On Thursday, I was minding my own business when my sweet friend, Leisl called. She was going to the Deeper Still Event over the weekend and she was trying to pack. I felt a HUGE sadness come over me as I thought about how incredibly awesome it would be to spend my weekend worshipping the Lord. But I tried to suck it up because this particular conference had been sold out for many, many moons.
I did mention to her that I was pretty sad about it, so we decided to call around to some local churches to see, if by some miracle, they had an extra ticket. None did. So, I prayed and asked the Lord to please lift this desire from me if it wasn't His will for me to go. After all, I had plenty to do this weekend, for sure.
I still couldn't shake it, so I checked the Deeper Still blog to see if anyone had any tickets for sale. There were some tickets, but the owners of said tickets were all from out of state and there was no way for me to get them, in this, the 11th hour. I had just about given up when I gave the little round thing on my mouse a spin, and lo and behold, it landed on a Birmingham phone number.
I seriously couldn't believe my eyes! But I tried to not get excited because I thought surely the ticket was gone already. I called Mark to see if he was alright with me going if I was able to get in touch with this person, and he said yes (have I mentioned lately what an awesome guy I'm married to?). I told him not to change any plans though because I probably wouldn't get to go.
So, I called and I got a woman's voicemail where I left a message and hung up. I prayed yet again, "Lord PLEASE help me to stop mourning over this!" (because I was SERIOUSLY bumming, y'all) and I asked Him to help me to have a productive day and to rest in His providence for it.
Well, a few minutes later the phone rang and it was a lady who didn't take long to CRY because her getting rid of this extra ticket she had was a HUGE answer to prayer for her!
I was going to Atlanta! And before I knew what hit me, God provided childcare, a room, transportation and even the funds (Mark was asked to do some side-work that would completely cover the cost of this and something he is looking forward to doing in a few months).
I headed up that evening to get my ticket from the woman selling it to me, then home to pack, and before I could process it all, I was on a bus early Friday morning.
We got to the arena which holds 20,000 women about an hour before the event began, and I swear all 20,000 were in front of us in line before the doors even opened. I have never seen so many women in one place in my entire life. Whoa. I became overwhelmed (in a good way) thinking of the magnitude of this ministry and how all these women were setting aside their "stuff" this weekend to worship the Lord. Plus, I was a little freaked out that we would only be able to bag seats that were about as close in proximity as Pluto is to the Sun.
But boy was I wrong.
I'm not sure how it happened, and I KNOW that it was anything but fair to the gals that sat outside since NOON, but Leisl and I went straight down to the floor, right in front of the stage and could. not. believe. that there were seats so close that I could see the sweat droplets on Travis Cottrells brow, very clearly. We parked our insanely grateful behinds right there and thanked the Lord for yet another display of unmerited kindness.
Anyway, I don't think I can adequately describe the events that commenced over the next 24 hours. Wow. And not a "wow" in that I-just-attended-a-great-show kind of "wow. I mean WOW! at the way the Spirit was palpable in that place. I worshipped so freely and so tangibly that I don't know if I will ever be able to think on it again without tears. BLESSED be the Name of the Lord! He gave so freely His blessings to me this weekend. The blessing of uninterruped focus on Him, the blessing of 3 solid teachers with 3 separate, but very important words, and the blessing of worship; true unbridled worship.
Thank you, Father. Thank you so much for plucking me out of my plans and whisking me away to commune with you in such a precious way.
Right This Minute
I am home now, and I am strangely sad again, which is crazy I know. I am a little surprised about it myself. I have been thinking about it though, and I am pretty sure that it boils down to this: When you go away on one of these powerful retreats and you have no responsibility, no expectations from others, no to-do list that's 50 miles long breathing down your neck.... When you leave your burdens and your anxieties and your "junk" at the door and just focus on God night and day with no real distractions......and then you have to jump back in.... It's sad.
And a little scary. Scary in the sense that things will go back to status quo, even though you are begging with every fiber of your being to stay changed and to stay connected.
Scary because you want to do this thing called life in a way far better than you have been, but nothing circumstantially has changed...and that's hard, and I need direction which I have a hard time hearing.
But most of all, I am scared all over again that this life will be lived in such a way that I only managed to keep my head above water and no real difference for Christ was ever made. I cannot even stand that. It is one of my biggest fears and it has been ever since the day that I accepted the Lord.
And that's how I feel.
Well, I guess I just went all raw on you. Nothing very funny here, eh? Anyway, to sum it all up, if you ever get the opportunity to go to something like this, DO IT. It's worth feeling painfully challenged. Believe me.
If you are interested in more blogs about this awesome event...Here are a few with pictures...I'm the dot in the far left, in case you were wondering. ;): Deeper Still Blog, All Access, BooMama, Travis Cottrell and The LPM blog (nothing up yet, as of this posting, but I'm sure it's coming)