I was hesitant, the day I signed up for the Women's Forum at Imago Dei. Visions of lace doilies and plastic flowers filled my head. Memories of speakers who spent their time at the pulpit to talk more of their grandkids then of Galatians sent shivers up my spine. I was scared, nervous that I would be subjected to another long day of inane, shallow devotionals. What I wanted was deep, godly teaching from women I could respect.
I got more than I bargained for. I walked into the converted gym. It was beautiful. Long artsy drapes hung over the back wall. Multiple round tables, covered with black cloth, held dishes of fresh fruit, candied nuts, artisan bagels, and creative centerpieces. The Bible passage was artfully arranged on deep merlot cardstock, while the schedule of events was printed on corresponding clear vellum paper. There was a roaring fire in a stone fireplace, warm drinks to wrap our fingers around, and friendly conversations to engage in.
Then the speaking began. It was beautiful, deep, and moving. The theme was based around Isaiah 61, the call was to examine what it looks like to become engaged in the world around around us. It was truly a study of the Bible. After Heather spoke, we were given 20 minutes to discuss at our tables, to enter into our own stories and our own hearts.
The whole morning went like this, until something happened that I thought I'd never see at a women's conference in my lifetime: we were actually given time to sit alone and be with Jesus. An entire and precious 45 minutes of private reflection, prayer, and journaling. It was the culminating piece to an inspiring and encouraging day spent with fellow sisters in Christ.