A Difficult Weekend

A Difficult Weekend

My 4 day weekend away by myself was a mix of highs and lows, mostly lows.  I really, really missed my family.  By the last day I was about ready to run home without my car….but it was 250 miles, so I didn’t think that would be such a good idea.

The first 2 days were spent attending a conference.  I want to tell you about it, but I am not going to say what conference I went to because I don’t want to show anything but respect for the work and effort that went into it.  This was just my experience and it could have happened in any number of places.  So I’m not blaming the conference organizers.

This was a Christian conference.  It was billed as being uplifting and encouraging.  I went alone, but wasn’t worried about that.  I have been to plenty of conferences over the past few years and have gotten good at meeting new people and have met some incredible women that way. Some of my best friends now are those that I met at conferences in the past.

For two whole days I walked up to people to talk to them, I introduced myself, made eye contact, asked about people’s interests and lives, Tweeted invitations to meet, etc.  I talked to ladies in the elevator, at the bathroom sink, at the vendor tables.  I asked the ladies in the information booth about meetups.  I did it all.

And no one would talk to me or showed any interest in getting to know me.  No one.

On Friday I asked four different people if we could have dinner together and none accepted.  They all said they were going with their friends and none invited me to join them. By the end of day one I was sitting in my car in the mall parking lot across the street from the hotel eating alone and crying.

Now please understand….I am fine.  I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me or try to fix it.  I am confident in who I am and I didn’t take any of it personally.  How could it be personal?  They didn’t even know my name.  It was painful….not being able to make a connection.  But I came home unaffected…..just sad that it happened.

The lesson I took away from this lonely, difficult experience is that I never want anyone else to feel like that.  The next conference (or group event) I attend I will be friendly, more interested in others, greeting people, asking strangers how they are doing and anything else God leads me to.  I will set aside my introverted nature and be bold for Christ in case there is anyone there feeling left out.

After every rejection all weekend I would think, “If I was a more delicate person this would have damaged me and been very hard to get over.”

I am sure most of you have had similar times when you felt left out and not valued.  I hope you know that here….on this blog….you are LOVED!  And even better than that, GOD LOVES YOU!!!!

He met me where I was at the conference.  He comforted me and shined His light on me and the nights alone in my room when I prayed and asked Him to draw me nearer to Him were invaluable.  I don’t get alone time very often, so I sure did appreciate that.

Now that I’m home I will put some distance between me and this experience and let God use it for His glory somehow.  Only He knows what beauty He can make from my unhappy weekend.

There were some good things from my weekend: I got to see my favorite sister-in-law and her family for a few minutes; on Sunday I spent time with some women that I am getting to know and growing to love; dinner at In & Out was a new, yummy experience; driving….I like driving so that was awesome; texting with my boys which was so cute!; coming home to a loving family.

Here are some questions I am wondering about you:

1. Would you go to a conference alone?
Honestly, I don’t think I would ever do it again even though I really like alone time.
2. Have you ever had an experience similar to mine last weekend?
I’d love to hear your story if you want to share.
3. What do you do when you are feeling like crying from rejection?
I called a friend.  She cried with me and prayed with me and helped me remember that I am worth knowing.

I also want to say thank you so much for being the kind of people that encourage one another.  I adore you all!

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Comments

  1. Yes I have had a very similar experience it is hard, it hurts and it should never happen to any one it is so unfortunate that it does! I am so impressed to read your amazing words of the positive things you gained from this! I hope every one reads this and takes it to heart for the next event/conference they attend! Thank you for opening your heart and sharing this!

  2. I hate going to conferences alone while everyone else is happily laughing together… loneliest feeling ever. I don’t go to conferences anymore, and I feel sad about that. I think the older I get, the less I want to be in social settings. I tend to always feel unconnected. I just like being home with my family! I’m probably missing out, but it’s not worth it to me. So, I feel your pain!

    • Kym, If it’s not worth it then there’s no reason to go. I like conferences generally, but this one just wasn’t the right one for me. Thanks for your sweet reply! Lisa~

  3. I’ve gone to eight or nine conferences alone, all of them for songwriters. I distinctly remember one that I went to–I was supposed to go into a big room to register and when I stopped outside the door, I could hear dozens and dozens of people talking and laughing. I froze. I panicked. I fled to the bathroom for a few minutes. I came back out and hovered outside the door again. Once again, I just couldn’t bring myself to walk into that room.

    I would probably still be standing there today if someone hadn’t come out of the room where I was hovering. Rather than feel dumb for standing out there all by myself I just smiled at them breezily like I had been planning on heading in all along. And I survived. I looked around and despite my initial impression that everyone knew everyone else, I noticed one or two people alone. I made a bee line for them, struck up a conversation . . . and survived.

    I’ve been a minister’s wife for 31 years, so by this point in my life, being a new person in a big crowd doesn’t scare me as much as it used to. But I STILL have occasional urges to run to the bathroom and hide.

    You did good by not allowing the whole experience to zap your self esteem. Kudos!

    • Becky, I found myself pretending to be doing something different several times over the weekend. I’d sit down to meet someone and they would get up and walk off. So I’d pretend to be sitting there for another reason then wait an appropriate minute or so then get up again. {sigh} Thanks for letting us know that even pastor’s wives go through it sometimes! Lisa~

  4. Until now I was only a quiet reader, not writing any comments here… but now.

    “I am sure most of you have had similar times when you felt left out and not valued.”

    …now I am sitting here crying in the middle of the night (it’s 1:40 in the night here in Germany) because this is me just right now! Somehow left out and alone… and not valued.
    I can’t say anything more right now, but: Thanks!
    Thanks for this:

    ” I hope you know that here….on this blog….you are LOVED!”

    Although you’re on the other side of the world and this is “only” a blog, virtual… It gives me some strength. Somehow incredible, but so true right now.

    ……Thanks! <3

    Love, Midsommarflicka

    • Hugs to you!!

    • I am praying that the Lord will show you that you are valued!

    • Oh darlin’! I wish I could give you a BIG TEXAS HUG! I meant it when I said you are loved here and I can see that a couple of other ladies have already replied to your comment. How sweet is that?! You are loved by many people that you don’t even know!

      You let me know any time you need an encouraging word. Lisa~

      • Oh my…! Ladies, thank you all so much for the encouragement, for your hugs and prayers! This really means so much to me.
        Now I’m sitting here again with tears, but tears of joy – and smiling! :)
        <3

        Love, Midsommarflicka

  5. I cannot imagine anyone not wanting to meet you! I don’t do conferences so I have not had that experience. I would not do well in unfamiliar circumstances alone. I would probably do what you did. Cry and call a friend. All I can say is even though I only know you from this blog, those people missed out on knowing an amazing woman of God. I know you will use this experience to glorify Him and encourage others. Blessings.

    • Donna, you’re so sweet! I believe so strongly that we are all amazing and worth knowing, so it is sad to think anyone would feel like this in a group of women. You made my day….thanks! Lisa~

  6. You have reminded me yet again, to be like Jesus…..He came to find the lonely, make the unfit-able fit, the unlovely loved (not that I think you are unlovable!!)

