First off, I can NOT believe that it has been a MONTH since Passion started. Crazy!
Secondly, I know that it has been awhile since I’ve posted. The semester started up, and I had to get into the swing of things again before I found time to blog.
Day 2 of Passion, our first full day of Passion, was nothing short of intense. In order to make this more like a blog and less like a novel, I will just include highlights of the day, in a partially chronological order:
Community groups, for those outside of Passion, is a smaller group than the main session. There were many community groups. Within each community group were groups of ten or less, called family groups. The time in community group was spent getting to know each other, and also having group discussions about Scripture. Every community group went through parts of the book of Colossians. Even though I only ended up going to my community group twice (because of exhaustion), it was a good time, and good discussion. I was in the orange community group, simply because when I was handing out the information packets to my group, I saw and orange one and snagged it. Orange is one of my favorite colors, so it just fit. My family group (who I didn’t get contact information for, sadly) were all from Southern states, and were genuinely excited to have a Northerner in their group. I almost started talking with a Southern accent around them, and if I had gone more often, I probably would have. (Nothing against accents–I actually LOVE accents!).
Main Session 1
I knew who would be speaking at the Main Session right away, only because they introduced the speaker as “she,” and since Beth Moore was the only female speaker, it wasn’t hard to put two and two together.
Beth’s talk was about how God equips us (by preparing us, adjusting us, repairing us, and filling us). Hearing that talk helped my heart understand why certain situations in my life have occurred.
When I started freaking out
At the end of the session, Passion’s event director came on stage to give us a couple of announcements and directions about leaving for lunch. I was only half listening until she mentioned the book Awakening, by Louie and Jeremy Cowart. She was explaining what it was, and that it was in the store, AND THAT JEREMY COWART WAS THERE THAT DAY AND WE COULD MEET HIM.
I was sitting in my chair, and started FREAKING OUT. I frantically asked people in SCF for a pen because I HAD to write it down on my hand. OMG. I could barely even put a full sentence together, except that I was SO excited to meet Jeremy Cowart. I couldn’t stop smiling, as we walked to lunch or pretty much all day. A dream of mine was about to come true–I was going to meet Jeremy Cowart, one of my FAVORITE photographers and whose work I really admire.
I attended the breakout session called Worship + Justice: Awakening With Hope For the World. There were some big names leading this session, but honestly, I would have gone to this one, even if Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Joel Houston, or Louie Giglio weren’t there. In addition to those speakers, Marilyn Skinner, co-founder of Watoto was there. Jenna and I managed to get seats in the front row, but not on the floor–the closest seats on the first raised level (technically, we were even closer than those on the floor because they had to be behind a line of tape). This session was about joining justice with worship, and how seeking justice is the kind of worship that God loves. It was powerful–I laughed, I cried (as I held onto Jenna). I can’t fully explain everything from that session, at least not yet. I want to, but it isn’t the time to. However, after the session, I was able to go over to the Watoto table, sign the card for more information, and talk to my friend Sydney, who works with Watoto.
As I waited for Sydney to finish talking to a couple of people at the table, I got a call from Jenna. She was standing in line with people from SCF for tickets for the Hillsong United late nite concert that night. I told her it was OK if I didn’t get one (we had to be there to get one) because I HAD to meet Jeremy Cowart, and besides, I saw Hillsong United over the summer and was front row, so I wasn’t really overly concerned about seeing them again. Yes, I wanted to see them again, but if it meant not meeting Jeremy, then I would pass on the Hillsong ticket.
Meeting Jeremy Cowart
As soon Sydney and I were done talking, I rushed over to the GO center so I could meet Jeremy. I got there, asked a volunteer where to go, and then got in line. The line wasn’t too long when I got there, which was great. From what I could see, Jeremy wasn’t just signing a book, shaking a hand, and then moving onto the next person. He was actually holding conversations. The guys in front of me in line and I started to chat, and as we got closer and closer, I got more and more excited. Visibly excited. When it was almost my turn, one of the guys jokingly asked if I was excited, and I replied, with a huge smile on my face, “DEFINITELY!” He said that he could tell since I hadn’t stopped smiling, I had started to fidget a little, etc. When it was his turn, he rubbed my arm with his arm, a huge smile on his face, and said it was almost my turn.
For the record, I know that this sounds like idolatry, but ever since I’ve seen Jeremy’s work, I’ve loved it and been inspired by it. As soon as I saw his work, I wanted to meet him, especially after seeing someone from the Passion World Tour that I’m friends with on Facebook meet him. It was great when Jeremy and I became friends on Facebook; even better when I messaged him and he actually responded; meeting him was even better and honestly, a dream come true.
Before I knew it, it was my turn to meet Jeremy Cowart. My conversation wasn’t that impressive, because I was just so in shock and excited that my dream was coming true. I explained to him how excited I was when I heard that he was there. I didn’t have his book for him to sign, since I had pre-ordered it and sent it to school as a “welcome back” present to myself. I had him sign my journal instead. Even crazier than actually meeting him was the fact that he remembered me from that Facebook message. Once he said that, any conversation that I tried to have just didn’t work. How is it that one of my favorite photographers remembers me from a Facebook message? He’s a professional photographer and deals with a lot of people, yet he remembers me. I can’t explain that at all, except that God really knows how to amaze me and blow my mind.
One of the biggest smiles of my life was plastered on my face the rest of the day and the rest of the time at Passion, and heck, even now. =]