FIRST....Thank you all for joining this adventure with us! SECOND...Just keeping it real and raw, yesterday's email was obviously sent in error and we do apologize but then God doesn't expect perfection, He just cheers us on when we give something a try. SO....This is the FIRST inaugural For Real Life Newsletter and we are super excited to say hi to all of you and bring you up to date on how this crazy adventure started.
Adventures always start somewhere. With For Real Life this adventure began 1 year ago in August of 2016. A simple conference called Living Room Event hosted by Bob Goff author of Love Does changed everything. There are times in your life that you might feel like God is doing something but you just can't put your finger on it. This was one of those times.
So let me back up a minute to January of 2016, a point in time where I began to look in the mirror every morning asking, "What now God? I'm alive, I'm awake, what do you have for me now God?" You see this had been a transition period for me. I had completed a Masters in Clinical Counseling with no desire to be a licensed counselor but with a deep desire to see what God was going to do next. So my morning mantra continued until a point in time in August....
Heading to the Living Room Event, August 2016, felt a bit surreal. I'll admit Bob was one of my favorite authors and I was about to spend 2 1/2 days learning from him and the speakers at this event. So to say I was a bit excited is an understatement. What I didn't expect was this. Within the first 10 minutes as Bob welcomed everyone he says this...."If you are alive, if you are awake....(wait, what?!! Flash back to my morning mantra!) your job is to gently wake up others." Whoa! Mic drop, reality check, life stopping moment.
Have you ever had one of those moments where you know your life is about to take a major turn? Maybe it's a significant event like marriage or the birth of a child. Or maybe it's just a few simple words from someone that wakes something buried deep inside of you. This was one of those moments. Had God actually answered my question? I was about to find out. As the conference continued and believe me I took better notes during the conference than I ever did in any college class, I felt this shift begin to happen within me. I realized that I was about to head out on an adventure and had no idea where it was heading. What adventure have you ever been on where you don't know or better yet desire to know the outcome? It's like that. I was all in, no matter what or where it took me. God was leading so I knew I was in good hands.
There was an common thread as each conference speaker presented, life and how when it happens we can either deny what's happening or accept it and see how God can use us in the middle of a it.
Then one speaker actually put it into words, Danielle Strickland used the phase "for real life" to describe scenes in her life that changed her and excited her. Boom, For Real Life was born that weekend as God took me through the process of figuratively waking up and reaching for the next thing that God was placing in front of me.
Did it stop there? Nope! God has had this growing community on a fast track for the last year. Bob has become one of the mentors for this growing community and continues to pour in wisdom, whimsy and encouragement.
It's been a true adventure....
For the last year, For Real Life has been a place to connect with other people, to grow closer in your faith, closer to each other and closer to the world. That's it in a nutshell. Your voice matters here. The website hosts stories of how real life has happened to people and as a result how God has redeemed, restored through the saving grace of Jesus. Your individual faith journey is yours and only you can say what's happening in you. This safe place is not just for Christians, but it's a safe place to explore your faith where ever you are in your journey. You will hear about those who love Jesus and you will hear about doubt. That's okay, that's why it's called an adventure. So bring your adventure spirit to this community and feel safe to speak up, share what's on your heart, your voice matters.
It's a continuing process, learning how to love ourselves so that we can reach out and connect with other people. If you have been following us on Instagram or Facebook you have been a part of this growing community. We been learning to step out of the boxes that we've been stuck in, crush those stupid boxes so we can move forward in this adventure. In all honesty and for transparency, I have had times of doubt about what's going. But there is this voice in my head, no not God, but Bob, that tells me, just do the next thing. (In fact, this is the next thing, getting this first newsletter to you.) Isn't that what life is about, just doing the next thing? Especially when you've crushed a few boxes called, "not good enough" or "not capable". Once you've crushed those boxes there is no way in "H E double hockey sticks" that you are going backwards. So here we go...
STAY TUNED FOR PART II.....