    …..I listened to a preacher years ago here in Australia who preached that “friendship ruins fellowship”, best friends, cliques and clans exclude and ostracise……(yes I have close friends but I am careful to never never isolate one or two as BEST, my heart is to make everyone feel like my best friend! )

    I know you are ok, but I understand your point there are lessons to be learnt……people walk in and out of churches and lives and are not touched or connected, what a sad reality! we need to be a friend to everyone!

    • Cathy, I love that perspective on friendships. They can make others feel left out. I do the same thing when I am out….I try to make everyone feel like I want to be their friend. That’s such a great point! Thanks for sharing that. Lisa~

  7. Lisa, first of all BLESS YOU for not naming the conference and blaming the conference organizers for your difficult time. You’re right: organizing a conference requires a huge amount of work, and I really respect the fact that you’re respectful of their work.

    Second, I’m so glad that you are strong enough that this bad experience didn’t affect your self-esteem. Honestly, though, most people would be adversely affected. So I’m really glad you shared your challenge to yourself, and I’m going to join you. Next time I’m at a conference, I’m going to make a particular effort to show the love of Christ to those around me, especially those who might be by themselves.

    I’ve done a good bit of work in conference planning, and your post inspires me to make sure that every conference I plan from now on includes some very directed efforts at making individuals feel included, loved, and appreciated.

    • Richella, thanks for your points about how much work it is to put together a conference. Your perspective is so valuable because you can make a difference in conference planning. I have lots of fresh ideas for making people feel welcome at conferences. Let me know and I will send you a list! :) Lisa~

  8. ((hugs)) So glad you wrote this. I am sure there are a lot of women who have experienced that but felt they were the only ones.

  9. I am a introvert. I could relate to many of the things you were talking about. I think that my biggest hurdle was trying to meet people in a church setting. Relationships are already established and it is so difficult for the newcomer who like myself is an introvert. I remember voicing this concern on several occasions but not really being understood. My identity was defined by not being welcomed but it still hurt. I go to conferences by myself but I have come to realization that I just will have to eat on my own. I have met people there but it is not usually the case for me.

    • Angela, we introverts have to stick together! And yes, those established relationships can be hard to break through. I would eat with you anytime! Lisa~

  10. It IS scary and it IS hard! I haven’t done one completely alone – meaning I didn’t know anyone – but I have gone and I just don’t like it well! We’re bloggers and hide behind our keyboards and computer screens – getting out to a conference is tough for many of us! I wish it had turned out better for you! You are loved :)

    Becky B.
    http://www.organizingmadefun.com
    Organizing Made Fun

    • Becky you make me smile. I can’t wait to see you at a conference soon! Let’s try to make everyone around us feel welcome! Lisa~

  11. I’m so blessed by your honesty about this! Thank you for sharing your heart and the super practical lesson about being more aware of the people God drops in front of us. I love how you turned it around so we can learn from it too. It’s such an honor to know you , Lisa! HUGS!! xo

  12. Thanks for sharing your heart, Lisa. I’ve been there too. I went to a homeschool conference where I knew many people and left feeling very alone. For me I had to remember that many people make plans to attend conferences with people that they don’t normally see on a regular basis, and they’re looking forward to spending time with them. That eases the “no one wants to talk to me” feeling. This is a great reminder that I need to reach out to those that may be attending a conference alone or just aren’t as comfortable as others may be. Hugs!

    • Tonya, that’s true, not everyone wants to meet new people at conferences. Thanks for mentioning that. It’s hard to see when you’re alone, but I definitely think in my case these ladies didn’t want to meet a new person. Thanks for the hugs too! :) Lisa~

  13. Lisa,

    I know exactly how you felt as I’ve gone through something very similar myself.. not all that long ago in fact. One thing I learned is if I have any misgivings/nerves beforehand… well its to ask everyone to pray for me. Wisdom to know if I really ought to go as well the courage to step out of my comfort zone. Oddly enough it was after the conference that I began to develop some friendships from a couple of ladies who were also at the conference. I can honestly say that even though it was a painful experience the Lord comforted me during that time as well dealt with me concerning some things that had (and still are) going on.

    • Peggy, I REALLY hope your not too long ago experience wasn’t at the conference we both attended last fall! I just enjoyed meeting you so much and thought you were the most adorable thing I had ever seen! I am glad God gave you new friendships and that we can both learn and grow from our struggles. Love you! Lisa~

  14. When I’m out in public, I always work really hard to try to show people I care about them because I may be the only person that day that took the time to. I say “work” because I am such an introvert! However, at the Christian conventions I have attended by myself, I have always felt welcome, loved, and cared for. Even at the one secular website design convention I went to, I still found people who were willing to talk, share ideas, and get to know me. (I was surprised because I had very low expectations…and I was mostly right…lots of people with their heads buried in their laptops sitting near the electrical plugs.) It saddens me that Christians would not reach out (or at least be friendly) to their own. Maybe because it’s not a “mission field” it’s not worth their energy. Who knows.

    I do know that had I been there, I would have probably recognized you and tackled you (in my mind…introvert you know), and then been more than happy to get dinner with you.

    • Lori, it is hard to figure out. I think those ladies were just not thinking. I sure would have appreciated you coming up to me in any way you wanted (tackling even!). You would have made my day….in fact you’re making it now just because I’m giggling thinking about it. Lisa~

  15. Just reading this post caused my stomach to tighten and that slight flush of unease to wash over me. I’ve had similar experiences in many types of settings. My expectations at a Christian conference though are a bit higher than at a business conference. It makes me sad to think of you, or anyone, ever going and being left out. It’s wrong on so many levels. I admire you greatly for showing such grace through the conference. I probably would have sprinted home by the end of Day 2. God will surely bless you, and I know you will bless others with this new insight. By sharing your experience with us, you have encouraged us to go forward now and also carry the same light of friendship and fellowship in situations where we see someone alone. Thank you for that encouragement to me!

    • Deb, I definitely thought about sprinting home a few times. I kept thinking that the sessions would be great and I could just get something from those. That’s why I stayed to the end because my flesh wanted to bolt! Thank YOU for your encouragement to me when you comment on my blog. It always lifts me up. You are a blessing! Lisa~

  16. I must live at a conference everyday. I’m usually the friend who has to call when I want to talk. :) I don’t do much anymore; but that’s ok.
    By Grace Alone,
    Kim

    • Kim, I love your sign off, “By Grace Alone.” That’s really the heart of it isn’t it? Grace and Grace alone. Thanks for sharing. You are so special!!!!! Lisa~

  17. I don’t know that I’d have the stamina to fully appreciate a conference, though I’d love to go to the big Midwest Homeschool Conference just to get some encouragement and drool over curriculum – still it’s not something I do on my own. No worries though since Conferences are not in our budget right now. I really admire you for going alone Lisa, and for the attitude you’ve chosen despite your disappointing experience. I know the Lord will use this for His glory in your life, and hopefully teach others too. There is enough rejection for believers in the world – we need to be caring and warm to those who share our faith, even if it means stepping outside our comfort zone. I’m horrible in large groups – generally I prefer to hide out in the kitchen, but I do try to seek out other ‘wall flowers’ and at least smile and talk about the weather – we can all do that without sweating it too much!

