C onfession: I did not attend Woman Evolve 2018 and chances are if I didn’t attend this year, my life would’ve gone on as per usual. Depending on the angle of your view of my life this could be a positive or negative statement. The common threads of being a teen mom and a little bit gangsta that I share with the conference leader, Sarah Jakes Robers, sparked my interest in attending. I’m thanking God that it was solidified in my heart to travel to Denver, CO in an effort to try something new. I asked my sister to fly in and meet me there because something told me this would be a trip to remember. This would be our first ever “girl’s trip” with just us and I must admit, it was long overdue. I’m Straight out of the gate, Sarah walked onto the stage and we were going on a trip in our favorite rocket ship. Up we went to look down and get a better view of all the nouns standing in our way. Whether it was a person, place, or thing hindering our evolution, the goal was to keep swinging until the path was clear. My eyebrows were wiped off within 20 minutes of the start. I know you’re wondering if I meant to say eyelashes but no – I said what I said. An early and unexpected altar call would be the last sight of them. Admittedly I had no intention of going to the altar. I stood still during the call as the little voice in my head told me that I was okay and didn’t need to go. I had grown to trust that voice because it was part of me and
I would never lie to myself. I suddenly remembered previous times that this voice had steered me wrong or held me back. The next thing I knew, SJR was all in my business and literally said “Move from the spot you are in.” With that I did exactly as instructed, silenced my internal noise, and headed to the altar. How could so few steps take me such a great distance? I stood vulnerable and open and repeated the words “God fill us.” I uttered them so many times that the words began to blend with the beat of my heart. Each word hit me like a mallet to a bass drum. The intensity was immeasurable but the first tear let me know that the flood gates were about to open. I held my head back and looked to the ceiling so as not to drown as many more began to roll down my face and wouldn’t you know it, the loyalty of my brows had faded. A little sign of moisture and they abandoned me. Thankfully, God did not. In that moment, I knew that I would not walk away from the weekend the same.
“Vulnerability sounds like the truth but feels like courage” – Brene Brown
There were over 1700 women in attendance and the vast majority were there to be filled up. Hearing some of their stories of the paralysis they had in their current situations was eye opening for me. It reminded me that we all have giants to slay and that the “how to” eludes quite a few of us daily. The testimonies of the women at the conference was only a sampling of the millions who face hurdles in their everyday lives. Oftentimes we attend events looking for something when in reality, we are the thing that’s lost. In the search to find ourselves, we’re really just trying to get back to who God already knows us to be. Our identity is connected to what’s in us, not the things that are outside of us. There were so many moments of impact during the conference but one in particular was when Dr. Anita Hill had us close our eyes to picture our younger selves. She asked that we go back, place that little girl on our hip, and bring her forward. This I saw as a gesture to not leave your former self stuck in harder times because even though we had grown up or out of situations, our younger selves are still very much apart of us. Emptying out those old feelings allows space to be filled with new beginnings that are not marred by old issues. Being in this space was just the charge I needed to look within.
“There’s nothing wrong with not having figured out who you are, but so much can go wrong when you pretend that you have.” – Sarah Jakes Roberts Don’t Settle for Safe
The conference offered topics for everyone. There were main sessions that we all attended together as well as breakout sessions of our choosing. Honestly choosing just one breakout proved to to be a tough decision for me. On one hand I wanted to check out the conversation about parenting and on the other I wanted to hear about business. Did I want to discuss debt or catch some gems about finding my purpose? Would an open dialogue about relationships help me more or less than a session on Kingdom and worship? The selection was wide and that meant I couldn’t be everywhere at once. Which should a girl choose when she has kids, debt to slay, wants a closer relationship with God, craves a better understanding of the male/female dynamic, and still struggles with her purpose? I wish I could’ve caught a small piece of them all. In my opinion, the conference could’ve easily lasted 4 days but i’m definitely grateful for the 2 days I was able to experience. I attended all of the main sessions and selected a breakout session on relationships with Keri Hilson (which prompted me to send prayers up for anyone who is out here dating cause…….anyway i’m praying for y’all ) Special prayers going out and up for all my married folks as well – basically i’m praying for everybody – #prayerwarrior. Please return the favor. I also sat in on a kick in the pants session with Myleik Teele, teacher of women. Myleik’s get to it approach during her Q & A sessions virtually and in person never disappoints. The dialogue was refreshing and direct – no feelings just facts and people got what they needed. There were a few MTY Retreat sisters in attendance so I was able to reconnect with them which is always a treat. I caught glimpses of interaction between Pastor Sarah, her sister Pastor Cora , and their mother First Lady Sarita Jakes which was an unexpected treat. My observation is that they are all different versions of the same woman. I was drawn to the energy that each had individually so quite naturally together they are in my opinion a triple threat.
The event was called Woman Evolve, but Chhiiilllee the male speakers did not come to play! Bishop T.D. Jakes and Pastor Toure Roberts had me without a voice post conference. They were understanding of and sensitive to their all female audience. Bishop Jakes spoke about Daddy Issues which resonated with so many of us and Pastor Roberts had a session on modern masculinity which for me could’ve been titled Becoming. If you’re lucky, they may have recorded the event for viewing on Woman Evolve TV. There needs to be an entire write up on all of the details surrounding WE19. Unfortunately i’m unable to do it because I have water to drink, business to mind, and edges to grow back since they snatched them the entire weekend. I’ve listed some of my favorite quotes from the weekend below.
- “Don’t ask God to walk with you. Walk with God” – Pastor Toure Roberts
- ” Preparation says I believe what God says” – Pastor Toure Roberts
- “It’s ain’t a hot girl summer. it ain’t a city girl summer. It’s a skin in the game summer.” – Pastor Sarah Jakes Roberts
- “You can’t coach anyone for greatness and be nice” – Bishop TD Jakes
- “Success takes a lot of energy ” – Bishop TD Jakes
The best way to NOT miss WE20 is to purchase your tickets TAH-DAY. I recommend purchasing the Inner Circle ticket which includes a meet and greet with Sarah Jakes Roberts before the conference start and preferred seating during the main sessions. I didn’t purchase the Inner Circle this year but I did not make the same mistake when buying my ticket for 2020. Regardless of the seat you’re in, this is one event that you should not miss. Woman Evolve is the blueprint to the elevation of mind and spirit. Don’t be the girl who says no one ever tells you about stuff like this! I done told ya. Thanks for reading!
This is not a sponsored post but is a genuine account of my experience at Woman Evolve 2019 .