As I write this, I am traveling on my first of two flights to the Influence Conference. This day has long been hoped for and I haven’t stopped smiling now that it’s here. While God has been teaching me about surrendering control quite a bit over the past two years, I continue to be reminded and taught at the most unexpected times. Going into this month I imagined blissful, stress-free weeks leading up to the conference. I expected to come upon today fully prepared, feeling completely confident and sure of myself and ready to take on this adventure. Instead, life happened and I was hit with insecurity and nerves that masqueraded as a sudden urge to buy new things and scrutinize over every detail of this trip in an effort to gain control of it. Last night I was up late trying to cram my wardrobe into the cute new bag I blogged about last week while I pulled and tugged on prospective outfits and shamed myself for not losing more weight before this day arrived. As I sat on my bedroom floor with an aching back and feelings of overwhelm, I was sad that I was fretting about all the little things instead of sitting quietly in anticipation of what God has in store for me this weekend. I decided to throw my hands up and set aside my cute bag in favor of a more practical rolling suitcase, skip the shiny topcoat on my nails, and go to bed. Over the past couple of hours, things have completely shifted in my heart and I don’t care about the little things anymore. I’m excited to make new friends this weekend, to celebrate alongside them, to learn and grow, and to be spiritually refreshed. I haven’t stopped smiling since I decided to just own this trip for what it is and to remember that this whole experience of my internship and this conference is a gift from Him who is the source of all good things. The new outfits, slimmer waistline, or cute luggage would not ultimately satisfy me, but He always will. Indianapolis, I’m coming for you with a softened heart that’s ready to be filled with the One who sent me there.
Once I let go of all the ideas of perfection, this morning got really fun quickly. I arrived to the airport with a goofy grin because I.love.to.fly. I had my boarding pass printed at the counter because there is something special about having an authentic one instead of the print-at-home variety. I then asked a TSA worker if they would take my picture because I am a big nerd who loves to document everything, and she happily obliged and managed to capture one of her coworker photobombing me. Once I made my way through security, I walked around the terminal a bit and was delighted to hear Bob Marley hits playing from the Starbucks kiosk. His music is a thing in my family, so it was extra festive. When it was time to board, I crossed my fingers for a window seat on the left side before the window. That preference is one of the little quirks I’ve developed over my past few flights and it has yet to fail me. I found a seat that fit those specifications and quickly made friends with the sweet ladies who I’m sharing my row with. It turns out that they are headed to a conference for Christian moms that is being held a block from the Influence Conference, which made me really happy. Now I’m sipping my water and looking out the window as I listen to the playlist I shared yesterday. I was able to snap some really neat pictures of my hometown and Boston as we flew overhead, and now we are about halfway to Baltimore. Today is a really good day.