This past weekend I attended the Living Proof Live conference featuring Beth Moore and Travis Cottrell. What an experience to be surrounded by 8800 women, who for various reasons were there. Were they there out of curiosity? Were they there because they wanted to hear from God? Were they there because someone dragged them there? Were they there because they needed a refreshing of the Holy Spirit in their lives? Were they there because they loved Beth Moore and her style of teaching? Whatever the reason, this woman and 7999 others descended on Daytona Beach Friday night like the annual Bikers Festivals, only we weren’t adorning leather and loud mufflers beneath us.
After waiting almost eight months to see Beth Moore live, the evening had finally come. My friend and I scored favorably for parking, made our way anxiously to the line which had already begun to wrap itself around the convention center building. The wind was blustery that evening, pleasant but a tad bit cool. It didn’t matter to me, because I had waited for this moment for many months.
Once inside, it was like ants on an ant farm. Everyone was busy, going their own way, stopping here and there glancing at the various tables of books and materials presented by vendors. Not my friend and I – we went straight for the seating. We secured floor seats twenty rows back from the stage, and felt pretty excited about our spot for the evening. With the knowledge of knowing we were now secure in our places, I excused myself and went to the restroom. On my way to the restroom, I passed a t-shirt table on the way in and thought to myself that it would be nice to have a token to remember the weekend. I would check them out on the way back to my seat.
The call to nature had been answered and I made my way back to the t-shirt booth. By now, the line had dissipated. Checking out the t-shirts, I made my purchase and as I stood there waiting for the pleasant woman to complete my transaction, a still small voice encouraged me to ask this woman a question. Surrounded by thousands of women now, and multiple event workers, I was to ask this woman if she knew of a certain person who worked for Lifeway. One thing you need to know – I was at that event because a member of Lifeway in Nashville had sent me a ticket many months prior as a gift to me for being in the ministry. I had never met her, had no clue of what she even looked like. All I had was her name. Now, I’m thinking as I stand there that this lady probably want know her and even if she did, she probably would not know where I could find her since the place was so big. But when the still small voice whispers in your ear to do something, I have learned I need to obey that.
She turned to give me my receipt and goods, and I said, “Thank you. Can you tell me if by any chance you know where I can find Suzy Willis (for the sake of privacy, I will not use her real name)?”
She looked back at me, and responded, “Suzy Willis?”
“Yes, Suzy Willis.”
Without saying anything to me, she turned and called, “Suzy.”
All at once this woman turns around in that same booth and answers, “Yes?”
I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears. Here stood Suzy, the very woman who had given me my ticket to get into this conference many months ago. She was at this very table!!!!
Suzy approached the table and said, “I’m Suzy, can I help you?”
With great excitement, I replied, “I’m Jeanette Duby.”
She threw up her arms and hugged me with great excitement as if we had known each other forever. I couldn’t believe what God had done in that very moment. Here I was surrounded by thousands of women and event workers, and the one person I was looking for was found at the very first table I shopped from in the first twenty minutes of being inside.
God had given me an immediate glimpse of His awesome power and presence inside that place already, and we hadn’t even started worshipping yet! What a gift!!
We exchanged pleasantries for a few minutes, and I thanked her again for sending me a ticket so I could be there.
I went back to my seat, excited, my new purchase in hand and told my friend. She was thrilled for me.
God showed up and did something I totally unexpected. He not only reminded me of His awesome power, but He also showed the two of them in that booth what He could do. Numbers and crowds didn’t matter or limit Him. They never have.
I was sharing this story with a friend yesterday and she said, “God does that all the time, but it could be that we don’t view those times as memorable as something like what happened to you Friday night.”
How many times does God give us the desires of our heart or deliver to us the very thing we need in the moment? How many times do we fail to see all those moments because they aren’t in big lights at big events?
I would see over the next 24 hours just how much God’s presence filled that convention center in Daytona this past weekend. It didn’t stop at the t-shirt table for me. It only got better from there!
That’s my God, powerful and mighty, yet loving and merciful, tender and attentive.
Father, I can’t begin to tell you again how much I adore you and thank you again for a marvelous weekend filled with your Holy presence. You reminded me that you were closer than I had been feeling. I am reminded that you love your children, and long to give them the desires of their heart. Thank you again Lord. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
In His Service,