Choose Joy! // The Event Re-Cap

I don’t even know how to start this post.
In fact, that’s probably why it’s taken me more than two weeks to even write this post.

The night before I was supposed to leave, I laid in bed talking myself down from the start of a panic attack. The thoughts of flying, leaving my boys, traveling to a new place, staying in the home of someone I knew only online and speaking at an event I felt completely unqualified for. I started to talk perspective to myself thinking … how people safely fly every day; that I am not in control of my boys, God is; new places hold new adventures; {how people travel overseas and sleep in hostels FOR PETE’S SAKE}; an online friend is just the sweet taste of the even sweeter real life friend; and whether I helped anyone or not, I was obeying where God had called me.

And with that and a few hours of sleep I headed off on an emotionally & physically exhausting {4} days.

It was everything I hoped for and then abundantly more.

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This was one of the most God honoring and God centered events I’ve ever attended … and really, I think that is the only way you could take a group of 150+ individuals {whose hearts have been broken and beaten} who are choosing joy and holding onto hope in the midst of one of the most, if not THE MOST, difficult seasons of their lives.

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In every detail, it was evident that Emmy threw her whole heart and soul into putting on a wonderful event. I could tell you about all the fabulous detail that went into the organizing, decorating and coordinating of this event {because it was indeed fabulous and Type-A approved!!}, but I’d rather tell you about all the little details that really made this a heart-filling event. There are a lot of conferences/events out there AND a lot of them look really nice, but just like us, that’s only surface deep. It’s got to have heart.

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More than a month before the event, Emmy {and her husband Nathan} sent a packet to each of the speakers that held 30 slips of paper. Each paper had a prayer request. Emmy asked that we cover the event in prayer for a full 30 days before it started. Each speaker and attendee was prayed for in those 30 days. Isn’t that incredible? I was blown away. Never have I seen this done, but you can be sure I’m stealing this idea Emmy!

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Setting the tone {literally} for the event, we were led in worship. I don’t even have words to express how powerful the words of these songs were moving a room full of broken people to give Him praise. I’m going to embed the three songs and I want to ask you to listen to them when you have 10-15 minutes. Listen to the words, lift your voice and then pray for those suffering from infertility and those seeking and going through adoption {including birth moms and dads}.

We then heard an amazing testimony that I can not even begin to do justice. I will say that it shined a great perspective on the event.

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Each attendee was able to select {3} workshops to attend, in addition to a craft time {guys time} and dinner.
Each speaker led their workshop twice.

I shared the description of my workshop in an earlier post, but I’d like to share a little more with you since most of you weren’t able to attend.
That will come soon in another post.

After dinner, the event ended with a couple, sharing their journey from infertility to adoption. Again, it was pointed back to God. To what His word tells us.
In a situation wrapped up in so many feeling and emotions, the only way to survive, to make it to the other side is to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. To not let our emotions sway us, but to continue to put our hope in Him and continue to CHOOSE joy. Every.single.day.

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Thank you Emmy for having me. I was blessed so much more richly than I ever imagined.

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{Credit: SheReadsTruth}

In God’s sweet timing, She Reads Truth is currently studying the book of Nehemiah where the Choose Joy Event key verse comes from.

XOXO, Andrea

Comments

  1. So happy that you went! I know God used you to touch so many people!

  2. I am so very proud of you for going when you were called; I know it was a huge leap of faith for you, but I know it was just what your soul needed and what those who attended needed. Love you so!

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