I love to know the story behind the story. I thought maybe you might too. This is what was happening in my life as Fresh Out of Amazing was unfolding. God is so good to gently lead us. He did that for me in many ways. And since this part of the story will make you smile, I thought I’d start here.
I stood in the bathroom of Proverbs 31 Ministries stirring up the best pep talk I could muster at 8:00 a.m. I had flown to Charlotte, NC, on an early morning flight to meet with their Compel Writing Team led by Lysa TerKeurst. I was eager to learn and trying to talk myself out of being overly nervous.
[callout]“Just be yourself. They are women just like you. Don’t do anything uncool,” I said to the girl looking back at me in the mirror. She agreed with me so at least we were off to a good start.[/callout]
One last check was in order after I reapplied my lip-gloss. My hair was still benefiting from the blow out by my hair stylist the day before and I realized the truth in the statement,“You can never underestimate the power of a good hair day.” I was rocking the skinny jeans even though I was still on the fence about wearing them after my fortieth birthday. I had broken up with them publicly on my blog and reunited with them after only a few months. I decided they were a fashion-do this time because I was wearing the cutest pair of cognac colored riding boots, generously given to me by my friend Angie. Friends who give you boots are the best kind. Of course I texted her a picture of the boots waiting with me for my meeting. She was so excited for me and her boots and what was to come.
I made my way to the lobby and glanced around the room. It was the perfect combination of pretty and bold. Turquoise walls with Scripture were visible everywhere I looked. I was sitting in the cutest black and white chair trying my best to wait patiently for my meeting. It was like sitting inside of a box from Tiffany’s Department Store.
This was every write it girl’s dream, right? I could not have been more excited at that moment if someone had told me I had won the lottery. I knew it was a blessing from the Lord. I would soon be joined by my friend and co-author of Hope for the Weary Mom, Brooke McGlothlin, for a book writing 101 sort of day. We would be learning the art of writing compelling words. It was also a day to talk about hope and weary moms. Yes, this was a hit-the-lottery kind of day.
Lysa came around the corner and immediately every chance I had for being cool melted from my body. She said hello, spoke my name, and as I stood up to greet her, I realized I was hugging her. The conversation in my head with myself went something like this:
“OK, why on earth are you hugging Lysa?”
“Is she a hugger? Maybe she is a hugger?”
“Don’t be crazy, she just met you and normal people don’t do that sort of thing.”
“What do I do now?”
“Do I stop hugging her?”
The answer of course is no. The only thing more uncool than hugging someone you just met, is un-hugging them mid-hug. I figured I might as well just go with it and claim my title as Weird Hugger Girl.
Lysa was gracious and warmly welcomed me to the office. She showed me the conference room where we would be meeting and offered me coffee, which clearly I needed. I felt much better at this point about the whole hugging incident. I’m guessing this happens to her often. Surely I wasn’t the only weird person she had encountered who was convinced she knew her well enough to hug her on their first meeting. She excused herself and I walked around the room praying quiet prayers to Jesus. I asked him to join us and do a work only he could do in the next eight hours.
The room filled quickly with amazing women from Proverbs 31 and the local community. They were ministry women, writer women, moms, and daughters. They loved a good conversation—everyone had much to contribute. Brooke was now sitting beside me, thank goodness. I leaned over and whispered, “Hey is Lysa a hugger?” She looked at me slightly confused and said, “I don’t know, why?” I looked down and then back up and said, “Because, I hugged her when I met her and I’m pretty sure she thinks I’m crazy now.” Brooke gave me a lopsided smile and assured me everything would be fine. I could be sure she would not let me descend into any more uncool behavior.
Friends are priceless that way.
Join me later for part 2 of this story. There is so much more to tell.
P.S. If you’ve read Lysa’s new book Uninvited, in chapter 1 she talks about being an “incredibly awkward hugger of the worst sort.” I feel this has bonded us for life. And you definitely want to read her book. It is so very good!