five hours’ worth of information, and that’s a lot. But two things really hit home for me:
1) Eliminate what you don’t want to generate.
Meaning whatever baggage you are carrying, put it down. Don’t shift it to another part of you; don’t give it to someone else; don’t share it so that both you and someone else carry it. Put it down. And don’t pick it back up. Because whatever we are carrying, whether it’s good or bad, we eventually pass to other people. We might not even notice, but it happens. The question we have to ask ourselves is, are we passing good or bad?
2) Think of three people (or more) whose faith you admire. Guess what? That same God – the one they’re so adept at praying to; the one in whom they have so much confidence and trust – He is with you.
This seems so comforting, and at the same time so empowering. To me, it says that you don’t have to be florid or even eloquent with your prayers. You don’t have to be a shining pillar of faith all the time. You don’t have to be perfect. God’s with you. And knowing that? Well, it’s like getting ready for a run when you’re feeling fit, you’ve got your favorite outfit on, it’s a beautiful day, and you’ve just slurped down an energy gel. You can do ANYTHING.
Here’s to that feeling. And to passing it on.