Have you ever just sat in the quiet, and all of a sudden you feel this immense joy take over your entire thought process and you just take the most wonderful deep breath because you feel extremely blessed. That’s me. I feel so incredibly blessed. I love the journeys of life. I love where the Lord longs to take us if we just listen and have the courage to go with it. This past month the Lord has taken me to so many places. He has taken me to so many wonderful people and has touched my heart in so many ways, because He used me to touch their’s. It’s an incredible feeling to know that the Lord chooses you for specific things.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for He has chosen me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.” Luke 4:18-19
This is one of the 24 verses of scripture that I memorized last year as apart of Beth Moore’s blog community. All of us, Siestas, joined together to commit ourselves to memorizing two verses of God’s Word a month. Since I came to Christ a little over two years ago, it was the first time that I had actually made myself memorize scripture, and the great thing is… I had over 2,000 women to keep me accountable. A few months into the formation of our scripture memory team, Beth announced that we would have a celebration for staying glued to God’s Word at the beginning of 2010. I knew that I wanted to go to this SMT celebration, because last year was absolutely amazing for me. God did so many wonderful things in my life with all my internships, the Christian families that I lived with, the amazing people I met, and the incredible experiences that I had. I had walked through all of last year clinging to the Words that I had embedded in my heart, so I knew that there would be a great yearning for celebration with all the wonderful women I became connected with. We all had different years and different verses to represent our situations, so I prayed and prayed about joining them for a time of fellowshipping in a cloud of scripture.
Planning the Trip
Eventually registration time had been opened up, and I didn’t see any way possible for me to drive all the way out to Houston from Georgia by myself. I didn’t have enough money to my name to even pay for half of the gas that a trip like that would require. Then God did something really cool that led me to believe that the trip needed to be made. However, I hated to drive all that way for just one weekend, so I began to pray more about the trip. Then it occurred to me that I could e-mail all my friends out that way to let them know that I was planning a trip. Well, one thing led to another and God opened up speaking opportunities for me to boast in His glory! Totally amazing.
So this one-weekend trip grew into a two-week event of fellowship with many different people. I had planned to go to Houston and celebrate with Siestas for two days and then travel and speak. Well, one of the speaking engagements fell on the Saturday that I had planned to be in Houston. This opportunity for this church had been prayed about for over a year by one of the ladies there and myself. So it was a big lesson that God was teaching me. The entire purpose of the trip in the first place was to go to the SMT Celebration and everything else was just an addition to the plan, but when one of the additions for God’s glory affected my original plan, I had to make a decision. Do I turn down an opportunity to speak and bring glory to the Lord for an opportunity to hang out and fellowship with friends? Or do I die to my own wishes and run after His?
Hmmm….hold that thought.
Here is a cool thing? Before my trip I attended the Passion Conference in Atlanta, and Beth Moore happened to be one of the speakers. I remember Beth talking about getting on with what God has called us to do. She told us that it may be uncomfortable or out of the ordinary, but He will call us to it and fully equip us for it.
After reflecting back over those thoughts, I knew that I needed to give up my plans and follow through with the Lords.
Then came the ordeal, of whether or not it was worth it to even go to Houston. However I knew that it was because everything fell into place perfectly. I didn’t have a place to stay, but found out that my great aunt and uncle lived just outside of Houston. God opened many doors, and I was able to go and spend time with them…getting to know family that I had never met before. I was able to leave Georgia on Tuesday, January 19th and stay in Houston until the scripture memory party on Friday. It was absolutely wonderful. The Lord used those moments in a way that I could connect with my distant family and get to know and love them for who they are. I especially enjoyed connecting with my 2nd Cousin, Cheryl. It’s amazing to find out how much in common you have with someone….instant connection. I felt as if Cheryl and I were able to share anything with each other, to give each other uplifting encouragement. I’m so happy that our paths were able to be crossed…God is so great.
Friday afternoon came around and it was time to start- what I like to call- the joining together of several friendships. I was extremely excited to come face-to-face with these women that I had prayed for over the past year and vice-versa. There is just something special about when women who love Jesus come together. I’m convinced it’s something like that old cartoon of Captain Planet when all the heroes put their rings together of earth, wind, fire, etc., and they become one and join Captain Planet. Wow, now I’m convinced there is a really good message that can be formed through the analogy of that cartoon. However, before my A-D-D gets me sidetracked, let me pick back up with Friday afternoon.
