I’ll Meet You There

I’m still wiping sleep from my eyes and stuttering in steps of exhaustion.

The last few days have been long, and short and I’ve grown tired of hearing my own voice.

But I’ve never felt more alive.

I’ve just returned from Relevant, a Christian Blogging Conference, a first of its kind.

Know this: the weekend had very little to do with blogging.

Blogging at it’s core is egocentric: It’s about memy opinions, my thoughts, my life, and comments about my words on your screen.

I discovered in this time of beautiful connection, with laptop stored away, that I’m sick of me.

When I peel back the corner of my heart and I lay it bare, I see dark corners seeking affirmation from others, a need to fit in, to grow this space, to be known.

Like most in this online realm, I want to take my blog to the next level.

And I can.

How do we? “By going lower. By making our platform an alter.” -Ann Voskamp.

I’m still processing and on my knees in reflection, asking, waiting. Wanting more.

Of Him.

And isn’t that what it’s all about? This world is temporal. Our lives—how we live them, the glory we bring to Him—that is eternal.

I’ve left a blogging conference craving God. I’ve left behind the desire to elevate myself, to seek the approval of friends and foes. I can’t find my aspiration to be the best or the biggest. I’ve lost the desire to compete and climb the ladder of success.

I arrived at the conference, physically and emotionally empty. Deplete of energy and desire. Weary from all the doing, checking one more thing from my list, going to speak on being relevant, but feeling like I had nothing left to give.

Alone. Misunderstood. Accused of being brave, feeling so scared, my very breath hard to catch in the middle of the night, computer screen dark, burden heavy.

How can I give away what I don’t possess?

But I met God at Relevant. He showed up in the hugs of women I’d never met. He met me in the quiet. He was there in rush of people and the urging of words that poured from my lips.

I left with a heart so full it doesn’t quite fit in my chest.

I don’t know what’s in your heart today. I write these words hoping they find a landing spot. But understand that I don’t just write them for you. I write them for me. “Story is the way the Spirit of God can bind up our wounds. When these words find their mark, God heals two hearts-yours and mine.” –Ann Voskamp.

When you click away from my words and heart spilled onto this screen, I want you to run to Him.

I’ll meet you there.

meeting Ann


Comments

  1. Sharon O says

    This is beautiful. Always wanted my blog to reflect God and his goodness NOT me and my emptyness.
    And to meet Ann Voskamp would be a highlight. Not that she wants to be elevated because she doesn’t but because she has tapped into a deep well towards God that we all want to drink from.
    So beautiful I have tears in my eyes and I am so glad you were able to go. I want to go next time. I hope to go. I pray to go.

  2. says

    Hi Kristen – It was great to meet you this weekend and even better to have met with God. It was a very deep weekend for me spiritually and I am thankful and feeling bare and continuing to process as well. Thank you for sharing of yourself.

    Monica

  3. says

    “Know this: the weekend had very little to do with blogging.”

    I think that is what struck me most. The more technical sessions I spoke at this weekend had everything to do with blogging. And yet, I still walked away craving God, not my blog. I sit here at my new “altar”, my keyboard, and I long to meet with Him in a way I haven’t for far too long. Relevant gave me far more than I ever expected.

    Yes, I will meet you there, Kristen. Just not with any sweet tea. ;)

  4. says

    Beautiful, beautiful! Thank you so much for your words today. I feel a work going on inside me, but it’s so fresh that I still don’t even have words for it…or even know how I feel about it… I do know, though, that your words resonate with me today.

    Thank you. It’s so much less lonely when women like you are transparent. Again, thank you.

  5. says

    I LOVE that picture! My two favorite bloggers! So glad you guys got to meet each other. :) Maybe some day I will have the oppurtunity to meet each of you as well.

  6. says

    I love reading all the accounts of the Relevant conference. I knew it would be amazing with Sarah Mae heading it and all the speakers that were on the agenda. Thank you for sharing what God revealed to you there.

  7. says

    I’ll meet you there. I’ve been processing this weekend and your words are writtin so well and beautiful. I feel like this weekend was the greatest gift and we are lucky that it is a gift that is for all! Blessing to you and your family.
    Wendy
    P.S.(I never tired of your voice this weekend…soaked up every word)

  8. says

    The conference left us all craving more of Him….it was amazing and not something I will soon forget!
    You certainly didn’t seem weary, depleted or empty, I thought you were inspiring, encouraging and wise. God was there and used you to help us all get our priorities in order and I thank you and Him for that! :)

    • kristen says

      Thanks, Debra. I believe that anything I said that was valuable came from God! I was soul-weary, but isn’t that when God can really use us?