    • Heather, I have stamina issues too! Staying in the same hotel as the conference help with that for me. I can go rest for a few minutes if I need to. I so appreciate your reminder that we need to be the ones showing love and acceptance to non believers. If you get to that Midwest conference let me know so I can pray for you while you’re there! :) Lisa~

  18. I’m too insecure to go to a conference alone. If I go to one (which has been a few years), I go with family or friends. I don’t even go to restaurants alone. I’m not an alone girl – except when I’m reading…then, watch out!
    If I were at a conference and you came up to me, I’d be so stinkin’ excited you wouldn’t even believe it! Next time, skip the conference and come hang out at my house :)
    This does bring up some really good thoughts. At our (new) church, there has been a very quiet lady coming. She comes to Sunday school, says hi if spoken to and that’s about all. I tried really hard this week to engage her…and would you believe, that night she pulled out her phone and showed me a pic of her granddaughter. Sometimes people just need a little extra prodding. A little assurance that they are loved and accepted and worthy.

    • Charity, I would love to hang out with you. Don’t you know we’d fluctuate between deep talks and laughter?! How delightful.

      I am so glad you are showing an interest in the lady at your church. In reading through these comments I can see that there are so many people that feel lonely at church. Good for you girl! You might be making all of the difference for her! Lisa~

  19. Thanks for sharing, Lisa. I’ve been to a few conferences where I was kind of a tag-a-long with a group I didn’t know well, and even then felt like an outsider. I’ve had this happen to me at a church, as well, where I generally felt like the person who walked into the middle of a party and didn’t quite know what to do. This is a good reminder for us to be aware, be friendly, be kind, be Christlike!

    And… excuse me for asking… but did you just say that In-N-Out Burger is now in Dallas? Because I’m about to get very excited… that means it’s 1000 miles closer to me than I thought!

    • Suzanne, I have also felt like an outsider when I was in a group. I guess it happens to all of us.

      And yes, In & Out in Dallas. Where do you live that it’s 1000 miles closer to you?! That’s a long way to go for a burger! LOL! Lisa~

      • We live in the Louisville area, but we lived out in California for a couple of years, and I grew up in Arizona — both are handy for In-N-Out. But I’m a Texan by birth, and it does my heart good to know that In-N-Out is deep in the heart.

  20. This is a timely reminder. I’ll be attending a conference a couple weekends from now. Typically I’m fairly timid, but this is local, and I do know enough people to feel comfortable. That may not be how everyone around me will feel, though! I’ll try to focus on making contact with anyone who looks disconnected. Often when I go places – like to church on Sundays, but sometimes just to the grocery store – I pray for God to “orchestrate my encounters.” It can be fun to see what happens, and it’s so rewarding when I get to encourage someone – or to be encouraged! With God’s mission in mind, whatever happens will turn out for good – just like your experience will, Lisa!

    • Debbie, how exciting that you will be going to a conference soon and may get to make the difference for another person. I think one of the things that was hard for me at this one is that there was a strong sense that everyone else knew each other so there was no room for someone new. I will pray that you get to encourage someone and turn their conference experience around! Lisa~

  21. Dear Erma,

    You asked:
    1. Would you go to a conference alone?
    Yes. (Ditto: “Honestly, I don’t think I would ever do it again even though I really like alone time.”) Never again.
    2. Have you ever had an experience similar to mine last weekend?
    Yes, in Texas! So much for Southern Hospitality. Did everything you did. A Christian conference for ladies, only there were only WOMEN there… no LADIES. Thankfully, we had our RV parked at the conference venue’s campus and my hubby came and got me, so we lunched together. He felt horrible for me, even though I didn’t let on that I hadn’t been included, could get no “takers” for lunch together with other “ladies.” I remember looking out the window and tears trickling down my face. (Even as I type this, Lisa, tears well up in my eyes.) But I did go back and attended every single session. I knew a speaker would say something to my heart that I so desperately needed that weekend. I was right, too!
    3. What do you do when you are feeling like crying from rejection?
    I cry, and use the experience as a lesson, as you did, to never let another human being– man or woman, boy or girl– ever experience what I did. You said you called a friend, and that she cried with you and prayed with you and helped you remember that you are worth knowing. What a good friend you have and knew just who to call.

    My hubby was that friend for me, and I’ve shared my experience with audiences at LADIES conferences after this happened. My testimony really opened their eyes, to look around, seize the moment, that “to the world you may just be someone, but to someone you may just mean the world.”

    I will never forget those ladies/people who have included me, welcomed me, made me feel like we have been the oldest, longest-time friends. Those individuals will forever be endeared to my heart. May I strive to be like them.

    Thank you for your attitude, Lisa.

    Blessed week,
    Kelley

    • Oh Kelley, you are so friendly and enthusiastic….I can’t imagine you having this same problem. That really shows me that it can happen to ANYONE! What a blessing that your sweet husband was there. I’ll bet he wanted to go give those women a piece of his mind and tell them how amazing you are! Lisa~

  22. I gave up on conferences a long time ago. Really any kind of organized learning experience other than a legit classroom. I’m also an introvert but I’ve become very comfortable with my own company. It’s sad but Christian events, even at church, seem to be the worst places to go alone. I’m usually left by myself and most of the time I don’t even enjoy the program. At this point in my life (I’m 46) it doesn’t bother me to be alone in a room full of strangers. I have no expectations. I would probably only go to an entertainment kind of venue though because just about anything that I need to learn I can learn on the internet. Without the mingling aspect of a conference, it seems pointless to me. So glad that you look on this experience and are okay with it and have turned it into a positive learning experience.

    • Renee, Thanks so much for sharing your perspective. It really doesn’t bother me to be in a room full of strangers either. I guess I have just had such great experiences with meeting new people at past conferences that I hoped for at least some conversation at this one. I feel like you do, I can learn online so I really went to meet people. I don’t think I really even realized that until I read your comment. That was a great help…thanks so much! Lisa~

  23. First of all, the other ladies do not know what they’re missing! i would love to get to know you in person!

    I’m not sure I would go to a conference alone (where I didn’t know anyone). There would have to be a really big motivator for me to go.

    Yes, I have felt like that, though. I go to MOPS, and after last year, I wasn’t sure I would go back. There was only one other lady who made any kind of genuine effort to connect with me rather than a seemingly superficial hello, how are you, and move on (including several ladies whom I already knew from a mommy group at the hospital). I found out that she would be my small group leader, so I decided to go back in the fall. She had to give up being a leader due to unforeseen heavy schedule, so I got a new leader who is another one who seems genuinely interested in getting to know me (and is now my new dentist!). My daughter LOVES to go to MOPS, so it’s easier this year. I try to talk to people but do not seem to click with many people. I am introverted, so I’m rather quiet (the larger the crowd, the quieter I get), but I do enjoy trying to get to know other people.

