Tomorrow it begins.
I'll be driving the 425 miles to Portland, mostly by myself. Overnight in Portland [king bed to myself!] and then flying the remaining 1,035 miles to Indianapolis.
And all to meet people I don't know outside the internet.
I've always been pretty good at finding community online, usually making up for a lack of true community in the physical. But this time it's different. Never before would I have spent money to get to a city I don't know, to meet strangers face to face. For no other online community have I invested parts of myself I barely knew existed.
And all for the love of people I don't know outside the internet.
Last year, I watched as a few women tweeted about a conference they would be attending. The weekend came, and I followed along as a couple hundred more women spoke of workshops that made them think and speaker sessions that made them cry.
I wanted in. I told my husband a few days later that when the next time came around, I wanted to be a part of it.
I don't think I actually believed myself. I have been involved in communities before, that faded. I have invested myself in circles only to watch them wither. I know at least a small part of me would have admitted this same thought about The Influence Conference, last fall.
But these bloggers, they're different. These women, they love Jesus. These business-women, they speak life. These ladies, they create with purpose & give back more than they take.
All for people they don't know outside the internet.
I'm a shy, introverted person who likes comfort zones and staying firmly inside them. And I'm ding-dang scared.
I'm scared that these women will look at me and think I'm larger than I look in the photos I post. I'm scared that I won't have anything to talk about when I meet women I've had full-blown heart-to-hearts with. I'm scared I won't be the woman I want to be when I'm face to face with women who have it more together than I do.
God brought me to these women, and He's taking me further. He's pushing me harder. He's calling me deeper.
And I'm going.