  9. says

    Even though I couldn’t be there, I soaked up as much as I could via twitter and livestream. And the fact that it wasn’t about blogging was crystal clear, and made me want to be there. It was a stark contrast to my weekend at Bloggy Boot Camp. I am wanting exactly what you want with my blog. In fact, I mentioned to my husband the two themes I picked up 1. Blogging should be for God’s glory, not ours
    2. Keep first things first. God, husband, family, blog.

    His response? He’s considering entirely giving up his massively popular football blog, with traffic and pagerank and income most bloggers would envy. I’m not sure that’s what God wants yet, but that he’s even considering it is a testimony to God’s work in his life.

  10. says

    Kristen, I met you for a nano-second in the beginning of the conference, but I sat through some of your sessions and I didn’t think you sounded empty. I gleaned so much from you and the others (and Ann Voskamp… I felt my heart beat right out of my chest during her talk) that I came home feeling like a pro-writer, anti-blogger. You’re right… so much about my blogging is about me – my comments, my numbers, etc… But when I write just for HIM, it’s not about me at all.

    Thanks for all the info you provided, especially during the publishing session! And I’m praying for the Mercy House and wearing my headband today!

    • kristen says

      Thank you for that encouragement. I promise if you found/learned anything good or of value in my sessions, it was from God. I committed it to God and asked the Holy Spirit to use me….but it was Him!

      Yes, I love your line “a pro-writer, anti-blogger” Me too!

  11. says

    Hey Kristen. Some pretty significant things are happening over in my teeny tiny corner of the blog screen as well and I’m not talking significant in a “watch out world, here I come” kind of way.

    But I’m still processing. I’m that slow processor you met this weekend. It could take some time.

    But the heart change…it’s happening now.

    I enjoyed interacting with you, albeit quietly, even for a little bit this weekend.

    Thank you.

  12. says

    Kristen,
    I didn’t get to attend Relevant, but read the twitter stream and look forward to blog posts such as this one! Awesome understanding.
    I too, am on a journey to find that balance. My blog has been about my journey, but hopefully in a way to help others, and I am preparing to launch a new blog that will take that a step further. But, I never want to forget it is not about ME. It is about them and Him. My readers and God. What does he want me to say? WHat can I share to help them?
    Thanls so much!
    Bernice

  13. says

    Hey Kristen –

    This is the third time now that I’ve read this post. I just keep coming back to it. Because your perspective so wonderfully sums up an experience I am still finding it hard to put words to. Thank you for sharing this beauty with us.

    Lisa-Jo

  14. says

    What a beautiful summary of the entire conference! I met you briefly, and was in several of your workshops. I was so very much impressed with your desire to use your blog to glorify God. YOU inspired me SO much! I was in awe of your sold-out life for the Lord. No fence-sitting. All Jesus. I’m not involved in all of the social media, and don’t intend to be. I have a tiny blog where I process my relationship with God. You convinced me that that is enough. And if I can touch one other person, I’m happy. Thank you so much for making my time with you one of the highlights of the conference for me!

  15. says

    This seems to be a theme with many ladies, myself included. And doesn’t God use Ann to speak the hearts of so many women? Her testimony, her life, her story, her encouragement is so powerful. She has become my soul shadow. What I feel, is what she writes.

    Yes, I left not learning more or desiring more of blogging–but left with my heart strings tied with other women; with God whispering in my ear to yes, go lower by serving. Joyful Mothering doesn’t begin with my blog. It ends there. The blog space is just to leave a trace – to tell my story as it unfolds…not unfold my story by telling it.

    So happy to have connected with you Kristen. You are more than an inspiration (that’s just too cliche’ and not strong enough a word). You are a representation of Christ’s love and obedience to our Father. Thank you for sharing your story so that others can walk in those footsteps to help reach the world for Christ. Blessings!

  16. says

    Kristen,

    I love this post, and you speak for so many of us who were changed by this weekend. I somehow never got around to meeting you, but have to say what a blessing you were to me. I loved hearing your words and your stories in the seesions on priorities, and for your willingness to share your journey.

