By Vicky Orefice
If you’re wondering what the Beautiful Conference will have in store, here is a beautiful story of what happened last year!
On Thursday and Friday, I attended our GFC Fearless Women’s Conference and guys, it was AWESOME! I didn’t realize how much I needed the conference until it was all said and done. I almost didn’t go at last minute because of work and I am so happy that I did not change my plans. I would have most certainly regretted it. God moved in such a way through the worship, the messages, and the fellowship among ladies that I did not want to leave!
I am an extreme introvert. Randomly going up to people in a crowd, introducing myself gives me anxiety. Takes me back to first of day of school and having to meet new people and figure out who to sit with during lunch time. Worst day ever for an introvert.
I was reliving that same anxiety as the conference started off with dinner, trying to find somewhere to sit in a group of a 1000 ladies. I have been attending this church for a year now but I haven’t been the best at building relationships (again, introvert problems) and the few people that I knew attending the conference were actually volunteering and working in the background. After some awkward hiding behind a pillar, I made my way to the food, grabbed my box of BBQ goodness and scurried off to another dark corner under a tent. Really? I have issues.
After dinner, we gathered in the sanctuary and one of the ladies I know, had saved me a seat next to her. Thank you Jesus! I didn’t have to face my fear again of trying to find a seat. Granted, the seat she had was right in the first row, but that’s okay, I can handle that.
The opening dance and spoken word were unexpected and set the tone for a special event! Worship was amazing and the sermon even better! After weeks of going non-stop at work and draining my energy, the first night was so invigorating. Lisa Bevere was the Key Note speaker and oh my word. This lady is fierce and I love it! Confession. While I have heard about her before and knew that she speaks at conference and has authored several books, I have never heard her speak before. I couldn’t help but think to myself… “Have I been living under a rock this whole time? How have I never heard her before? In person. Online. Anywhere?! What?!” This little half Sicilian pistol was on fire. The way she commanded that stage and spoke God’s word with such tenacity was… Wow.
“We have this sword of the Spirit, not to beat people up, but to set captives free!” – Lisa Bevere
The After Party was truly a fun way to end the night. What could be better? Music, dancing, fellowship and smores!
At the morning service we had worship and the guest speaker was Sharon Tubbs and her message was on Rejection and pressing through it. She was powerful! I needed to hear this. Rejection is something that I have struggled with my whole life and based on the “Amens” that I heard during that message, I am not alone.
“You cannot be fearless standing behind a mask of rejection.” – Sharon Tubbs
Mid-day activities included: lunch from Chick-Fil-A (woot woot), two breakout sessions of our choice, a panel discussion, and a full segment of The Pew (our version of The View).
Dinner was Carrabba’s and then it was time for the evening sermon. Again, Lisa Bevere did not hold back. Seriously y’all, I’m fan-girling over her. I even waited in line to have her sign my book and take a picture.
As a female and a Christian, I left this conference feeling so empowered, so inspired, so ready to take on my world. With all that has been going on with the Presidential Campaign, Women’s Marches, and so forth… It has left me frustrated, exhausted, and at times, ashamed to see how other Christians are reacting to all these situations.
It was so refreshing to see women gathering together – not spewing hateful words towards this nation and each other, but instead PRAYING for peace and understanding over our country, wisdom for our leaders and blessings over each others lives. THAT is what we, as Christians, need to be doing.
I hope and pray that this flame that has ignited in me doesn’t stop. I know it won’t be easy, especially when I get back to the work routine, but I will press forward!