I am behind in blogging about my adventures! San Diego and The Storyline Conference was such a highlight of the year! (And its only March!) Visiting my friend Liza in San Francisco was a blast, and now I’m looking forward to Asheville and Peter’s wedding. I have been all over the place it seems. This crazy journey since the bombing has taken me to Kansas, NYC, San Diego, San Francisco, Boston (several times), Maine, Prince Edward Island, France, Asheville, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin… YIPES!

The Storyline conference was amazing. I loved every single moment of it. I met Bob Goff, Don Miller, and my favorite, Shauna Niequist! I learned so much. My notebook is full of notes. Full. I feel like I need to listen to all the sessions again to get my thoughts in order, but I will try to share my biggest takeaways from each session.

The first session was with Donald Miller, Randal Wallace (wrote screenplay for Braveheart), and Mike Foster (People of the Second Chance). All amazing people, all with amazing stories. They all touched on finding a deeper sense of meaning. The big question asked was “What will the world miss if I do not tell my story?”  We are all designed to experience meaning. To live life to the fullest. In order to do this, some things you need are a project that serves others, intimate, safe relationships (shared experiences), and a redemptive perspective on suffering. Suffering isn’t going to go away. When you make it through one trial there will certainly be another, but suffering is only suffering when it ceases to have a context.

We learned about redeeming our negative turns. Turning suffering into something meaningful gives it a context and helps you to see past the pain and actually learn something and grow from it. This is always so hard for me to do. It is so hard to see past the suffering to see what God is doing. Sometimes it takes years to be able to look back and realize that the hard times you were going through were actually preparing you for whatever you are currently facing. But there is always something redemptive in our suffering. Sometimes it is learning a lesson, or growing, or being able to empathize with someone else. Recognizing the redemptive turns helps give meaning to our suffering.

So the big question is “What will the world miss if you do not tell your story?” What is your suffering teaching you, and how can you make it meaningful?

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
Romans 8:18