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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