For the past few months I've been planning the first SPARKLE Conference & Retreat. It took a great deal of planning and thinking and rethinking, but it was held this past Saturday and I'm very happy with the way things turned out. People enjoyed themselves and I do know that a few lives were changed.
While in the midst of the planning, I swore that I'd never, ever host another event like this. By the end of Saturday's event, I was already planning the next one. I think it's necessary.
You see women, especially women of faith, are often reluctant to share their pain. For whatever reason, be it pride or embarrassment, we want people to believe that life has always been wonderful for us... that we've never been through a difficult trial... that God has always been good to us.
God HAS always been good to us, but if we're honest, there were times when it didn't feel like that was the case.
The SPARKLE Conference & Retreat provided a day of mask removal so that women could be real with one another. Speakers talked about the pains associated with divorce, abuse, and addiction. Our stories were sometimes raw, but always relevant. And, like I said, lives were changed.
The atmosphere was "inviting and embracing" in the words of one of our attendees, and that's exactly what I wanted for the event. I'm pleased and I hope that God is pleased with me as I continue to do the work I feel He has put before me.