Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Glorious Impossibles

If you are feeling like you have an impossible situation this morning....this post is for you.

He is the One who specializes in the most impossible situations.

The worse our situations look the bigger the opportunity God has to show up and do what He does best.

And that is to create glorious impossibles.

This was the phrase I used over and over again in my talk at The Pearl Event.

It is the way I feel about my own life. My own testimony. My own relationship with the Lord.

It is the way that I feel about the love and grace that gave me my own immediate family.

It is the way that I feel about how a pearl is even formed in the first place.

How a pearl is actually the only gem formed, not mined and the only gem that comes forth through a
process and through a living creature.

It is also how I feel about The Pearl Event itself.

Nothing was more impossible in my own life. There really wasn't any way. There just wasn't.

Sometimes when God calls us to step out in faith and do what He has asked of us, it will not make
any sense. I repeat. It most likely will not make any sense.

He seems to specialize in showing up in the most impossible situations.

He responds to faith.....

When He spoke to my heart about the event and I finally agreed. Everything didn't just suddenly become easy and work out in my favor. I had to push through tremendous amounts of adversity. Most of which I've never shared here.

A lot of which seemed impossible.

The fact that He would trust me with anything at all seemed impossible enough all by itself.

But God.

This girl who has lived her entire life on the back side of the desert.

This girl who has zero connections.

Who doesn't have a famous husband or famous parents- or any parents for that matter, who can just use their realm of influence, or write a check, or call in a favor to make my little God dream come true.

There were not any pastors who supported this in my community.

Not this time. Not the last time.

They took forever and a day to respond or just didn't respond at all.  Or laughed in my face -literally.

Blew me off.  Or just made some hurtful comments.

There was not a planning team.

There was not a preparation team.

I had to push through some serious mountains. Serious obstacles.

I had to work with what I had.

And what God had given me was a husband with awesome faith and five faith- filled girls who all said yes to Him.  Thank God for them.

Glory to His name.

I am not sure how I can ever properly thank Jane, Brittany, Sarah, Edie and Paige. How can I properly thank and show the depths of my gratitude to any of them including Brittany's husband for videotaping the event and helping with sound. And for Brittany's precious in laws- Jeff and Jenny Nelson who so graciously served as our worship team and also helped with sound. I am grateful for their prayers, their partnership, their time and attention to the event and all that God was doing.  Their willingness to love and serve and sow into the hearts of these women who were coming by faith. I am grateful for each blog post and each time they shared about what God was doing with this little event that could. I am grateful for their willingness to pray and fast and partner with me for His purpose. They are true pearl girls....rare, unique, shaped, defined, over comers in every sense of the word and awesome women of faith.

There was not truckloads of money made readily available for this. Or any money for that matter.

Zero financial backing.

Zero sponsors.

Grateful me.

It seemed impossible to secure a location and decide on a ballroom, a hotel and everything else and have no clue if even one would attend!  I can remember lots of tears. Lots of sleepless nights. And still trying to take care of a family of eight....

It was only by His grace, lots of faith and many prayers.

I just kept asking the Father.... over and over and over again.

Is this the place? Is this the number? How many seats? What do you want me to do Lord?

I remember signing lots of contracts.

And each time I would hold that contract up to the Father.

"This is seemingly impossible Lord.....but I love you and I trust you and this is Your event."

You may remember that all of this was going on and my husband had been released from his job.

So now, there was absolutely no way I could make this work on my own.

If it didn't work.

If it failed....

We were all in. And there was no income. 

Glorious Impossibles.

I can remember my husband's faith. His mountain moving faith. His faith in God and His faith in me.

I am eternally grateful to this precious man. He is a guys guy. He is football and golf. Steak and potatoes.

I'm sure he never dreamed he would be knee deep in pearls and women's events. God love him.

But he loves it all so much because I love it all so much.

He has tremendous faith and wanted this to happen as much as I did.

I can remember with each day, there were new things that needed to be done.

And it took huge amounts of faith to believe, try to organize it all and just keep pushing through.

At the same time I had to fight discouragement and despair like I have never fought it before.

Support was at a bare minimum.

I can remember calling my sister and bursting into tears.

Telling her I couldn't take it anymore.

Telling her this wasn't fair.  Hello County and State. 

Telling her maybe God didn't want me to do this.

That maybe I just didn't  hear Him correctly.

It shouldn't be THIS hard. But giving birth is hard, isn't it? 

And on top of that it was a huge risk.

And we weren't in a position for any risks. But giving birth is risky, isn't it?