I first met up with Yolanda and Beth H at the Holiday Inn Express in Houston. I’m such a nerd because when I knocked on their hotel room door, I all of a sudden got really really excited, so when Yolanda opened the door, I pretty much tackled her with the biggest hug and cheek kiss! It was so great meeting Yolanda, especially, because I feel like she has mentored in the Lord through her wonderful blog posts, e-mails, phone calls, texts, and FB posts. As exciting as life has been for me over the past year, there have been many weary times and Yolanda would always write something profound to bless my heart. Then I met Beth, Yolanda’s roommate for the event and it was like we had all known each other for years. Eager to eat something, we all hopped into my car to head over to Red Robin. Poor Beth had to slide into my backseat that was almost full to the brim with clothes, blankets, and other junk that was “necessary” for my road trip. After all, this was only the beginning.
While at Red Robin we met up with Siesta Janice (who is my age) and her Mom, Susan. Janice came from South Carolina and brought her Mama along for the trip in honor of her birthday. I had previously met Janice at the Passion conference in January, and we just had an instant connection. Of course though, we’re Siestas! We had such a fun time chatting and catching up over lunch.
After we ate we decided to head over to the Omni Hotel (where most of the Siestas were staying.) When we arrived , there was a SEA of pink boas wrapped around women of all shapes and sizes. It was such a beautiful sight, because the joy in the boas came with knowing that it was wrapped around the neck of a woman who dearly loves Jesus…. AND THAT JUST GAVE ME THE BIGGEST SURGE OF ENERGY! I immediately started walking up to women and introducing myself. It was so awesome. Then I ran into Ms. Lichelle from Austin who had made me this pink poster that read, “Miranda Brown’s Fan Club.”
I had about choked earlier when she texted me a picture of it. I couldn’t believe that she would take the time to make a sign for me that just showered me with love and encouragement. (Ms. Lichelle, you truly made my heart swell with joy.) Along with Ms. Lichelle, we saw Melana-from Wyoming, Tiffany-from Dallas, and Adrienne-from Tennessee, standing in the lobby. What a reunion we had there!!! Words can not express how much I LOVE these women. Then out-of-the blue I noticed that Amanda Jones was standing right there. Amanda is Beth Moore’s daughter, and she is the one who started the LPM Blog. The one who created the community of Siestaville. I had to introduce myself, and she already remembered who I was from my blog posts. I felt so special to be apart of our little community of fellowship.
After the reunion in the lobby, we went up to Janice’s room so I could get ready, and in the midst of jazzing up… we all decided to recite our verses. I was SOOO excited, because this is what the entire event was about… and I was so sad because I knew that I wouldn’t be able to pair off and recite scripture since Friday night was to be my only night. So we all took turns reciting scripture and it was amazing how God filled up that little hotel room in Houston, TX.
I am trying to not be overly detailed oriented, especially considering that I’m still writing about the first stop of my road trip… I apologize y’all, I am incredibly long-winded… and I’ve probably made about a million grammatical errors so far. Oh well, it’s either proofread or finish the blog…so I’m choosing to finish and just pretend that it will error-free when it is all said and done.
When the SMT Celebration began, it was a complete movement for God. Over 500 women craving a touch from God united in one room full of fellowship. I met so many Siestas that I had longed to meet that evening including: Ms. Patty, Kari Ann, Georgia, Ms. Jan, Ms. Karen, Ms. Nesha, Ms. Valerie, and several more that I hate to leave out… but they were all so wonderful and to join together in fellowship, worship, and a study from Psalm 119… I couldn’t have asked for anything more.
Then it was time to leave, and I was to hop back in my car and drive to Waxahachie for my speaking engagement the next morning. The Lord completely blessed me before I left, when I had the chance to briefly talk with our Siesta Mama, Beth Moore, and meet her. Then it was just icing on the cake when this anointed woman of God- who has mentored me so much in my Christian walk- pulled me close, wrapped her arms around me, and began to pray over me.
I left that evening with such a peace about walking in the will of the Lord, and I knew that I was leaving to go where He wanted me to be next…Waxahachie, TX,, where 11 hours later I would be given the opportunity to serve the women at a prayer breakfast and bring GLORY to the name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
To be continued in "Here Am I, Send Me: Part Two"