It’s been a while since I’ve had a good, happy, soul cleansing cry. You know the type of cry where you don’t really know WHY you’re crying, but your eyes are just releasing all sorts of emotions?! I went to the Creative at Heart Conference thinking I was simply there as a panelist in hopes of offering tips, advice and inspirational anecdotes to sweet fellow creative business owners. Instead, I was completely caught off guard when I found myself reflecting on my life’s purpose. Which was quite bizarre when I simply was going to get some blogging advice and a good night sleep away from Bane for the first time!
This is a little snippet from Katelyn’s chat with us, I don’t want to comment on it too much, I’m hoping you’ll be able to take your own inspiration from it and how it relates to you! (I recorded her talk, and I pulled little sections from it here) :)
“…we were scared our impact on the Kingdom was going to end because my husband wasn’t in ministry… and the biggest myth is that to change peoples lives you have to do it in a church…there are so many women in this room that have been a part of my life, they’re brides that pay me money, then they booked me and I spend all day with their friends and family, then I went to conferences with them, then I started to get to know their heart, and then I got to hear about their struggles, and then they got introduced to Jesus, and then I got to pray with them, and then I got to see life change… that is why were doing this….people need people!…”
I mean… WOW!!
For those of you new to my blog, a quick little background about me so you know why this was so powerful for me. I am what I refer to as a ‘suicide survivor’. I’ve overcome a deep depression I battled long ago as an adolescent, as well as multiple types of substance abuse, was expelled from high school and told by my very own school principal I would ‘never amount to anything’ and never thought I would live to see the age of 20. Being that I’m now the complete opposite of my former self and an athiest turned Christian, I can only wish that I can bring it full circle and lift up others, help others heal in their struggles, and be part of happiness in other peoples lives the way Katelyn describes it!
The most amazing thing about hearing what she spoke about, was that afterwards, I went to my hotel room and had a good cry. It was one of those soul cleansing cries! But, when I was in my room, three sweet girls (two of which are past brides of mine!) Emily, Kat and Abby all came to my room and prayed with me. THAT is what it’s all about. Connections, people, and love :)
To add to my cryfest, Mary (who is known to make people cry — good tears though!), shared her story of redemption, of overcoming obstacles. It really helped me to understand that I need to not be shy about sharing my story more than I already do. It helped me see that I too can be that light for people. I just wish I can get over my stage fright to be able to share it on a larger scale!
These gals are rockstars, let me tell you! If you’re looking for inspiration, or good reads from a variety of wedding creatives, there’s a good mix here of young moms, bloggers, wedding photogs, speakers, and social media geniuses here! From left to right & front to back: Krista Jones, Amanda Hedgepeth, Kat Schmoyer, Katelyn James, (Me), Morgan Montgomery, Natalie Franke, Ashlee Gilligan (iPhone pic — sorry for the blurry-ness!!)How fun are these quick head shots Hope Taylor took of me at the conference?! I was completely un-prepared (and needing a major mommy-hair-makeover at the time), but I just LOVE them!
The drive to Roanoke Virginia from my home in Stafford Virginia was about 3.5 hours and took me into the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains! I miss being out at JMU with these views! It was such a peaceful drive and I took some snapshots (I only pressed the button, I wasn’t looking at my phone while driving ;) How gorgeous is this?! Sorry for the terrible quality,… again, I’m no photographer!
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