    I am so excited that we can now be on a similar journey with 198 other women who were also touched by the almighty God. As we stood in worship the last night, I was overwhelmed by the fact that no longer was it about whether anyone’s blog was bigger than another, but we were all now on the same path…to make our blogging become a sacred place to bless others

    God bless you my sister!
    Denise.

  17. says

    Yes, me too.

    I feel the Father pursuing me to continue writing my story on my blog. That he wants to heal me through it and possibly use this beautiful mess to heal others too. Then in the same thought I find myself disgusted with the idea of blogging about myself and “Who do I think I am?” “Why would anyone care to read this anyway.” “Why am I wasting my time.”

    But He gently pursues me on daily and as I sit in front of this screen the words come, sometimes tears come and I always meet His grace at these keys.

    He is so good. So kind. So gentle.

    Thank you for these words. I expect I will be coming back to them too.

  18. says

    Kristen, pleasure meeting you at the Conference. I enjoyed each time I heard you speak in break out sessions. Your mission on Africa has been heavy on my heart since I 1st heard of it. I am an organizer of a few SAHM groups in my area and will be reaching out to them with the prayers and hopes we will be sending supplies for your mission. I will be in touch! Peace to your heart. Melissa

  19. says

    Absolutely beautiful.

    I’ve soaked up and learned SO MUCH just through tweets and blog posts. Challenging doesn’t even begin to describe it. My brain and heart was overwhelmed … and I wasn’t even there! I’m still on my knees about it all as well …. just waiting and seeking ….

  20. says

    Kristen, what an amazing way to sum up what we all experienced. I’m still struggling to find just the right words to write to describe all that I heard, felt, and lived this past weekend. I so enjoyed spending a few moments with you here and there throughout the weekend as well, and as I have said many times before – I love your heart for the things of the Lord! You (and what you allow HIM to do through you) are such a blessing to me!

  21. says

    Dearest Kristen…

    This blog post is beautiful.
    Truly reflective of a woman after God’s own heart.
    It was a blessing to meet you,,, even if it was at the tail end of the conferene…your spirit ofhuimility resonated a twinge of thankfulness for true-real life bloggers,, who know their blog isn’t really about them.
    I could see that in you.
    Blessings to you my new friend…
    Bloggers are friends.. right,, Sisters in Christ to be exact.
    September :)

  22. says

    Whoa, girlie. You aren’t the only one who left Relevant craving God. It was good! I am praying for courage to “JUMP” and to share for that one person that is waiting on me before they will respond.

  23. says

    Kristen – thank you for the way you expressed what God did in your heart! I’m at the exact same spot and just stunned by what God has done inside of me – this is so unexpected!!!

    I have been linking up here on Wednesdays for a very long time – it was SUCH a blessing to actually meet “Kristen” – to sit beside you was an honor – I respect you deeply for your ministry. Thank you for giving of yourself this weekend – for your transparency – for your wisdom.

    You blessed me.
    Courtney

  24. says

    I am loving reading everyones posts from Relevant! I feel like I am learning and being refreshed alongside of you all. It is catching the longing for God, the desire to make our blogs what pleases and honors the One whom we live for.

    Thanks,
    Amy @ Missional Mama

    • says

      What a blessing to my heart to read other’s account of this life changing experience. I am in awe of all of the reports of heart revealing work God intended to take place. I look forward in learning more from you and others, as God begins a good work in you!

      Blessings!

  25. says

    Wow. I know I don’t comment often, but I HAD to on this one. This was such an amazing post. I just typed up a draft of a post last week that is similar to what your heart is saying here. Recently I’ve been so convicted by Galatians 1:10–that I’ve been blogging to please men, not the Lord alone.

    Anyways, thanks for this. It was VERY encouraging to read…and relevant :)

    Blessings!!!

  26. says

    I am a student, I joined the blog to make friends with the lava away from the liver around the world. I want to learn many things about the country, people, life, culture … of your country.

  27. says

    Oh Kristen! Such beautiful words! It’s funny how a blogging conference can have little to do with blogging, but be everything you didn’t know you needed. God used Relevant to shine His light into the dark spaces of my heart that needed a major clean-out. MUCH NEEDED! It was so wonderful to meet you and serve with you at the Mercy House table! Praying for you friend!

  28. says

    It sounds like you had a wonderful experience…so different from the typical blogging conference weekend. Now you have me interested in attending Relevant next year… ;)

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