On January 1st, I boarded a church bus at 6am to ride to Atlanta, Georgia to be a part of the Passion Conference in the Georgia Dome. The conference consisted of worship sessions with writers of songs I have grown up singing, teaching from the Bible by some of the biggest names in the modern Christian circle, and family groups of complete strangers who share their hearts and become good friends.
Being one person in a crowd of 60,000 college age students who are all singing the name of Jesus at the top of their lungs changes your life. Separating yourself from the normal routine, and absorbing the Word of God for 4 days helps you feel the presence of God in a new way. When you take a breather from the stress of life and realize that God has a greater purpose for you than you could ever plan... it opens your eyes.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. -Ephesians 3:20-21
Louie Giglio, founder of Passion and 268generation.com, focused on this verse in Ephesians throughout the conference. He spoke of the valley of dry bones in Ezekiel 37, and compared it to our generation. Louie reminded us that God has the power to bring life, and He wants to replace our heart of stone with a heart of flesh. Can these bones live? Can we reach this generation? If you hear the Word of God, then breath will come into you. God will restore and repair what what broken. You will come to life and know that He is God.
Another thing that Louie said really caught my attention. He talked about the things that we think are impossible, that we wait on and only dream of them happening. When Jesus comes into our hearts and lives, anything is possible. He is alive and powerful. In our own power, we have so many limitations. But with Jesus, those dreams can live!
Francis Chan reminded us that God is the only person you can trust 100%. If we endure, we will reign with Him. If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.
It was my 3rd year at Passion, and I knew that I would get something out of it. I found myself asking, What did I come here for? I think there was a deeper longing that I didn't even know how to express. And in that crowd of 60,000 people, I had a personal, one-on-one connection with God. He started stirring my heart and showing me deep desires that I didn't even know to ask for. I realized I was there because I wanted to hear His voice in a new way - to put myself in a position where I could hear clearly from Him. I wanted to break away from selfish habits that I had allowed in my heart. This was a desperate attempt to feel alive again.
God was waiting for me with open arms. In fact, He's been there for me all along, calling me to Himself. I was afraid that if I gave everything in my life to God, that I couldn't keep my end of the bargain. Knowing that I would mess up, and that I would let Him down kept me from going all in. But that's just the point. The verse that Francis Chan quoted about God remaining faithful because that is His character, really connected the dots for me. He knows we can't measure up to His standard of holiness, yet He loves us anyway and continues to call us to Himself every day.
Starting the new year on a new page with God is so refreshing. He spoke to me through the Word, and through the music, and He placed a desire in my heart to focus more on worship leading and not as much on performance. He also gave me a new desire to prepare to be used in more girls ministry and women's ministry. That's something I hadn't been focused on but now I am starting to see how that may unfold. I'm very excited to see what this new year holds, and what God has planned for me.
On January 4th, around 8pm, I stepped off the church bus with a sleepy grin. My hometown, family, sleeping in my own bed... everything was the same as when I left. But my heart will be forever changed. Praise Jesus!
P.S. Passion raised over $3 million dollars to help end modern day slavery. I am excited to be a part of the movement! Learn how you can help at www.enditmovement.com!
Watch my latest music video for my song, "Butterfly". Share and help us reach 5,000 views!