I needed definite. I needed a sure thing. I needed God to part the red sea and work it all out for me.

But if that were the case, we wouldn't need faith.

And we need faith to do this beautiful life.

She said something along the lines of...

Sister! You MUST do this. You HAVE to do this. God wants you to do this. The women need this.

At the time I was so upset  I can't remember everything. But I know in that moment. In my car. In the parking lot of Target. God used her to speak to me. To give me hope. To help me to push through. To bring forth confirmation.  And I will be forever grateful for her love, faith and encouragement.

I pressed in and pressed on.....one day at a time.

A couple of weeks before the event a precious friend we call "Miss Donna" called and made a generous offer to pay for the flowers for the event. I was blown away by her heart to want to bless and sow into what God was doing. It meant the world to me. I told her she was the official Fairy Godmother of The Pearl Event. She is a giver, a lover of life and people and looks for opportunities to be a blessing....grateful me.

Then there was you.

Beautiful, glorious you.

You emailed. You commented on posts.  You prayed. You bought tickets. You booked hotel rooms. You purchased flights and came from 16 different states. You drove a very long way. You left your babies to spend time alone with Him.  You brought cards and gifts and jewelry and cookies. You sang and praised and worshipped Him. You laughed. You cried. You took pictures. You hugged and squealed along with us over this new baby that God had given birth to. You came all dressed up in your pearls and with hearts full of expectancy....

You blew me away with your generosity.

Your kindness.

Your act of worship.

You blessed and loved and sowed and poured.

You traveled by planes and cars with family, friends, church ladies and even solo.

You came from all over TN, AL, KY, GA, NC, SC, AR, VA, WV, MD, NJ, OH, IO, MO, IL and FL.

I can't believe I was worried about whether or not you all would take a road trip.  :)

Just look at you!! Gracious alive. You are amazing!

One of my deepest desires was that through this event God would draw ALL hearts unto Himself.

It is about the love of God. It is about relationship with the Father. It is about overcoming in life and giving God every ounce of glory. It is not about religion or a specific denomination....

It is not about the way in which we worship Him- but the One in whom we all worship.

These were the hearts represented that day based on registrations alone....

Baptist, Methodist, Church of God, Catholic, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Seventh Day Adventist, Nazarene, Coptic Orthodox, Born Again, Presbyterian, Non Denominational, Agnostic and 14 left blank.

Glory to His name......

He did it.

He gets every ounce of credit and glory and honor that is within me.

Thank you again to every single one of you.

To answer the question.....

Yes. We will be doing it again.

Yes. Next Spring. Because it's all about a new thing. 

Yes. In Nashville. Because you girls just love Nashville.

Yes. In that glorious ballroom if we can arrange it.

Yes. Longer. Better. Lovelier. Sweeter. More Beautiful. More Pearls. More worship. More testimonies.

A weekend even, if He has His way.

Yes. Husbands will hopefully share next time.

Not because they are perfect. But because they can use their struggles. Their trials. Their faith that has been tested. Their hearts. In hopes of pointing others to the One who really does love perfectly.

They may share about covering the pearl during her process of becoming ...

During her process of discovering who it is God has called her to be.

How important that is. How much the pearl needs that. Longs for that. Desires that.

About how beautiful and special it is to Father a blended family- or a family at all.

How hard it can be. But how glorious all at the same time.

How to push through when your married to the wounded pearl.

But how remarkable it can turn out to be.

I will host a Mr. Linky party and you all can link up each post you've written about the event.  More words and photographs soon sweet friends....I hope you enjoy these pictures for now.

 Getting ready for the women! Dan was trying to help. Lord have mercy. See how sweet he is?

Edie baked homemade chocolate chip cookies and then packaged them all up really cute and included the recipe for all of the women! Thank you Edie for blessing the women! You are amazing!

Sarah ordered these beautiful and delicious pearl topped cake dots for all of the attendees! Thank you so much Sarah for your extraordinary kindness! You can find CoCo cake dots here and she also ships!


                                                               My hubby with Dan.
                                    Dan, is an incredible supporter to Paige and all four girls!
               I am so thankful that he agreed to this! Thank you Dan for sharing your family with us!

Jeff and Jenny Nelson are Brittany's precious in laws! They are super talented producers and songwriters in Nashville. They blessed us and said yes to Him to be part of the worship team. Their spirits overflow with His love and goodness and it was a gift to have such tremendous talent there that day. You can find their work here: www.jeffnelsonproductions.com Thank you so much Jeff and Jenny!

                                                             The whole gang the morning of...

