Monday, June 23, 2008

She Speaks, God Delights

I had to be at the airport at 8:30AM on Thursday for a 10:15 flight to O'Hare and then our jaunt to Charlotte. One of the gals with me had rented a car and we made our way to the hotel.

I kid you not. My feet had barely touched the asphalt parking lot when I was warmly greeted, by Lysa Terkeurst and Holly Good from P31, "Amy, I'm so glad your here!" I had been a couple years ago and been on Lysa's site and she had left sweet encouragement on mine. It was such a treat to be greeted so warmly right from the get go. Pam, Karrie, Rachel and I flew in a day early, so it was nice to be greeted even before things started officially.

Holly, me, and Lysa

Their sweet greeting was just the beginning. I finally met Melissa Taylor in person. She is simply beautiful inside and out. Lisa Whittle startled me with her greeting as I was sitting at a table putting my talks together in the lobby. She is another beautiful person -- real and caring. And then I ran into Renee. She greeted me, invited me to lunch, encouraged me, and moved me to tears with her talk Saturday night.

Me with Melissa Taylor

Renee and Me

And then there are all the bloggers I met. I shall tell you more about them as the time goes on. If I write everything this minute, my computer will overload. Let's just say there were 560 dreams that were lifted up to God There were 560 beautiful women. There were 560 women who are dearly loved by God.

Friday night I sat at a table with 7 other women. A woman across from me asked about my blog. I said that it was called, "God's Work In Progress," but that the address was The woman to my right, exclaimed, "AMY L BROOKE! I'm having dinner with AMY L BROOKE!" At first I thought she was teasing me, but it turns out she has read my little corner of blogland and was genuinely pleased to meet me. I can say, no one has ever greeted me quite like that.

Very often I feel insignificant, unnoticed, overlooked. But it felt like this weekend that God was saying, "You are significant. You are noticed. You are never out of my sight. My beloved, Amy, I SEE you." It came in the form of the arms of these wonderful ladies at P31 as well as the attendees.

I often panic in a crowd when I am by myself. Saturday night I sat with some bloggy friends. Renee brought a profound message. I laid my doubts and fears at the foot of the cross. Melissa was there to hug me, and I cried on her shoulder and got snot on the sweater she had borrowed from Melaine (sorry, Melanie), and then made my way back to the table and sat and listened to the music and God. One by one the people at my table left for the evening and still I sat. The worship leader came back out to sing just a couple more songs.

I found myself standing at that empty table. The new thing for me was that I was completely okay with that. I was standing in the throne room of God. He kept repeating, "I see you. I love you." I wanted those moments to go on and on.

The room was finally almost empty. They flipped the harsh lights back on. I stopped to talk to Lysa for a moment. She went to hug me and I warned her, "If you hug me I'll probably start leaking again," so we opted for a brief hug. I said, "I'll try to say this without crying. Two years ago when I came, I felt loved on. Things with my family are always difficult. This year when I came it was more than feeling loved on. It has been like stepping into a family. I have never felt so delighted in."

Lysa said what others would reiterate throughout the conference. "When you came two years ago my heart broke for you because you were so lonely and I knew there was nothing I could do . . . . But I've watched you blossom the last year over the blog. God has changed you."

God has patiently and faithfully worked in my life the last couple years. She Speaks confirmed that change to me. And it gave me a glimpse of heaven, where we will all delightedly say, "It's you! I've been so wanting to meet you!"

Yes, there is more to share: meetings with publishers, the talks I gave, eating fried pickles because "everything is better if it is fried," the difference between southern and northern humor, and lots of fun anecdotes. But the biggest thing I want to give praise to is knowing in a new way that God delights in me and that He sets the lonely in "families." I caught hold of those two things in a new and profound way.

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Becoming Me said...

What a blessing. I love the title of your blog as well.

Sandra said...

Isn't just awesome when God just embraces you with His love? It's such an indescribable high. I look forward to reading more about your experience at the conference.


Nicki said...

I loved meeting you too!! You were so sweet! I can't wait to hear more about your meetings with the publishers!! You are totally famous girl!

Lysa TerKeurst said...

You have blossomed for sure. It was so nice to see you again face to face.

Brooke LOVED the owl!

And I LOVED the B&N certificate. What a thoughtful treasure.

Thank you!

Tell Jill I said hello...

Rachel Olsen said...

Hey Amy,

It seems I passed by you 10x a day in the halls at the conference and each time I noticed your face was beaming. God's presence resting upon you is evident - and sweet.

So glad you enjoyed the conference!

Carol said...

I was so delighted to finally get to meet you! You have such a sweet spirit. It is illuminating. May God bless you on your journey. Thanks for stopping by and leaving sweet words.

KelliGirl said...

I really enjoyed reading this post. You captured so well the experience--especially Saturday night. She Speaks was truly a time for Him to speak!

Amy Wyatt said...

I loved meeting you in our group. I've posted our group pic on my blog. I will email a copy soon.
Amy Wyatt

Michelle said...

Your smile warmed my heart. It was great to meet you and share some of the experience with you. I have to say, but I need to be a little more coherent to express it.

Jessica said...

Amy, I'm so glad your experience was such a powerful one. God constantly amazes me how He reaches into our lives and speaks to us right where we are. I'm so glad you were able to hear His voice this weekend. It sounds like it was just what you needed.

Lisa said...

Hey Amy!
It was so great to meet you this weekend. I know you read my thoughts on my blog, and I meant every do have a great smile and a beautiful spirit about you. I wish we had more time to talk and hang out!

I am so excited for you and think it is a really great encouragement that the publisher couldn't stop thinking about your project! Wow. Just keep walking through the doors as He opens them. You have such beautiful insights to share.

And yes...fried pickles are yummy! Not being from here originally, I don't quite share the penchant Carolinas have for everything fried. I have even teased my in-laws (native Charlotteans) that I think if I stood around long enough they might throw me in a deep fryer and fry me up! They LOVE fried southern food that much! :)

Friend, glad you are back home safely. Please know I care about you and love to hear about your "progress."

Lisa :)

Renee Swope said...

Hi Amy,

I have been wanting to drop by all week but I kept waiting for a time when I could really read through your posts and hear all about what God was doing. Hmmm, it took me a little while to find that time when I could actually read and absorb and enjoy. Oh my, this brain of mine is still so mushy!

I loved reading your blog tonight. You are such a great writer. As I read, I felt like I was there in each moment, listening and seeing all that God was doing to prove His love and His attention to you. Don't we all want to know that someone sees us? It is the hope of a little girl's heart. I love that you experienced and reminded me that He is El Roi, our God who sees.

Thanks for not giving up on me - for continuing to offer the gift of prayer even when I kept getting pulled away. I am so glad we got to visit over lunch Saturday and catch up just a little. Thanks for asking about our adoption. It reminded me to update our family blog when I got home.

And thank you for your precious note. It is one I will save forever. Your thoughtfulness is a gift. Thanks for being you!

Hugs and blessings,