*By Julie Barrett, Founder, Conservative Ladies of Washington
This photo popped up today in my Facebook memories from one year ago today, October 24th. It’s hard to believe one year has passed already. We were just weeks away from Washington Governor Jay Inslee shutting down businesses once again to “slow the spread” of Covid-19, so we knew that this opportunity we had to gather might be the last for some time.
Let me take you back to the beginning…
In November of 2019 one of my lady friends asked me where I find conservative friends. I had recently been kicked out of a couple different neighborhood Facebook groups for speaking my mind (nicely, I will add) about some “sensitive” topics. You know the ones – where if you don’t fall in line with the leftist narrative, you are called everything from racist/white supremacist to a homophobic bigot. This question from my friend got me thinking…” I should create a little Facebook group where I can invite my girlfriends that I know for sure are conservative and then it will start a ripple effect of them inviting theirs and so on.” And so Conservative Ladies of Washington was born on Facebook on November 7, 2019.
I thought my girlfriends and I would meet up for coffee dates and happy hours and share content that was deemed “unsafe” for other spaces on social media. Many of my conservative girlfriends also business-owners, we would be able to network as well. I had no idea what God had in mind for my “little Facebook group.”
Having never been political, I was not well-versed in political-speak and many government processes. I had just been living my life, raising my children, running my business. Having spent 10 years as a single mom I didn’t really have much extra time to devote to government issues and school boards, much less the PTA. It was everything I could do to keep up with paying the taxes and making sure homework was done each night. I was certainly unqualified on paper to lead a political organization. Good thing I had no idea this was where my “little Facebook group” was headed otherwise I probably would have sprinted in the opposite direction.
A few months later, the Covid lockdowns hit, and our group started to grow even more. And then in late May we had the George Floyd protests all over the country with BLM and Antifa rioting and the social media environment was toxic for conservative-leaning folks. Our group grew even larger. It was also a Presidential election year, so the summer of 2020 was filled with rallies and campaign events not just for the president, but for Washington governor and other races. Our group continued to grow.
Come October we had nearly 2000 ladies in our Facebook group. And we made certain, short of a background check, that the ladies we admitted to the group were at least lovers of America. We had begun to have small meetups at restaurants and coffee shops, but we would have more than a dozen ladies show up and at the time you could only have 5 people at a table, and they all had to be from the same household. (I’ve never had so many sisters in my life!!) It was such a huge gift when one of the ladies in our group offered to host an event for us in her Snoqualmie venue.
We had one hundred ladies show up to our event. Ladies from all over the Puget Sound area. Some came with friends, and many came by themselves, excited to meet new friends who they could speak freely around and not feel fear of judgement and condemnation. It was amazing! I will never forget looking around the room at the huge smiles on every single face! The “hum” of lady-chatter and laughter in the venue was like sweet music. Finally, we didn’t have to walk on eggshells. We were free! We had found our tribe!
We’ve been through a lot since that October day at North Fork Farms. I could never have imagined one year ago that we would be facing the tyranny we are facing today. We talked about it, we’ve read about it in history, we know what the Bible says, but it was hard to grasp the possibility that it could become our reality here in America. And yet here we are.
The importance of linking arms with likeminded ladies is greater than ever before during our time. We need each other for encouragement, to empower each other to rise and fight back and to equip each other with the tools that we all need to be able to survive and thrive during these very evil days.
I am honored to be part of this amazing movement called Conservative Ladies of Washington. I wake up everyday with wonder of where God is going to lead us next. I am excited to see what 2022 has in store. We don’t know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future. That gives me a peace that passes understanding and I hope it does for you too.
I would love to invite you to become a subscribing member of Conservative Ladies of Washington. Join our movement, link arms with likeminded ladies!