I remember my first Women of Faith (WOF) conference. My friend Annie and I (along with my daughter Joy and Ann’s almost-sister-in-law) drove from Delaware to Lancaster. There we picked up a bus and headed to Pittsburgh. It was 1997, the second year of WOF, but the first year in arenas.
We heard the original six speakers share their powerful stories: Barbara Johnson, who lived through the deaths of two sons and the near-fatal accident of her husband. Sheila Walsh, The 700 Club cohost who ended up in a mental hospital dealing with depression. Thelma Wells, who was locked in a closet by her mom. Patsy Clairmont, the woman who spent years housebound with agoraphobia. Luci Swindoll, who had no sad story, just a story of loving and living life to the fullest with great joy.
And the woman who touched Joy’s and my hearts the most, Marilyn Meberg. Marilyn talked about her adopted daughter and about her daughter’s search for her birth parents and the fear it evoked in her. And then she introduced us to her daughter’s birth mother who was in the audience. It was especially emotional for us as Joy and I relived the good, bad, and scary moments involved in our own adoption story. We shed a lot of tears, drew a lot closer.
For years after I attended Women of Faith conferences, first in Washington, D.C., and then in Philadelphia with groups from my church. We laughed, we cried, we worshipped, we learned, we grew in our relationship with God.
But then . . . actually, I don’t know what happened. I just didn’t get there. But this year the opportunity arose again. I got the opportunity to go as a blogger and to bring a friend. On September 9 and 10 I’ll be introducing my friend Cyndi to Women of Faith in Philadelphia.
It’s the Imagine conference, and I’ve been imagining what it will involve. Is it focused on dreams and imagining how God wants to fulfill them in us? I hope so, because I can always use the encouragement to follow the dreams God gave me. I’ll let you know when I get back. But no matter what, I’m sure it will be amazing.
It’s not too late to register and join Cyndi and me there. Click the Women of Faith Philadelphia conference logo, or visit their website for their conferences in other cities. I imagine you’ll still remember how it touched your life more than a dozen years later.