Time out for women. I know, at first I thought it was kind of a rude title, but it's actually very fitting. This is an amazing event where inspirational speakers come to uplift and strengthen women in all the roles we fill. It really is a Time Out from the rest of the world, from the every day struggles we all face, and it is a place of learning. Whether you are a Mormon or not, this event happens yearly, and it truly is life changing. My lovely friend came with me, and I must say I may have learned more from her than any speaker there!
Something that really struck me from this weekend was a quote saying "the vision is true, but the time may be long to get there" ( Emily Watts). I'll elaborate a little more on this in a moment.
The theme for this year was Inevitable Light. I wasn't sure what that meant until the speakers said different phrases and reminders that triggered in me a remembrance of strength, self esteem, and courage. The inevitable light they spoke on was the light of Christ which is in each of us and stirs a yearning to do good and grow closer to the Savior. They also spoke on how each and every person has spiritual gifts. And they spoke on what kind of gifts we may have and not even notice. The personal growth and journey this past weekend was amazing, and I can't wait to go next year.
The beautiful backdrop behind the speakers
You may be thinking, how can a conference of inspirational speakers inspire those feelings in you? Easy! By teaching truths I already know and rejuvenating my spirit! We heard talks from John Bytheway, Elaine Dalton, Hillary Weeks, Emily Freeman and others. The weekend was to remind us how special each and every one of us is to our Father in Heaven. Spiritual gifts are unique to each person, and how we chose to use, grow and develop them is up to us. As we develop these spiritual gifts and talents, our light shines to others who look to us as examples, for help, love and support.
So, the vision in true, but the time may be long to get there. What does that have to do with spiritual gifts or allowing the Light of Christ of the Light of your personal example shine? It reminded me to have hope in the promises of the Lord, and not to get discouraged when the things we have prayed for don't happen on our time table. I never thought being patient with the Lord's time table was a spiritual gift. I'm not very patient, when I want something and feel it to be right, I want it right now. But through trials and tears and waiting and waiting for different miracles or blessings (which always come) I realized that the Lord was blessing me to develop the gift of being patient with Him.
The weekend pointed out traits and attributes that come from trials and adversity that make us better, stronger, and grow closer to the Lord. Some examples were the gift of long suffering, the gift of empathy, the gift of rediscovering yourself, the gift of seeking what is righteous, the gift of caring for others. Some may seem obvious to you, others may be puzzling. How are these spiritual gifts? Well, with the Lord's help we grow these gifts and they act as a beacon of hope to others and ourselves as we traverse through the rocky and sometimes dark nights of life.
These gifts bring us closer to the Lord, they make us better people, and as we work on developing them and seeking out new gifts and developing those, we will be greater beacons of hope and service to the world. Our spiritual gifts are as much for the people in our close circle of connections as they are for ourselves. Think of a time when someone called you when you were having a rough day, and they said the very thing you needed. Or when you just had an idea to go help someone, or talk to someone suffering. Perhaps you were an answer to their prayer.
I can think of countless times the Lord has used angels in my life to cheer me up, help me through difficult times, and when He has allowed me the privilege to do the same for someone else. I know He always answers our prayers, maybe they aren't when we want or expect them, or how we want them. But the answers we NEED always come when we need them.
Over the weekend I found a renewed desire to pray and discover what else the Lord has been trying to teach me, and how I can grow these special gifts I have, and how I can help serve those around me. This is a life long pursuit for everyone, and we can always pray for spiritual gifts we feel we may need, like patience with a difficult child or having our hearts easily forgive.
I know the Lord and the Savior love each one of us very much. I'm so grateful I got to go to this amazing event and learn more about myself. I can't wait for next year's Time Out for Women!
Me by the sign, maybe just a little too far away from it though....