Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Kickoff Highlights

What a night! Let me first say that when I came down off the platform Friday night, I easily could've curled up on the front row and fallen asleep. Still jet-lagged and weary from preparing, I was exhausted...but elated.
Exhausted is why I haven't yet written an update. Elated is why I'm so excited to do so now.

First, I was in the prayer room when Jodi and several women from Cobb Vineyard came in to pray. And as they were praying (which in itself was pretty powerful), I heard the worship team practicing in the sanctuary. And they were practicing "The Stand." It was several months ago that I was at North Star and heard just the bridge of "The Stand," but the words were SO in line with what God was already putting on my heart that I prayed that if I had the chance to do a kickoff, I would love to close with that song as a call to commitment. So everything was in place to do so, and I knew the worship team would be able to close with that song. But it was amazing to be praying only minutes before the kickoff as that very song was the backdrop of our prayers. It just blew me away that this vision the Lord had given was really coming to pass--He made the way, and allowed us the joy of just getting to walk in it.

Another highlight was after I had spoken--I came down and sat in the front row by myself as "The Stand" began. Beautiful, powerful worship. I had my eyes closed, and then when those words came...

I'll stand with arms high and heart abandoned
in awe of the One who gave it all
I'll stand--my soul, Lord, to You surrendered
All I am is Yours

...I opened my eyes to see the shadows of so many hands raised. I will never forget that image in my mind. I wanted so badly to grab my camera that was at my feet and capture the moment, but then I realized, "Is there even a chance I would actually forget this?" So the camera remained at my feet, but the image is burned into my heart.

Then on Saturday my friend Teresa said that during one of the stories I shared, a girl near her began to weep. Then Teresa saw that at the end during the call to an "Arms Raised" life, the girl held up her hands, but her friend next to her came behind her and held up her hands for her. Awesome.

I really believe the Holy Spirit had his hand in that whole night. Such love was poured into every part of the kickoff--planning, set-up, worship, everything. As an added bonus, my mother-in-law Ali was down from Boston and was able to be there. Other friends were there as well, which meant so much.

There were also previews of the studies being offered, and I had goosebumps watching those. I am so excited to get going on this next season of studies and see what awaits!!!

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