Every year our church holds a conference in Shenzhen, and we always drive down as a family and have a great time. It’s a fun little road trip (about 2 hours), we get to interact with members of our church who live in other areas, and it’s always a spiritual boost to the system. It’s become a great family tradition since moving back to China four years ago.
This year, however, we found out that William was going to be in Nanjing during the conference. I felt way too nervous about driving to Shenzhen by myself (I know it’s only 2 hours but I was worried I’d get lost and since I’m illiterate in Chinese, that I wouldn’t be able to find it!) and quite honestly, I just didn’t want to go without William. Things aren’t the same without him there---plain and simple.
So, I’d kind of decided I wasn’t going to go. I don’t know if I would have stayed with that plan or not, but I was working on some options. Then, I was asked to speak at the Sunday session. That was it. I was definitely going, and I was going to have to buck up and figure it out. Figure out how to get there, figure out the hotel arrangements, figure out how to find a place to take the kids for dinner---I just needed to figure it all out!
Well, thankfully, it wasn’t as hard as I expected, and I survived. Some friends (and one of their daughters) rode down with us, which made the trip much more fun, and I was grateful for the extra assurance that we were going the right way. The conference was wonderful, as it always is, and I came away with answers…some overt, some more just feelings, but answers and peace to questions I’d been thinking about. It was one of those times when I knew I was right where I was supposed to be.
The content of my talk was taken from Ephesians---about putting on the “whole armor of God”. What a great concept for me to consider. I think I got more out of putting my talk together than anyone listening did, and that’s okay. I was surprised by how much my kids listened to my talk and how much they actually understood what that meant. Of course, on the way home, after this brief spiritual conversation, I was feeling very confident and thought for sure they’d want to watch a scripture-based DVD. I tried to put it in and they tuned right out, wishing to watch “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” instead. Hmmm…..one step at a time, I guess.
Lots to be grateful for!