If I acted crazy, I did it for God; if I acted overly serious, I did it for you. Christ’s love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do. — 2 Corinthians 5: 13-14 (The Message)
Sometimes, God gives you such an experience, you have to share it with everybody. About a year ago, Adam found out about a singing group of young ladies called “1 Girl Nation” and introduced them to Caroline. She fell in love with them and so did we. Just look them up and you will see why. We have decided that when it comes to immersing our kids in things that God is using to build His kingdom in this generation, we will do what it takes to get our kids in that environment. For those of you that don’t know Caroline, she loves to sing and entertain. A stage is a beacon to her, and she dreams of being a famous singer. I pray that God opens a door for her to use her talents in a kind of way as He did for 1 Girl Nation.
Last night, Caroline, her sweet friend Stella and both of us moms drove to Columbia for the Secret Keeper Girls conference to see 1 Girl Nation open up the conference. We arrived in Columbia a couple of hours early and did a little shopping and ate supper, which made us arrive at the church at the exact time that our fan experience was to start. God’s timing was perfect! As we walked up the sidewalk, 1GN was getting out of their car, so our girls were calling them by name and greeting them. They were pumped and we were pumped! All of that led up to an amazing little series of events that placed us in the right place at the right time. I was a little aggravated at the disorganization of the “fan experience” which we paid a nice little fee to participate in and felt like we were being cheated. At that moment, one of the crew came to us and then led us to the “backstage” which coincided beautifully with 1GN coming out of sound check just as we walked into the backstage area. I cannot describe the emotions that came over me in that moment. I was filled with such a joy that Caroline was getting to meet these wonderful ladies who have allowed God to guide their paths and use their talents to glorify Him. I had prayed for weeks that her heart would be impressionable at this event. My eyes were filled with tears as I shared my gratitude with 1GN and was able to let them know how much their ministry means to me.
During intermission, we were able to go backstage again and get autographs. The girls in the group were absolutely precious to Caroline and Stella. Our girls dressed up in 1GN attire. Each lady in the group made a huge deal about how cool their outfits were and the sign that we made. My heart was swelling! 1GN even tweeted and posted a picture on their FaceBook accounts of our girls!!
The concert was awesome! Seeing all of those little girls up at the stage singing and dancing was an amazing sight. The message that the Secret Keeper Girl conference sends out is that God did not create us to be normal. We are not supposed to “fit in”. They do a wonderful job at relaying this message to the girls. I highly recommend that if you have the opportunity, you take your pre-teen girls to one of these conferences. It is a bonding experience for mothers and daughters. At the end of the conference, the speaker talks to the girls about being a part of God’s kingdom and explains that He is the King of Kings. He desires for us to join Him and become a King’s daughter…a princess. She then had the moms ask their daughters if they had made that decision. Before I could even ask, Caroline looked at me and said “Mama, you know that I have already made that decision.” We were then asked to take our little princess into our laps and ask them to retell the day that they became God’s princess. There is nothing quite like the presence of God when your daughter is sitting in your lap and describing that moment to you. In that moment, I once again thanked Him for the miracle that she is and for answering our prayers that her heart turn to God at an early age.
On our way home, what at the time seemed like an inconvenience now is truly a miracle. As Tonya was driving down the interstate coming back from Columbia. We were busy talking and singing along with the cd and our girls. I realized that we were getting on the wrong road and by the time Tonya figured out what to do it was too late for her to “safely” cross over to make it there. She was bummed and apologized for the extra time it was costing us, and we joked about how it saved us $3 because we missed the tolls! The time of all this coincides with the time of an accident that we saw posted on FaceBook the next morning. God’s hand of protection was absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt with us. And now we see the big picture. Think of the times he protects us and we never know it.
The message that I want to share after all of this is that God adores you! He cares about the tiniest of details. Sometimes, He lets you know that every tiny detail comes together in a way that only He could orchestrate. Often I feel like I am not quite hitting the target when it comes to parenting. I pray for wisdom constantly, because I have no idea how to even begin to train them in the way that they should go. Yes, I know the basics, instill His word in their lives, set and enforce boundaries, pray for them. However, I have a child that dreams of performing and I have no clue about that! What this whole experience has shown me is that if we constantly bring our children into atmospheres that invite God’s presence, we are going to show them something that this world cannot offer. This world can entertain for a while, but there is absolutely nothing like the presence of God. I want them to know what that feeling is and to crave it. I want them to realize that there is nothing that the secular world can offer them that even comes close to the embrace of God’s presence. And I know that if God is so good as to let me and my friend see his intricacies of timing in a night of fun, how huge His plan is for our children!