    • I have not read anything that people have responded to you with so I apologize ahead of time if I am duplicating anything.
      What saddens me in all if this is that it was a CHRISTIAN conference . So often l look at that word on such disdain. Why? Because I see so many people calling themselves CHRISTIANS yet do not even begin to resemble ACTING like one. It never ceases to amaze me HOW so many SO CALLED Christians act. I have sat in church in Christmas Eve and watch as no one would allow a gentleman into their pew over and over Although ours was over crowded I nudged and nudged and we got him into ours but this incident was so disheartening to me I never went back
      I have experienced people calling themselves pastors yet their behaviors are appalling I am really not sure what people think that word means but I can truly say in my opinion alot of so called Christians need to look it up and then LEARN how to practice being one. I’m sorry for your experience and I wish I had been one of those you had asked to dinner we would have had a great conversation I’m sure
      Hugs sue

      • Sue, I have heard so many stories of people feeling left out in churches. It is sad, I agree! Your reminder makes me realize how much harder I need to work to make sure the people around me know that I care about them no matter where I am! Church, store, even family gatherings can be lonely! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate it. Lisa~

    • Ava, I am glad you stuck it out with your MOPS group. I agree totally with what you said about the larger the crowd the quieter I get. A big crowd completely overwhelms me! I know I can sometimes seem distant in a big crowd, but get me one on one and I’m much friendlier!

      I hope you find more people to connect with at your MOPS group and anywhere else you go. You seem like such a sweetheart! Lisa~

  24. Hi Lisa,

    I read most of my blogs on a reader and on my phone and so although I read I don’t often comment.

    I am truly sorry you have had this experience but as I know others have mentioned this is not just a conference problem. and I think the deeper problem is much worse and much more painful.

    Your experience was at a conference without your family. This is my everyday life. My family all live up country, my friends are scattered about too. The worst thing is being ignored in church. in addition to this I have been very poorly lately and despite asking for help from the church I have recieved nothing! it hurts so bad. I am sick of making myself vulnerable to the family of God and getting hurt repeatedly.

    Not having a family has not been my choice! I am waiting for God to bring the right, God chosen man into my life. The fact at 39 I’m still single is not my fault and is painful enough without not having the church to support me.

    Like you I try hard to make sure people don’t feel left out/pushed out and alone. I so badly want to see the church wake up and realise that it is so important to look after the people in the Body of Christ.

    anyway I just wanted to share my story and suggest that maybe the lesson you have been through this for is bigger than just being alone at conferences. You know Sunday is my worst day of the week! I go to Church (which despite all I have said is nice to meet with God and at least see the friends I do have there but then everyone goes home to family dinners and I go home alone… every week! I’m sure people just don’t think about it from a single persons point of view but that thoughtlessness can send people racing away from Christ into the arms of a religion or cult where they do care!

    thanks for sharing and I am also enjoying your modesty series. It is making me think :-)

    • Teri, I am so glad you stopped to comment. I can’t tell you how much that means to me! Thanks SO much for sharing your story! It really makes me realize how much bigger this is than just a weekend conference. We need to be paying attention!

      I am telling you right now….if you ever notice I am going to be in your neck of the woods I want you to email me and we’ll get together. You alone have just as much value as a whole, huge group of people and I want you to know it!

      Thanks again, Lisa~

  25. Lisa, I certainly can identify with your experience. I’ve gone to a lot of personal AND professional conferences alone. It seems to me that there are two things at play-the culture of the place you are visiting, and whether the people there are in groups or there by themselves.

    So here’s my great/crazy by myself conference story. I went to a Christian Mom’s conference three years ago alone. On the one hand, I felt desperately alone wishing that I had a close friend with me who I could talk over these ideas with-on the other hand, I felt “safe” like I could more openly speak without judgement because hey, I might not ever see these people again. I had a group of ladies drag me to dinner with them when they discovered I was there by myself, but then went through a great awkwardness as the dinner went on-they were all SAHM’s, homeschooling with lots of babies, and I was the mom of one little girl, trapped in the corporate world. I couldnt really participate in the conversation as I had no inkling of what that life was like. I listened with rapt attention, nothing to contribute, but fascinated by the banter of these women. Feeling like an alien.

    I looked around for other ladies that were there by themselves throughout the weekend, I sat next to the sole open seat at the table I landed at and waved frantically when they called for open seats to fit individual ladies into. The Lord sent a great friend into that seat on the last day of that conference. We went around the table introducing ourselves-all of the other moms had lots of kids, were homeschoolers, and here I was with one baby (can’t have more) and again, stuck in the corporate world. I realized at that conference that I wanted so much to buck culture and become a homeschooling mom and be with my baby. I felt so wierd and isolated at that table but I felt a call on my heart that day AND the great friend I mentioned lead the table in prayer for me to discern what His call was and if it was to be for me to homeschool, for Him to show me how to do it.

    I’m writing to you as a remote working, homeschooling mom trying to figure it all out still :) I am internally scared to death of meeting people but push myself to reach out and sometimes meet great friends and other times feel like I’m the only human in the building. I love that you shared your experience and that you have new eyes for lost people at conferences. I attended that same conference last year and this year with friends and will admit that I did not look for the lonely individuals that need people. I commit to looking for them and waving them into the seat next to me this year. I believe the Lord used you to remind us to be on the lookout for these sweet souls wherever we are. Love you Lisa, thank you for your encouragement and perspective!!

    • Carol, what a great story! The funny thing is I had kind of the opposite problem. All of the sessions were for working moms or single moms or things I didn’t relate with. None for homeschoolers or big families or anything that really applied to me. So I couldn’t go to a session and know that I fit there.

      I love that you said you be on the lookout for the lonely individuals. That’s my plan too! Maybe we’ll make a difference for someone else next time. :) Lisa~

  26. I’m sorry this happened to you. I expect more from people who are attending a christian conference. I wish I was there, I would love to have met you. It’s their loss.

    • Anita, I wish you had been there too! We should all get together as new friends and go out and welcome others to join us. We could really have an impact! Lisa~

  27. It is hard for me to go outside my ‘comfort zone’. I have to fake it. I watch and learn from my extrovert husband. One thought I had is that when you go up and ask someone about dinner, you might have to follow up with a ‘would you mind if I joined you? I am alone here and I would appreciate having someone to eat with.’.
    Those people might not have realized that you were alone and needed companionship. Usually when I have done this,( which is scary because you are opening yourself up to even more rejection) the people immediately embrace you into their group.

    • Pam, I kept thinking that all weekend, “This is way out of my comfort zone!” I guess I felt like asking to join people for dinner seemed kind of pushy and loser-ish. I don’t know if I would have felt comfortable if they had accepted. But you’re right; I probably didn’t give them enough of a chance. I was so close to feeling like crying that I didn’t give that extra push.

