Glad you stopped by!
I don’t think I’ve metioned this before so I’ll do it now: I live in Venezuela and I’ve been christian (at least a kind of serious one) since I’m 14 – I’m 23 now (if you want to know).
I struggled a lot with faith in the beggining. For about 5 years after my decision for Christ I doubted a lot about God, Jesus, the Bible and on and on. Only the Lord helped me, understood me and loved me throughtout those very difficult years.
One person He used in my life during those times was Joyce Meyer, the very well-known preacher (at least in America and my country). Her practical teaching and strong faith were an example for me. God worked through her to strengthen me and I’m grateful beyond words for all the things she has taught me.
You might imagine that see her in person was a huge dream of mine but, as every dream, seemed way too impossible.
I had neither visa nor enough money for traveling, so it was just that, a dream. I did not even consider it might happen some day.
In addition to that, once Joyce interviewed Pastor Andy Stanley in her program and I just loved him. Both Joyce and Andy were and are such an inspiration for me. I cannot say it enough.
As you probably know, Joyce has this Women’s Conference once a year in St. Louis, Missouri. It’s the only time she invites preachers to join her in the teaching of the word.
Right after Love Live Women’s Conference 2012, I saw on her webpage who were her guets for next year (just for fun). The preachers were: Priscilla Shirer (no idea who she was back then, terribly mistake I’ve corrected) and… yes, Pastor Andy Stanley.
I had to go.
I just knew this conference was somehow for me. A divine agenda to bless me (how selfish, I know, but couldn’t help it).
I called my mom and told her the news. I wanted to go the conference. It was not an unspoken dream anymore, I was willing to work for it.
My mom (God bless her) took me seriously and the journey began. God opened doors for us, He did miracle after miracle for my mom and I to get the visas and the money for this crazy trip (c’mon, we venezuelans go to Miami or New York. Who in this country even know there is a Missouri in the States? We were insane).
I’m writing it and I’m sure I was there, I have pictures of it to prove it! And I still cannot believe we did it. Only God could. I promise you. Only God Almighty could do that for us.
My mom and I registered at the hotel and went to the first session of the conference.
Worship leader Natalie Grant (who I didn’t know but I’ve learned better now) sang and then… there she was, Joyce Meyer. I was right there in one of her conference. I had seen her so many, many times from my computer and now, I was part of the crowd.
There was worship. She preached. First session over.
So happened with the rest. Great worship, awesome preaching. Over.
It was a great blessing but I hadn’t had a close glimpse of Joyce because I was sitting in the spanish section with my mom, far, far away from stage.
So it was the last session when my mom encouraged me to get closer. I did.
I went to the stage and waited there during worship so I could see her closer when she came out.
I sang along Matt Redman and Christy Nockels.
I couldn’t believe it was really happening. So there I was expecting (not sure what), just expecting.
The moment came.
Music faded. People clapped. Lights were on.
She was coming from backstage, walk out and…
Nothing happened at all.
I felt nothing. Nothing changed. I did not even want to cry. I just stood there.
Seriously, what I was thinking? What I was expecting? Me transfigurating or what?
I saw Joyce and she seemed so… normal (no offense intended, promise).
A person just like me.
You had to be there, looking at me.
A venezuelan girl that traveled all the way to St. Louis Missouri in shock because Joyce Meyer was… c’mon, just another person with a great gift of teaching.
I felt like fainting, but boy, I got it. I really got it. I did.
It was never Joyce. It’s been always God. The realization hit me like a stream of cold water.
He helped me through, He taught me well, He grabbed my hand during hard times because really, Joyce is only a person. She couldn’t do that.
God used her, but the glory was His alone.
I went there to know the person who helped me, when the person who helped is right here in Venezuela. Right by my side. All the time.
Don’t get me wrong. Joyce is still someone I admire, but I saw her. She’s just a person like me that God uses a lot because she let Him do so.
But she is not God. Never will.
I went to the hotel that afernoon and tried to grasp all the impact of it.
God was faithful and brought me there to show me that He is.
He is. Only He is.
Joyce is a person. God is God.
Joyce doesn’t know my name (not that she wouldn’t care because I know she loves everybody) but God… oh, God has walked with me, he’s been there all those times when I cried myself to sleep.
If you admire a preacher/pastor/singer, go ahead, admire them, learn from them, but please, know they are not God.
Then I went from St. Louis to Chicago, from Chicago to Miami, from Miami to Panama and (finally) from Panama to Venezuela, knowing that I had no need to go anywhere. I had everything I need right here with me. I have God. That’s enough. Always enough.