                                                   Brittany, Paige, Edie, Sibi, Sarah and Jane.

 Here is my beautiful sister!  There were lots of firsts with this event. My sister being there was one of them. She means everything to me. We share a testimony as sisters. We share a love of family and faith. She is the only person who knows my testimony first hand- because she lived through a lot of it with me. God has done glorious impossibles in our lives I am so thankful that through it all - He has kept the two of us together. To God be the glory.

She is someone very special to me.  She has no idea the GIFT that she has been to so many people. I have never met such a pure heart in my life. She is real, genuine and sincere in the most refreshing way. Everyone needs a Cha Cha. Thank you sweet friend for helping me in such huge ways the night before the event. I cannot begin to tell you what it meant to me. Thank you for praying. Thank you for standing in the gap. Thank you for hanging pearls all night and untangling all the rebel pearls. I know that I know that I know that God has called you to that ministry..
 So many rebel pearls waiting for your love.....

Meet my precious friend Jenny Beth! 

Jenny Beth is a gifted interior designer and Mama to two precious ones. She JUST had a sweet baby boy. I repeat - just. Doesn't she look great? And not the least bit sleep deprived! 
I'm pretty sure she is also a card carrying member of the smocked dress mafia just like me. 
We love all the same things! Babies, family, all things home related and Him.
Love you sweet friend!

                                      My beautiful friends and sisters Jane and Suzy!

                              This is sweet Amanda and her Mama whom I believe goes by Nonni!
                                               You can read all about her precious family here.
                            Thank you girls for joining us! It was so wonderful to meet you two!

 Sheri came all the way from Florida! She also brought gift bags full of goodies and baked goods for all the Pearl Girls. Lord have mercy. She carried all of those bags onto the plane! Thank you Miss Sheri for spending the weekend with us and blessing us. You can read Sheri's blog here

Beautiful Miss Donna
(The official Fairy God Mother Of The Pearl Event)
A huge thank you to Donna and also to her daughter Andrea who is my Macey's bestie and also like a daughter to me. I love that child like she is my own. She was beside herself to help and worked the other registration window for me and welcomed all of the ladies! I didn't get a picture of her the day of, but here are two of my favorite ones of her this past week while she was on spring break. Love you two!!

Two of my favorite pearl girls......Miss Donna and Andrea.

My new and very special friends,  Debbie and Susan from Push Ministries in Illinois. Amazing, incredible women who demonstrate the love of God to single mothers in their area. They are such an inspiration and there is a blog post coming soon about what God is doing through them!

Thank you to my Macey girl. For loving me through my healing. For loving me in spite of being such a young mom who had to learn life the hard way and who failed miserably many times. Thank you for your encouragement and your support. Thank you for putting every single pearl on all of the programs and for registering all of the ladies for me- even though you are not a morning person. Thank you for the truckloads of grace you have shown me. For the laughter. For the unconditional love. For the hope you bring me. For being such an incredible daughter. For loving me in spite of it all baby girl. I am honored to call you my own. My beautiful first born gift.

Thank you to my precious husband, who spent many sleepless nights over this event, because I spent many sleepless nights over this event. Who encouraged. Supported. Prayed. Fasted and fought the good fight of faith with me to see this day come to pass. Who has stuck with me through my years of inner healing and overcoming mountains of adversity. When I would start to waiver, give up, give in and shrink back. There you were....a strong tower of mighty mountain moving faith. Unshakable. Steady. Full of relentless pursuit to help me give birth to this God dream inside the very fibers of my being. Thank you for it all sweet man.

No words big enough.


Love Being A Nonny said...

Oh Sibi! Precious words. Beautiful pictures. God's gift indeed!

jessica dixon said...

how fun to be able to see all of your lovely guests! i am so happy for your success! i've loved reading of your planning and excitement and LOVE seeing your blessed results!! congratulations!!! xo

Jennifer said...

beautifully written sibi! i am just giddy thinking about the next pearl event. i'm still basking in everything that took place at the pearl event!

Deborah said...

I knew that putting together pf TPE-II would be difficult but I really had no idea. Thank you for every prayer, fast, sleepless night, worry, and cry you put into this for us. I will tell you that you've inspired me and changed me more than you can know. I'm so sorry I missed getting my picture made with you but it gives me a reason to come back next year. I'm so excited (already) that you'll be planning III and it may even be for the whole weekend.

I would love to offer my help with fundraising and sponsor possibilities. I use to be pretty good at that when my kids were young and I was on PTA boards.

Thank you for all you are and all you do.

