Friday, October 24, 2008

 She is, indeed, just as awesome in person as you would imagine

I was so excited about writing this post and now feel oddly at a loss for words.
Last night I met some one who, unbeknown to her, has pointed me to Jesus time and again as I have struggled with loss this past year. She has made me laugh, made me cry (sometimes even those ugly type sobs), and God has used her writing countless times to turn my focus back to Himself.
Many of you know the story of Audry Caroline, as so eloquently written by Angie Smith. Angie is the wife of Todd Smith, lead singer in the Christian group Selah. I have enjoyed the beautiful music of Selah for several years. In January of this year I stumbled upon Angie's blog and became ardently entwined with the journey God was leading them through. In April of this year their sweet little Audry Caroline was born. She lived for 3 hours. The faith of this family is so solid, so real, so raw and authentic.
When I began reading Angie's blog nine months ago I could relate to alot of the emotion she described. Our experience with losing J.D. incited alot of the same feelings she expressed. I could not have guessed how pertinent Angie's words would continue to be. As we faced the heartbreak of miscarriage in May of this year one of the helpful components in my healing continued to be these amazing words, penned by one who is only human, but so obviously motivated by God.
Last night I accompanied three wonderful (and quite giddy) friends of mine to a Selah concert. We knew Angie would be there so hoped to be able to meet her. It took some plotting, planning, perhaps slightly hurting Todd's feelings (As I stood in line for his autograph I think my words were "um, we like you , but we are pretty much here to see your wife. Where is she?"), anxious looks from the security guards, and getting in touch with our inner stalker, but we not only met Angie, we hugged her, and talked with her. She is so genuine you guys. She is the Angie you see in her blog. Only tinier. We played peek-a-boo with Ellie too. :)
It was truly a blessed night. It started with a stop at Panera, perhaps too much caffeine, and a road trip. :)

We had so.much.fun!
I like to call this little image "the giddy crazy girls who sipped coffee during the entire road trip". :)
And of course, the highlight of the night for all of us (including Angie I'm sure...) :) Rachel, Kristy, Angie, me, and Rachel
Suffice it to say the four of us will not forget last night for a long long time. At least until we all get Alzheimer's, as Rachel so smartly verbalized.
It was truly an honor to be a part of this benefit event which raised money for the amazing work the Smith family is doing in the Congo. The Holy Spirit was so evident in the words, music, and voices of this talented group of people.
A very touching moment for me was when Todd's sister, Nicole Sponberg, went up to sing a few songs. Apparently she hasn't sung much at all in public since the loss of her ten week old baby boy Luke. Her voice is beautiful. She sang from some where deep inside and it seemed to be such an intimate moment between her and God that I almost felt like I shouldn't be listening in. After she sang "Resurrection" She began to speak. In a broken voice she said, "I can not think of any thing more unnatural than a mother losing her baby." That pretty much did me in. Thank the Lord for friends who had stocked up on Kleenex. Nicole is still grieving so deeply, but was able to stand up in front of a packed church and speak of the hope that compels her forward.
I looked up and through my tears and I saw this; what it is really all about.

24 comments:

Kristy said...

Loved being there with you, crying with you, laughing with you and strangely enough, stalking with you.

photomama said...

Well you must have had an amzing evening because just talking about it was enough to give me tears and goosebumps. I totaly love selah and Nicol Sponberg is the ultimate. Where did you go to see them?

Anne Elizabeth said...

That is so neat that you got to meet her!

Anne Elizabeth said...

I'm so glad that you got to meet her. Her story is so amazing and inspiring. I've been reading her blog since May.

Rachel @ Unexpected Blessings said...

You summed up the night beautifully! I am so glad you came. It was amazing. Not just Angie, but the whole night.

I am glad you got over you loss for words. ;)

Elizabeth said...

just the memories of reading about Angie's story & her sister-in-law's over the past year brings me to tears...the memories itself of their devotion to find peace and the heartache that they've given back over to God...what an example and how it brings me to tears each time.

i am so glad that you had teh chance to meet her. You & Angie have a lot in common and i am sure it felt like a sisterhood from the first moment.

Sara@ Butterville said...

Wow. What a wonderful experience. I think I'd have trouble calming my inner stalker too! LOL. How beautiful that you were able to meet and share with Angie. And to speak through your touch. So much can be said through a touch or hug. BTW you look gorgeous in the pictures. I so love those Brown eyes of yours. (not in a stalker kind of way) But I can see the depth and compassion and caring you have, it sparkles in your eyes and when you smile...girl you just light right up! I can see the joy that came from this evening in all your faces. Thanks for sharing.

