This past February, I had the honor to attend the Boldly Conference here in Tallahassee. The conference was held by The 61 Exchange, an awesome group of women that inspire everyone around them with their powerful testimonies on how Jesus has planted himself in their lives. It is led by the brave and outspoken Amy Boland (you can follow her here), whose gift is to lead and empower every woman in her path to live the life God wants them to live. The conference was only two days, but, honestly, I could listen to these women speak every day of my life. I could connect with every single women on that stage in some minuscule way-that was Jesus making his way in to my heart.
I’ve gone to a church since I was little and it sort of became my identity. All of my memories were there. After I graduated high school, I found it was hard to find somewhere I fit in at church. That turned in to me becoming pretty disconnected and eventually I stopped going. When I moved to Tallahassee, I felt the need to find my church home and I found it at Downtown Community Church. They are inviting, young and I found somewhere I fit in. That’s where this conference was held and why I will forever remain grateful that I stepped out of my comfort zone and said yes to this experience.
Bold + beautiful
The Boldly Conference was all about embracing your inner lioness. Lionesses are strong, sometimes more powerful than their male counterparts. They team up together, which is what us women should do. We shouldn’t try to bring each other down to try and lift ourselves up. We need to band together and conquer as a unit-community over competition. One of the speakers, Mackenzie Hyde, listed out three ways we need to be bold:
- Do not live ordinary. Don’t be scared to be different.
- Take risks and do it afraid. Stop waiting for permission from people; consult Christ instead.
- Know that YOU are chosen.
Mackenzie said it best: “Your failure isn’t final. God takes messes and turns them in to messages”.
Use my gift for good
God has given each of us a gift to spread His love. My gift is this blog. I have such a passion for writing. For me, to be bold, is to put myself out there. THIS is life as Jessie Lorraine. My life includes mending and growing my relationship with Jesus and I want you guys to see me grow and hopefully inspire one of you to want to, as well. I need to climb out of my coffin of fear and doubt and be the lioness that God made me to be.
My absolute favorite speaker from those two days was Cathy Semeria. I don’t know why I was so drawn to her; we have absolutely nothing in common, even with how we came to know Jesus. She was sharing how she did not know who Jesus was until a lot later in her life whereas I knew him from a very young age. Then she started talking about her daughter, Tini. Christina seemed like such a fresh breath of air and had a burning passion to share God’s love with every single person she came in contact with. This powerful warrior even taught herself guitar to be able to worship Him. She started a blog (read it here) and was constantly testifying to His great name. Tini seemed to have it all, and, at first, I was kind of jealous ( I know I shouldn’t be, it’s just a feeling, okay?). Then a tragic accident happened and Tini was taken from us. She may not be with us physically anymore, but she will live on in so many people’s hearts. If Cathy had not come that weekend, or if I had not said yes to going, I would not feel Jesus as strongly as I do now. Tini has lit a fire in me. Her song Be Still (listen + buy it here) is my anthem. “Cast your worries and doubts upon me, for I hold your heart” holds such personal meaning to me and I hope it does for you, too.
The reason it took me so long to write this blog post is because I really wanted to reevaluate my plan of action. I wanted it to be intentional and bring me joy. LAJL needs to be a safe space where my faith can flourish and I can create a community of like-minded people. I still want to remain a fashion and lifestyle blog, too! This blog is a look in to my brain. I do not want to fall in to just one category! I hope you will want to follow along on this exciting journey. If you ever get the chance to experience anybody associated with The 61 Exchange, I HIGHLY recommend it!
“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:6-9