You did it. You, brave one, chose community over fear. You opened your homes to women whose faces you’ve only seen in tiny square boxes online. You drove to the home of a new friend, leaving your family behind on a lovely Saturday afternoon. You mingled with ladies who brought their stories with them – stories that sound like fairy tales, stories that sound like nightmares – and you made small talk and welcomed them into your own story.
You did it. You chose to share your story, your real answer to “how are you?”, your fears about community. You watched other women speak their truth on Friday night, and as you tweeted tears rolled hot down cheeks because for maybe the first time, you found your people. There were other women – in your computer! – who had the same questions and fears and hopes, and you bonded with them instantly from across oceans and states and county lines. Couch to couch, city to city, you laughed with new friends and garnered courage from them.
You did it. You let your guard down and let another into the story He has been writing in your life. And in sharing your story, you welcomed another to share hers. Maybe it was the first invitation to do so that she’s ever received. Girl, you did that. In opening your hands, your heart, you gave someone else the chance to do the same.
Oh, sister you and me
We are community
Laying down our stones
Open hands are free to hold
And maybe it’s your stories that will be the tie
That binds us to each other…
-from the (in)RL theme song
You did something EXTRAordinary this weekend. Can you feel it? Can you feel the release of your shoulders, resting just a little easier than they were last week? Can you feel the extra bounce in your step that comes from feeling a part of a community? Can you feel the little bit of lightness in your spirit that’s the result of time spent in fellowship with sisters?
We feel it. As the tweets and Instagrams poured in from meetups around the globe, we watched through our tears, too – ever grateful and in awe of The One who created us for community, who created community for us. We watched as you glowed, welcoming women and their stories into your life. We watched as you embraced brave, as you rocked small as the new big, as you encouraged each other. And yeah, we watched as you brought delicious treats to the tables (um, you all know how to nosh. YUM.) We saw you support causes bigger than yourself and make an enormous difference in the lives of many, many of His children. We watched as you stepped out and welcomed your real life.
And we still want – we NEED – your story. Write about your (in)RL 2014 experience on your own blog and link it up below, or add your story to the comments. These voices together – your voices! – are what make a choir, and if even one doesn’t chime in, things start sounding off-key. Have you heard it enough to believe it yet? YOUR story. That’s what the world needs. Yours. So start here and share the thing that only you can: YOUR story.