Chile, I got my entire life at Woman Evolve. Something powerful happens when thousands of modern women of faith gather for a weekend to celebrate the beauty of God and reclaim their own majesty. Earlier this month marked the second year that Sarah Jakes Roberts has hosted the Woman Evolve Conference in Denver, CO and it was more magnificent than the year before.
This year's theme "For the Win: Refuse to Lose" was centered around standing flatfooted and being victorious. To keep on theme, the speakers of the conference were deemed coaches of their respective fields. The head coach, Sarah Jakes Roberts, loaded the roster with some heavy hitters from Myleik Teele (the business coach) to Arian Simone (the purpose coach) to Keri Hilson (the relationship coach); each coach tackled a topic tailor-made for an array of women.
It's unlike any other conference on this planet. According to the mission, Woman Evolve recognizes that as the definition of womanhood continues to advance, so does the woman's need to connect and assess where she fits in the ever-changing world around her. The Woman Evolve mission affirms that there is no better time than the present to awaken, identify, and release the unique offering of the woman.
With the imagery of bruised heels as the backdrop of the conference, women were able to break chains, generational curses, and soul ties. While attending the conference, I personally experienced some breakthroughs that can only be described as life-altering. Ahead, you'll find just a handful of gems that rocked me to the core.
"It ain't a Hot Girl Summer."
Pastor Sarah Jakes Roberts opened the conference with a vengeance to put her foot on the devil's neck. While the phrase of the summer is Megan Thee Stallion's "Hot Girl Summer", Pastor Sarah has a different truth. She said, "As for me and my house, we are gonna serve what God is doing around here. It ain't a Hot Girl Summer. It ain't a City Girl Summer. It's a Skin In The Game Summer! Everything else is trendy but only what I do for God will last."
The crowd went crazy when SJR said "It ain't a #hotgirlsummer" and it definitely made some things rise up in me personally. Don't get me wrong, I have been on Meg Thee Stallion's Hot Girl Summer Wave and one of those reasons was to be trendy. That made me realize that I may be living my life in a way that only strives to be on trend and fit in. We live in a world where likes and views seem to define your worth and value. Pastor Sarah's word aimed to dismantle that theory in my eyes.
"Only what I do for God will last," tugged at my heartstrings in a way that brought tears to my eyes because I have this terrible practice of seeking validation from people. This is when I had the revelation that you can have both – a hot girl summer and a skin in the game summer. You can have a hot girl summer by living unapologetically by basking in your inner and outside glow AND have a skin in the game summer by living and sashaying in your purpose, blessing others with your gifts and refusing to lose. This season is now a #HotGirlSkinInTheGameSummer, for me, ok! The coalescence of the two is a recipe for a fire glow up!
"There's a difference between wickedness and weakness."
In a candid conversation with her dad, Sarah talked about daddy issues; just know, there were too many gems for me to even count. And the big facts are that most of us have daddy issues of some sort, whether you had one in your home or not. It was amazing to hear Bishop T.D. Jakes speak about what it meant for him to be a father to a teen mom. He professed that she would always be his baby girl and a teen pregnancy could never change that.
The world renowned church leader even gave advice to the women in the room who struggled with daddy issues and the biggest gem that resonated with me was his distinction between wickedness and weakness. For example, I spent years blaming my father for not being in my life (wickedness) but in that moment during the session, I realized he couldn't be there for me – it wasn't in his wheelhouse of natural capabilities (weakness).
"Sisterhood on purpose! Because it's His purpose that's at stake!"
Purpose coach Arian Simone proved why she was given that title. During her session, she blessed her host, a young mother of a two-year-old daughter that had been living in a shelter. Arian sowed $1,000 into her and created a wave of sisterhood like I have never seen before as women from all over the room began sowing into her as well. This is what sisterhood in action looks like and Arian fully facilitated her purpose.
"Stop giving life to what God has killed."
In order to live that best life that everyone talks about, you have to do some inventory on things that you keep bringing to life that God has killed. This brought up alot of emotion for me because I have a habit of trying to revive and fix situations that served their purpose in a specific season. Pastor Toure Roberts validated that you have to leave your brokeness behind to fully step into your wholeness.
"Your reputation precedees you."
In the career arena, our favorite entrepreneur Myleik Teele gave a word on keys to starting a successful business. When she spoke about building your reputation, she emphasized knowing your worth and taking inventory of the skills you can improve. Myleik shared, "Your reputation precedes you and if it inspires respect, a lot of your work is done for you before you arrive on the scene or utter a single word."
In the words of the #MyTaughtYou boss babe, "You have to JUMP! No reputation is the same as a bad one. You cannot be afraid to try."
The overarching theme of sisterhood.
During the finale of the conference, Toyota and The Dream Project, alongside Sarah, gifted $5,000 to a lucky winner who happened to be PrettyGirl Academy Inc. The organization serves as a safe space where girls can open up, be themselves and learn from the different life experiences of their peers and mentors. Their site says, "We are more than a mentoring program. We are a sisterhood of girls and women bound together by love of community and hope for the future."
It was such an awe-inspiring moment to watch because we were all celebrating this win for the Executive Director, Erika Johnson, as she fought back tears trying to explain how she was feeling. Then the head coach SJR proclaimed that the louder you cheer and root for your sister, the bigger your blessing will be when it's your turn. Woman Evolve was exactly that – a celebration of our sisters.
What's even more amazing is the fact that SJR took the same grace and glory that surrounded the conference to the Denver Women's Correctional Facility. You definitely need to secure your 2020 registration like right now.
Featured image by David Livingston/Getty Images