Each piece of equipment had it's own tv. You could watch whatever you wanted!! I stuck with my music.
The morning at Simply Free started off with worship. They played awesome music that really helped usher in the presence of God.
The praise team
A speaker spoke and then we broke out into break out sessions. There were several offered and it was hard to pick. I went into one and was the only one there. Stacey was the lady leading this group. We just talked about where we were in life. Very truthfully. It was freeing just to be able to take off the mask of "everything is fine" and tell somebody that no I don't have it all together and yes I still struggle with an issue 11 years after it happening. Stacey was honest with me as well and I fell as though I have gained a new friend. God knows when to allow certain people to come into our lives. And when we allow Him, He can use us to help others as they help us.
Stacey and I
Another speaker spoke and then we were instructed to have lunch with somebody we didn't know. Lunch was catered in by McAlister's. I saw Chonda's mama (Nanny) sitting by herself and offered to get her lunch for her when I went through the line. So I ended up having lunch with her. She is a remarkable woman. And stinking funny. Oh so funny. I loved every minute of getting to know her better. Her husband Sammy joined us and he is such a sweet man.
Nanny and I
The counselors and therapists at Branches offered mini sessions on Saturday. I signed up and got to meet with Tracey. She is a great, insightful woman. I loved sharing with her. And when she prayed at the end of our time together, it was like moving Heaven and Earth. So powerful.
Tracey and I
After lunch we had another speaker and another break out session. I had to leave that one a little early. But when I came back into the sanctuary, Chonda and Sandy were there. Chonda was speaking after the break out session and then hoping on a plane to MO. She spoke Sunday at the state fair. How funny is that? Guess you just have to know Chonda- I'm sure felt right at home. So we talked for a while and then she spoke. I loved it again. She just has that affect on me. At the end, she sang In the presence of Jehovah. I bawled like a baby and felt a release wash over me. It was my moment in the weekend that I had prayed for and wanted so bad. God has a way of speaking when we least expect it. That was not the moment I thought I would get my answers, but it was. God is faithful. He knew what I needed, and provided. He is such a good God.
Chonda trying to shut Nanny up. It's didn't work.
Like Mother, Like Daughter
I was taking this picture. Not aware of what I getting for it. And that's the only one she gave me.
At least I finally captured her true side.
Trying to read her shirt upside down. It says something about the voices in her head.....
After Chonda was done and I was spent, it was time for the evening break. Danielle, Kaylynn and I went to Cato's and Walmart. And the DQ. Which is where I gave in. I ate icecream and enjoyed it.
We had a couple more speakers. Then a wedding! A couple that had gotten divorced, but met up again at last year's Simply Free had been working together to help rebuild their family. They wanted Mike to marry them in a room, but he insisted that they get re-married with the rest of us. They are such a sweet couple. So glad that God restored them. It's exciting to see God work.
Cyndi and Jay- yes she spells her name like I do!
Stacey had asked me to do a cardboard testimony and I said yes. I didn't at first, but finally I gave in. Kaylynn decided she would do one as well. They only had a black marker and poster board. We felt as though we needed color in ours, so we bought bright poster markers at Wally World.
When it came time, I wanted to back out. But, I didn't. And I'm glad I didn't.
Here is my cardboard "poster board" testimony.
When we allow God to use us, the result are breath-taking. At least to me they are.
The weekend was incredible. Something that you would have to experience for yourself.
More pictures from the weekend
Peaches and I
Kaylynn and I
Mike and Jon-Michal (his grandson)
Kaylynn's normal look