At last. Packing was done. Friends had arrived, connections had been made, and a van of 5 woman were headed down the highway to the Allume conference.
I was giddy. The hardest part was over. Well, the second hardest part. I still had my talk to give on Friday, but the packing and getting on the road had been accomplished. Someone else was driving (thank heavens!) and I could just sit back and start enjoying this weekend I’d anticipated for an entire year.
The cherry on top? The Allume conference was an opportunity to connect with some of my closest friends from across the country, giving me the opportunity to share my little secret in person.
Yes, friends, I was gonna be really stupid and start telling people I was preggo.
First I told my friends in the van (squeals! cheers! congratulations!). Then I proceeded to tell every. single. person I met at Allume as soon as I got off the elevator.
Oh, my, my, my.
You are getting a glimpse of The IRL Trina that may or may not show up on the blog very often. I’m impulsive. Extreme. And can be very, very silly.
We got to Allume a day early so we could help with the bag stuffing. One of the (million) awesome things about Allume is the Swag Bags. Beautiful DaySpring totes stuffed to the gills with gifts from conference sponsors. Books, chocolate, books, jewelry, books, and more books. What more could a woman ask for? It’s crazy. And it’s also a lot of work. Allume Early Birds arrive on Wednesday and spend hours and hours unpacking the loot, setting it out on tables, then forming an assembly line to fill each of the 400+ bags with the 30+ individual swag items.
It’s really a whole lot of fun.
But I was really struggling. Now I know it was dehydration (I’d lost my water bottle in the van) and fatigue and stress. But at the time, I blamed it on Baby Brain. I couldn’t focus, kept forgetting items for my bag and having to go back through the line to re-stuff, and though I was here, at last, in a room full of people, several of which I knew well and had been so looking forward to being with, I felt overwhelmed. Me! The Extrovert! Felt overwhelmed?
I couldn’t figure me out. I did something I rarely do. OK, never. I retreated. I left the beauty and fun and fellowship of the Packing Party and went back to my room. Alone.
People. I’m still wigging out about this. I never do this. Never retreat from people, or choose to be alone when I’m with friends. People give me energy, friends fill up my soul, God speaks me often most loudly in fellowship.
But I went back to my room and tried the whole introvert thing. *wink* I embraced the quiet, settled in to our room, took a shower, snacked, and still didn’t feel like myself. So, I did what, um, you and I both know I should have done days ago, and pulled out my Bible to actually read the story of Gideon.
Because that was me, people. This was my Gideon moment (OK, one of them). I knew it was alright to not feel myself today. Today didn’t matter. But what about Friday? What if I felt like this on Friday? Completely Brainless and unable to form complete sentences? I had a job to do and I could already sense a complete and utter fail on my part. I felt like Gideon must have, and I decided to see if God had been speaking the story of Gideon to me because He had a gem of truth to plant in me from that story.
It was good. It was right. To finally sit down and obey the nudge to read the story of Gideon all the way through. (Hello—I’d blogged about it and still hadn’t read it) It’s a good story, peoples. I read it and my heart settled down a little bit. I still felt brainless, but I blamed that on Baby Brain. My heart, at least, had a modicum of peace, having had my perspective adjusted a bit closer to God’s view of the battle weekend.
I went back out and jumped into the bag stuffing again, and had a chance to confide in my friend Shannon how ‘off’ I felt, and inadequate, and shared how I feel like the whole weekend I’m ‘pulling a Gideon’ and she said, “That’s great. Break the Pitcher and we’ll see the light, Trina. Don’t worry-all you have to do is break the pitcher and we’ll see the light.”
With those words, Shannon added to my little stockpile of peace, built up my faith in God’s ability to, um, be God, and became the first official recruit of the little band of soldiers God was going to surround me with that weekend, part of His plan for victory. Gideon’s Band.