How the 2012 Believe Tour Impacted My Life
Boy, does it seem like time flies these days? Before I know it, another day has come and gone, then another week, followed by another month. Seriously, it was just September and now, here I am in June. I’d better not blink or I may miss the rest of 2012! Hopefully, I’m not the only one out there asking dear “Time” where she has hidden her precious face. I mean, it’s crazy for me to think it’s already been two months since the Believe Tour concluded. To some, this blog may seem terribly outdated… maybe even “old news”, but recently, I was reminded of some advice God gives us in Scripture and I realized that I have forgotten to write an important thank you letter.
“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in your power to do it.”
So, bear with me, because it would be a great injustice for me to withhold how the 2012 Believe tour impacted my life.
Going into the tour, to be completely honest, I had no clue what to expect. I was just a 15-year-old. I had never done a tour myself before, I had never spoken to of crowds of people, I had never even worn a speaker’s microphone… and suddenly there I was; just a “kid” taking off from Orlando, flying across the country, and landing at the Los Angeles airport as a “Christian Speaker.” I could hardly contain my excitement. People had told me this tour would change my life and I always believed them, but it wasn’t really until now, when I take the time to reflect on the experience as a whole, that I see just how true their words really were.
I must confess, originally, I thought the things that would move me the most would be the things that happened on stage… you know, the whole big production elements: the bright lights, the loud music, all the special effects and artistic elements. I mean, it was a fantastic event! However, as cool as all of that was, it was actually the things that happened “offstage” that have left the most lasting impression on my heart. Particularly, the students I’ve met, the tour mates I’ve been privileged to call friends, and the lessons I’ve learned from my family through this process.
Being someone crazy about God’s Word, I loved the time I was allotted to speak on Believe. It’s an amazing feeling to open up your Bible, share God’s Word and see students both eager to hear it and have life change because of it. However, I also found that the time I spent on the Believe tour reassured my unique love for Jr. High students. For me, some of the sweetest moments were the ones I got to spend actually with the kids. In between each of the sessions, I was able to interact with students at my booth. Because I was one of the “speakers,” as well as a fellow student, myself, the kids were both willing and excited to come and talk with me. Some students shared their struggles (and that resulted in sweet moments of prayer) but for the most part, the kids just wanted to share what was going on in their lives or simply ask me questions. Some would simply run past, shouting an encouraging word. At the end of the very first event, and throughout every one that followed, I was overwhelmed and shocked by the kindness the majority of the kids showed me. It reminds me of a Proverb…
“Gracious words are like a honey comb,
sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”
Proverbs 16:24 ESV
I tried to spend as much time as possible with the students, because I wanted to give to them, in a weekend, what they so freely gave to me, the gift of encouragement.
The friendships I made on the road impacted my life for godliness in a way that I will never be able to fully describe. The “Word Tour” was truly a fitting title for this year’s Believe event, as both cast and crew were in love with God’s Word and serious about using it to touch students’ lives, including the life of that one student that was touring with them. I would have never imagined that I would be one of the students so ministered to by this team! I am so grateful and wish you all were able to get a backstage pass to see and know the hearts of my fellow tour mates, like I did. At first, it’s true, I was a little intimidated. Yea… It scared me. I knew I was coming in as the most inexperienced one on the squad and, to top that off, everyone was just so much older than I was! I feared my tour mates would never really see me as their “friend”. Honestly, they never quite did but, instead, I got something so much better! I, as a young Timothy, got a whole bunch of Pauls! In hind sight, I am thankful I got to tour with older people like Johnny Scott, Eric Timm and Jeff Walling. Being older than I, their “sold-out-for-Christ” lifestyles were a great example for me and their willingness and faithfulness to proclaim God’s Word without compromise inspired me as a young speaker. I will never forget the way they used the time to speak into my life and to be my mentors...
The Believe Tour also taught me a very important lesson about humility. You may not realize it, but I come from a family of ministry and we always do it together. In other words, “Where I go, they go.” Literally. It’s always been this way, starting seven years ago, when my brother started singing around the country. This year, I drug my family across the globe to all sorts of different strange, exotic, exciting, even unthinkable places (cough, cough… especially the desert!) in order to accommodate all my filming and crazy Believe schedule. Every step of the way, they supported and encouraged me. In fact, they never once complained. But, deep down, I knew they sacrificed so many things they wanted for me to be able to do this. I am not foolish, I know their sacrifice and their willingness to follow me, all over, was an offering they gave out of their love for God, for His Word, for His children, for His church, and for me. I couldn’t possibly write this blog about things I’ve learned on Believe, without speaking about the love and example of humility I saw from my family as a daughter, sister, and friend.
As for speaking, well, I will be faithful to share God’s Word, wherever He calls me next. I will say, some opportunities have popped up and God has cracked open some unique doors so I plan on prayerfully considering each one and walking through them. No matter what, though, I trust in His perfect sovereignty, His divine and planned timing. I believe He knows how He wants to use this vessel and I’ll wait on Him.
I thank God and all those at Christ In Youth for giving me this amazing opportunity to be a part of the 2012 Believe tour. It was an honor and a privilege I will never forget.
With much love,