Night of Joy 2012
It was a Saturday night, last night actually, and I had my laptop open filling it with my latest idea. My cell phone buzzed, glorious- a text! My friend, Ryan, wrote “Hey, want free tickets to the NOJ?” WHAT?!?!?! After a bit of conversation back and forth, Craig and I decided to head on in, picking up the tickets from him at the Shades of GREEN, not Grey, which I had to laugh when I first accidentally called it that. IT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN! I went from a chilled out night at home to parking at the Magic Kingdom for something I had wanted to do in FOREVER! Here is my night, enjoy!
I STILL get excited when I walk through the TTC area to get to the Monorail/Ferry…but this night was so different. Walking through this empty area, the night calm and quiet, and the only sound was music. But it wasn’t your normal “When You Wish Upon a Star”… it was praise and worship music! In MY happy place, I felt I could have floated off the ground! And I wasn’t even IN the Magic Kingdom yet! I sang along as we walked the Monorail ramp, giddy every second we got closer.
Approaching the Magic Kingdom had such a different purpose, such a different feeling. I wasn’t there to blog, I wasn’t there to play… I was there to praise and worship my Lord in Heaven in my favorite place on Earth. Just imagine your FAVORITE place on the planet and being able to freely and openly worship your God… it is THE most amazing thing on the planet.
Since we didn’t get in until 9pm, we had two things on the agenda- Third Day and Mercy Me. If I got close, great, but otherwise, I got the bragging rights that I got to hear them in person FINALLY. We have what is called “Life Fest” in Oshkosh, WI and even though I had been there several times, I had never caught these two bands before.
We walked down the middle of Main Street USA and listened to music that was just amazing. Z88.3 broadcasted all over the Park so you could hear what was going on, where. We also picked up a guide map they made specifically for the evening- containing concert dates, rides that were open, and so on.
Third Day started at 9:55, and we had just walked right up to the left of the Partners Statue to catch them starting. I like Third Day, but I LOOOOOVE Mercy Me. “God of Wonders” began and I was immediatedly brought back to my Church in a single heartbeat. I sang, I praised, and yes… I am “one of those” who has her hand extended to the sky in honor or praise to my King. I had once heard someone say “I don’t like those crazies, the ones with their hands in the air.” To you dear I say it is MY time to worship my King, it has NOTHING to do with you.
After feeling the power in that place, I wanted to feel it even more. I moved up closer to the stage, making it to the middle of the Castle, about 20 feet back from the stage at this point. This is where the 45 minute wait began. Now, I have waited for longer for other things in my life, but it was almost too hard because my excitement level for Mercy Me was through the roof! Craig doesn’t do crowds, so he stayed back by Partners, why I was in midst of the hardcore fans.
***A side note here. It was VERY dark in the front of the Castle, as all the lights are focused on the stage area, not the ground. People decided to SIT in the DARK… among people standing. I can only tell you that it is a MIRACLE they weren’t all stepped on and how incredibly dangerous that is to do! It would like there was an empty spot in certain areas, but it was just those sitting amongst all the rest standing. Just stand- it’s safer.
While I was waiting for Mercy Me, Craig was able to check out the other stages. Here is a group he found at the Galaxy Stage.
The time had come… and how perfect but I found out a friend was in the MK at the same time I was! Megan was also there, so I contacted her – and by MIRACLE she found me! I shouldn’t be surprised-this night was FULL of miracles and blessings.
Mercy Me came on the stage, and the Park went nuts! I could see quite well for all the tall people in front of me, and it was on! The music, the Castle, the beautiful sky filled with its stars… it was perfect. Then a girl fainted in front of Megan and I, about three people in front of us. Our whole area was screaming “Medic” and “911” to the point the band finally heard all of us and came to help the woman. The band did something that I can only say had God’s hand laying all over it… they got a crowd of thousands to sing old school hymns while they helped the woman. Then the thousands PRAYED. It was like having church in the Magic Kingdom… seeing all of the heads bowed, praying for this poor woman who needed medical attention. I wasn’t just impressed, I was BLOWN AWAY by this.
Eventually the Concert started again, and I do hope the woman is ok today. They sang new and old music… but I knew the song I was waiting for. The entire crowd seemed to be waiting for that one song… the one song that can bring me to my knees when I hear it. “I Can Only Imagine”… the first notes trickled out off the stage and shivers ran up and down my spine. I turned to Megan and said “This is it!” This song is in my top 5 Worship songs, my favorite being “Revelation Song.”
I wasn’t ready for the moment. You know how you have dreamt of something forever, and when it is right in front of your face, you almost feel like you aren’t ready or worthy to receive it? I stood in the shadow of my favorite Castle, and I am seeing and hearing Mercy Me. Right there, in front of me. The wave of emotions came over me, and as I recorded part of the song, my face was sprinkled in tears. It was the moment I had thought of… what would it be like to worship my Savior in my favorite place on Earth? I thought of how blessed I was, my family was, and how we were living our dreams in Florida. I thought of how much I had overcome to get to that moment in my life, and how amazing my God is to have ALLOWED me this life, this moment. Words will never do justice to what that moment was like for me.
I recorded to a point, then put it away and had both hands in the air. I was no longer crying at this point, I was smiling and praising. I could have been lifted right off the ground it was so intense. The believers around me, hands in the air, singing along… I was right back in my church of Appleton, WI with my choir around me. THIS is what I imagine Heaven like- people of all different races and creeds, worshiping our Jesus together. This wasn’t an event, this was a moment.
After that song, they sang one more and then it was over. I hugged Megan and thanked her for sharing the moment with me, then found my hubby and we walked out on a spiritual high. I didn’t get home until 2 a.m., but it was well worth the sleep deprivation I felt at that point. What is a dream? Last night, living here, and having the best family and friends. Thank you Jesus for my life and for what you have blessed me with. I hope EVERYONE gives God the chance to love them, it will change your life. It did mine years ago. Even if you are not of any Faith, give this night a chance to speak to your heart. Thanks for reading and God bless your day!
P.S. If anyone knows where I can buy a “Night of Joy 2012” shirt that I missed on the way out, please let me know.