      Thanks for that thought. If it happens again I will remember that and try to put myself out there a tiny bit more. Lisa~

  28. Hi Lisa,
    First of all, thanks for being so loving and encouraging to all of us blog readers!
    This is slightly off-topic, but I’m 36 and single, and have struggled with the whole concept of being alone. By the grace of God, I’ve learned to deal with that one step at a time. Things I never would have done alone 15 years ago, such as shopping, going for walks or even eating in restaurants on occasion, are all things I do alone now without any qualms. I’ve had to adjust my expectations and learn to accept that I live a good part of my life alone. That acceptance has changed my outlook on life drastically, and I enabled me to live with contentment and joy instead of bitterness or hurt regarding those around me. Oh, and “hanging out” with people like you online while I eat dinner sure helps too!
    I have gone to conferences alone, with the expectation of being alone for the duration, and then it really doesn’t matter too much if I find someone to talk to or not. Social events like weddings I find way more akward to attend alone, so I do usually try to avoid that predicament.
    One different perspective on the women who were at the conference: I attend a conference every other year and meet up there some dear friends whom I usually don’t see otherwise because of our current living situations. While I certainly would never ignore those around me, and do end up having conversations with some strangers, I’m not sure I’d ask someone I didn’t know to join my friends and I for dinner either, knowing that we only have a few precious days together before we say good-bye again for another two years.
    What do I do when I’m feeling down? Write in my journal. That usually turns into a prayer, and then turns into realization of and thankfulness for all the many blessings that I do have!

    • Jacqueline, You are so right! My expectations definitely got the better of me. By the end I was letting it go and not feeling so sad. However, that also kind of shut me down from meeting people. I guess if it were easy it wouldn’t be worth doing, right? :)

      I appreciate your perspective on inviting others for dinner. That’s kind of how I felt when I asked….I didn’t want to invite myself. For all I knew they had plans to talk about personal things and I wasn’t going to insert myself. Maybe they didn’t have the same kind of goal for the conference that I had.

      You have such a great perspective and I can see that it took you time to get there. That means maturity, wisdom and a great help to those around you! I’m so inspired by you! Lisa~

  29. I read this last night and it broke my heart. I am so sorry you had to go through that. I know it is trite to say, but I know God is going to use this experience in the future when you help build a conference or attend another one. Also, I saw your tweets and I kept thinking I wish I could have gone with you! Now I really wish I could have went. So if you want a buddy the next time you go to a conference shoot me an email!

    Oh and I was going to say that I occasionally experience this at my church on Sundays. When my husband has to work on the tech team I can’t find anyone to sit with in the late service. My church has grown so much and it really bothers me when I can’t find anyone I know. It’s silly, bc it is my church! I am still working on sitting alone on those Sunday mornings.

    • Amanda, it’s not trite at all! That is exactly how I feel. In fact, I am building a conference now (that was what my Sunday meetings were!) and my first request was that I be the one who makes sure everyone knows they are wanted! :)

      So many here have expressed that they feel that way at church. I wonder what we can do to make a change. Love ya! Lisa~

  30. Thanks for sharing your heart. I alluded to this on your FB page, but the conference we met at smacked of this to me. From the welcome table that was not very welcoming (even though several of the community leaders wrote on their blogs that they could;t wait to hug everyone of us…), to Friday night dinner when I kind of invited myself, and then was looked daggers at by one of those same community leaders. I felt so unwelcome. To Saturday night, when I sat at the mall Starbucks, eating a microwaved sandwich all by myself and bawling, because I was determined not to get a frozen reception again. Yes. I have been there-done that. What did I take away?
    People are people. And no matter how people profess to remove barriers, etc. it just isn’t real life. I have to be the friendly one. Not hope that others will reach out to me-but reach out to others. There are lots of people who feel lonely. I just need to open my eyes to someone else’s need.
    That being said, I will not be attending the same conference this year. For multiple reasons. I am hoping to attend Allume.

    • Hippie Girl, you are a treasure! I will admit that I felt the same way at the conference we both attended. I have no plans to go to it again. I hope Allume is more welcoming for you!

      I also want you to know that meeting you at the conference we both attended was a highlight for me! I liked you so much when we sat in that small group together and then at the end when we talked for a while I wished I had met you sooner so I could have spent more time with you! I am so glad I got to meet you there and maybe we’ll be at another conference together someday! Lisa~

    • Hippie Girl – I’ve been to Allume all 3 years. Its a great conference

  31. I’m speechless. I am amazed on how so many christian believers can be so insensitive to others. I don’t get it. However, being IN YOUR SHOES encourages me to NOT be that person who doesn’t reach out. I will say this…..Their LOSS. I wish everyone could experience the JOY that you offer. The encouragement that I can get from you in 2 minutes is something I cherish. Their loss…… Love ya girl! I’ll go to a conference with you ANY DAY!!!!!! XOXO (oops, Valentine’s Day is over, huh?)

    • Christine, you are so sweet! You always bless me when we are together and it was my JOY to spend time with you last month at the Summit! XOXO (works year ’round!) Lisa~

  32. An introvert myself, I know how hard it is to put yourself out there to strangers. To be rejected after surmounting such a large obstacle (to me) is crushing. I’m so sorry you felt the same. When I have found myself in such positions and have asked God “why?” I have often found His answer to be because He wanted time with me alone. Sometimes I have been able to turn these experiences into a blessing instead of the curse that they can feel like (yes, I am also a silver lining and glass-half-full sort of person :)).
    Right now, God seems to actually have me a stage of life that is kind of like an extended version of your conference experience. It’s not much fun. But I am trying to learn to rely more fully on Him each day throughout what can feel like a “girl-friend desert” experience. I hope that it ends soon, but I am doubly grateful for the “oasis” times when I get to refresh myself with conversation (either electronically or in person) with sweet friends. And I am SLOWLY learning that His embrace is sweeter and more satisfying than temporal ones.
    Should we ever end up at a conference together I will look you up and ask you to have dinner, or coffee, or lunch. I hope you’re free :)

    • Lori, You are so adorable! I love your introvert, glass-half-full kind of style! I have been in the place where I didn’t have many friends and wondered what was going on. You are showing real strength to see that God wants time alone with you. I am encouraged by YOU! And if we ever end up at a conference together you are invited to hang with me for any and all meals! Lisa~

  33. Wow. I’m sorry you had such a lonely experience. It simply should not be that way, especially at a Christian event. But I think you showed tremendous grace not naming the conference or individuals. And I love that your self esteem is still intact – that shows your strength. I’ve been to conferences where, at times, I felt like the odd woman out. But not during the whole event.. You get brownie points for staying and learning and keeping a positive attitude.

    I know you just got home, but I hope you’d consider coming to the Titus 2:1 Conference (www.2to1Conference.com) – it’s for specifically for Christian bloggers who homeschool their children. And we strive to make it a welcoming, friendly environment with community that extends well past the weekend.

