Psalms 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Ok... I know I haven't posted in a while. Well, let's be honest. It's been a long while. Life is busy and I got "the block". Never had anything really worth saying.
But today is a different story. Hold onto your seats... This is gonna be a wild ride.
Let me give you a little background first. I don't have many constants in my life. Things are constantly changing and shifting in my life.
The music of Steven Curtis Chapman has always been a constant in my life. His music has been the "background music" of my soul since I was about 12 maybe. I came across "For the Sake of the Call" and I was hooked. This was back in the day of tapes. I listened to that tape so much that I wore it out. But not to worry because Steven Curtis has created so much music over his career that I have quite an extensive collection now.
There have been many mountains and valleys; trials and tribulations; joys and celebrations. And the music of Steven Curtis Chapman has been there. There has always been a song of his that has reached in and touched my soul and spirit.
Fast forward to 06 August 2011.
I was attending my first MOPS Convention at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, TN. I was undecided about attending until I heard that Steven Curtis and his wife Mary Beth would be there. Since losing the twins in December 2005, I have always tried to convey a message of hope and joy and faithfulness to God in spite of my grief and pain. However, this message is hard for people to understand. In May 2009, the Chapman family suffered the loss of their sweet little girl Maria Sue. I followed their story in the news media - both mainstream and Christian. They gave the same message of hope. They got it. In spite of the grief they remained faithful to God. They had the opportunity to share that message with millions of people around the world and be an influence like only I could hope to be. I wanted to go to convention to hear them tell the story live. I was also hoping for a little face time to say Thanks for the influence that they have been in my life.
When I got to the convention on Thursday afternoon and went down for registration I noticed they were having a drawing for a "Back Stage Pass". You could choose which artist you wanted to meet - there were many great ones like Mandisa, Max Lucado, and Travis Cottrell just to name a few. Of course I registered.
I prayed the entire weekend that I would win. I genuinely prayed. I have wanted to meet Steven Curtis since before High School... and I just graduated last year. (Hee... Hee...) Seriously been hoping for a moment like this about 20 years. I knew that if God cared about the Lillies of the fields, He cared about me and my dream to meet SCC. I prayed with the expectation God would give me the desires of my heart. I was convinced that I was going to win. As the other winners were brought out the first few nights I realized that they also got to do the artist introductions. How cool is that?! When I won, this was going to be epic!
So Saturday comes around and I patiently waited for my phone call announcing that I had won. I didn't get the call. But that's ok, because a really deserving mom did and she and her friend got to go back stage and meet Steven and Mary Beth and share her story of adoption that they inspired.
When I got into the ballroom for the general session I found out my Area Developer - who happens to be from my group - was working the table for Steven Curtis and Mary Beth later after the show. She offered to bring me with her. I didn't wait for her to offer it twice. I was not going to let this opportunity pass me by.
So we go out and we are helping set up merchandise tables with Mary Beth's book "Choosing to See" and Steven Curtis' new CD "re:creation". (Which both are awesome!) Tables are set up and I got to be first in line. Panic was hitting me hard. I had rehearsed this moment in my head a million times before. Over that time the story has changed a little but the message has remained. I walked up to the table and started shaking a crying. 20 years of emotions came out in trembling hands and broken words. I had so much to say and so little time. I know they didn't comprehend a word I said because I was talking so fast as I was politely being ushered away for the next person to come up.
I was a little disappointed that my message didn't come out the way I wanted it to, but I got to stand at the front of the line all night long as I helped keep things moving along and reminding people about no posed photo ops and to make sure your books and cds are open and ready to be signed.
The end of the line finally came and went and all the volunteers were given a cd and allowed the opportunity to have it signed. I was now the end of the line. I was given another opportunity to talk. This time I was much more composed. I was able to walk to the table and tell them what I have wanted to say without hesitation and it was a clear message. As I approached the table I jokingly said, "It's me again!"
As I spoke the words that were from my heart I was able to look them in the eye this time. I was able to hold their gaze. They came from the depths of my heart and soul and reached into theirs. I could tell that Steven and Mary Beth heard them with their hearts and souls. I even saw Steven get a little teary. I walked away full of joy that was overflowing.
I had made a few connections with people from the publishing company and we were going to exchange contact info after everything was wrapped up so I waited around a few minutes. As I was waiting I noticed there were cds still on the table so I asked SCCs manager what he would like me to do with them. He walked over and we put them all back in the boxes and got them ready to go. It only took 10 minutes or so but we had a nice chat about nothing in particular. As we were putting the final box and he thanked me for his help, I simply thanked him for allowing me the opportunity to be a part of that evening. He asked if I would like to go back and get a photo. Did he even have to ask???
As we walked back to the hidden hallway where SCC and MB where chatting with a few select people from the publisher I told him this was going to be the most amazing moment ever. I had often dreamed of an opportunity like this for 20 years. Of course, I was not a giddy school girl about it. I was dignified and composed. I didn't want to embarrass myself in front of the manager even though I will probably never see him again in my life. I felt like such a VIP as the hidden door with no handles opened up for us and he told Steven and Mary Beth "I have one more for you".
I walked over and cheerfully said "Me again". This time I think they might have recognized me as they cheerfully put their arms around me and gave genuine smiles for my camera.
I graciously thanked everyone for allowing me to be a part of it all. After all, I was not supposed to be there by any means.
As I slowly walked away I began to reflect on what had just happened that night. God did some awesome stuff for me. He didn't answer that prayer I prayed because He had something else planned for me that was far greater than I could have ever imagined. He cared enough about me to not only give me the desires of my heart, but the desires I only fantasize about. He looked down upon me and revealed himself to me in a way have never seen or experienced before. He had been showing me things and speaking to me in so many ways that weekend (maybe more on that in another post). He could have answered my prayer the way I had asked for it and I would have been happy... But He chose to do it in a way that made me overfilled with joy and love and thanksgiving. He knows me so well that He knew what would make me truly blessed and loved and giddy. I didn't just get a piece of candy; I got the whole store.
I am still finding it hard to put it into words.
I serve and AWESOME GOD! He cares about the lillies of the fields and He cares about me!