The term daughter can bring an uncertain sting to a girl who has begged and pleaded for an eternity to be loved by the hand that created her. At the feet of their own father they cry out, “love me, see me, want me.” But when their cries are fruitless there is a question of validity and an intense breach of trust being forged and often the opening of a lifetime wound.
Recently I attended a women’s conference called Shine in which I was so excited to go to I could barely stand it. Then as it approached I became more and more filled with the fear that haunts us when we least expect it. The foreboding that can hold us back from greatness.
I found myself afraid because I was going to this mega celebration…alone.
My mother always taught me that going at something alone is brave, that it builds character. I’ve tested this theory, this life lesson. I’ve gone to a movie alone, dinner party of one, Starbucks with yours truly, simply to see if anyone would actually see me. And guess what, never once did anyone care that I was in fact, this huge big smile sitting at a table alone. Nope, no one cares. Because we are all so inside ourselves our own complicated mess of complications.
And this created an inner dialogue that was so intense. God would say to me: why do you care that you are alone? For you have me and I created this interestingly smart woman who has all the potential in the world.
Even when I didn’t want to hear it. He was there telling me that I was enough. That I do not need other people to validate me because I am well…in fact a Daughter.
That may be easy to accept when the people who are supposed to validate you, don’t do their jobs.
But often times they don’t. Our fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers can leave us unloved and dry of life-sustaining water for years upon decades. And when that happens waiting on God to provide at a huge women’s conference where everyone going is there with a stunning woman on their arm is somewhat…daunting.
I almost didn’t go.
God asked me, “Why are you doubting?”
I paused. And He read my heart singing:
Seek Bravery, not Fear.
But I’m scared to be alone. I hate not being accepted. I’m insecure even though I may seem larger than life. I am a facade.
No~you are greater than any comparison you will conclude and I will show you as long as you believe, have faith, and go at it alone.
Yet God knowing me, truly reading that I am not the “alone” girl I had been in the child of my past I received a text from an extraordinary young woman later that day.
She said she wanted to sit with me at Shine.
Twenty-three years my junior I wasn’t sure. My inner insecurity said,
“Don’t ruin her fun.”
“You are old.”
“You aren’t, hip, yo.”
“You aren’t good enough.”
“You should be alone because no one really loves you.”
Against my inner demons I texted back,
I’d love that.
And so I embarked on a life-changing weekend sitting with the daughters of our future, the difference makers of the days ahead. The future mothers, friends, wives, leaders, lovers of life that are about to embark on the truth they are being called into.
I can say there is a lot to be spoken of spending time with the generation that follows you.
Looking at the youth ready to face their own opportunities I relished in the excitement their eyes reflected back at me as they shared the call they felt were on their lives.
I met amazing young woman number one who has aspirations of becoming an author and public speaker.
Inspirational strong young woman number two wants to be a midwife specializing in women experiencing miscarriage or stillbirth.
Dynamite girl number three aspires to be a worship pastor, one of the most captivating ways to meet God. And~has a calling on her life to write her life story which involves a broken relationship with her father.
Okay, for those of you who don’t know me, get ready for some provision…
I’m a best selling author and a national public speaker who has spoken in front of thirty thousand people.
I have lost two baby boys, one at eighteen weeks gestation and one at twenty-three both due to chromosomal abnormalities.
And lastly, my oldest son leads worship, touching thousands with his passion and fervor for both music and well…God. And I also have a horribly broken relationship with my father that guts me every day.
And I thought I was going to this thing by myself?! Are we ever truly alone in this life as long as God is in charge? Resoundingly NO! Our life story runs through and through with a beautiful symphony of a song that weaves in and out past the years of pain and conclusion. It is beauty. It is God. It is a community of women. It breaks barriers of age, judgment, and class. Yet only if we let it. These girls welcomed me and we soaked each other up like precious water after a hundred year drought.
We can learn a little from the youth, can’t we ladies who have lived a little life?
My weekend ended on a high. After I left my girls I paused and decided that I needed to get a few “selfies” with my date for the weekend. Me.
In that, I met two amazing women (a little closer in age to me this time) who had attended the conference together and then an amazing conversation took place. I told them that I came alone. But am leaving knowing I’m never alone, that no matter the demographic or the anticipation, God gives you what you need and what is needed from you.
I told them that it doesn’t matter who I am or what I’ve done that without togetherness it doesn’t work.
I shared with them that I wrote a little book called, The Return to Happiness.
One of the girls said she knows several women who have suffered pregnancy loss and would love to connect them with a resource such as my book.
I cried out, knowing I had been alone losing my babies yet when women unite, it is always better together, stronger, and far more powerful.
I made new friends in that moment and left the weekend behind filled to the rim with love, community, and possibility.
Yet I left with the youth deeply embedded on my heart.
The daughters and I worshiped, loved, and learned from one another far from fear of lost trust, abandonment or pain. Yet gave us more than we could have ever anticipated. Leaving us with an overwhelming joy and praise blanketing us all, knowing that we are in fact better together. Forever.