Julie Lyles Carr: Immerse: The 2015 Edition with Tim Tebow, Anita Renfroe, and Ellie Holcomb

Monday, October 19, 2015

Immerse: The 2015 Edition with Tim Tebow, Anita Renfroe, and Ellie Holcomb

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So I gotta confess something.

There's a time, with each Immerse, the women's conference that I've produced three times now, that I think, "What on earth have I gotten myself into?"

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It's usually the couple of weeks before the big night, when ticket sales are driving me crazy and eight million little details are fluttering and flying out of my hands in chaotic disarray and my email inbox is more stuffed than a Thanksgiving turkey. Usually then. And I fret and worry and wonder.

And slightly panic. Without the adverb.

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But with the support of an incredible team and amazing pastors and an extremely understanding and flexible family and a very good and faithful God, it comes together and is always more exhilarating than I could have imagined.

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This year we included an incredible praise and worship set with some of our phenomenal musicians. It was something I had long hoped to do and the impact was so powerful. This team put in so much extra time...'thank you' seems inadequate.

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And because God seems to like to throw little surprise parties from time to time, in addition to the amazing Anita Renfroe and Ellie Holcomb, whom we had booked months before, we found out a day prior to Immerse that Tim Tebow was going to be able to join us. Which took the evening from crazy awesome to crazier awesome.

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True blue, kind, gentle and sweet. He brought the house down.

And then went on to absolutely make the night of our 2dance2dream performers.

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Anita Renfroe was next up. She about killed us with comedy.

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How can so much hilarity be packed into one person? I just don't understand.

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I lurve her. True lurve.

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Amy Byrd from Spirit 105.9 introduced our artists throughout the evening.

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Then our 2dance2dream dancers took the stage with a little jazzy salsa number.

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Then this one. Ellie Holcomb.

Y'all.

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Transparent. Soulful. Funny.

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Poetic.

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Genuine.

The hour was growing late, but the crowd was so gracious. I was able to share my heart about what it means to dive in, to fully immerse ourselves in what God has called us to do.

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And then, boom, just like that, all the planning, worrying, fretting, organizing, anticipating, it was done.

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The most important reminder God gave me came at the end of the night. A mom came to me, tears in her eyes, voice thick with emotion. She hugged me...and held on. She told me that the night had been specifically for her as her daughter was just recently diagnosed with Angelman syndrome. This sweet mama has felt so isolated in trying to find what her daughter needs, how to build community, how to advocate and support her child. Between the music and messages and the performance by 2dance2dream, our dancers with special needs, this mama began to find comfort and answers.

Who am I to try to figure out God's economy? What business do I have wrestling over strangled spreadsheets and budgets and time constraints?

God knows what He's doing. He crafted something so specific for this one woman, this one mama deep in the thick of a new diagnosis and all that it means. He got her there. She received what she needed from Him. Anything after that is just a bonus.

Huge, ginormous, big big big thank yous to all of you who pulled off this event. The musicians. The tech crew.  The fifty-plus volunteers.  My incredible sidekick JoEllen.  My faithful assistant Helen. Our amazing photographer Shannon LaFayette.  My husband Mike, who has carried more than his fair share of family responsibilities in this crazy busy season.  My pastors Randy and Denise Phillips and the whole LifeAustin Team.  McKenna and her awesome 2dance2dream team.  My fellow women leads across the area who show up year after year with their ministry teams and support me so powerfully. My lit agent Esther Fedorkevich and The Fedd Agency, who so kindly asked Tim Tebow to come be a part of our night.

Thank you.

You helped change lives Saturday night.  I know there will more stories to come.  But for now, just know that you restored hope to a sweet mom with a glorious three-year-old daughter with a tough diagnosis.  You were willing to serve.  And God used you mightily.

Thank you.












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