    I’m so glad I found your blog (through Organizing Made Fun) – I’ll be stopping by regularly now. And I already follow you on Twitter, but I don’t think we’ve connected. I’ll give you a shout! :-)

    • Cheryl, thanks for the brownie points! Some brownies would have been good when I was crying in the parking lot. ;)

      Seriously, thanks for the link to the Titus 2:1 conference. It looks like a good one! Lisa~

  34. wow, that is just stunning. I’d really pass your experience on to the conference organizers. Not that they could do anything – but perhaps be aware for future events. This should NEVER happen to anyone – for any reason – but especially at a Christian event.

    • Robin, I have thought about passing some of my ideas for improving the experience to the organizers. I hadn’t thought about asking for my money back. I will give it some thought. Thanks for your encouragement! Lisa~

  35. another thing… I’d ask for a refund too! :)

  36. Hey there! I just want to say you are great! When I finally left a comment on your blog, you were the first person to write me back and actually look at my blog and say how lovely it is. And you told me nice to meet you. That was my first positive blogger experience. It’s tough when you first get out there and a lot of people know each other and you are trying to say hello and leave comments here and there. One time I found a bunch of blogs that looked like great women (and I’m sure they are) and I really took time and was excited about reading their blogs and commented. And none said anything back:( When you are stepping out and trying to meet people, even in cyberspace, it stinks when no one notices your efforts. So I understand how you feel! And by the way, the next person that said nice to meet you was Amanda Espinoza. I appreciate that so much! Anyway, I’m glad you are tough and still know your value. I am so glad for you and your blog and how you help with all your family and faith tips!!

    • Candace, I’m really not that great. It was you that reached out to me first and made such a generous, kind impression that I couldn’t help but love you immediately! And Amanda is another really wonderful friend. I adore her! I’m so glad we all are getting to know each other. You both are a blessing to me!!! Lisa~

  37. There are times I swear that if I didn’t have kids, no one would notice if I slipped into a new church. Unless everyone mumbled their songs, in which case they would compliment me on my beautiful voice (which isn’t really that good–I barely stay on tune, but I know how to sing from my diaphragm so people can hear me). Anyhow, it’s unfortunate. I’m sorry you had such a hard time making friends this time. It is a reminder to make sure I welcome those the Lord puts in my path!

    • Lisa, it does help to have kids. Several women above have commented about being single with no family. Putting myself in their place makes me realize that it is easier for me!

      Thanks for adding your insight to this discussion. So many of us have had this happen. It helps me to know that next time I might make a difference to someone else! Lisa~

  38. I cried reading about your experience. My husband and I have been to homeschooling meetings and conferences. We apparently are considered “odd” as we have an only child and he also has special needs. We never found the support and encouragement from other homeschoolers that we had so hoped for. It’s been a real disappointment. Some homeschoolers even shunned us for having an autistic child. What kind of Christian Love is that? I don’t know, but I agree with you, that I, like you, need to come out of my shell even more and greet and love others, such as new people at my own church, etc… Maybe my shyness comes across as rudeness sometimes. Thank you for sharing. I’m sorry you had a rough weekend, but you are passing along great reminders to other sisters in Christ here!

    • Boo, you are not alone. For 21 years we were a homeschool family with 3 sons and a daughter. Now that our sons are grown we no longer fit the mold because our daughter has special needs. Now life is very lonely even in the church. There are many lessons for me to learn. My child is fearfully and wonderfully made and not a mistake. She brings us more joy than I could have imagined (as well as lots of frustrations). My worth is not found in friendships but in Christ alone. He gave His life for me and clothes me in His righteousness. Sadly, for many years I was the one who overlooked those who stood on the sidelines…now I am learning how it feels and trying to figure out where my piece of the puzzle fits. The Bible says, “when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or uncircumcised (may I add…normal or special needs, outgoing or shy). The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself in love.” Galatians 5:6. I want to live for what really counts.

      • Boo and Lori, I know just what you both mean! I rarely feel like I fit in. That makes me think it’s a scheme of the enemy to convince us all of that. You both are so precious in your desire to spread love and not live in bitterness. I want that too. We can resolve to support one another from afar to be the light in a dark world. Love to you both! Lisa~

  39. Just clicked over from a friend’s blog (she shared your experience). This is a lesson for all of us to pay attention to those we don’t know when attending events. I’ve never attended a conference alone and think you were so courageous to do so.

    • Thanks Dayle! Just knowing that you will be paying attention wherever you go, not just conferences, is encouraging to me. If we join together, think what a difference we can make in our little worlds. Thanks, Lisa~

  40. It’s amazing how so many of us feel this way….an epidemic of loneliness. I am always waiting for someone to come along beside me and make me feel better. Reading through the comments encourages me to stop waiting and be the one who reaches out. There will be those who won’t reach back but others will. Jesus new commandment was to love one another as He loved us. May His love for me spill over to everyone around me.

  41. Hey there Lisa,

    Oh that stinks you were never able to connect with anyone. I’m doubly bummed because I’d tweeted you and hoped to meet up at the (in)courage/DaySpring booth before the opening session on Saturday morning. We had a little birthday gift for you and several of our team were keeping an eye peeled for you to stop by. No one should have to feel lonely on their birthday! Well no one should have to feel lonely any time, but especially on a birthday. Won’t you DM your address? I’d love to pop our little gift bag in the mail for you!

    warmest of wishes
    Lisa-Jo

    • Lisa-Jo, you are so sweet to follow up on that! I did stop at the (in)courage booth, but honestly….it was the afternoon of the second day by the time I got there and there was just one gal sitting there and I just didn’t have the nerve at that point to say, “Hey, I’m Lisa, do you have something for me?”

      But you are right, of course….I should have done that. I am sure a friendly reception would have helped lift my spirits! Thanks so much. Lisa~

  42. Hi Lisa,
    I next to never comment on blogs, and I don’t do conferences. But something struck me in your post. You said “He met me where I was at the conference. He comforted me and shined His light on me and the nights alone in my room when I prayed and asked Him to draw me nearer to Him were invaluable. I don’t get alone time very often, so I sure did appreciate that” Jesus took time to be alone to pray, I was thinking, maybe God knew you needed some alone time with him. I know for some this is obvious, but please bear with me. My fellowship with God is recently renewed, and I am but a infant in my personal walk. I am new to our little church and my hubby does not attend (please pray for his salvation), just me and two of my 3 girls. When I sent the youngest(12) into sunday school by herself the first few times, I told her to image Jesus himself right there next to her. Afterwards, she told me she was nervous, but it worked, Jesus was with her ! I smiled and told her, “I know, I have to do the same”

    • Misty, thanks from the bottom of my heart for stopping to leave a comment today. Seriously, it blessed my socks off! I am already praying for your whole family….what a sweet testimony you are to the comfort that Christ brings when we focus on that. It helped me through my weekend also. Now that we’ve connected, I know God will bring you to mind often and I will pray each time. Isn’t it amazing to know that we rest in such loving and caring arms? Have a wonderful week! Lisa~

  43. Thank you especially to Lisa and Lori for your beautiful follow-ups and then to everyone else who responded on here! I have been blessed by this blog and each of you today.

