The Power of Women Gathering Together
I’ve been a fan of conferences ever since I attended my first youth retreat in junior high.
Even as a teenager my life was so packed full of “events” there was little time left over for God. But during that Jr. High retreat, I was given the gift of space to breathe. No school. Or homework. Or practices. Just time with other Christian friends and God among us. There’s something spiritually healthy in getting away from your everyday life, taking time to think about new ideas, and have interesting conversations you probably wouldn’t make time for otherwise. Even now as an adult, I always come home from conferences refreshed and ready to tackle life with a renewed perspective.
This has never been truer for me than after becoming a mom. In the wee small years of parenthood, when the mental, physical and emotional demands are 24/7/365, moms (and dads) must make time for self-care. This is not a luxury; it’s an imperative. Without this time to take a step back, rest, and have someone else invest in you for a moment, you will run on fumes until you break down entirely. Coming together with other women lets us know that we are not alone, that we are in this together and that we can survive the hard seasons of life.
Each of us is on this planet at this specific time in history for a reason.
We have life-giving work set before us that only we can do. The most interesting part of this is that we are encouraged to accomplish our work in community. In a world that says “every woman for herself,” our Creator says we can accomplish more together. We were not created for isolation. Yet, I also sense a force working against me and discouraging me. And when I listen and remain isolated, this force grows stronger and pushes me further into debilitating isolation.
But in community, I can step back into the light and through connection with other women, accomplish wonderful things. Other sisters remind me of my value and that my identity is in Christ. Particularly at conferences, my soul can finally rest, listen for God, and get recharged through God’s Spirit shining through others around me. Connection with others helps to reignite purposes, plans, dreams, and hopes in my heart that I might have forgotten about.
Coming together as women in both conference and event settings reminds me of who I am, why I am alive, and helps me refocus on God’s desire for my life.
1 Timothy 1:6 says, “For this reason, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God.” Fire needs oxygen to grow and time shared with other women serve as that oxygen for my soul. I have learned that my gifts – just like the flame – suffocates when I don’t give it oxygen.
When we link arms with other women and take time to retreat and reflect, we fan into the flame the gift of God. This is the power of gathering. This is how we run our races, stay the course, and change the world. What are you doing to fan into flame the gift of God in your own life? In the life of other women around you? Are you giving time to other women to do the same for you?