Wow, who would have thought I'd ever say that? I really do mean it though. Tonight we went to a Tenth Avenue North & Casting Crowns concert. I've seen Casting Crowns before and I've also seen Michael W Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman, Jeremy Camp, Natalie Grant and few other lesser knowns. I have to say that God doesn't use the others to touch my heart the way he uses Mark Hall of Casting Crowns. He makes me cry every time. Of course I am an emotional person. In the bible people reacted many differnt ways when they met Jesus. Without a doubt I can tell you that if your ever looking for me in heaven, I'll be among those at His feet weeping. I just know it, I'm a crier. Two years ago Casting Crowns was at Lifelight Music Festival(www.lifelight.org). We were about a year into our IF and I was really struggling with it. I don't remember what they said but something about praying to surrender things and I did and tears just began rolling down my face. God changed my heart and my outlook that day. That was the day I began to taste freedom from the IF weighing me down. It still had a grip on me though and I think last summer when I read Beth Moore's Breaking Free that I truly did surrender it all and break free from it. That said I do still have my days of course but they get further and far between as time passes. So tonight they were playing "At Your Feet" from their latest album, one of my favorites and mid song they asked everyone to pray with them. And he prayed asking God to help us lay everything at His feet and he started naming all these different things, pain, anger, bitterness, jealousy etc. All I could think was AMEN, cause I'm guilty on all charges. Then there was a long time where they just played softly and everyone prayed to themselves. Here come the tears. I'm always amazed at the power and overwhelming peace of praying in a place surrounded by so many others praying to the same Father at the same time. I must have cried for a good ten minutes before I got myself together. But how can you not cry when God touches your heart?
Here's another moment that touched me....Mark Hall was speaking about how God uses the weak to humble the strong and so forth. He uses the bad to demonstrate the good. He uses tragedy to demonstrate His compassion AND He uses my IF for His Glory. Mark Hall was saying how we are all a trainwreck and we all screw up and have our crosses to bear. He used Paul as an example and how he referred to the thorns in his side, asking that they be removed so he could focus more on his devotion to God. But its those thorns that keep us devoted to God, they keep our heads on straight and keep us on the narrow path. I got to thinking, where would I be without my IF? I've always had a sheltered perfect little life, sure I thought I knew pain and suffering as a teenager but now I see I didn't. Perhaps in ten years I'll look back and think my IF was not pain and suffering, that it was not the thorn in my side it seems to be now. I realized that you can't really know what salvation means until you know what pain and suffering is. So thank you God for my infertility because before this I didn't have the understanding, love and reliance on You that I do now. Without this thorn in my side, if I could just have as many babies as I want, I'd probably be lost in worldly things. I wouldn't have my head on straight and focused on Christ. I can't believe I spent 25 years going to church and sunday school but still missed that all surpassing peace and joy in Christ. Then I thought, okay I'm sick of this thorn, may I have my baby now and take a different thorn? Oops, I take that back Lord, on second thought this thorn isn't so bad, I'm used to it, I've learned how to handle it and I don't like change. I don't want to start over with a different thorn in my flesh, I think I'll just gratefully accept this one. There are far worse things to suffer than not being able to have a baby. But even before that thought, I've been feeling lately that a change is coming. I'm not sure what, I just feel like the Lord is preparing me for some sort of change in my life. It could be good, it could be difficult but not to worry because it will all work out.
One last thing...You know how at Christian music concerts or worship services people put their hands in the air as a way of praise. When Tenth Avenue North was on they were asking everyone to do that and they said they know some people are not comfortable doing that, that some people think its only for the super spiritual, those strong in the faith that get excited about God. I'm thinking yep I'm the quiet shy one that's uncomfortable with that. And the lead singer (I forgot his name) said its not for the strong, raising our hands in the air is for the weak, like a little child asking to picked up and held by their father. Awww, my eyes starting misting up. When I worked at the daycare I was all too familiar with kids putting their arms up to be held. There is something so wonderful about putting your arms up, not in praise but in asking our Father to pick us up and hold us in His arms. Don't we all need our big strong Father in heaven to pick us up and hold us sometimes? Doesn't that just warm your heart knowing all we have to do is raise our arms and say "hold me"?