What I Learned at the Belong Tour

By Kelly Russell, November 10, 2016

The freedom of traveling alone from Los Angeles to Denver to attend the inaugural Belong Tour was both exhilarating and a bit unnerving.

Birthed from Women of Faith, a conference with a legacy of encouraging women since 1996, Belong is a live event bringing women together in 12 cities nationwide. The impressive lineup of speakers includes Jen Hatmaker, Shauna Niequist and Nichole Nordeman. The website promises “plenty of personal stories, music, laughter and maybe even some tears.” The theme is threefold: open your heart; experience connection; and rock your purpose.

Before my friend Michele and I took our seats among 6,000 women in Budweiser Events Center, we were handed postcards with “Rock Your Purpose” written on one side and blank space on the other. I held mine for most of the conference, unsure of what to write until Hatmaker posed these questions:

> What am I good at?
> What do I enjoy?
> What makes my heart pound and my pulse quicken?
> What breaks my heart?

While the band Johnnyswim played, we wrote our purposes on the cards. I wrote, “writing, speaking, influencing and leading women.” Michele wrote, “life coaching to help people become their best selves.”

Before the conference concluded, all of the speakers sat on couches on the stage and shared their one main takeaway from this leg of the Belong Tour.

Afterward, Michele and I walked to the parking lot buzzing with inspiration and excitement. We felt ready to dive into our newfound purposes with all of our time, effort, skill and talents. We talked all through dinner about what we’d gleaned from the event.

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