Monday, March 01, 2010

"That's Not Her!"

Before I get into the meat of this post, and in case the suspense was killing you, the childhood heart throb I got to see in person, a mere 10-15 feet away from me was Kirk Cameron and his wife Chelsea! It was like watching those Growing Pains episodes all over again, except this time he was making actual eye contact with me (I was in the front row at the Focus on Marriage Conference at Focus on the Family this past weekend) and talking about Godly marriages! It was a surreal experience to say the least, but even more than that, it was so wonderful to see a Hollywood figure who passionately loves God, and his wife of 19 years, who has such a platform to reach so many with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and in this case, the power of God as the focus of your marriage. The picture above is one I took. The lighting wasn't perfect and we couldn't use flash, but you get the idea. The entire conference was so inspiring and challenging and straight from the Lord. It would take me another full post to cover everything God brought to my attention about marriage, and perhaps I will share some of that...later.
We also had some great time over the weekend with my mom and dad and my sister and her family. This next picture was such a sweet moment. Tayden (Amber's oldest) was holding Sawyer while they watched a movie.And the meat? Yes, here you go. For those of you who watched the Focus on Marriage simulcast across the U.S. and Canada, you may know what I'm talking about. But for the rest of you, let me tell you the funny story that God, of course, gave me some insight through. First some background. On Thursday, MckMama, a dear sister in Christ whose story and candid writing and photography God is using mightily through her blog, held a gathering at Focus on the Family for any of her readers to come hang out and get to know each other better. It was a fun, but admittedly nervous time of meeting these women face to face who we've only ever seen on our computer screens. As the weekend progressed, all nervousness went away and we had some amazing times of casual conversation and of deeper conversation and prayer together. I am so thankful for these new connections!
So with the background, now for the funny (turned profound) story. During the simulcast, the speakers were recognizing several audience members, one of which was Jennifer (MckMama). And who do you think the camera zoomed in on when they recognized her? Yours truely! Ya, so embarrassing and hilarious and just plain awkward to be honest. My big mug, broadcasted across churches all over the U.S. and Canada and they weren't even my two seconds of fame to have! Jennifer was so gracious about it, and they did correct themselves later in the simulcast, but God is not letting the experience go void in my heart. He's giving me a lesson to share, I love it when He does that. No accidents right! Back to that moment, I could hear a certain phrase (in my head) ringing out accross the T.V. waves, "That's Not Her!!!" And I'm sure that's what each of you who read MckMama's blog and love her were saying when you saw my embarrassed face. But ever since then, it's been like the picture of a person with an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other, each one trying to whisper in my ear, convincing me to react their way. Here's what the little devil would have me believe: "Did you hear that Sarah, you're NOT her, nor will you ever be. Why would God ever use YOUR story, YOUR writing, in such a famous way? You are nothing, she is something, anyone who sees something great in you is simply mistaken."
But here's what the "angel" (actually God) said: "Sarah, this is the perfect picture of what I want you to be and what I want people to say of you. I want people to see you, to read your words and shout, "that's not her!" I want them to see ME! If there is ever fame to be had, I want it to be MINE not yours. I want you to let me be strength in your weakness, I want it to be so obvious that it's ME, not you, that is working, so that I will receive all the glory. When someone gets done talking to you, reading your words, hugging your neck, I want them to feel like they've just interacted with ME. Be emptied of yourself, Sarah, so that you can be filled with me. I will lift you up in your humility, I will use you as a vessel for my work when you are emptied of yourself so I can fit inside and drive!"
Guess who's voice I'm choosing to listen to?! Well, okay, the voice I want to choose to listen to even when I'm tempted to listen to the other. And about this woman...who I am NOT, let me just tell you that she IS wonderful! Her heart is so transparent and genuine. She's in process, just like the rest of us, and she's the first one to admit that. She is incredibly humbled by the platform she has been given and is earnestly seeking God's plan for it at ever step. She is facing attacks from every angle as her fame has grown, but she is letting even the hate refine and shape her, letting God be victorious even through what Satan would use to harm her. When I look at this picture, I see two sisters in Christ, two imperfect and yet beloved women of God, two souls wanting to be more emptied of self and filled with Jesus and His work and will for our lives. I love you Jennifer and will continue to pray for you on this road God has for you. Remember what we talked about, "if God is for you, who can be against you?" Press on sister! And now I can call you friend!


Kelsey said...

I love your thoughts about "that's not her"...all I can say is amen! May we all strive to be a representation of Jesus Christ on this earth. Beautiful words from a beautiful heart :)

Christine said...

Beautiful post Sarah! Looks like an awesome weekend.

Sheri said...

Sarah, what a fabulous weekend my dear sister!!!! Hugs!!

Beverly said...

Lovely post Sarah! Thanks for sharing this with us.

La Familia Garcia said...

Oh that'd be so cool to be in the front row! HAHA...looks like a great time!