I didn’t cry because of the age I turned. I bawled like a baby because of the way my friends and family made me feel.
I have never felt so much love in all of my life.
I am so grateful and thankful that I was alive to be a part of it.
It really caused me to cry like a baby (not a pretty sniff, sniff… a tear here and tear there — nope).
Tears flowing, snot not far behind, shoulders shaking and words barely audible. I was overcome with emotion!
God knows how to fill you up.
After several years of feeling wounded, empty and unlovable (due to being sexually mistreated as a child), it was humbling (and so paradoxical) to be able to feel the love of others on such a deep level.
It was the best gift I could ever receive. I have so many thank you’s to extend!
It really touched my heart to see so many friends from around the country take time out of their schedules to travel to St. Louis. I was so surprised as they walked into the room.Cindy Thomas is my amazing, Puerto Rican preachin’ machine, friend from Free Life Chapel in Lakeland, Florida.
She snuck into town after we were together a couple days the week before in New York City with TBN.
She didn’t only keep a great secret, but also made me believe she didn’t know my birthday was coming up! She might need to repent for lying! LOL!
She also did the most phenomenal job emceeing the evening (along with my amazing husband, David). Thank you!
By the way, my husband is not a planner, but he surrounded himself with an amazing team of friends like Adrienne Rainey, Katrina Shaw and Morgan Fannin – and then BAM… it was a lovefest.Jillian Chambers, also known as my brilliant gigglebox blonde friend from Oasis Church in Nashville, carved out time for the official Tuesday night celebration.
She also stayed the entire next day in St. Louis (another surprise).
My wonderful husband arranged for me to have the day off to enjoy special time with my girlfriends from out of town. Thank you!
I’m about to cry again!
Georgina De La Mora, the anointed worship leader and pastor’s wife from Cornerstone Church in San Diego, found a way for someone to care for all of her babies and her church so she could travel to be with us. Thank you!
I can’t wait to join Georgina in San Diego this June at her women’s conference!
Sheila Craft is one of the most pure, smart and sweet women of God on this earth.All the way from Elevate Life Church in Frisco, TX, she pressed pause on her very busy schedule like her upcoming She Conference in May and all the other responsibilities she has, just to be with me. Thank you!
I’m so thankful that my local friends, Laura Carstens and Jessica Stern, were able to share in my special day too!
Laura Carstens of Enjoy Church in Illinois has been a great friend of mine for many years. Jessica Stern of Destiny Church in St. Louis has been a great friend too. We ate, sang, talked, and laughed.
Video Birthday Cards
I was so humbled by the video greetings sent by dear friends like Lisa Young of Fellowship Church in Dallas, TX. Lisa, your greeting brought tears to me eyes! Thank you.
Steven and Holly Furtick of Elevation church in Charlotte, NC encouraged me so much and gave me so much to live up to! #HumbledAndALittleScared (Yep Steven – LOVE the hat!!!) Thank you.
Kevin and Sheila Gerald of Champion’s Center made everyone a little nervous. They were driving in their car. When they were both looking at the camera, we we were all asking, “Who’s driving?” Those are some mad driving skills Kevin! Thank you.
Troy and Steph Gramling of Potential Church in Cooper City, FL said happy birthday by video and I wanted to get on a plane to Miami right then! Thank you.
Jerry and Hope Snider at Christian World in Lake Charles, LA played and sang Happy Birthday on video. It was awesome! As a gift to you – I won’t sing my thank you! Thank you.
Benny and Wendy Perez of Church of South Las Vegas are special friends in so many ways. We really love them. You were so sweet to send your love. Thank you.
Rich and Robyn Wilkerson or Trinity Church in Miami know just how to make a person feel loved… even right through a video screen! Thank you.
Jackie Vaggalis is such a sweet and prayerful friend. She is from Destiny Church in Destin, Florida. Your video greeting made my heart warm. Thank you.
David and Lisa Hughes of Church by the Glades in Florida did such a great job on their video birthday wish. For a minute, I thought I was watching a television program. You have mad talent! Thank you.
Lori Champion is pastor of Celebration Church in Texas. You were so precious for sending your love. Thank you!
Susan Thomas from Keystone Church in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas. You did such a sweet job of conveying your thoughts. Thank you Susan!
Friends for years and years, John and Rebecca Polis of Faith Church International in Virginia and North Carolina have always had the most godly and encouraging spirit. Thank you!
To top it all off, the poem written and recorded by my mom touched my heart. And my precious quiet dad – when he actually shared his thoughts on video – I cried all over again. Thank you.
