Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Recap of the Missional Women Conference: An Open Letter

 Dear Ladies of the Missional Women Conference,

You are my people. You and your big hearts, sweet smiles, and perfectly imperfect ministries. You are my people. The way you welcome this new kid on the block, serve one another without reserve, and share deeply around a table spread with food to strangers and friends. You are my people.

You are the let your hair down, breathe deep, it's ok to not always wear makeup or have it all together type. You refresh my soul. When I walk into a room where you are? I feel like I can breathe. Stop pretending. Stop striving and trying to earn your love. Just be me. And you do more than accept this broken introverted, Florida girl who gets giddy with a few inches of snow. You welcome me with open arms. You identify with me. You give me your stamp of approval.

I love the way you are bakers, and homemakers, mommas and campus ministers, musicians, lovers of inner-city children, and foreign workers. And all of you have chosen to live as missionaries exactly where you are. And you remind me that I'm not the only person on this journey.

It has been so long since I've walked into a women's conference and not had to sell myself. Not had to yet again hand out business cards awkwardly and hope for more followers, better networking, more opportunities yet again. When I walked into the room with you? You refreshed my soul. I felt it right away. More love and sacrifice. Less striving and hustle.

As I sat in that room with you Friday night, I wanted every women in the world to feel what I felt in that moment. And it only got better as the weekend went on. We learned from one another. You asked questions of me and I of you. You shared your stories so I would know I was not alone in mine. Your humbleness was amazing to me. And there was a part of me that was so thankful that we were small. Because by the time the weekend was over? You felt like family.

Attendees of The Missional Table breakout all received a copy of Bread and Wine thanks to Shauna Niequist and Zondervan.

So thank you. Thank you all. Who knows what the future holds for us? Will we be the quiet few that faithfully serve and live wherever God has planted us? Will we be a movement of world change? I don't know. But I'm certain of this, you are my people.


  1. Thank you for this, Joy. And by the way, I finished Bread and Wine in two days, I loved it! Thank you!

  2. Joy...YES!!! This was totally it! The thing that made me tear up when I had to leave all you ladies! The thing that brought walls down, and wanted to keep me there forever! You are so right....this conference totally wasn't "just another conference" where we felt pressure to "display ourselves" or hand out business cards. It truly was a safe place, a place where we all came away feeling just like we met "family". Glad to know your sweet spirit in person and get to learn from your beautiful heart!

  3. Jen, agreed! Your words sum it up perfectly and I'm so glad I got to meet you in real life. You're a blessing and I can't wait to hear how God continues to unfold your story.

  4. Yay, Sara! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I got through that book pretty quickly too. It's solid gold.

  5. Yay, this post makes your fellow Florida girl and Missional Women devotee very, very happy.

  6. So glad you enjoyed it and were renewed by the trip. Still jealous of the snow! :)

  7. Thanks, Renia. I really wish there was more snow in both of our lives.