Amanda Pilkinton said...

I loved it and I will be there in the Spring!!! Great post.

Tiffany said...

ok that does it - i am coming to the next one; would just be me though! and i am helping FOR SURE! helping with things like this is how i love to serve!

Sibi - even though we don't know each other and we have only exchanged comments and i think one email - you have blessed me and encouraged MORE than you know! I hope we can get to know each other a bit more as you have a free moment - God is so good and His Grace is wonderful! Its an honor to be a facilitator in something bigger in something God calls us to do.

I am working through Glorious Impossibilities right now and i feel him carrying me; and if I believe and trust everything I know; everything will be ok - not without faith not without sleepless nights of unrelenting prayer and not without his grace!

Let's try and connect through email soon; sorry but I don't have a blog right now - something I hope to change soon!

Lots of love to you!

nonnie said...

Oh my, Sibi,
I am crying all over again! God truly meant for this event to take place. Many blessings to you and your family for making it happen, and following our Savior all the way through it.
You are His pearl, our pearl! We love you!

at nonniesblessings.blogspot.com

Johnson Party of seven! said...

Sibi! I miss you!!!! I feel like I left all my besties when I went home to Knoxville on Sunday! Please know how much I love and appreciate your faithfulness! I had the time of my life! Looking forward to next year my sweet! Love love love you!!!! Xoxo

Cha Cha said...

Okay, I am NOT going to be my sappy self with this comment. I only have one thing to say Yee-Haw sign me up. I love you and I am ready to fight the battle with you.

Cha Cha

Design with Grace said...

i love you all over again miss sibi!! wow, it is an honor to stand beside you my friend...

paige said...

my friend, you have a way. a way of loving people.
a way of dreaming big.
a way of connecting our hearts to the father.
a way of overcoming
a way of loving big & loving well.
i'm so glad your way crossed mine.
humbled & honored to have been a part.
i love you skeeter
xo, minny

3 Peanuts said...

SIbi.. this post is so beautiful. What a celebration of God's love and YOUR faithfulness. I am already working on how I can be there next year. Love you and love what you are doing. You are inspritational.

DeeDee said...

I desperately needed to read this today. I have been really struggling with God calling me to go on a mission trip with a team from my church. I have never EVER had the desire to leave the country and go on the mission field. I have always been so afraid. But, I know God wants me to do this. I found out the expense of the trip...I have no clue how I will pay for it...but, GOD does!!! He really does!! Thank you so much for the encouragement you have offered in this post. I know my God is faithful and I know he will provide the money for me to go :) Sometimes, we just need a reminder of how of faithful Father works.

I would love to attend your next event!

Have a JOYful day, Sibi!

Nonni said...

Thank you for the Pearl Event. What a blessed day!
Nonni (Amanda's mom)

Home: Inside and Out said...

With each post that I read comes a new smile. I am so encouraged by the events that took place that weekend. Thanks so much for your heart. I know God will continue to honor your efforts and your faithfulness. Look for an email from me soon. ;) Ashley

Michele said...

Yes, I definitely needed to read this post today Sibi! "Glorious impossibles" - what a beautiful saying. Thank you for an amazing, inspirational day in Nashville. I am honestly already excited for next year! Please let me know when you start planning - I LOVE to plan and organize so I would be honored to help!! xoxo

DianeTaylor said...

Hi Sibi - I so wish I could have been there with all you Pearls. Sadly I had another task going on that day: burying my only child, my miracle boy, my 24 year old son. Yes, you read that right. On March 1st, my world came crashing down around me when I got the dreaded call that my son's apartment had caught fire and he did not survive. On March 10th, we had the memorial service. I am so broken and lost right now - so when I read the first line of this post, I thought....oh wow, I do feel hopelessness. I do feel more physical pain that I ever have in my life. I am asking for your prayers as I walk this road God has laid out for me. The investigation of the cause of the fire is ongoing so that makes this even worse. I am so glad your Pearl event went well!

Yours in prayer,

Diane Taylor

***My son's name is Jonathan Paul Daily, age 24 - a young man with a promising future cut short ***

Sibi said...

Thank you girls for all of your sweet comments...I will be responding to your words and posts this week. I'm trying to play catch up!
I cannot tell you how much it means to me....

Beautiful Diane Taylor....

I hope you received my email. I added my phone number and would be honored to pray for you and offer a long, loving listen. I am so very sorry for the loss of your amazing son Jonathan. Sweet Jesus. There are no words to match the depth of your sorrow beautiful friend.....

Praying for you still.....