When God Works Thru Our Mess: My Awaken Reflections

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Have you ever felt like everything you put your hands to kept falling apart?

Or like you’re giving your best and it’s still not enough?

This year I was asked to join a creative team for a local women’s gathering called Awaken and this week was our last Awaken for 2015.IMG_7247

It was a tough one for me.

It was tough because I didn’t go out with a bang—I went out with a plop. In fact, as I did my producer job at the front of house booth (where audio, lights, etc. are run), I even cried a couple times.

I felt like I’d failed in the areas I was responsible for and about halfway through the night I started thinking, “I wish we could start over.”

When the night was done, the worship team got up to sing the closing song, which was one of my jams from Hillsong Young & Free called, “Alive.” As the song played, all I wanted to do was cry again!

My personal pep talk sounded something like, “What the heck Kandis? It’s one of your favorites! Jump around! The night is over!! Why do you want to cry? Get it together!”

What’s most interesting about my experience is that it was completely opposite of the rest of our team’s. By the end of the night, they were energized, excited, and amazed by what had just happened.

Trying not to ruin their or anybody else’s joy, I distanced myself until I’d mustered up enough strength to hold back the tears and plaster a fake, but believable smile on my face.

I was disappointed in myself.

I wanted a do over.

I could’ve done things better.

I really wanted this to be “right.”

I wish I had given more.

The Turnaround

Since that day I’ve thought of many things I could’ve done better on my end. I’ve replayed my mistakes and shortcomings over and over and today—three whole days later—I’ve finally come to realize two things:

1) The things I was beating myself up about, most people didn’t even notice.

And

2) 2 Corinthians 12:9 is real! “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”

Truth be told, this past Awaken was hands down one of the most powerful ones I’ve ever witnessed.

It was miracle after miracle compounded with answered prayer after answered prayer.

As a creative team we all knew God wanted to do something different and special this time…and He did.

Moment #1: Unsolicited Generosity

Right in the midst of one of my hiccups of the night, the most spontaneous and special moment happened during the Wide Awake Award. During this time, we honor a woman who has been serving faithfully, helping take care of the needs of others.

While Priscilla (she’s the visionary behind Awaken) was honoring the Wide Awake Award recipient, Alex Jo—a Korean woman with slightly-broken English who consistently dedicates her time and resources to take care of the homeless—a woman in the audience got up and put an offering on the stage…and then another…and another…and another…and…for at least 4 minutes (possibly longer), women came from every part of the sanctuary giving donations!

We were blown away by the generosity of our Awaken sisters. The way God moved upon their hearts to the point of action was such a beautiful sight.

Moment #2: Forever Changed

IMG_7194Another powerful moment was towards the very end of the night. As the message was coming to a close, a salvation appeal was made and once again, we were in awe and sheer joy as women flooded the altar to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior for the first time.

The miracle of salvation is one of the most amazing miracles to me.

A person who was once blind to the truth of the gospel, is aware and able to comprehend their need for a Savior. This person, for the first time, is able to see clearly like they have never seen before and they are compelled by the Holy Spirit to make a life-changing decision to follow Jesus. For the first time ever, they are choosing to go with the Person who in that moment, changes their eternity.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Salvation is an awakening that changes an eternity.

And not only are these new believers choosing an eternal salvation, but they are choosing to allow God to work in their hearts, minds, and lives, right here on earth. They no longer have to figure out this messed up place on their own! They no longer have to live from the facts of their circumstances, but they can choose to live from the truths of God and His word!

I could go on and on because salvation is such an exciting miracle!!

But that night we got to witness many women make this decision for the first time and I’m so blown away as I reflect on that.

I didn’t even mention the prayer experience and prayer requests that are being prayed over for the next several IMG_7178days. I already know there will be plenty of miracles springing forth from those two things as well!

And Now I See…

As these moments were happening I was struggling to let go of my junk and couldn’t fully rejoice because I was so caught up in the wrong thing.

In retrospect, viewing the night in light of these special God-moments quickly causes all my hiccups and mistakes to fade into a pointless existence.

Everything we do as a creative team, as church members and leaders, and as volunteers and servants is for the building up of the saints, salvation of the lost, and glory of our infallible God.

In Him there is no error. We make mistakes and mess up, but those are the moments where He is able to flex and show His muscles.

“His strength is made perfect in our weakness.”

Oh how thankful I am of that.

To God be all the glory for the new friendships and connections that were formed at Awaken on Tuesday night.

To God be the all glory for the blessings (and bonus blessings) that Alex Jo received.

To God be all the glory for the burdens left at the altar by thousands of His daughters.

To God be all the glory for the women who chose salvation, Christ’s headship, and eternal security.

To God be all the glory

for the answered prayers yet seen,

for the miracles yet heard,

and for the promises yet revealed.

If ALLLL of this goodness can surface in spite of my failures and mistakes, then may I never seek or work towards the goal of perfection. May my goal be to do my best with what’s in my hands and work diligently as unto the Lord. From there, it’s all up to Him to make it into something amazingly beautiful, just as He did on Tuesday night.

I’m in awe.

Reflect:

Have you ever beat yourself up because of your mistakes?

How have you learned to focus on pleasing God and not your own standards or the standards of others?

When have you seen God’s strength made perfect in your weaknesses?

Want More?

For more about the October Awaken and to see more pics, head over to http://www.goingbeyond.com/blog/awaken-a-sisterhood-indeed/

For general info about Awaken, hit up www.awakendfw.org

And to purchase some of the sweet Awaken items, just go here: http://www.goingbeyond.com/store/

 

2 Comments
  • Tamara
    October 12, 2015

    I was there ( I saw you and should have said, hi). That night was amazing. I am forever changed. I don’t know what was supposed to happen behind the scenes, but what was presented was so powerful.

    Thanks for sharing. I served at church on Sunday and made so many noticeable mistakes. I was so frustrated and bummed. I prayed my way through it and am only a little intimidated to go back 😊.

  • Debra Huff
    October 11, 2015

    I’m always encouraged by you & what you share. God is amazing & He uses you in an awesome way. Keep writing.
    Be encouraged!

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