I hadn’t been to church in 5 years, since my sister died. I had a million excuses on why I “couldn’t make it” to church, but the reality is that I didn’t want to. I think I was probably mad at God for losing my sister which is silly, I know… but it was my reality at the time. So when I walked into First Baptist with my friend, Liz, and my heart sighed, it was a very real sign that I was finally ready to rekindle my relationship with God.
I tried a couple of other churches before my ex-husband suggested I try Bayou City Fellowship. He had suggested it prior, but I was nowhere near ready to take his recommendation when he made it (he didn’t know me… lol). However, this time he suggested we try it so that the kids could have some continuity no matter which parent had them. Looking back, this was only the first step in God’s plan to bring me close. I soon fell in love with everything about Bayou City… from the music to Pastor Curtis (and the others), to all of the other members that say “Hi” and pray with you.
They started talking about “Overflow” in May and I had no interest. You see, I am not a joiner. I get others to join. I.AM.NOT.A.JOINER GOSH DARNIT! Until... mom introduced me to Natalie one Sunday. Natalie is this vivacious, bubbly, welcoming soul that doesn't give you the opportunity to say no to her. She oozes Jesus out of every pore, yet in a way that you don’t quite realize it or feel overwhelmed. She started telling me about how when you walk into this conference you'll feel an immediate peace. The white roses, the candles, the music, the decor all set the tone for the weekend. However, the meat of the conference was in the speakers and the attendees. She quite literally, didn't give me a choice of whether or not I wanted to go. She may or maynot have had me at white roses and candlelight. I left, looked it up online, and signed up and signed my kids up for childcare. My mom even signed up (even though she isn't a woman parenting alone). I... joined.
When June arrived, we walked in and everything Natalie had said was true. It's hard to fully put into words the feeling you get when you walk into Northwest Forest Conference center and experience God's presence in every facet. It was welcoming, warm, peaceful and...more importantly, it was God charged. I can go into great detail about the actual weekend talking about the great food, the welcoming people, the toe tapping, arm raising worship music, the tears streaming down your face testimonials and the inspirational messages, but I don’t believe I have enough space here to do it justice. There were countless times when my heart jumped, and I wanted to pound my feet on the ground like an excited three year old at Disney World.
In a very small nutshell…that weekend I learned how to raise courageous children, how to be victorious in my own life, and how to go on a date with Jesus. I learned that you can be funny and still be a follower of Christ. I learned that even though my single mama journey is far from difficult, it has its moments and I’m not alone. I learned that a single prayer can move mountains and that God creates miracles everywhere. I made the resolution to re-center my focus on my children and being the best mom for myself and for me. I felt God in every inch of that place, and I saw him reflected on every face, and I know that he was shining out of my own as well. I walked in a virtual stranger and walked out a friend to many.
There is no possible way I could adequately convey what Overflow meant to me except to say that it was...life changing. I became...a joiner.
Join us June 16th and 17th! Register today at www.overflowbcf.com.