A Night of Hope
April 15th, 2016 will be a night I won't forget. There are times in one's life when they know that certain things or events will leave a lasting impact for years to come. This night was one of them for me. I can't remember being so ready for an event like this in a long time. My heart was so ready for whatever God wanted.
I received the invitation from my Pastor, Rodney Gage. He sent me the invitation via text a week and a half prior and I knew I could not turn this opportunity down for nothing. Ironically a few days before receiving the invitation from my Pastor, I received another invitation from my previous church to be a part of their 20 year anniversary celebration. I have to be honest that it was a bit of a challenging decision for me. Both events were important to me. I asked God that week to help me decide what to do. So when I received the notification from my Pastor via text as I mentioned previously, that to me was a sign that God wanted me to be a part of The Night of Hope. Not everyday do you get here Pastor Joel Osteen live in your city and also be 5 rows away from the altar too! Check out the picture below to show you just how close I was.
Like I said previously, this night will be a night that will be imprinted in my heart for many years to come. I definitely needed this, but my main prayer was for my wife, mother-in law and father-in-law to receive something special and to ultimately leave out of their changed. One of the most impacting moments that I will take from this conference was hearing Pastor Joel Osteen's mother, Dodie Osteen speak about her battle with liver cancer. I have heard many stories about cancer survivors throughout the years, but this time around it really hit home.
My mother in law was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer on October 2015 and it rocked our family (I will be sharing more of this on a separate article titled, Beauty in Strength). As Dodie Osteen continued on, she spoke about how the doctors gave her weeks to live. I could only imagine how that must have been for her and her family. I know for us it really brought up a lot of questions and it really felt surreal. As she spoke I could see tears roll off my mother in law's eyes, they were not tears of sorrow, they were tears of joy! All I could see was a healed woman. All I could see is a strong and beautiful woman. Those tears did not signify pain and defeat, they signified joy and victory. I'll never forget the look on her face. To the glory of God, we received news that my mother in law was cancer free in February 2016.
As the night went on we were led in worship by Jonathan and Alexandria Osteen, which are Pastor Joel Osteen's son and daughter. At first glance I knew they had to be Pastor Joel's kids because of there facial features, but I did not know how active in ministry and in worship both of his children were. I remember whispering to my wife during the worship set, "that is Micah and Aria one day" and she smiled. As the event wrapped up Pastor Joel delivered an amazing and positive message of hope. Every person in that place (which I found out was over 12,000) left encouraged and if you didn't you were from another planet!
I have been blessed this year to attend events that I've always wanted to attend but never did or could. So far I have attended a Hillsong United Concert, The Night of Hope and will be attending Jesus Culture and Outcry concerts later on this year.
To pursue God is to be hungry for God, so in saying that, I am making it a priority this year to plug myself into as many events and gatherings that will take me to the next level. I hope you do the same.
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