Thank You Faith Church St. Louis
Finally, I want to give a big thank you to my church family. Thank you for sharing in my special day. I could not have imagined a better group of people to share this moment with than you. Thank you.
You may be bored by now. If you are, I apologize – but I felt it necessary to say thank you to all the people who carved out time and energy to make me feel loved.
I want you all to know I love you right back and life would not be the same without your friendship!
Thank you all so much for the most amazing birthday ever!
I had to miss it because my husband and I had an appointment at 6:30. Then I was having surgery the next morning at 6:30 (am) so we had some last minute errands to take care of beforehand. I for one appreciate the thorough recap. Makes me feel even more like a family member. I have had to miss some major moments in my bio family’s life due to be put in the hospital and there is always the one family member that remembers to share everything because I wasn’t able to be there.
Annette – Praying for your speedy recovery in JESUS name!
That was such a FUN and AmAzInG night!!!! Enjoy the 40’s & know you ARE loved!!!!!
Kat – It was A BLAST! I am sooo glad that you had fun!
Pastor, I just love you to pieces!! I am so glad that you enjoyed your special day!! Many, many, many more birthdays are to come!! You constantly pour out and this was your evening for those who love and appreciate you to pour into YOU!! Fantastic teacher, preacher, woman of God!! You carry yourself with a calm, cool Pastor finesse that not everyone possesses. I call it Pastor Pizzazz!! You are LOVED girlfriend!!! ;-D God bless you!! As much as you have done and as great as God has used you…greater things are yet to come!!
Reesie – Girl, you just preached me happy! C’mon somebody! You got sass for a librarian 🙂 Your voice praises Him and He loves it. And I love you 🙂
I turned 40 nine years ago and I am so blessed to know that God has graced me with wonderful friends and a GREAT church like Faith. It’s only the beginning of years to come so that you may continue to grace all of us and the world with God’s words and messages. God has blessed me with keeping ALOT of my youthful ways and physical appearance and I know he will do the same for you. I love everything that you and Pastor Dave are doing for us all. Thank you for being our rocks in this chaotic world we live in today.
Susan – The Bible says “My mouth is satisfied with good things and my youth is renewed like the eagle.” I receive it!!!
Pastor Nicole I loved being able to come and celebrate your birthday on my very first tuesday service. When I found out that the church was throwing you a party I’m like mom I really really want to go. So My mom and dad drove me and my aunt to church dropped us off and as soon as I walked in I was ready to as pastor david once said P-A-R-T-Y. Hearing all the nice things that your friends and family said about you made me cry because your an amazing pastor who does such amazing things and you pray for people when something wrong is going on in their life. I felt like god was telling me to go to church that night pastor nicole for a reason, and now looking back I am so glad that I did. Hearing Ashtyn sing happy brithday to you made me cry because when I was little I would sing ahppy brithday to mom and every mom loves to have a little girl that does things like that. And when Pastor david started singing everyone was amazed he has such a great voice. I was so blessed to be a part of your birthday pastor nicole and I would celebrate all over again if I could. I call you blessed
Cheryl – I believe one day that you will have a little girl that will sing happy birthday to you – and YES you will cry again!
Pastor Nicole, you are a beautiful and amazing woman. You are an inspiration to me in the acheivements that you have accomplished in the business world, as well, as in your personal life. You Are Truly Amazing! God Bless you for being the glue!
Love and Prayers,
Lisa – I have never been called ‘glue’ before, but I take it as a compliment! LOL As long as you aren’t calling me ‘pasty white’ in which case I will need to invest in a darker color of self-tanning cream. 🙂
Just had a friend tell me last night that she had out of town company several months ago who came to church with her. You were preaching that Sunday and their 15 year old daughter just couldn’t stop talking about you. She could totally relate to what you were saying and you blessed her so much. Now all she talks about is how she wishes so much she could come to Faith Church. That’s how we all feel – all the time. Even though we can’t all have coffe with you, you still convey your love to us, and we feel it – and we love you back. So we all loved being a part of your birthday. It was wonderul to see you GET the blessings for a change instead of GIVE the blessings, as is the usual. I could not be more blessed than to have your beautiful spirit in my life. You bless me constantly. Happy, happy birthday, my Pastor – my beautiful sister in Christ. Love you.
Patti – Your words are so encouraging! I hope that we can connect with your friend from out of town and make her feel the love we both feel!!!!! That’s what it is about – loving and being loved 🙂
Awwww 🙂 I love the way you honor people. I think your party was one of the funnest I have ever been to! Even just helping to plan it was a TOTAL blast 🙂 Love you, can’t wait to plan your 50th… lol.
Let’s press hold on planning for 50!!!! LOL – enjoying 40 for now 🙂