So let's talk about why I really went to California. Yes to se my girls. Yes to see cool places and take cool pics. Yes to the blog thing. BUT, the trip originally came to be when we were discussing the Hillsong Colour Conference. Four those of you who are not familiar, Hillsong is a church in Australia that has probably one of the most well-known worship teams with some of the most well-known worship songs in their repertoire. I grew up in my church at home listening to, and singing their music because it wasn't just church music...it was worship, which I love. Anyways, back to my story. This conference, put on my Bobbie Houston (one of the head pastors of Hillsong Church), was two days dedicated to women who love Jesus. And y'all, when I tell you this place was full of these women, it was so full. Women from all over. Different races, different backgrounds, different stories. But we were all there for the same thing. To share in our love for Jesus. To worship. To repent. To grow. And it was unlike any other.
So of course I couldn't go without sharing more about this experience. I mean, from the creative side of things and the way things were run, it was great. But y'all, there were some words spoken that truly took place in my heart. To start, on the first night Bobbie said this,
"God can't anoint you while you are trying to be someone else."
Did you catch that? Did it slap you across the face like it did me? I mean think about it. He made us to be who HE wanted us to be, and yet we spend so much of our time trying to be someone else. As much as I wanted to deny this statement, I know better. I mean, look at me. I spend more time on social media trying to determine how I can be better, be different. I look through the little curated squares of Instagram and think to myself, "why can't I look like that? or how can I make my blog reach more people like that?" It is a constant comparison game, but why? Did He bless me with this opportunity? Yes. Does He allow me to blog because I love it? Absolutely. So why change who I am to do something that He already allows me to do? Instead of asking the world what will make me better, why don't I get on my knees and ask for His will to be done so that it is better for Him? I'm telling y'all, night one...rocked.
So then we get in to Saturday. And before lunch I had shed more tears than I have in months. This time Christine Caine brought the house down and addressed the SHAME in the room. You know the second she started talking I sank a few inches lower in my seat because I just wasn't ready. Well, the Lord was and He brought it. One statement she said was,
"the devil will try to shame you in the area that God most wants to use you in the future."
Again, think about it. Why wouldn't the enemy attack you in the place you feel most confident? When we begin to question that area of our lives where we were certain God was for us, we begin to question God. We think, "are you sure this is the plan, or that I am really good enough?" But why even ask that! God put you there right?? You were just confident in the fact that you could be this person so why are we all of a sudden scared? Because we feel shame. And instead of turning to God, we quickly fall into that trap and allow ourselves to feel that defeat. But that was not His plan.
So this brings me to the second night, where Brian Houston (Bobbie's husband), brought us another GREAT word. This time...he talked about pain. But not that the Lord wants us to feel pain, but yet that HE USES that pain to make us stronger.
"He doesn't use pain to destroy us, He uses it to EMPOWER us."
It is in those desperate or painful times that we seek Him. Right? I mean, speaking for myself personally, when the skies are blue and the birds are chirping, I am focused on MYSELF, or maybe where brunch will be that day. But when my heart feels empty and I feel like I have nothing left, I fall to my knees because I have no where else to go. Truthfully, we may not want to feel that pain, but God...God shows up in pain. And truth be told,
"our capacity for pain will determine our potential for growth."
GOOD STUFF. And I sat there thinking about the past few months going, "okay Lord, I hear you." The past few months/year has been hard. I have struggled. I have failed. I have felt more lost in my spiritual walk than ever before. Not for lack of His trying, but for mine. He has not walked away from me, but instead I pushed Him out. I shut every door possible because I was not good enough. I was ashamed of what I had become. And I felt more pain than ever before. So He brought me to Colour 2018, and spoke clearly to me. Regardless of my mess, I am His. He has a plan for me if I will allow it. He is not ashamed of me, but loves me for I am his creation. He did not place pain in my life to watch me suffer, but because He is waiting and saying, "daughter I have SO MUCH MORE FOR YOU." It is crazy. My mind is blown. But I'm grateful.
I mean, I could probably go on and on about how the Lord worked in my heart this weekend but I am sure there will be more to come in future blog posts. Needless to say though, I couldn't be more thankful for the time I had. At the conference and in those messages. Surrounded by these women who wanted nothing more than to lift each other up. To be surrounded by my girls who prayed for me, cried with me and loved on me when I needed it most. For all of this I am so thankful.