I don't even know where to begin after this past weekend. I want to write, but I'm still trying to process all that I heard at Hope Spoken. As people are asking me about my time in Texas, I'm kind of speechless (which is seriously rare for me, and notice I only said kind of speechless). With a brain spinning in a ton of different directions, I just don't now where to begin but I've got to start somewhere.
There were three reasons that I wanted to go to Hope Spoken: Lauren Chandler, Jami Nato and Shauna Niequist. Other than that, I really had no expectations. So, these other moments were like surprise parties thrown into my weekend:
Staying up until 2:00am with one of my best friends laughing and laughing and laughing over nonsense. It was so.much.fun.
Eggs at Denny's, served by a waiter named Antonio (table check, everyone), where we experienced a moment of the beauty of brokenness - knowing that only in recognizing the pain can we ever be free from its grip.
Watching a totally random fashion show rehearsal, in the mall-type-building where we found a Starbucks, with the fanciest Wranglers we have ever seen and this strangely over-dressed man giving nonsensical instructions to a group of of would-be models. Made more bizarre by the amount of Botox in the faces of women. Wow.
Cake pops, late-night donuts, peanut butter M&Ms, a table full of candy jars that seemed to be continually refilled with Twix and those little treasure chest shaped Hershey's, and lots and lots of coffee.
The most amazing thunderstorm I have ever seen. Ever.
Amazing swag bags.
Worship which has led to a new obsession with the Hillsong version of Lord of Lords. So good.
A small group that was divinely orchestrated, life-giving and refreshing. We had the best small group leader. Like, the best. Seriously, Shannan Martin was a huge, huge blessing. It was a total gift to be placed in her group. Just to prove it, here is a quote from Shannan's blog today that sums up so much of the weekend:
"He (Jesus) rights our wrongs as the circle closes in. We're connected by so many things, but pain and failure top the list. They reel us in, wrap us up. We share our hurts and we're healed. We have got to get better at getting real, guys. We have to do better than making everyone else in the room secretly believe they're alone in their mess. We have to get better at being human together. This is what is good. This is how we stop pretending. This is how we really love."
There was so much goodness this weekend. So.Much.Goodness. But, I truly cannot keep my eyes open so I'll have to write more later. I cannot wait to process a bit more in writing.