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.
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