When I showed up last summer for the first night of For Her, I expected it to be a good opportunity to hear from some of the prominent female voices in our congregation and to hangout with my girlfriends. But I did not expect to feel so deeply understood and seen in a room full of women.
I have a tendency to get in my head—to convince myself that I am the only one experiencing the web of thoughts and emotions happening inside of me. And I have a feeling I’m not alone in that. What happened on that stage that first night, and in the weeks that followed, were constant reminders that none of us are alone. Respected, talented, and deeply spiritual women vulnerably stood onstage and shared honest, relatable stories of life that brought a sense of comfort, understanding, and (lots of) laughter to the room.
Knowing your story and sharing it truthfully for the sake of others is something you’ve likely been challenged with if you’ve been around Summit a while. But this a theme that has shown up in my life this year in many ways both inside and outside of the church. Sharing our joys and our struggles allows others to do the same. It’s a reminder to the ones we love that they are not alone. And the For Her seminars modeled this in such a real way.
Aside from being deeply reminded that we are all humans walking through life’s challenges and that we should be walking together, I also learned some really valuable and tangible ways to grow my relationship with the Lord through the topics of “Sabbath”, “Busyness vs Fullness”, “Unmet Longings,” and “Quiet Time”.
Previous to these conversations, I had never even considered that I should be practicing Sabbath or considered what that might look like for my life. I was (and still am) constantly swaying between busyness and fullness—and usually airing on the busy side. I had not yet put words to my own unmet longings and was definitely questioning if I was doing quiet time “correctly”—when I was doing it at all.
What the women of For Her did for me (and hopefully all of the women in the room), was remove the intimidation factor and provide practical examples for creating a regular quiet time, for practicing sabbath, for balancing our commitments and living life well in the midst of unmet longings. They shared godly wisdom and offered actionable instruction, then completely covered it in grace. They admitted that sometimes they “mess this up” too and that's OK. It’s all about leaning in closer to God and growing in relationship with him; finding more moments to connect and listen.
At the end of the 4-week series last summer, I might’ve been the first to request audio versions of these talks. I shared them with all of the women in my life, added the link to my bookmarks bar, and have re-listened to all of them since.
As incredible as these talks were, I can’t help but think that last year just scratched the surface on the conversations that we should be having together as women. I am excited for another summer of reminding one another: You are worthy. You are strong. You are not alone.
Join us as we cover the topics of prayer, trust, challenges, and friendships as we embark on year two of For Her: The Speaker Series for Women. And tell your friends, your mom, your book club, and the lady up the street that they're all invited!
Kara Akers has attended Summit Church for 5 years and serves in our Base Camp children’s ministry. She works for Laughing Samurai, a digital marketing agency in Orlando.