I’ve cracked the code on how to make the post-vacation blues more bearable: offspring. I cannot wait to squeeze my babies!! We are headed back to Dallas today after a completely rejuvenating weekend in Los Angeles and while yes it was stunning, we rested, we slept in, we indulged, we laughed, we dated, we did it all; I wanted to share something on my heart.
As I shared last week, we settled on Los Angeles because of the Create & Cultivate conference. My sister and I attended the conference quite literally all day long on Saturday and it was everything I dreamed of and more! The entire venue was dripping in fresh blooms, beautiful food, greenery, pink and was stuffed to the brim with stunning women.
I listened to panelists like Jacey Dupree, Marianna Hewitt, Julia Engel and Arielle Vandenberg, enjoyed every word of keynote speakers like Lauren Conrad, Chrissy Tiegan and Kim Kardashian and even thought the stage was full of talent and inspiration, I couldn’t stop panning the room.
I searched for hour after hour. I looked at beautiful face after beautiful face and after 11 hours I still couldn’t find her.
I couldn’t find a single woman like me.
As an athletically built, half black and half white woman standing at nearly 6’0, It’s rare for me to feel like I “fit in.” There were some girls my color, but they were either teeny tiny with perfect extensions or tall and slender with proud closely shaved hair or long wild braids. If there was someone my height, they were model thin or quite literally a plus size model and proud. I don’t fit in. I never have fit in. And while I know beyond the shadow of the doubt we weren’t created to “fit in,” it never gets more comfortable for me to stand out.
The successful women sitting before us with all the knowledge and all the experience kept saying, “if you want to grow, niche down! find your niche!” And that was just it. I don’t have a niche. I’ve never had one thing I’ve become an expert at, but I’ve always had a heart to grow through what I’m going through and share what I learn in the process.
I want to inspire women to live lives with Christ at the center, to dress in a way that makes them feel like their best selves, to care for their homes in a way that honors God and their husband, to raise children that know the love of Christ and grow to be disciples, to be healthy from the inside out to be their best selves for as long as they have on this earth and to do the things the Lord put on their heart to do- big or small.
I don’t line up with the Bible teachers, sweet as honey and filled to overflowing with doctrine and knowledge, but I don’t line up with the boss babes, the ‘I am woman, hear me roar’ entrepreneurs climbing the ladder to success.
I left the conference with a mix of emotion; the prevailing emotion being sadness. The sadness started deeply rooted in self- pity and insecurity, “why can’t I be like everyone else…why do I look the way I do…” but it swiftly switched to a different kind of sadness. It was the sadness I feel when I realize a sneaky deceitful attack of an enemy that comes only to steal, kill and destroy.
I had looked forward to that conference for MONTHS. My sister and I talked about it every single week! How, then, despite surpassing my every expectation, were my takeaways as follows:
1. I’m not special
2. I don’t belong here
3. I’m not equipped to do what I’ve been called to do.
Sometimes we need to speak truth we don’t even fully understand yet to walk in the peace that passes understanding. It seems simple, but I’m reminded after this weekend just how important it is to take every thought captive instead of giving every tempting lie air-time. Even in the insecurity, even in the doubt, here is the truth I’m standing on:
1. I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)
2. My steps are being led (Proverbs 16:9)
3. He who has called me
will equip me. (Hebrews 13:21)
I couldn’t come away from this incredible weekend without sharing the struggle. As hard as discomfort can be sometimes, it always leads me back to truth. He is so gracious to pull us out of the muck and mire, dust us off and remind us who we really are. It’s okay if we don’t belong here. We belong to Him.