Tuesday, January 19, 2010

An amazing weekend in Alabama!

Saturday morning, a friend and I began a long drive to Huntsville, Alabama. I’ve never in all my life wanted to go to Alabama but I went because Darin Hufford, author of "The Misunderstood God," was there for the weekend. He was speaking Friday night and Saturday night in a home and Sunday morning in a church. I had recently shared Darin’s teachings with one of my friends and, when she found out he was going to be in the southeast, she immediately talked me into going. The next few weeks were chaotic and stressful as our plans changed and, at one point, it looked like we weren’t going but Friday night, we knew it was a go and we set out Saturday morning.

Over the last two and a half years since I got involved with his ministry, Darin and I have become very good friends. We’d never met so it was an exciting time for both of us when we finally saw each other. I couldn’t contain my excitement as we travelled and poor Debbie had to endure eight hours of my constant talking.

Darin is a gifted and dynamic speaker and, of course, I’ve already heard or read everything that he’s posted on his website. However, this was a very special occasion as I finally got a chance to hear him live and in person. His teaching was fantastic as he kept us riveted to our seats with his stories and his great sense of humor and, just as I expected, it was a memorable experience.

Meeting Darin and finally hearing him speak was a major highlight of my life but there was even more that made this weekend so special. I immediately clicked with the woman who was hosting the meetings and we immediately started acting like we were lifelong friends. I really felt like I had known her all of my life. Everyone who was at the meeting was gracious and there was a constant flow of love like I’d never experienced before.

After Darin spoke Sunday morning, several of us spent the rest of the day just hanging out together. It was great spending time just getting to know one another. Sometimes, we were serious as we talked about our journeys but other times we just laughed and enjoyed ourselves.

Monday morning, several of us met at Starbucks for a farewell gathering. Debbie and I would soon be leaving to head for home and some other friends would also be leaving to return to Texas. It was a great time! We joked and took lots of pictures and Darin was a good sport as he posed several times.

This was an experience that I know I’ll never forget. I’m not sure when I’ll see any of them again but I do know that my heart has been so tightly knit with Darin and the group from Huntsville that distance will not weaken the bond. I’ve tried with this post to capture the essence of this weekend but I know I haven’t even come close. I can’t find words to describe the feelings that are going through me even now as I type. All I know is that I’ve been loved and . . . I’ll never be the same again.

Darin has some other trips scheduled. He’ll be going to Alaska and Cincinnati and I know there will be other trips in the future. To learn more about Darin and his ministry, follow this link.


Pumpuli said...

I'm at awe over what you write, Aida. It would be understandable, if such an awaited meeting would turn out to be just a little bit disappointing - you know what I mean, for all that it's packed with. We've all had those encounters. Now, there was more for even to the one who knew to expect a lot. I am awe-struck and asking how this can be. I want it, I want it shared with the people I live with in my here and now, too. Thank you, Aida.

Joel Brueseke said...

I saw that Darin just posted on Facebook that it was an amazing weekend in Alabama. He says he got to witness people getting the revelation of freedom for the first time. That's a cool thing!

Aida, I'm so glad you had a great time and got to meet Darin. I've seen how the two of you have grown in your mutual affection, and it's great to see such a wonderful friendship.

Bino M. said...

I heard him saying about the trip in the podcast. Glad that you had a great time. :)

lionwoman said...

You rock, sister-friend! ;-D Love ya bunches!

zinger said...

Cool Aida,

Glad you were able to meet Darrin in the flesh. It is great when you meet people and begin to click. Happy for you.

Cheers Jon

mellow roc said...

Ida and all, That is a neat
God-given experience indeed that you recount! I had a similar experience from a conference attended last Fall, and regret there did not seem to be time enough for folk to connect and get contact info on each other and the "let-down" was, it's over, get out so we can clean up, but thanks for coming and have a good life. I take from that and stingers in general, become what God desires and create the community you wish to see exist. Hard work, I know, but worth it!

Aida said...

Kirsti, I can honestly say that I wasn’t in the least bit disappointed by the weekend. I expected to have a wonderful time but it exceeded my expectations so much that I’m still a bit high from the experience. In the past, after I got home from an enjoyable experience, there was a huge letdown but so far I’m not experiencing that. Every time I look at the pictures from the weekend, I can sense the fire of that joy still in me.

I’ve got to be honest and admit I don’t know how so much love could have been centered in one location. Perhaps there are pockets of this love throughout this nation and throughout the world and as the message of God’s love spreads, these pockets will grow and increase.

I know that love impacted me and my friend and I want to be a messenger who brings it wherever I go.

Aida said...

Joel, Darin spoke a simple message of God’s accepting love yet for those who heard, it was probably a new message. Sunday I met a couple of people who had just gotten the message for the first time and were deeply impacted. Also, the pastor said he was impressed with Darin and his message so it was very exciting to see him allow Darin to speak at his church.

Thanks, Joel. Since I first met him, Darin has come to mean a lot to me as a friend. I’ve been wanting to meet him for some time now and it was so exciting to finally see that dream realized.

Aida said...

Thanks, Bino.

Hey, Lionwoman. You’ve been my friend longer than Darin has and it was great to finally meet you too. I love you and I enjoyed our time together in Huntsville.

Jon, it was phenomenal. I’ve been wanting to meet Darin for so long and I’m so excited that it finally happened. I feel like our friendship has now gone to a deeper level and I’m excited about the new friendships I’ve made.

Aida said...

Mellow, I know what you mean. That seems to be a problem with most conferences. They’re really not set up for relationship.

This gathering was totally different. Darin spoke for about an hour on Saturday night and then he spoke at the church on Sunday morning and that was it. The rest of the time it was just a bunch of friends having a good time together and we did what friends normally do. We ate together, we roamed around the mall together acting crazy and we laughed a lot.

I haven’t felt that free in a long time but I knew I was with people who loved me and totally accepted me so I was free to be ME however ME came out.