The Edel Gathering for Catholic women was July 10-11th in Charleston, SC.
That means this blog post is a bit late to the party. It’s alright to judge me a little. 😉
So who in their right mind would want to hate a conference of Catholic women?
Bitter, jealous, and infertile little old me from one year ago.
I’d heard about the first Edel Gathering and saw all the gushing blog posts that followed. last year. It seemed like in order to attend you needed to have a cool mom blog and tons of kids to blog about.
None of which applied to my life…leaving me feeling completely excluded and on the outside. It was pretty darn easy to hate Edel a year ago.
But then something happened.
God worked on my heart and freed me from former bitterness and jealousy. I became a mom through the blessing of adoption. And a dear friend from college invited me to sign up when I was delirious with an 8-day-old baby at home. 🙂
I am glad I got to go and actually experience the conference as opposed to sitting on the sidelines making judgey eyes. Below are my biggest takeaways from Edel 2015:
1. Abandonment To God’s Will Leads To Joy
Of course since I had Josephine with me I couldn’t find the ability to actually write down all the amazing quotes shared on this topic…so I can’t really share with you any quality content, just my reflections.
Throughout all the speakers I felt the Holy Spirit telling me LOUD. AND. CLEAR. that only in God’s will for my life is where my joy lies.
Not in someone else’s situation. Not when things are only going “well” according to my standards. Not when I reach x, y, or z state in life that I am not currently at.
His will TODAY is where my joy can be found. Accepting whatever comes with peace and trust with ungripped hands will wash away my stress, anxiety, and fear that all too often hold me captive and unable to live my vocation to the full.
2. I Am Not Alone
If I had $1 for the times I felt alone this past year I’d be a very rich woman indeed.
Staying home with Josie has been undoubtedly one of my BEST decisions but it’s the HARDEST thing I’ve personally ever done.
It was a looooong winter and the days sort of blended together. Thanks be to God I had a few other Mommas I knew going through the same stages with babies almost identical in age to Josephine.
But the loneliness still crept in on those long snowy days. I think the Devil is an expert at isolation in general but it was unreal how lonely I got those days on end where I never left the house.
Just knowing other moms are out there feeling the same thing was comforting. That I’m not a freak or weirdo for battling these feelings as a mom. I needed to know I wasn’t alone.
3. Moms Aren’t My Enemies
If I am being honest, there used to be a part of me that hated moms. Not only because I was battling infertility and was just flat-out jealous of them but because it seemed like they couldn’t talk about anything BUT their kids…which I found annoying.
Moms became an enemy and I preferred to hang with singles or other married-without-kiddos gals.
Since becoming a mom myself I’ve learned at how kind and giving other moms are. I’ve had other moms reach out to me and be some of the most supportive women I now know. And yes, talking about the kids is tempting, but moms can still talk about MUCH more than the kids if given the freedom!
And I met dozens of those women at Edel.
Moms who were my allies and friends…anything BUT my enemy. It was refreshing to meet Catholic moms from all over the country with all types of personalities and interests yet going through the same things vocationally.
It was truly refreshing. I couldn’t hate it at all. 🙂