From This Moment...
Last summer was a fun one for me and Abby. We took some wonderful trips and did some really exciting things. From Malibu weddings, to Nashville dining and shopping, to Disney World, to concerts; our schedule was full! One thing that I absolutely had a blast at was a Shania Twain concert. Now, to really appreciate how special this night was, you have to know that when Abby was 3 and 4 years old, she would go around singing Shania’s songs and would put on “concerts” in the living room doing her very best Shania impressions. She would be in the bedroom nearest to the living room and would come around the corner and look at us all with that “Shania look” and say in her cute little 4-year old voice, “Let’s go girls!” (And back then, all her “G’s” were “D’s”, so definitely cuteness overload!) We would watch Shania’s Live in Chicago concert over, and over, and over again…you get the picture.
ANYWAY, the girl has enjoyed Shania Twain and her music for so long (me too), that when Shania went on tour and was coming to Tampa, FL, we HAD to go.
The night of the concert we got there with not much time to spare, pretty much right when the opening act was starting. And if you know Abby at all, you know this was really against her grain to show up so “late”. She has a very rigid process when attending concerts. We get there at a certain time (EARLY), so she is able to shop the merchandise tables to get the items she has already pre-selected because she researches all of this ahead of time, and make it to our seats WAY BEFORE the opening act ever sings the first note. But because of the busy-ness of our day (we had been in Orlando all day for a convention) we were just making in in time to get in for some of the opening act. So we’re kind of running through the corridor, dodging people with pretzels and hot dogs in their hands, so we can make it to the escalator that would take us up to our nose-bleed seats. Right as we are about to get on the escalator, a ticket agent for the arena looks at me and says, “Is it just you two?” I say, “Yes.” He says "I have two tickets for the 'bowl' area, down front." I’m thinking in my head, is this a scam? Should I take them? I even asked him “Why are you giving these seats away?” He told me they were just trying to fill the floor up. So we take the tickets and proceed to our new seats. We get to our row and realize WOW these are GREAT seats! We had a great view of the stage and I was just praising the Lord for the favor he had shown us! Soon after, the opening act ends and the stage hands begin preparing the set for Shania. Finally, the lights go down. The drummer starts a stirring beat on a small stage in the center of the arena. Next thing we know, a spotlight hits our section and Shania Twain herself is entering the arena on the stairs right next to our section! She was only about 10 seats away from us, and we could see that Stetson hat of hers, as people reached out to hug her and shake her hand. Abby and I were screaming with delight! Out of all the rows she could have come down, it was ours. And we were there because of our new tickets, remember? I sat there thinking, Lord, you are just so good to us. Here we are at a “secular” event, but You care so much about us and want us to enjoy our evening together so much, that you orchestrated getting us better seats, and not only better seats, but we got to see Ms. Twain enter that arena just 10 seats away from us!
Later that evening, Shania started singing “From this Moment On.” Total openness here, I sang that song at my wedding 20 years ago. We are no longer together, and for YEARS, any time I would hear that song, it stung. Not because I missed him, or because I was sad I was divorced. No, the words just reminded me that it didn’t work, and they whispered to me that I had failed, and I was not enough. Such a beautiful song, and I would do anything I could to avoid hearing it. So when the first notes began to play, I winced. I mean, I knew she would sing it, it was one of her greatest hits, so I was prepared. But I still felt the “ugh” factor in myself, and was just thinking, please just do a quick version and get it over with. I even said to myself, “Why does this song still impact me so strongly!?” But you know what happened? I felt the love of the Father wash over me in that very moment. Standing there in that arena filled with thousands upon thousands of people, my Father was there. I heard Him speak to me, “From this moment on, let this song represent something different and new. Let me sing it to you.” I teared up. Standing there watching Shania perform one of her most beloved songs, and I was trying not to break down and ugly cry. I listen to the lyrics closely as she sings, and I imagine Jesus looking at me and saying… “I give My hand to you with all My heart….you and I will never be apart…as long as I live, I will love you, I promise you this.” I heard the lyrics loud and clear, and all of the sudden, they were brand new. No more sting. No more feeling of failure and not being enough. Listening to them in the light of my Father’s love for me, it was like a brand new song, and I could hear His love flowing right through it directly to me.
Honestly, I was kind of taken aback that the Lord would minister to me so sweetly and perfectly at a “secular” event. I then thought about the religious sect in the Bible that came against Jesus for healing on the Sabbath Day, and was reminded that He cares about every detail and can reach us anytime, anywhere.
For those that may think you can only be set free and ministered to at church, think again. He is with us in every moment, and is waiting to speak to our hearts and mend the broken pieces. I witnessed His relentless love that night, from start to finish, and had a fresh perspective of His love for me, from that moment on.