The First-Time @womenoffaith


The first time I attended a Women of Faith event, FBC Prescott granted me a scholarship and I met my group at the Glendale Arena. There were many faces that I knew, and some that I did not, but I felt alone in a crowd of thousands of people. Part of my sorrow came from the fact that I had asked two people in my family to attend. I struggled to feel close to them. Their “other plans” hurt me and so I worshiped God in that crowd and thought of them through invisible tears. To make things worse, I also began to get a migraine.

My plan to try to establish closeness with those two in my family failed; it was another rejection from a lifetime of rejection, and I felt the failure like a stab of a knife into my flesh.  My church family had separated into many different directions and the crowds pressed into me causing claustrophobia. At lunch, I sat on the pavement and felt no appetite. I had lost the crowd I came with, and I sat with no idea how to spend my free hour. I tossed my lunch in the garbage and started walking towards Cabellas. I called my husband to meet me there and skipped the rest of the event. It wasn’t Women of Faith’s fault.

Fellowshipping takes two; each person has to give themselves into it in order for it to work. If it doesn’t work, it’s because one part stopped just short of connecting. For instance, I could have tried to tag along had I not felt that I was intruding. Each group had a connection with each other and I didn’t have the confidence to forge a connection with any of my group.  It only made my negative feelings worsen. It takes a small act of faith to connect in spite of your feelings. In any case, I swore off attending Women of Faith events based on feelings only, citing every negative experience as justification. Yet, I was wrong.

Women of Faith is an excellent experience. They offer a place for people seeking prayer.  Instead of taking advantage of the services they offered and letting someone else help to hold my burden, I chose to delve in self-pity. Instead of connecting with people who attended my church, I chose to allow my lack of confidence to build walls. I’m not the only one who has ever felt rejected by my family and I’m not the only one who has ever felt alone in a crowd.

Last year’s Women of Faith became quite an experience with my sister-in-law. I didn’t feel alone. We had so much fun talking and absorbing the uplifting songs and speakers. We laughed together. I stepped out of my shell even to worship as in a concert. And this year, I am going as a blogger following Women of Faith. In fact, I am going with my church again, too. I’m a different person than I was when I went alone. I am going to make connections down there, create them from nothing, and pray for those who might be present that feel alone in the stadium.

If you have a story about how Women of Faith has affected your life or would like to talk about your experience with Women of Faith, please click here for more information on how to submit.

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13 thoughts on “The First-Time @womenoffaith”

  1. What a great post sharing both the good and the bad and offering grace for both, as well as encouragement to step out — showing how things can be different. I’ve certainly felt both and what’s encouraging is knowing God wants us to experience the good fellowship and will always offer it to us. I’m excited you’ll be there, Nikole — and can’t wait to hear about it!

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  2. Thank you for sharing your experiences, Nikole. Both the positive and the negative are enlightening, especially when you also put here your reflections on them. I also struggle with my feelings most of the time, choosing to give in more to them instead of trusting God. This is still a major challenge for me.

    God bless! 🙂

    Irene

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  3. I lived my whole life this way, for such a long time. I’m so thankful that God brought me through to a place where I could keep an eye out for the loneliness in others and offer myself to him as a conduit for encouragement. Somehow it is not only less lonely, but a joyful process to be always looking to share the story of God’s work with any random encounter than to be always hoping someone will reach toward/find/love me.

    With the old attitude, I focus on my own emptiness (which is a natural state for any honest person, and the reason we need Christ) and with the new I focus on God’s overwhelming and overflowing grace (which is a promise that doesn’t depend on my capacity but on Christ, who never runs out) and have never yet failed to find some way to pour out some small gift, if only a smile or a quick hug.

    Thanks so much for the reminder!

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  4. “It takes a small act of faith to connect in spite of your feelings.”
    Amen to that, Nikole.

    I’m glad you shared both your good and bad experiences here. Most people will be able to relate to both, maybe not necessarily with Women of Faith, but somewhere along the way. I know I relate.

    I pray you have a wonderful time connecting with God and your friends this time. I absolutely loved the weekend with my daughter (despite me losing it a time or two along the way!). I know you’ll come away enriched.

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  5. This is so familiar to me…. the two times I have been to Women of Faith were like this for me. The first time I went with a church group and we got hotel rooms. I ended up in the room with all the older ladies, who right after wanted to go to bed. I wanted to talk and digest what we had heard. Instead I went to bed when they did.

    The second time I tagged along with another church group where I was alone in a group of people I did not know. I sat there in the midst of worship all alone crying my pain and heart to God. And when a time came where the lights went up and WOF suggested talking to those around us and connecting and sharing what God was saying, I sat alone, no one talking to me. I even turned and introduced myself to some of the people near me. The said hi and turned around to talk some more. I even sat there with the lights up crying silent small tears and no one noticed. And when they started I quickly wiped them away and got out the cell phone and called my husband just to connect to someone.

    Of course all this was before God cracked through the walls and masks I had placed around me. So looking back I now wonder how much of my feeling alone, was me.

    Yet I know I was not alone, God was there. I could not bring myself to go ask for prayer. I know God noticed.

    I loved the teachings. I loved the music. But I felt alone in a crowd of people.

    I haven’t gone to a WOF event since. I have been on other retreats and stuff that my church has done and connected on those.

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    1. I’m sorry, Katie, that your experience went like mine. The other was much better because I gave a ticket to my sister in law. This time I am going with friends and it will be nice to connect or to reach out to someone experiencing WOF like you did and help them feel that connection. Still praying for you and yours.

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