We were headed to Beth Moore's, Living Proof Live event in Tampa.
There are no words for how awesome the event was. I've been to several Living Proof events, all of which have been wonderful, but this was by far the best. I had been praying that the event would be powerful for everyone in our group and that God would have a Word for each of us---something JUST FOR us. And boy did He!
Friday night, as Travis Cottrell and the worship team led the congregation in worship, we sang the song, "Your Name." I love this song, but it's been particularly special to me lately because it's the song that I played every Tuesday night for the past 10 weeks on my way to Bible study. My heart smiled big because God already knew all of that. After 30 minutes of some awesome worship time (if you haven't ever experienced worship on such a large scale level, you are missing out. Some of my best worship time is definitely when I am all alone, scrubbing the bathrooms in my house with my praise music turned up loud, but I also love the times when I am surrounded by THOUSANDS (close to 5,000 this weekend) of fellow believers who are all singing their hearts out...I love being able to sing to the top of my lungs and because the music is so loud and beautiful, the person next to me can't even tell how off key I am. I also love being able to stop singing and just listen to the voices of thousands singing praise to our God. Awesome. Absolutely awesome. ANYWAY, after my first little "gift" of singing the song that has meant so much to me the past few weeks, it was time for Mrs. Moore (I have to tell ya'll something funny--- my cousin Stephanie & I call her "Aunt Beth"...we act like we are on a personal level or something with her... HA... When Steph was living in Houston last year, I so wanted to go visit, so that we could go to Tuesday night bible study together...it never happened, but Steph did get to go and loved all of them! Of course I had to text Stephanie on Thursday night when I was trying to decide what to wear to see "Aunt Beth"... Ha...) ANYWAY, when Beth (that feels weird, too....I know I'd call her Mrs. Beth if I ever spoke to her, but since everyone knows her as "Beth Moore" we'll just go with it! Ha...) prayed before she started to teach, she specifically asked God to do something "personal" for the women there. She asked the Lord to give us all something that would be so personal that we'd all leave there saying there's no mistaking it, no one else could have even known that--- How awesome that she prayed what I'd been praying for our group! Let me tell you, God answered those prayers big time! It was just personal gift after gift from Him that night. Including, Beth giving a "shout-out" to my MOM! Evidentally, Mom had sent her a little note and so Beth called my mom's name and said that she'd gotten her note and how much it had meant to her. What a sweet surprise and I think God used that as well, to make the event personal for ALL of us, not just my mom.
The theme Beth felt led to speak on for the Friday night and Saturday morning event was "Family." There were so many things that resonated with me, and I can't wait to get my notes out and go back over all of it.
Friday evening, we got to the church in time to get balcony seats.
They weren't that high and really we could see everything just fine, but still it was the balcony... We had 2 groups with us. My mom & aunt and several of their bible study/church ladies, and then our group (me, Carrie, Lauren & Arielle). So on Saturday, we decided that my SIL, Lauren & I would get up EARLY (like 5:00 early--I should probably interject that nothing gets me out of bed that early except a crying baby) and get in line for really good seats and the rest of the crew would be there by 7:30 when the doors opened. When we pulled up at the church a couple minutes after 6:00, there were already about 20 people in line. But there were like 6 sets of doors, so only about 5 people in front of us. In true Annie-fashion, we totally picked the WRONG door. As time went on, more and more people kept coming up to get in line (in front of us) with the 5 people who were already ahead of us.... I was a little shocked, especially when it was close to doors opening and there were SO MANY people behind us and we were all so close together in line, that more women from the group in front of us kept coming to get in line with their people.....especially when they would just about knock us down to do it...without so much as an "excuse me".... let me tell ya, some people get ugly about getting a good seat to see Beth Moore! Ha... The funniest thing, though, was that their "group leader" had a cane, yet it never touched the ground. However, she did use the cane to knock on the glass door (I kid you not, she beat on the glass door of the church with it) to inquire when "handicapped" and elderly women could get in. She wasn't elderly, I can tell you that... and as far as being "handicapped", all I'm saying is that the only time her cane touched the ground was when she left it at her seat to go to the bathroom. I don't know if she really did or didn't NEED the cane, but she sure made it from her SECOND row seats to the back of the massive church to the bathrooms without it. All I'm saying.... ha.... This obviously wasn't her "first rodeo" and she knew how to get a good seat! The 20 other women she had with her benefited too, since they ALL got to go in with her, 15 minutes before everyone else to get a seat. :)
Anyway, even with all the pushers in front of and behind us, we managed to get 8th row seats! They were great, except that the rest of our group hadn't gotten there and we weren't allowed to save seats.... We tried as long as we could, and someone came over and told us we needed to give up the seats.... she said we could save one each, so Lauren and I spread out to save "2" seats, but managed to have a space big enough for 4 more people. So a couple of my mom's group got to sit down there with our group... I hated that we didn't all get to sit down there and had especially wanted my mom and aunt to get the good seats, so during the break Carrie, Arielle, Lauren and I decided to switch with the rest of their group, and they got to sit in the "good seats" for the second half of the event... which was really a good thing, since at the end Beth made us get a partner and repeat some powerful words over them, which totally made me cry... and I really don't like to cry in public! :)
We left the event with our hearts full and our tummies empty, so a stop at the Chick-fil-A was a MUST. After lunch we headed home, exhausted from the lack of sleep and just from the emotion of it all. It was an awesome time for sure.