Lisa said...

Wow!! I have read her blog several times and thier strength and faith are ah inspiring - what an amazing time you girls must have had! And I am sure the coffee only added to your gidyness, huh....

Jules from "The Roost" said...

OK, now I need the kleenexes! That was beautifully written. You won't believe what I got in the mail today.....Yep.... A Selah CD! Have a great weekend.

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Oh girl. I positively have chills reading this. What a perfect evening, and a God-ordained meeting between you two. And at the end, it all goes back to the cross...I love that you brought it back to that.

Sarah M. said...

Sounds like a wonderful time! I'm glad you could go!

Cindy said...

What a wonderful time you must have all had. I'm sure this was a dream you never thought would take place. It gives me hope for some unfulfilled dreams I have of my own, especially today!!!

Praying that God has given you more peace AND joy through this special encounter.

You are great.
Cindy

dani said...

i'm jealous, i know it's sinful; but i cannot help it. i just am:/
ha, however, i'm estatic for you that you all had such a wonderful experience:D
love,
dani

creative gal said...

That is awesome!! Glad you got to meet her!! TOTALLY COOL!!! Thanks for sharing. And, thank you for being an inspiration in my life! Hugs from NC!

Rachel said...

Wow, sounds awesome! Glad you guys had such a great time!

Leslie said...

awesome post, and so glad you met Angie and heard Nicol Sponberg. Both women who are really shinning during a season of suffering.

Glad you had a girls night... sounds wonderful Wendi, thanks for all your kind words and notes as of lately. They mean so much!

AmandaHoyt said...

Wow - that is so awesome that you got to meet Angie and hear Selah and Nicol sing! I'm so glad you had such a great evening with friends and am touched also by the picture of the cross. Amazing!
Hugs and prayers,
Amanda

Ang baylis said...

I was there, too!!! I was there!!! I am still recovering. I live in Michigan and a blog friend who lives in Texas found their schedule and I went all by myself. I love Selah so much that I didn't care that I went alone. I know exactly how you felt when Nicol sang. "... felt like I shouldn't have been listening in." I kind of felt that way the entire night. It seemed they were only singing for me! I went through a divorce and their music just seems to touch a place deep within me. It was all I could do to sit quietly, when I wanted to stand up with my arms high. I couldn't believe everyone wasn't standing the whole time! I really like how you worded your post. I'm SO happy that you had the opportunity to meet Angie (love her blog too) and I am SO SO sorry for your loss. When I heard Nicol sing... "Hold On"... I could hardly take it. I bought myself and my friend their Christmas c.d. and I already bought the box set of their music. It's my favorite. I think they should get us to be in charge of their advertising because they should have had a HUGE arena sold out!! Of course I loved our private little time together and it wouldn't have been the same. Okay, I'll stop now!

Much love to you,
Another Angie from Michigan

AmyL said...

LOL I was there too! I waited in line for the autographs in case she was going to stand with Todd, and my friends asked one of the security people where she'd be. So they were all on their radios hunting her down and I was quick to get the autographs and move on when I saw that she wasn't with Todd. I hope Angie didn't feel stalked with all of us trying to find her!

It was a great night, wasn't it? My condolences on your own loss. I'm glad you got to be a part of the worship and the healing that can bring to each of us.

jennifer@love,laughter,and lyrics said...

What a fun trip!

Tracy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tracy said...

I'm so sad...I left a comment a bit ago, but now I'm realizing it didn't go through...

Going to try it again...

What an incredible blessing! So excited you were able to share in such a special night with your good friends. I read recently something Todd Smith said...it used to be that Angie was "Todd Smith's wife", but more and more, it's becoming that he is "Angie Smith's husband" because of her blog. = ) So many have been touched through their story, and that of the Sponbergs, as well. It's certainly understandable that you feel a certain kinship with them.

Thank you for sharing these great photos with us...I agree with Sarah above...there is a sweet compassion in your eyes.

Blessings,
Tracy

Tonya said...

that is very similar to my experience! Too funny :)

Joyfulsheep said...

I am so glad you got to meet Angie. As you discovered (probably already knew) she is real. I had the opportunity to drive her around town when they were in my area about 2 years ago. (I volunteer to help with the Christian concerts that come to town.) I'm praying that Noe gets well quickly.