>This morning I woke up to the rain pouring down. Which is a lovely sound when you can stay at home, snuggled up under the electric blanket. But of course, I had to get out in it. Any other day I would be dreading this. But today was different. Today I hoped right up, started getting dressed and didn’t even care that I was about to encounter a monsoon.
Today was Beth Moore day.
I met Jenny in the Target parking lot at 8 and we headed to Marietta. I so wish I had pictures of the traffic when we first got on 75 (cars were backed all the way up the entrance ramp), the rain as it poured down, our shocked faces as somehow the traffic cleared in just the right places for us to make it to the HOV lane, (which we are both certain shaved hours off our travel time), us realizing we had made it 50 miles in a little less than an hour (despite the odds of the weather and the traffic!), us going the wrong way off the exit, making illegal u-turns, having no idea what the directions really said, and especially I wish I could share pictures of us passing chick-fil-a’s, dunkin donuts and Starbucks, with our stomachs roaring their disapproval of our decision to trudge on–all in the name of meeting Beth Moore. But more than all of that I wish I could show you us doing our happy squeals complete with a happy dance as we caught sight of the Boarders book store (we had already mistaken sears for it once and were highly disappointed) and realized the parking lot didn’t look that full after all. Or as we got a parking spot right in front. I wish I could show you us running in the pouring rain, sharing Jenny’s umbrella, or the cashiers laughing at our excitement over getting “first color tickets.” I can’t share any pictures of those memories with you but I hope your imagination took you there with us. Now, thanks to Jenny and her wonderfully working camera (mine’s been broken for months!), I can show you pictures of what I like to call
The Best Day Ever
First, A little history so you can see WHY this is such a BIG DEAL to me…
When I was 18 I was invited to take a bible study class. It was a DVD bible study by someone named Beth Moore, whom I had never heard of before. I sat in the class, called “breaking free” and thought to myself, “this woman’s pretty good at teaching.” I didn’t really understand alot of what she was teaching, but she was entertaining. She was funny and she kept my attention. I did none of the at home homework that went along with the study, telling myself I was just “too busy”, and pretty soon I dropped out of the class completely. Five years after that bible study I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior. It had to nothing to do with the bible study, and everything to do with my savior pursuing me and capturing me with his love. Soon after I got saved a friend of mine gave me a Beth Moore day-by-day devotional book. I remembered her from that first bible study I had started taking and things I had heard in that class started coming back to me. I remember reading or hearing her say at some point that two things she loved were the sound of bible pages turning and the smell of coffee–both of which she enjoyed every morning. I now think of that every morning as I’m enjoying my coffee, along with my scripture reading. I pray as my girls grow up they will look back and have memories of laying in their beds in the wee morning hours hearing from the living room the sound of bible pages turning and the smell of coffee.
Over the years, I read some things by Beth Moore and listened to her on the radio during a time when we drove a jeep that didn’t have a working FM radio station. I grew to really respect this woman. She had amazing insight into scripture and she had a way of teaching I had never encountered before. It was like she was talking directly to me–right out of the radio. I also came to know that she had been set free from years and years of generational bondage. I was captured by what little of her story I knew, and what little of her teaching I heard. Some time after that, our church did a Saturday event for women and featured a Beth Moore video, “Loving Well” in which I learned I had no idea what real love was. I was confused and frustrated afterwards. I pushed it out of my head. A couple of years after that, Four years after coming to know Christ as my savior, I was privilaged to be going through discipleship training with some of the wisest, most godly people I know and I was learning things about my God I had never known before. I was raised in a Southern Baptist church and I was learning things I had NEVER HEARD BEFORE. The Lord was drawing me to himself and revealing unimaginable things to me. And he still is. It was and is a hard place with personal struggle and brokenness and right at the beginning of it a friend asked me to go to a Beth Moore bible study with her. It was “Esther”, which, honestly, I thought was going to be boring. I remember thinking that I wish it was going to be on something I could relate to. I had NO CLUE what I was getting into. God used the things I learned in that Esther bible study to change parts of my heart that I didn’t know needed to be changed. I was once again enamored by Beth Moore and her teaching style, her understanding of scripture and her love for our God. But most of all I was astonished at how what I learned drew me nearer to my God. Just so you can see a little glimpse of what I’m talking about, here is an excerpt from the “Esther: it’s Tough Being a Woman” bible study. I still have this hanging on my fridge, now, a year and a half after taking the class…
“something is always wrong! I live in the real world where I get my feelings hurt, go to funerals, get rejected, catch stomach viruses and age overnight….but here’s the good news…
the ending to each story is happy, but before that happy ending, much grief occurs.
…when we trust our lives to the hand and pen of an ever present God, he will write our lives into His story and every last one of them will turn out to be a great read.
With a grand ending.
And not just in spite of those catastrophes. Often because of them.
Don’t just wait and see. Live and see.”
I hope this shows you just a little bit of how powerful that bible study is. So much to be learned in Esther. So Much! Anyway, after that bible study I started Reading the Living Proof Ministries blog and quickly became a “siesta”.
Around October of 2009 I heard that Beth Moore was coming to Atlanta the following April for the conference “So long, insecurity.” I was SO excited! I wanted so badly
to go. The tickets were $50 and I knew I couldn’t swing that at the time….right before a very expensive surgery I had to have and right before Christmas. It was NOT going to happen. I was sad about it but I was also at peace with it. Then on Christmas morning I opened a present from my sister. A wonderful pair of socks. They were the really fuzzy kind that you wear around the house instead of slippers. They’re even infused with cocoa butter. I went to put them on and there was something stuck inside. I pulled it out, thinking it was some kind of tag on the sock and it was a ticket to the Beth Moore conference! (yes, I have the greatest sister ever!) I was soooooo excited! Excited doesn’t even describe it. I was ecstatic. Elated. All of those kinds of words. And more.
….I hope you see from me going through this whole saga that I am not obsessed with Beth Moore because she’s Beth Moore. I’m an adoring fan because the Holy spirit has used this woman’s teaching in my life over the last few, insanely crucial, incredibly hard, unbelievably special years of my life to draw me ever closer to him and lead me out of places of bondage and into places of freedom. And it wasn’t all Beth Moore’s teaching. That is for sure. There have been several friends, mentors, pastors and teachers that God has used in my life and is still using in unimaginable ways to teach me what the abundant life in Christ really is. But he definitely used Beth Moore, her message, her story and her amazing way of explaining scripture to women. And that is why she means so much to me.
So you know that when my friend April called me Monday to tell me that Beth Moore was doing a book signing in none other than ATLANTA on Friday I just could have died. In a good way. I thought for a time it wasn’t going to work out to go to the book signing, but my wonderful Heavenly Father who works out all things for me made a way. Here are the pictures from
THE BEST DAY EVER.
My Friend Jenny and I waiting in line.
Jenny’s a missionary. She’s on deputation.
to go to her website and read all about
her wonderful self.
This is me after I ralized Beth was in the store and was willing to take pictures with each and every one of her guests.
I told Beth something I was struggling with
and she took the time to give me advice. It
was so special to me!