In the middle of the night a few years ago, I was working hard at getting to sleep. As a mother of eight, sleep is elusive, but SO necessary. Nevertheless, sometimes my body fights me, and sleep doesn’t come. This was one of those nights. I’m not even sure where the thought came from, but I started thinking about an event for women with movement, worship, and all the warm feelings. It was strange, because I’ve never been one to go for “women’s conferences”. In fact, I typically avoided them. When my husband and I were college ministers, I was invited to attend the Women’s Conference for the district. That was probably the last time I went to something like that and that was about 20 years ago. I don’t know… I just always felt like I didn’t fit in, I had different priorities, things were too surface-y, and I never felt like I was “enough”.
So now, why was I thinking about this event for women? Was this a God idea? Or coming out of nowhere? The weird thing was…I knew EVERYTHING about the event in that moment. Where it should be. The date. The type of woman attending. What it smelled and tasted like. It felt kind of like a download of information.
So, what did I do? Well, of course I sat on it for quite some time…I mean, this was just some silly idea, right? But…it didn’t go away, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. So, I began to pray. “God, if this is something you have in fact put on my heart, open those doors.” I knew I wouldn’t be able to do things on my own, and I felt this need to take my choice of women very seriously. Some said they couldn’t help, but we settled on a small team of women who caught the vision with me. None of these women knew each other, and had fairly different life situations and backgrounds, but they were on board, and ready to serve. Having these women gave me the accountability to press forward.
When the day arrived for the first (of which I hoped many would follow) Wholeness Gathering, it was like a dream (well, it actually was because I HAD seen everything beforehand)! We certainly learned a ton from that morning (like coffee in a huge percolator takes FOREVER), but the way the morning FELT was exactly what I hoped. There were women in their teens up to their 60s; there were single moms, married moms, empty-nester moms, and women who aren’t moms; there were different churches (or no church), races, shapes, sizes, and styles; BUT the most important thing was happening…EVERYBODY BELONGED. THIS is my heart…to foster an environment where every person I encounter knows they don’t have to fit a particular model to belong…and THIS is the heart of The Wholeness Gathering.
My prayer for our event this year is that atmosphere would increase every year. Our speaker, Rachel Faagutu, is well acquainted with finding herself in places she doesn’t “belong” and I can’t wait for you to hear her heart. Trust me…you BELONG at The Wholeness Gathering 10-12-19.