Got back from Brazil this week. Our church does a short term mission trip there every year. It was my first year to go and it was incredible. I’m still trying to process everything.
It was so cool to see how God answered prayers while we were there. We even got to see some of the fruits of our work while we were there. There were some rough times for me personally but overall it was just wonderful and I can’t wait to go back next year.
I might write something more detailed about the trip at some point in the future. I’ll have to plan it out.
This story begins with an idea that started with a thought. The idea was that we go on this backpacking trip. We get all our gear together. We gotta plan the routes. Find out our water cache locations. And then hit the trail. Shouldn’t have been a big problem. And in the end it wasn’t a big problem at all. We arrived Thursday night at 1 or 2 AM and slept in the car. In the morning we looked for the water cache locations but it was taking a long time. We decided to give up on trying to find the water cache locations an instead get some campsites for the rest of the length of our stay. We arranged that quite easily. Two of us went on a short 3 mile hike,. While I stayed at camp and rested after the relative chaos of the past few weeks. Saturday we hiked 8 miles. 2.5 to the Potato Hill Vista. Then we continued on to our 4 mile marker. We ate our lunch and then head back just in the nick of time before it got completely dark. It was a great hike, getting us right back to our campsite. So much fun! Sunday we did a shorter hike. Three miles around the lake. Leisurely. But we were still tired. And glad that we only did 3, anymore it would have been excessive. From there we drove out to Panorama Vista to see the sunset. It was beautiful and worth it.
We talked about our journeys through life. We made sarcastic jokes. We got along well. We talked about Jesus. It was a good time to connect and learn about our group. It wasn’t the trip that I had planned. But it was the trip that we needed to do. And I still want to go backpacking with these girls sometime in the future. God always knows his plan, and God is always putting his plan into action. We just have to go along with it. The next trip will be different, but it’s going to be wonderful.
I am not a “girly girl.” I am not a tomboy. I’m not a woman’s woman. I don’t even know what any of that means. I wouldn’t consider myself as an advocate for women. But the fact remains that I am indeed a woman. And so, as such, I went to the church’s Women’s Conference.
I found myself amongst all these women who were there to connect with each other in a way that was exclusively for us. I don’t know that I would have gone to it if I hadn’t been asked to serve. A giant group of women isn’t the kind of environment into which I would volunteer myself. In fact, of all the conversations I could have had the first night, two were with two of the only four men there, and the third was with another woman who doesn’t consider herself a girly girl. What does that say about me? I have no idea.
The second day was a bit different in the sense that I knew what to expect. I took so many notes throughout all the talks. I had heard so many wonderful thoughts about life in general and what it means to be a “Woman of God.” I identified with a lot of what was said, especially regarding suffering and racial reconciliation. But I couldn’t identify with everything.
Half the day was focused on relationships, being single versus married. I realize that a large proportion of women worry about these things, myself included. And yes, I realize that a women’s conference is designed for us to be able to talk to other women about what’s going on in our lives. But can’t we talk about other aspects of our lives through our special womanly world view? I’m tired of everything being so focused on relationships or lack thereof. Is that all we are? Half the population trying to figure out their place in the world based on their relationship to the other half of the population? I’m so sick of it. I’d rather talk more about what makes us individuals created in God’s image.
I want to talk about how we can serve our God better. I want to know what my career looks like through the light of the Gospel. I want to think about each day with the joy that God has created me for His good works and I want to act that out. I want to learn about what it looks like to live a missional life. I want to focus on living each day in worship to our creator. I just want to talk about loving God as a unique individual in a community of believers. And I want to talk about these things with other women who may or may not be in a relationship. It shouldn’t define us. God defines us by his design. So let’s celebrate that and have discussions about how we do life as women who loves Jesus.