  44. I hate that you felt that way. When I visit your blog I can just imagine that you would be a great person to actually meet.
    This is what I was wondering and I’m not sure if anyone already mentioned it because I didn’t make it through all the comments.
    What about family conferences and your family is the only one that doesn’t know anyone. We are looking forward to going to our first family conference in late October. Not just to meet other families (although that would be great too) but to hear the speakers and grow together as a family for the Lord.
    I am a little concerned that since most families that go will already know each other will anyone be the lease bit friendly to us. This is something I try to pay attention too when I am at a place where I am totally comfortable but others might not be. I guess what I’m wondering if that inner circle is so tight do people bother anymore trying to reach out. This can be very hard for the believer and unbeliever. For example our older children are thinking this will be an opportunity to meet other like minded kids near their age. Hopefully this will be a good experience for all. I just wondered if anyone had any experience with these “family” type conferences.
    I really enjoy your blog too!!!
    Missy in TN

    • Missy, family conferences must be really tough to be the new guys. You are so right! I will be praying for you and your kids. It’s hard to be pushy and kind of invited yourself in to a conversation. I have to remember that I am asking the other people to go out of their comfort zone and be willing to get to know me. I hope you all have a great time! If you think about it, let us know how it went. :) Lisa~

  45. As a single mom who simply feels lonely alot without even having to go anywhere, Just being at home can get lonely, I thought that this blog was encouraging. Thank you for your kind words. I never would have had the guts to go to that conference all alone. Sorry you had a bad time.

    • Brittany, I don’t think enough about single moms. It’s got to be so hard because you do EVERYTHING alone. My heart goes out to you and I wonder how many single moms were at the conference I attended and felt the same way. Thanks so much for adding your perspective. It means a lot! Lisa~

  46. Sadly, I have had the unfortunate experience of dealing with this in a few different settings. It all happened when I was a brand new, fresh-faced believer who had just given my heart to God. I was not yet confident in my relationship with Him. I had not yet gotten to know the strength and comfort He gives. Those experiences made me even more determined not to let this kind of thing happen when I am around. It is a major rule in this family that we do NOT leave people out. We do NOT let people feel alone. We do NOT let someone walk by, sit alone, or look lost without reaching out to them. Sometimes, all it takes is a smile to make a huge difference for someone else!

    • Rhen, it’s so nice to hear from you! It’s been a while. I love that family rule….I may steal it for my family. Thanks for the idea! Lisa~

  47. Lisa,

    Thank you for writing this, I wanted to say after reading the comments, that God not only comforted you right there at your time of need but has worked it all together for the good, your courage in speaking out has blessed to many, your challenge to seek out the lonely has inspired us and your friends have had a chance to huddle round you and give you huge cyber HUGS. You are blessed :)

    • Abigail, yes He surely did! My favorite past of these comments is how everyone is comforting each other and including each other in the conversation. I’ll take cyber hugs anytime! Thanks so much, Lisa~

  48. I’ve felt very lonely at a conference (not Christian) and vowed never to attend another conference alone. However, I had never actually tried getting to know people because I never knew how to do it. Since then I’ve learned some techniques about networking and would be willing to try attending a conference alone one more time.

    • Stephanie, I would love to know more about those techniques!!!! I’m going to several other conferences this year (although I won’t be as completely alone) and I’m planning to work to make sure I help others feel welcomed. Please share with the rest of us! Lisa~

  49. I was up last night, praying for a friend. I am almost 55 and truly have no friend here where we have lived for 20 yrs. I go to church, know all the ladies there, talk to them. I know the neighbors, Moms from the homeschool group. However, no one is a friend to call, to meet up with, to go see. It is very sad for me. Perhaps it just isn’t God’s will for me to have a friend. I get so lonely, so very lonely. My last child is 16, such a blessing. I just want a friend. People are busy, have their own families, do their own things. It is hard for me. I’ve been alone (parenting) for the last 15 yrs.

    • Cathy, you are so precious! I have been right where you are and I know how hard it is! I know there are no easy answers, but I want to let you know that you are loved! I am going to pray with you that God will send a special, everyday friendship to you soon. And in the meantime for Him to take away the loneliness. I wish I could give you a big ol’ hug right now! Lisa~

  50. Once, after I had just had a baby, two friends from a homeschool group to which I belonged came over for a visit. While we were chatting, another friend, who neither of the other two women knew stopped by. We grabbed another chair and continued gabbing and laughing- all of us. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. The next day, I got an email from the third woman thanking me for making her feel included. At first, I suspected she was being sarcastic. I wondered why she would have thought otherwise. Since then (and probably before, but I’ve blotted it out), I’ve been in similar circumstances where I was the odd man out, and it was a terrible feeling. I do not go to conferences alone or otherwise for the very reason that I am not good in social settings. I am an introvert by nature, and being in those situations is basically a recipe for disaster. I am like Kym above, who enjoys being home with my family. I don’t feel a particular need to be out in the world. That’s great for those who are called to be that way, but God made me quiet, shy, and reserved, and I don’t mind being that way. Your post made me sad- not for you, necessarily, because you stated many times that you are strong and gained graces from such an experience, but I felt sad for all the others who are more delicate, as you put it. I will, because of reading this post, go out of my way next time to make a stranger feel less alone. Maybe at church, maybe at some other social gathering, but I WILL do it. Thank you for sharing this painful experience. You have done a lot of good by it. God bless you!

    • Deborah, Oh I LOVE that story about you making your friend feel welcome. That is exactly what I want to do….make people feel welcome and included. Bravo to you!

      I love how you pointed out that we are all different and called to different things. You are so right about that….the conference scene isn’t for everyone. It just thrills me that you said you will go out of your way to make a stranger feel less alone. I’m going to purpose to do that same thing and by God’s grace we can make a small difference. Thanks so much! Lisa~

  51. Lisa,

    It sounds like you already do a pretty good job, but here’s the background of how I used to act at conferences and networking events and then here’s what I learned:

    How I used to act:

    I would attend networking events or conferences by myself and want to talk to people but never find the opportunities to. I’m good at small talk, but not at breaking the ice. I’d thought about trying to introduce myself, but you can’t say, “Hi, I’m Stephanie, what brings you here today?” The obvious answer (that I was always afraid would get me an “are you stupid” response) is, “To hear the speaker.” So I would always wait for someone to talk to me, which never happened.

    What I learned:

    First, if you can, focus on people that are standing to the side on their own. Those are most likely the people that aren’t sure how to break the ice.

    Second, say something like, “Hi, I’m Stephanie. I’ve been waiting all week to hear so-and-so speak, what are you looking forward to about the conference?” That gives them an opening to talk and immediately reveals something about them.

    Third, persist in asking questions. It makes people feel good when you make them the center of attention. When you can, add your own feed back and make sure to share about yourself, but always turn the conversation back to them with a question.

    Fourth, people are usually much more open to talking and hanging out than we think. I went to conference with my husband (an introvert) for the first time and was surprised that at the after-party he would just randomly go up to a full table and introduce himself. And I was shocked that they would immediately bring him into the conversation. I had always been afraid to do that because I assumed I would get snubbed. It may happen sometimes, but not as often as you’d think.

