Hello. My name is Lisa, and I’m addicted to SEEK conferences.
This year I will be attending my fourteenth FOCUS national conference. (I could say I do it for the T-shirts, but that would be a lie.)
My first conference experience began with my joining a FOCUS Bible study during my freshman year in college. Upon learning about their winter conference in Omaha, I enthusiastically signed up to attend. (I know you’re jealous. Nowadays we host conferences in less exciting locations.)
With my new college BFFs crammed into my two-door sports car and a freshly burned mix CD in our player, we drove 2.5 hours north of Benedictine College for the conference in January — and I entered into what I believed to be Catholic utopia. There were, like, 500 Catholic college students there! I couldn’t believe it. Where did they find 500 Catholic college students to attend this conference? I thought all of the good Catholic college students attended my school!
I was impressed. This was huge. We weren’t alone in Atchison.
I honestly don’t remember much from the conference (other than thinking, “Why hasn’t my Protestant boyfriend had a ‘come-to-the-Eucharist’ moment yet?”), but I do remember buying the cassette tapes (yes, cassette tapes) of the entire conference with some friends so we could listen to them again and again.
And that’s what I did. I have vivid memories of listening to the talks at home in my basement so I could outline them and then commit the principles to memory.
Each subsequent year, when conference sign-ups rolled around, my missionaries didn’t even have to ask me if I was going because I had probably already signed up. The conferences kept getting better and better, and now I am the proud owner of over a dozen FOCUS conference name-tags.
If you’re on the fence and can’t decide if you should go again, the answer is YES! Here’s why: Every conference is different, and you are different.
Every Conference Is Different
Each year brings new speakers to inspire you, new topics to challenge you, new entertainment to… entertain you (The Oh Hellos? Yes, please!), new friendships to take with you (with more than 10,000 attendees, you should be able to find at least one new friend) and timeless sacraments to bless you. Just because you went last time doesn’t mean you should expect a repeat conference this time. My personal experience has proven that each conference raises the bar for the next, always living up to my high expectations. Believe me, it’s come a long way from those cold days in the basement of the Embassy Suites in Omaha.
Every Year, You Are Different
Picture yourself at the last SEEK conference you attended. Where were you, spiritually and emotionally? Who were your friends? What were your priorities and goals? How was your relationship with Jesus going? Are you at a better or worse place now than you were then?
Whatever your answers to those questions may be, one thing is for certain: You are different. And because you are different, your next experience at SEEK will be different. No matter where we are in our faith walk, we all need moments to step back, lay it all out and evaluate this crazy thing called “life.” And spending the first five days of a new year in an amazing atmosphere sounds like the perfect time and place to do so.
See you there! You are NOT going to want to miss this one….
Be saints — it’s worth it!
Find out more about SEEK here.
P.S. Ladies, I cannot wait to spend a morning talking about womanhood with you and to share the book my husband Kevin and I wrote together! If you see me around, please say hello. I’d love to meet you!