“Stay awake” Those were the last two words I read in my Bible on Friday morning and how timely those two little words would prove to be for the next few days.
The tickets were bought months in advance for my mom and me to attend the Living Proof Live event with Beth Moore and Travis Cottrell on December 2nd and 3rd. Just after we made our ticket purchase, we found out that my brother and sister-in-law were expecting their third child, due around the same time as this event. We were very excited about the new baby, but for months we asked my sister-in-law to "not have the baby on the second or third of December"! Mostly joking, but half serious! Mom and I had never heard Beth Moore speak at a live event, so we were thrilled that she was coming to our hometown and we did not want to miss it.
Friday was a beautiful day, I had a great sense of peace and excitement about attending the event. As I was getting ready to go, with my hairdryer in full action working to get this thick, curly hair of mine tamed and straightened, I heard a click followed by nothing but cold air. Temperature is very important for straightening hair, the air must be hot and strong. There I stood, looking in the bathroom mirror with half-straight/half-curly hair. Praise the Lord for keeping me in perfect peace because this was a hair crisis if I ever saw one! My mom’s hairdryer is not nearly the fast-acting super-powered one that I use, but it got the job done and we were on our way. The event was open-seating and we wanted to be early for a good seat, so getting ready in a timely fashion was important to say the least. Even with my hair crisis, we were in our seats an hour early.
Just 4 minutes until the start of the event I received a text from my dad: Call me ASAP! I knew immediately that my sister-in-law was going to have the baby. We were a little unsure what to do…should we stay or go to the hospital? My dad was going to the hospital, my niece and nephew had another family member staying with them and my dad promised to keep us posted if the baby seemed to be coming quickly. I hung up the phone as Travis Cottrell and the praise team made their way onto the stage. The most overwhelming sense of peace came over me and I cannot describe the power of the Spirit filling the arena as 4,000+ women (and a few men) praised God in songs of worship. When Beth Moore began to teach us from the New Testament book of Philemon, I had no idea how much I could learn from this one- chapter book of the Bible. This was most definitely a God-ordained message for me to hear.
At the close of the night, we went straight to the hospital to wait for my new niece to make her arrival. In the wee hours of Saturday morning, no one seemed to think she would arrive soon, so my mom, dad and I went home to get a little rest. By the time we made it home, delivery had sped up and the baby was here! My brother called us with the news and we planned to see her before we went back to the arena for the Saturday morning portion of Living Proof Live.
My hair crisis continued...going on less than 3 hours of sleep, having much to do, without my good dryer, there was no time to do anything with my hair. I had to go out with yesterday’s hair! Sometimes going out with yesterday’s hair is OK, like to the grocery store, the post office, running a few errands, but this was a Beth Moore women’s ministry event! Not where I wanted to go with yesterday’s hair! The grace and peace of the Lord was with me.
To help keep me going through the day, I even drank a cup of straight-up black coffee! I have never enjoyed a cup of coffee, but again, grace and peace were with me because it was good and I did not feel tired all day long!
We were able to peek in on my niece in the hospital nursery before dashing off to the event. If you ever have opportunity to hear Beth speak or worship with Travis Cottrell, do not pass it up! You will be blessed beyond measure. I am still reviewing my notes, soaking up what I learned, and applying it to my life. Beth prayed at the beginning of each session, “broke the bread” and I believe all in attendance were filled.
There was so much excitement with a new baby in our family that I could hardly contain myself to get back to the hospital and see her and hold her. But, the event was also such a blessing and being in the presence of so many Christ followers joining together to praise Him was such an incredible experience that I did not want to leave there. I’m so thankful that God’s sovereignty worked out all of the details. He allowed my mom and me to attend this event and He blessed our family with a new addition. Although we’d hoped my precious niece would come before or after the event, she arrived right on time, perfectly in the middle of it. Not how we expected it to all work out, but in God’s timing and way, it was a perfect and beautiful weekend.
I “stayed awake” physically this weekend and I pray that I will “stay awake” spiritually to the things that I learned, the things that were revealed in and through each experience and word spoken.