I have spent the last three weeks in Atlanta, Memphis, Arkansas, and Panama City Beach. These few weeks have been extremely exhausting and challenging, but blessings nonetheless. From January 1st-5th I was in Atlanta, Georgia at the Passion conference. Passion was intimidating for someone who doesn't like big crowds and comes from a Church of Christ background. It took place in the Georgia dome, and it filled up almost all of it. There were 65,000 college students from around the world all coming to praise our God.
When we first got to the dome I had really hardened my heart to the worship and speakers. I go to a nondenominational church currently, but whenever I realized how many people were going to be at this conference I figured that most of the worship bands and speakers would be trying to put on a show for all these people.
God used this trip to keep kicking down barriers in my heart. I had been putting up this huge wall prior to this trip. I didn't even want to go on the trip, to be honest. God kept tugging at me, though. Someone paid for my trip, I had some friends going, and somehow a spot opened and my boyfriend even got to come with me. Even though this was obviously God making it nearly impossible for me not to go, I was still resisting.
It wasn't until one of the last nights that I fully let God in. The worship was what first got me. The same worship that I had been trying to stiff arm this whole trip. We sang a song where we kept repeating this one line "I love you". I started recalling one of the worship leaders at Soma telling us one night at Refuge, "Don't sing it unless you mean it." And I still sang it! Even while thinking about how I needed to mean what I was telling God, I still kept singing! I was telling God that I loved Him for the first time in my life. And not only was I telling Him, but 65,000 other people were telling Him too.
All of the sudden I felt this enormous feeling of happiness. But it wasn't my happiness. It was God's. I felt how joyous He was that His children were finally that reciprocating! All of these prodigal sons and daughters were finally returning to Him. And His arms were open and His face was smiling and He finally said "YES! Come home. I've been waiting, and I love you too." I can't even describe it. All I know is that I bawled like a baby.