All day long I was getting phone calls and texts from family and friends. It was a delight getting to catch up with some, and I got a good laugh from some of my voicemail messages of people singing, "Happy Birrrrthhhday to you!" Korryn bought me breakfast which kick-started a great time of fundraising and ministry work. Afterwards, I met with some friends to drive down to KC for the 116 Clique Unashamed tour. I was literally bouncing up and down in my seat in anticipation. Ever since my friend Megan called me to tell me she got me a ticket for my birthday and that they would be rapping in KC on the day of my birthday...you best believe I was stoked.
To me, God has used Christian rap to really show me how God is the Ultimate Redeemer. He scoops us up in His hands, despite the fact that each of us are a mess, and He transforms us. The struggle with sin is there in the songs, but the highlight isn't the sin, but the fact that Christ saved us from that sin. He took us and clothed us in His righteousness, not because we were deserving by any means, but because He wanted to save us. I feel like I could print out the lyrics to so many songs by the 116 Clique rappers and have a Bible study because it goes so deep into the Word of God.
My friend Angela made us t-shirts that said, "I rove Jesus," with a Hello Kitty decal as the letter "o." For those of you unfamiliar with the fact that I hardcore embrace Asian stereotypes, we were making fun of Asian accents. Angela is Korean. We go to the same church and I have had somebody get us mixed up before. It was great. The shirts were a brilliant idea and a hilarious way to get the concert party started.
I was blessed by the fact that fellow Navigators came to the concert. James Biswell, who I feel like is my partner in "crime" at times (with all the skits and presentations we have done together), ended up driving a car full of Navers. I got to meet one of the new CMU Nav gentlemen, Rosco, one of our freshman ladies named Stephanie accompanied us, and my new friend Cote (who was possibly as excited as I was about the concert) drove out with us. My friends Scott and Angela from church went, as of course did my besties Lis and Megan. One of Megan's Christian fraternity brothers Derrik also came and his company was delightful. My friend Shelbi also drove up from Peculiar. We have been friends since middle school and used to play flute together in band back in the day.
The concert was amazing. They rapped songs that Megan and I used to listen to over and over when we were struggling with certain issues, songs that inspired us to keep running after the Lord and to flee from temptation. They reminded the crowd that it wasn't about the hype, but about giving glory to our Creator. We were all screaming, singing along to the lyrics, and dancing for the Lord and I couldn't help but think, "I will become even more UNDIGNIFIED than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes." (2 Samuel 6:22) The concert blessed and encouraged me, and I pray that it blessed and encouraged the hundreds of people who were also in attendance. I pray that the Believers walked away desiring more of God and to live their lives for His glory!
Afterwards, at about 1am, we all went to Dennys to eat dinner. We shared our testimonies, which was amazing seeing how God has truly transformed each of us, and enjoyed a time of fellowship. I loved getting to know everybody better and it was amazing how God could knit a bunch of rag-a-muffin hearts together and bless our time so richly. Our group was an eclectic mix of people- diverse in color, interests, style of clothing, etc. However, each of us had one thing in common: Jesus. Looking around the table I realized that our identities were truly not in our skin color, what music we liked to listen to, whether we grew up in a Christian home, whatever; but it was in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am still not over the amazingness that is God, and how he uses people to inspire, encourage, and show me love.
I rolled into my apartment at about 3am. My boyfriend had sent me flowers for my birthday (which I didn't get a chance to see because I was gone all day). He sent a funny poem and a verse with them: Psalm 9:10, "Those who know your name trust in You, for You, LORD, have never forsaken those that seek You." It really was a sweet ending to a sweet day.
Although it was my birthday, it really was the Lord's day first and foremost, and I just revel in the fact that He loves me so much.