Behind the Scenes – I Which I Write a Letter to Crystal

It’s Tuesday and I haven’t done this in a while.  But on Tuesdays it’s called Behind the Scenes and its hosted by the lovely Crystal Stine.  What she doesn’t know is that this week’s episode is about her.  Want to read more Behind the Scenes go here. 

The Photo




Dear Crystal,
Yep you!  I do not have the words to tell you how much you mean to me.  When Allume arrived it seemed our only connection time would be in the airport upon our arrival and the shuttle ride to the hotel.  Allume is busy and it is crazy – and what else could it be when 450 stars light the sky with dazzling brilliance. 
We tried on Friday to eat lunch together, and then on Saturday but nothing worked out.  And I thought to myself, “Well Tonya, you hugged her and you loved her and you cheered for her when she was doing the crazy things she never thought she’d do and it is enough” 
But then when I truly got to thinking about it I realized that Allume was just a meeting place for a hug, that somehow in the past year of all of this crazy on-line tweeting, and blogging and twitter parties we had already done the hard work of building a relationship. God had already used you to speak to me and to encourage me in community.  And because I know you and your love of organization I am taking you back in time with a list:
1.  The very first time I sent out a Tweet at #FMFParty – you were right there with welcoming arms
2.  My very first God-Sized Dream post and you commented and re-tweeted – I felt so loved by your words.
3.  The moment when I was scared stiff to send a piece to this website and you talked me down from the ledge of fear with such grace and truth
4.  The time my heart broke when community broke and you helped me sort through the pieces and glue them back together.
5.  The week before Allume when I had a FANTASTIC melt-down about my fears and doubts and you inundated my Twitter DM box with encouragement and little “put your big girl pants on Tonya, God’s got this”
6.  All but booking my flight for Allume – long story
7.  Taking me as I am.  Not asking for anything to change or be different and putting up with my “read, fire, aim” personality. 
So you see, if we had never met it would have been okay. Because that list up there, that’s the hard work. That’s the stuff you do when you love with everything that is part of you. And that up there, encapsulates what you were made to do. 
Encourage in Community – or should I say (in)Courage 🙂
So when Saturday night rolled around and I found myself with you sitting on a couch in the Lounge sharing a drink and our hearts while breathing the same air.  That was a God moment. One of my fondest and most profound memories at Allume (there were a few). 
And I wanted to say thank you right here in this space. I wanted to reach out and tell you that your encouragement and your willingness to come along side me has been one of the things that God has used to, in your words, help me to “not be broken by community, but be broken for community.” 
I love you friend.  And I love even more that we found a bench and shared our hearts. 
Tonya 

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