Monday, June 30, 2008
Get ready, because I think you’re about to get chills. At least I’ve had chills more times than I can count this weekend, so I hope I’m able to relay what took place in a way that can at least give you a glimpse of the amazing, God-orchestrated weekend we just experienced. The “we” includes 8 of us: Yvette, Kim, Christy, Kenzie, Emily, Karen, Chrissy, and me. From all over the country, from every kind of background, we were drawn together because of the common bond of loss, to meet face to face after months of loving each other through the hardest time of our lives.
When I got on the plane to head to Atlanta I felt like I was on my way to meet up with life-long friends, and it wasn’t until I tried to explain to the person next to me on the plane what I was doing, that I realized from the outside looking in, it appeared a little strange. I laughed as the words “I’m meeting my friends who’ve I’ve never seen before” caused heads to whip around in skepticism. The guy ahead of me gave me the precautionary, “You can never be too careful meeting people from the internet,” while I smiled and assured him, this was safe.
The impetus for the trip was the Deeper Still conference, featuring Kay Author, Beth Moore, and Pricilla Shirer, and it turned out to be the perfect backdrop to our time together. We were anything but incognito as we went everywhere in a pack of eight wearing our matching t-shirts that Emily had designed. On the back of the shirts was the phrase “Our little ones are dancing with Jesus now,” was followed by the names of each of the nine babies we represented, along with the amount of time they lived. Who knows how many people we were able to share our story with while we moved in and out of the 19,000 women who packed out the arena. I hope that through that, we were able to point to God, giving Him the glory for where He has brought us.
It’s crazy to feel so completely comfortable, completely in your element, with people you’ve never met before, but that’s exactly how it was. I can’t give you a play by play of our time together, but I want to at least give a run through of the highlights. We piled onto two beds each night, laughing, talking, sometimes crying, into the wee hours of the night—or sometimes the early hours of the morning. We caravanned through the unfamiliar interstates of Atlanta, defying death as we tried to follow a temperamental GPS system. We had the opportunity to meet Beth Moore and have her pray over us, laying her hands on each of our heads and asking God to give us victory and make Satan regret the day he attacked and tried to bring defeat. We ate milk duds and chocolate while we signed brown canvas placemats symbolizing the mat from Luke 15 that we promised to hold each other on when one was too weak to continue alone. We felt God speak to us, showing us how He is using the wilderness season of our lives to bring about His greatest work. We cemented life-long friendships.
I don’t know if we’ll ever get a chance to do this again. I know we want to, but who can see the future and where each of us will be but God? But whether we do this again or not, I will always be so grateful for the three days I spent with these beautiful, funny, godly, and compassionate girls. I am a better person for having known each of them, and I will always count it as one of my highest privileges to have been able to walk this road by their sides.