Monday, April 6, 2009


Fine cuisine at the "Fish and Pig" restaurant.
Above- EverThird prays before they perform

Below- Steve playing bass in the 35 mph wind gusts!

If I was a real camerawoman, I would pace the battery life of my camera.
I have about 50 photos of the waterballon slingshot contest.
but only the three photos above of Everthird.
Dang it.

In our lives, we tend to want to see immediate results and answers to our prayers. Personally, I am not always good at the long-term praying thing. I pray for a while and then either forget, lose my passion or give up on my request.
And when I DO pray, I tend to have a good idea about how God should respond.
Oh I say that I want Him to surprise me, but do I really expect it?

The most memorable prayer that I have ever prayed was at the side of Jae's casket in the funeral home. It was early on Friday I think, and I drove to the funeral home and told the director that I wanted to be uninterrupted with her.
DeWayne personally closed the door behind me and sat in a chair on the other side to prevent anyone from entering.

Most of those last mother-daughter moments will never be shared, but I often speak publicly about my prayer there by her side. To be honest, I've written this very paragraph 50 times trying to describe those moments, but just can't find the words to convey the moment. Let me just say, that I cried out for God to bring good out of the bitter circumstances we now faced. I also begged to see the good now, here on Earth, and not have to wait until "all things are revealed" in eternity.

I am grateful that God has answered my prayer many times over.
Countless times in fact.
I will remain confused and disagreeable about God's plan for a short life for Jae, but at least He loves me enough to constantly attach good things to her name.
My mother's heart is grateful.

In my wildest dreams, I couldn't have imagined this weekend.
Here's a short summary of a long story:
It began with a heartfelt lesson in March 2004 in a tiny back room of our small church.
I created the lesson for Jae, Casey, Ralph and myself, but I taught it to about 8 teenagers, 2 of which were mine.
Less than 24 hours later one of them, Jae Lynn, is in Heaven.
Without realizing it, the theology of that lesson prepared me for the worst days of my life.
It kept me sane through the coming months.
It sustains me still.
3 years later, I wrote the experience into a post on this blog.
Months after that, I happened to click onto Youth Specialties blog on the very day where they asked for memorable moments of youth ministry.
Feeling sure they were looking for food-fight moments, I sent them my post anyway.
My friends at YS considered the moment relevant indeed.
They created it into a "video story".
It was used at three national conferences to encourage thousands of youth pastors and leaders across the nation.
One of those youth pastors, Shannon Lovelady from Georgia, looks for me and finds me in Nashville. He tells me he wants to bring his band (EverThird) to perform a free personal concert for my small group of teens.
Now it's Monday and I just spent the weekend with the members of EverThird ( Shannon, Mike, Andrew, Nick and Wesley) interact with the members from our church and especially our small youth group.
They gave a concert and played their hearts out to probably the coldest tiniest crowd they have ever played for. But I know it's because they really play for the Most High God and not anyone else.
When they pulled out of our parking lot, they left behind a small group of Southern Baptist teens, parents and church members who are worn out, encouraged and inspired to want more from God.
Then the band sends a text message to me saying they are grateful for what our church did for them!

Jae Lynn,.....honey.
I wish you were here to see all of this.
I'm so grateful that I still get to speak your name and I feel incredibly blessed when I see how God puts Himself into all your influences.
I look so forward to seeing Him face to face like you do, but until then I will rest in the knowledge that He has remembered my cry.
I love you more than ever and will be there in the morning.

1 comment:

Shannon said...

How cool are you that you have a band come and play? I always knew you were the coolest ever!

Shouldn't we be meeting soon?