    Finally, you talked about inviting people to dinner and being turned down because they were hanging with their friends. Don’t be scared to say, “I don’t know anyone else here, do you mind if I tag along?” Sometimes you might still get turned down (it happened to me and I cried, but I also knew that it was actually a team meeting lunch so turning me down was appropriate). Often though, people don’t think about the fact that they are the difference between you sharing a meal with others and dining alone. The lack of invitation usually is thoughtlessness, but not purposeful snubbing.

    I hope this helps, and I’m happy to answer any other questions or expound further

  52. Oh, Lisa! What a weekend and I am so glad that you are able to see God’s hand to reach out to others in similar situations down the road – I don’t know if I could do that. I am fine once someone connects with me, but I would have a horrible time trying to even connect with others – I probably would have gone to my room alone as a false choice if you know what I mean.
    I am glad you are home and had some high points ;)

    • Bev, I did slip to my room a couple of times to just get away from it. But I made myself attend all of the sessions and even the party on Friday night. I’m glad I learned from it. I will be better prepared if it ever comes up again. Nice to hear from you! Lisa~

  53. Lisa,
    I just recently found your blog and have thought how much fun it would be to meet you in real life! I wish I had been at the conference–I would have talked with you and loved to have dinner with you. I have attended conferences and things like that alone but I have also, more often than not, had similar experiences to yours. Honestly, I think men are way nicer in that way than women are–at least that has been my experience in professional settings. Honestly, I always thought it had something to do with the fact that I am from Southern California. I don’t think the women here would exactly win any ‘nicest’ contests. And then when I am with women from other parts of the country I feel like they kind of write me off as soon as they know where I am from. At least you got to call your girlfriend. That is exactly what I would have done!

  54. Lisa,
    I *so* felt your heart as I was reading this. I’ve attended many conferences alone and have experienced something similar. I have also cried from rejection in ministry/church/conference related situations. I usually just pray it out, although I have been known to wallow, which is never very helpful. :P

    I’m with Kimberley, I wish I could’ve been there to give you a big hug!

    Melissa~
    PS I feel sorry for all the ladies who missed out on the blessing of being your friend!

  55. You are so talking about me, right? I just know that you are talking about me in my daily life. I have good days and I have bad days in dealing with it. I am getting more used to the idea that I am just an oddball and no matter how many times I talk to people and ask questions I just don’t fit in. I recently stepped away from the online world because I thought that maybe I spent too much time on the computer “talking” to people so that prevented me from fitting in with real life people. Guess what… I’m back! hehehe… I am just an oddball and I’m learning to embrace it. It’s not easy. I know I’m not an oddball with God though. He was just goofy enough to make me the way I am so I figure there has to be reason. :)

    At any rate, I will probably never attend a conference for what just happened to you there. I already receive these reactions from people I see on a weekly basis, I’d really rather not spend the money I don’t have to travel and have more people do that too. Ha! (Really that is a poor attitude isn’t it? Sigh!)

    I am sorry to hear that it happened to you though. I would have sat in the mall parking lot and had dinner with you. :) That would have been just fine by me! Keep looking for the wallflowers. They like to meet people too.

    Take care!
    Dee

  56. I’ve attended many conferences and events alone, often as a workshop presenter. I make a practice of giving the time to the Lord and trusting Him to provide the connections that will edify others and glorify Him. I always engage at the lavatory, in the buffet line, on the elevator and anywhere else I can make eye contact with other attendees. I offer breakfast, lunch, dinner and coffee invitations. Like you, I’ve made lifelong friends this way. Other times, I’ve spent the entire event essentially alone. When the connections happen, I enjoy the fellowship and opportunity to minister. When they don’t, I trust the Lord to use my alone time to refine me. Both are profitable. The time is His, I am His. I have learned to be content whatever my circumstance.

  57. I found your blog via Pinterest and somehow found my way to this post. I’ve been in your shoes before, only it was at a conference where I was a speaker. All of the other speakers were a lot more well known and I was the little peon that nobody knew. And nobody wanted to know me either- because I wasn’t somebody famous that they could say they met or get a picture taken with.

    I can’t tell you how lonely it feels when you’re sitting at a supper table as a speaker who is supposed to answer questions for the attendees who are there and none of them know who you are and right in the middle of your conversation they all look away and forget you were even talking because Miss Big Name Speaker just arrived late and they are awestruck by her. Kind of made me want to puke.

    And I stood in the middle of a crowded room feeling so little because when I tried to strike up conversations, nobody cared. I wasn’t famous enough.

    But…like you, I found the Lord in all of it and took away some valuable lessons about making others feel worth, even if I don’t know them. I also decided that weekend that if I’m ever Miss Big Name Speaker myself I never, ever, ever want people to worship me like an idol!

  58. I found your blog through the 2:1 conference and I am so glad I did! I am so happy to hear that you are resting in God for your support in this situation. ~Alexis on behalf of everyone at A Moment with MOM

  59. Lisa,
    I found your post through the 2:1 Conference. I am so sorry for your experience, as I have been there often. Often a crowd is the easiest place for loneliness. Your tears sound pretty normal to me, and I admire your courage and determination to stick it out and learn in spite of the social climate. I wish I could have been there. I would LOVE to get to know you! As a mother of a large family and a blogger, you are already hero material on my list! I’ll be looking forward to following your blog.
    God bless YOU today!
    Katie

  60. Oh Lisa! This post was shared via the 2:1 Conference page because of how different they want their conference to be from what you just experienced. When I saw who it was who had written the article, my heart sank. I would LOVE to meet you and all I could think about as I read this was how much I would have given to have been there with you and hung out w/ you there. I hope we do meet someday…who knows, it might even be at a conference. ;) Love you, girl!

  61. Wow…Usually my being alone stems from my uncomfortable self with groups…I know when I am in a group its easy to not notice the fringe around…but to actively seek the group and nothing…May God use it for His glory. Thank you for sharing.

  62. Debbie Thacker :

    Hi Lisa!
    I just found your blog and found I have found a kindred spirit! Every one of your posts have spoken to me! I am a house parent for foster children in a group setting, so I love your parenting tips! I stumbled onto your page after seeing your wall of scripture! How awesome, and we’re looking to do something like this in our house. Don’t know if I’m ready to tackle this yet! As far as this post goes though, I really wanted to share my thoughts. Something similar happened to me, but I was actually with a group of women that I didn’t know very well. I was so excited they included me in their “group”. After the road trip to the conference, it dawned on me why I really didn’t know these women! We had nothing in common! Our views on scripture, marriage, just about everything differed! I thought this was a group I wanted to “connect” with, but God showed me how “disconnected” I really was. I spent a lot of alone time with God. He taught me so much that weekend. And yes, He convicted me to about the way I had treated others in the pass, and I assured Him, I got His message, LOUD and CLEAR! I agree with some of the others too, wish I had been there! I know God would have allowed us to connect, and we would have had lots of fun and laughs! So excited I found your site! Looking forward to following you and your precious family!