As dawn rose on Day three of Engage!13, I woke with mixed emotions. I was overjoyed to experience yet another day of inspiration and pampering, but reality of my time there coming to a close began to weigh on me.
I had experienced countless profound moments where God spoke to me, met incredible new friends who I couldn’t dare to leave just yet and the words many spoke over me as a child were becoming sincerely true! “You’re such a Southern Bell. You were meant to live in Carolina,” My grandpa would exclaim. [on a side note: when I returned home, Dave and I seriously considered moving for a total of a week. Our backyard and family here won.]
With a revelation from day two heightened and whirling in my mind, I was grateful to start taking action on some changes I wanted to make, during Lara Casey’s mini power session. With exclusive Making it Happen booklets, designed specifically for the conference, Lara led us through facing our fears, acknowledging our current reality, evaluating what matters most to us and setting a plan of attack in place. Any excuse to make a list and I’m in!
She had us find an accountability partner, who we would follow up with throughout specific time periods after the conference, to help encouragement commitment and make progress on our goals.
Because fear, my friend, hates community!
While there were a million other touches that stole the show, like mini Patron bottles and fish tacos, along with caviar engagement rings, the thing that struck me most that day, was my gratitude in having met Alison.
For months I had prayed for a roommate and when nothing lined up, I concluded I was meant to venture this journey solo. But when Alison finally got ahold of me through a 3 month old instagram picture, mere weeks before the conference, I was overjoyed to finally have a wing man. But in meeting her, I soon realized our shacking up was God orchestrated .
This girl was my sister from another mister!
Within a few short hours of meeting each other, we had laid our entire hearts on the table, from our faith, to our fears and the intimate stories of our lives. Other attendees, including Kathryn, Engage!’s organizer, assumed we’d been best friends for years! The funny thing was, we felt like we had. The light of our joy clearly shone bright.
I will be eternally grateful for our meeting and the addition of a long-lost bestie to my life.
That afternoon, as our sessions came to a close, the trotting of hooves could be heard in the distance. Horse drawn carriages arrived on cue, to deliver picnic baskets and blankets for a feast on the lawn. Like a page out of the notebook, we were invited to savour the property one final time, overlooking Biltmore Estate on a knoll in the hills.
Stay tuned for Part 4 and the pinnacle of my Engage!13 experience, the Gatsby Gala, coming soon!
If you're just joining us...
Photos by Carla Ten Eyck, Allan Zepeda, and Jeremie Barlow