Four hundred and fifty bloggy women munched on bacon, biscuits, and scrambled eggs. Anti-human trafficking activist, Bianca Olthoff, took the stage as the morning keynote speaker for Allume. She won me over early with homeschooling humor, and then she got serious.
Bianca busted out a heavy-hitting dissection of the first half Ezekiel 37. You know, about the dry bones coming back to life?
She exhorted us to prophesy over the dead things in our lives, to allow God to unleash revival and refreshment…so that we may step into the role of freedom writers–so we can help breathe life into the desperation of others.
And then, in an impassioned tone, Bianca explained the feeling that God laid specific situations on her heart, to encourage women in the room that there is hope. That God is breathing life into theirs.
My breath ceased momentarily as she named two very specific situations with which I’ve been struggling.
This was a blogging conference. A Christian women’s blogging conference, yes. Yet, I sat in the midst of 450 women, not discussing SEO, driving traffic, maintaining schedules, and guest posting. No, God used a feisty Latina keynote speaker, to shout hope to me from a stage, to breathe life back into me and revive my spirit.
She spoke confirmation for things I hoped in private but rarely dared to speak.
And I wept.
Did I mention that 450 women filled the room?
Tissue after tissue. Tears and snot. Shoulders shaking.
Then Bianca spontaneously decided that we should stand and sing 10,000 Reasons, my daughter’s favorite song.
More waterworks. I felt two hands on my shoulders, and someone patting my back.
I was too embarrassed to turn around until the hands on my shoulders enveloped me in a giant hug. I sobbed into her shoulder as the song ended. Looking up, I saw it was a sweet God-sized dreaming sister and one of my roommates. More dream girls soon joined us, and I heard…
I knew she was talking about you!
I looked around to find you as soon as I heard that!
That was for you, girl. Definitely.
I surveyed the love in their faces and gave one of them a giant hug of my own.
Whereupon she broke out into the most beautiful spontaneous prayer about my worth and beauty and God’s love for me.
I was overwhelmed in the best possible way.
We don’t walk through this life alone, so it is no surprise that we don’t experience realized dreams alone either.
When God plants a dream in a heart, He grows a community around it, and we have only to receive it.
He knows our feet trudge through valleys as well as scaling mountains…and we need extra hands, hearts and voices for both. Our cheerleaders are God with skin on, and sometimes those relationships fulfill dreams in themselves.
True community has the power to heal. It is God pouring out His love in a tangible way, enabling us to fill up and spill over into the lives of others.
Buoying up their dreams.
And making Jesus smile.
How have you experienced true community?
How can you step out in support of someone’s dream?
Photo Credit: Mr. Thomas, Creative Commons