Saturday I hosted an (in)Real Life meetup . . well kinda. You know, the one I’ve been planning, posting, and Facebooking about for a month now. The one I talked to all my friends about, invited the ladies from my Bible study to, announced in church. The one I prayed over, planned for, got way more creative than is normal for me, stayed up way too late to prepare for, woke up way too early Saturday morning cause I was so excited to welcome my friends.
Yeah, that one.
It was an incredible day. Full of surprises.
Like a failed internet connection.
And it didn’t fail until everyone had arrived, and it was too late to cancel what I had scheduled and promoted as a full one day retreat. I had no “Plan B.”
“Man makes his plans, but God directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
As I made frantic calls to the internet company and tried every technological option my very "un-techy" mind could think of, I prayed pleading prayers.
“God, do you see me here? Do you understand how badly I need this internet to work? How disastrous this is going to be if it doesn’t? What the heck am I supposed to do with all these women who’ve come to my house with the expectation of a really great time of learning and encouragement that I am totally unprepared to deliver WITHOUT THIS VIDEO?????!!!!! I love you. Your’re really great. Pleeeeeeeease. Amen.”
Slowly, the undeniable reality of my predicament began to settle in. My heart was in my throat. Hiding in the bathroom and crying was a tempting but unrealistic option. God and the internet remained silent.
Defeatedly, I looked up from the computer. And I saw my roomful of friends milling around my kitchen enjoying coffee, fruit, and pastries. The warm buzz of conversation was filling the air. Not a single one of them looked like they were ready to cry mutiny. Instead, they were all smiling, engaging each other in conversation, laughing, communing. They looked surprisingly like . . community.
The vision for the (in)Real Life event was to connect women to real life community. The kind you can touch. It wasn’t the way I planned, but what happened accomplished exactly that! Using the handouts as our discussion starters, we had phenomenal conversations. Our hearts were knit together and to God. We laughed, cried, worshiped, learned, and ate. Old friends were reunited, friendships were strengthened, new friendships were birthed. We enjoyed and celebrated community. It was an incredible day.
I’m looking forward to purchasing the (in)RL dvd, inviting back all my gracious friends plus all those who couldn’t make it, and enjoying the wisdom of the (in)courage writers.
The truth is I’m still a little disappointed that we didn’t get to watch the lovely ladies of (in)courage as they sat sharing on the couch. But by God’s grace . .
. . we got to be them.
You can read more about the 400+ other (in)RL meet-ups and visit (in)Courage here: