Hello dear friends, what a weekend I have had!
First off it was amazing to spend 4 whole days in Victoria. I seriously love that city so much and feel like I need to be there, so living in an apartment with a good friend was a good taste of what is hopefully to come.
I was in Victoria to attend the Adore Conference. Life changing Seriously. The speakers, the worship, the people. God is so present within that church and you can't help but feel overwhelmed by it all. Needless to say I cried, I know, shocker.
Saturday night was when I first lost it. After a ridiculously amazing sermon from Joyce Rees (new woman crush!) I apparently was so blown away I didn't even write notes, I just remember that I was crying continually for a long time. The closing of her sermon was about the marginalized, focusing on Aboriginals. This hit home because I see this on a daily basis. Growing up in Duncan I was immersed in Native culture from Kindergarten onward My first crush was on a native boy, I learned hul'qumi'num in elementary school once a week. So it breaks my heart when I see all the racism that goes on in my workplace. The majority of my favorite customers are of aboriginal descent and I love them dearly. It makes my day to see them at my checkout and to joke with them, they're amazing lights in my life. Thus, overflowing tears. Along with that, the worship team sang words that were the cry of my heart. I love it when a certain song starts playing and you read the lyrics on the overhead and it's exactly what you want to say to God. So we started singing the song that goes "you are the bread of life, you're all I need." It echoes that refrain a few times and then goes in to this epic bridge that goes "you are my hope in every need, you are my strength when I am week, you are the only one I seek." Now a number of months ago this bridge popped in my head and I started singing it aloud. I was at home alone, so I was getting pretty into it. I was sitting on my bathroom floor, belting out this song with so much joy in my heart. It literally went on for at least half an hour. I could not stop. It was amazing. So when I heard those familiar chords I just started laughing because it was so ridiculous and such a God thing. Nevertheless, it was a This is Good moment.
Other than that night some of the things that God was really speaking to me about were repentance and his future plan for me.
Elijah Waters (swoon) spoke on Sunday morning and this quote from his sermon really struck a chord "Repentance isn't what you're turning from, but what you're turning to." I think this is so relevant to so many of us. Repentance literally means to do a complete 180, to do the complete opposite. So many of us get caught up in the past action, we linger on it until it weighs us down and leaves us drowning, but this is not what God requires of us. He wants us to look to Him, to return to Him instead of our past transgressions, "as long as you're looking you'll be learning."
Being a part of the "me" generation, I prefer things to happen instantaneously, it's what I'm used to, it's how I like my life to be, patience is a sought after virtue. Elijah brought up a good point about how farmers don't expect the seeds that they plant to turn in to trees over night. They water it and wait for it to sprout, they give it time to grow, and then, after a long season of maturing, it finally bears fruit. We on the other hand want instant results. We implement something new and expect to see changes automatically appear.
As I sat and reflected on that I realized I tend to get so downcast when I don't "see" the changes happening, but as I looked back on this past year, from where I was last October until now, I was overcome with joy seeing all that has happened and how far I have come. This was reiterated when I met up with a former camper of mine from the year before. She mentioned how much of an impact I had had on her and that you "never forget a cabin leader." It was so reaffirming to know that my efforts are leaving a lasting impression and that those morals and lessons you try to instill within the week are growing and bearing fruit.
Sunday night was Leeland and boy was I stoked. A few summers ago they played at Alive Inside and "I wonder" changed my life forever. Needless to say I was so filled with joy to hear that song. We danced around and had a great time just praising Jesus. It was amazing to see so many hearts healed and so many lives dedicated to Jesus. Warms my heart. Elijah was asking many questions and was really in tune with the past hurts of the congregation, it was so sick to see all the people laying down their transgressions and surrendering to God. "He is healing right now" rang true throughout the sanctuary.
Needless to say, I am feeling good. There are a lot of cynics out there that say conferences have the same end result as going to camp does. You feel good for about 3 weeks and you fall back in to that slump that you were in before hand, but you know what, God doesn't promise us happiness, he tells us that the road will be hard and there has to be those hard times to make the good ones all that much better. But really it is solely our responsibility to cling close to God and to not let that same course of events happen over and over again.
Oh! And shout out to meeting my blogging friend Jordan!
Much love and conference goodness-- Amy