Dear Allume Friends,
Last week I sold my ticket for Allume Conference. (It was a coveted early bird ticket, excitedly purchased in March.) I sat on the couch, laptop in hand and watched as the PayPal transaction flashed across the screen. When it was complete, I let my head fall into my hands and I cried. Hard.
You see, this year, on the Friday afternoon of the conference, while you are being infused with love, laughter, courage and insight, I will be receiving my fourth infusion of chemotherapy to fight breast cancer. Between sobs, I told the best husband I was angry, hurt, disappointed, and sad.
I had been looking forward to Allume since the final morning of last year’s conference. That rainy Sunday morning when I quickly dressed in Saturdays clothes, barefoot with hair askew to race to the hotel lobby. I braved the awkward elevator stares because I wanted one more hug, one more goodbye from kindred hearts. From women who understood the way my heart was wired and were willing to link arms as we wildly followed God into new pages and chapters. I had no idea this sadness would be part of my story.
I lay in bed awake, long after my laptop had been switched off and my tears had stopped. I watched a brilliant moon shine silver patterns on the ceiling and I talked with the creator of the universe. He knows me so well and holds my heart! Eventually, I took the anger, disappointment, hurt and sadness and packed them up in a box. (There should always be beautiful even in the ugly… so I imagined using a hat box.) I labelled the box “Allume” and I handed it to my good God. I know it to be true; if I carry all of the disappointments, hurts and sadness this Cancer may bring, I will be left paralyzed, unable to move from the weight of it all.
When you grip tight to boxes you weren’t meant to carry, it’s difficult to be who you were created to be.
And the God of all Grace, He willingly, lovingly takes them for us, and we walk free.
And I wondered, (just before dawn crept over the horizon) if I could ask you to do me a favour? The new owner of my ticket, her name is Katie. She blogs over at Cardiganway. I don’t know all of her story, but I know this is her first Allume. Will you find her for me? Will you remind her (and yourselves as well) it isn’t about the shoes and clothes carefully packed, the credentials carried, the things that may or may not have been done? You are all enough, just as you are, because you belong to Him. Could you please love on her, laugh with her and let her know God has amazing chapters ahead for her story? I’m so glad Allume will be one of the pages!
Hug her. Tight. Tight enough to last until next year, when I’m planning to hug her (and you) in person. Thank-You!
I will be praying the sweet infusion of the Spirit is evident and overwhelming. And if you see someone gripping tight to a hatbox… please walk with them to our good God, and the foot of His cross.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.”
All of our infusions, our hat boxes, our letting go, and our stepping into new places… it’s all in Him. No matter where we find ourselves on October 24th can we lift our voices as one to declare our lives, our purpose, our words: For the Glory of the Lord!
Blessings on your day.