Before I start this post let me just say that I am continuing to live out my word the year, Create. This is about creating time for God, self- care, opportunities and friends.
Last week I attended an event that I have been waiting to attend for some time now. But before I tell you about the event let me give you a little backstory. About a month before Christmas, my husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I told him other than tickets to see Maddie in Los Angeles, the only other thing I could think of would be, tickets for the Encounter Tour. I know you are probably thinking what is this Encounter Tour and what kind of music is this. I will get to that in a minute.
So the conversation proceeded with him asking how much the tickets were and when did I need to order them by. I told him the cost and he handed me his debit card and said order them. ( Folks I hope you don’t think that this is normal in my house because it isn’t- he never hands the debit card over unless it is to pay a bill.) So then I asked him, how many tickets can I get- because you know I always bring someone with me for company. He said get two but I am not going with you. So, of course, I picked a friend and now back to the question about the music.
The Encounter Tour isn’t a tour that a rock band or musical group is in. It is a tour that my absolutely favorite author was on. If you have followed me for a long time, you probably already know who that is but if you are new, that author is Lysa Terkeurst. She is a Christian writer and co-founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries based right here in North Carolina. Although it is on the other side of the state.
I was first introduced to Lysa’s at the Intentionally and Wonderfully Made conference that I attended a few years ago. This conference was a year after my dad died and was in full mourning mode. I was searching for something, something I didn’t know what it even was I just knew that I wasn’t happy. Then I heard Lysa speak and thought man this woman who I have never met just gets me. It wasn’t until a few weeks later when I was listening to her book Made to Crave in my car and the words white chocolate mocha and dad’s cancer jumped out at me. Those words hit me like a ton of bricks and I knew that this was a God-incident.
I quickly started amassing every book that Lysa has written and was dreaming of the day I would one day get to hear her speak. So on Galentine’s Day this year, I took one of my best friends, Cindi and went to the closest stop near us on the Encounter Tour which was about an hour away and spent the night being poured into and feeling the spirit of God move all around and in us.
Since we got the VIP tickets we arrived early for an exclusive question and answer session with Lysa, and husband and wife team Levi and Jennie Lusko. The biggest thing I got as a take away from this session was this simple message- “BE RARE”. Be who God called you to be and to bring value into where you are invited. Simply put, be yourself. And to be rare we must bring our vulnerability into play, which is what I am striving to do this year with more personal posts.
After the question and answer part was done. The doors were open for the general admission audience. Once everyone found their seats, we were greeted with music from the very talented Mack Brock. I have since downloaded a few of his songs to listen to when I am working in my Blog Cabin.
After a few songs by Mack Brock, Levi Lusko took the stage. He has written a few books, one called I Declare War, is currently on my wishlist on Amazon. ( I added it after I heard him speak.) The one thing that stood out from his message is that we are so much capable of creating a mess of ourselves than anyone else including the devil could do. He said we are in fighting 3 battles- one with the Devil, One with the World and one with ourselves. I can honestly say that after hearing him speak, I can’t wait to read more of his books and to learn more about him. His message was so riveting and based in history which was awesome.
After some music from Mack Brock, Lysa TerKeurst took the stage. Listening to her tell the story of how the past three years have been ones full of turmoil. From finding out her husband was having an affair, being diagnosed with breast cancer, and then almost dying from an unknown intestine issue. A lot of this has been chronicled in her book It’s Not Supposed to be This Way. The main message that Lysa portrayed when she spoke about her situation and while retelling the story of Joseph from Genesis 50, was that with God there is always a meanwhile. And that God loves us too much to answer our prayers at any other time then the right time and in the right way.
This message hit home for me. There were so many times when I would question why God allows things to happen. In 2014, that horrible year when we were hit with difficult situations after difficult situations with it coming to an end with my dad dying in a hospice facility. I was angry at God, I asked why did this have to happen. Why is He forsaking me? But looking back now, I know that I had to go through these situations to get closer to God. I will admit that I am not there yet but I know that with each step whether it be a successful step or a wobble or let’s face it a fall right on my face, I know that God is with me every day and that there is a reason for everything that happens. I just have to trust that while I am in meanwhile- getting to the next step on my journey- that God has a plan for my life and although I might not understand it today, tomorrow, or in 2 weeks, months or years I just have to trust that God is in control and that He loves me too much so much that He doesn’t want to answer my prayers except at the right time and the right way.
Lysa wrapped up her talk with these simple words from Genesis 50:20 and words that I will leave you with today. Just remember when nothing seems to be going your way- these simple words.
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:20