I miss being at Women of Faith. It's so strange to state something like that and I'm not sure if I can explain it so that it makes sense.
I feel as though I walked into the weekend with raw and open wounds and this weekend was like salve, and my wounds started to heal a bit. But now, returning to "real life", I'm afraid that this new healing will be ripped away, exposing the wounds again.
Actually, I'm terrified of that. I want to remember every word I heard. I want to keep the safe feeling I had.
I keep reading and re-reading my notes from the weekend and listening to the Rejoice worship cd that I purchased, trying to keep my head back where it's been.
While there is much for me to still share with you, I can't wait any longer to tell you about a wonderful woman I got to meet on Saturday: Angie Smith from Bring The Rain. While I've been blessed to know Angie for some time now, seeing her face-to-face took things from an online friendship to making our friendship solid in my heart.
We'd been messaging each other on Friday trying to figure out when we could meet up in her schedule but weren't able to make it happen that day. It felt so weird to be so close yet not be able to see her. I'm a hugger and I was just itchin' to give that sweet girl a big squeeze.
I woke up on Saturday morning and decided to just let things be what they would be. If I was able to make it to her book signing, I would. But if I couldn't then I would have to be ok with that.
Jen and I arrived at the arena about five minutes after the session started. The worship team was singing and the place was full of energy. I was singing away when I saw a woman coming down the aisle looking for someone. Just as her eyes met mine I realized who it was.
It was Angie. And she was looking for me.
I started to make my way to the end of the aisle with a polite "excuse me, excuse me" but the closer I got to her it became more "move! move!"
My apologies to the woman on the aisle seat...her toes may never be the same again.
We hugged and hugged and who knows what either of us said because it was so loud but there she was. My heart was so touched that she would have left her spot on the Women of Faith porch to come and find me. Later on I would learn how she wasn't allowed to do that. She's a rule breaker, that one.
I looked forward to hearing her speak and while my heart just ached for her as she shared about the devastating loss of her precious Audrey, I was so encouraged by the depths of her faith. She owned that stage, making us all laugh and cry alongside her.
I decided that I would leave just before the conference ended and head upstairs to her signing table. I'd brought my copy of What Women Fear just in case. I was the fifth or sixth person in line and quickly learned that the line would be cut off at 20. Whew!
I'll admit, I did feel somewhat guilty for taking up a spot in that lineup, considering I already had a chance to meet her but I kept my mouth shut. I figured the Lord would forgive me!
The woman waiting in line behind me was a hard core Angie fan and was telling me facts about her like she was hosting a trivia contest. "Did you know..." and more "did you know..." It was more than a little creepy. Just sayin'.
Then it was my turn :-) We hugged and hugged some more, and again...who knows who said what because we were both talking over each other. Yes, people. She truly is as genuine and kind as she comes across on her blog. Even more so. And funny. I put my purse down and leaned on that table all comfortable-like as if we had all the time in the world.
Oh I saw you giving me the stink eye, Trivia-girl. I saw.
One of my big expressions is "pics or it didn't happen" so, here's my pic.
Just so you know, I told Angie I was going to blog about this and drop her name like a ton of bricks and she was a-ok with it. She told me if I didn't blog about us meeting then she was going to break into my blog and do it herself. Ha.
We hugged and hugged and then our time was over. I felt sad leaving. There was so much I wanted to say to her that our emails and tweets couldn't convey. I hope she felt them in my hugs.
I love you dearly, sweet Angie. I'm so glad we got to meet, and your inscription in my book was lovely.
And that concludes my name-dropping for today.