What Justin Bieber And I Have In Common




It sounds crazy, I know. But Justin Bieber and I have a lot in common. For one, he's the reason I went to the Hillsong Conference in Australia. Can you believe it?  I was already a big fan of Hillsong United's music and a few years ago,  Justin showed images of the conference on his instagram (the power of social media.) I was like, if Justin Bieber can go, why can't I? So I planned a trip, packed up my family and flew across the world to Sydney Australia. The conference was 4 beautiful days of soaking up the word of God and singing with a heart on fire. You should go! Really!!!

When we arrived, rumor had spread that Justin was in Sydney and I was like, of course he is!! He's going to the conference. Day 1, he walks right by me, day 2, I see him two times and he sits about 4 rows behind me. Day 3, I ride an elevator with him. I RIDE AN ELEVATOR WITH JUSTIN BIEBER!!! By day 4, a familiarity had taken over and I was so used to his little face that it barely excited me. It was like, oh it's just Justin again. 

Some back story. Last year, Justin was in Minnesota for his Purpose tour and he went to my church, River Valley on a Sunday. While he was there, my pastor's mother, Isabel prayed for him. Like hands on him-pray for him.  Isabel continued to pray for him and she even wrote him a letter. The letter read, "God has put it on my heart to continue to pray for you. If you need prayer here is my number (I mean how cute?) and remember that at the end of the day, God doesn't call you Justin Bieber. He just calls you, Justin." Well, that's the short version, but you get the point. It was darling. 

Back to day 3 and the elevator. The doors open and I am with my daughter, Ruby, my son's girlfriend, Starr and my pastor's wife, Becca. Becca has the letter in her purse, just in case she sees him. Amazingly, the night before the elevator ride, Becca prayed, "Lord, if  I am meant to give this letter to Justin, please create an opportunity." And boy did He ever.

The elevator doors open and in walks Justin freaking Bieber. I have no idea how, but I/we kept our cool and then Becca remembered the letter in her purse! She quickly asked (elevator rides are short) if he remembered Isabel from Minnesota praying for him and he said, "yes!"  Becca said, "she has continued to pray for you." And he said, "I really need it." And then like magic, Becca pulls out an envelope with his name written on it..."And she wrote you this letter!!!!" Justin now holding the letter says, "thank you" and exits the elevator. 

The door closes and  like twelve year-old girls—we all jump and scream and hug. It was glorious. So glorious that we forgot that we too were supposed to get off on his floor! LOL

During the worship part of the morning, we saw Justin waving the open letter in the air as he sang in praise. I stood in awe at how God uses people to get His work completed. He created an opportunity and completed His plan. 

So, what do I have in common with Justin—besides that we both have a heart for the Lord? 

Purpose Tour 2016. Instagram: I love 3 Js. Jesus, Jay and Justin in that order. 

Purpose Tour 2016. Instagram: I love 3 Js. Jesus, Jay and Justin in that order. 

When I got home from Australia, I decided to finally trust the whisper that I should quit my job teaching yoga and focus on finishing my book and new business. And just as soon as I did, I read that Justin had canceled the rest of his tour. Reporters claiming it was, "because of Christ." I had seen his concert that summer he came to my church, and  I can honestly say, he wasn't into it anymore. It felt like he was just going through the motions, void of any joy or passion. 

Now, I'm no rocket scientist, but I have to say that I witnessed something at that conference in that young man that created an upheaval in his heart. Justin and I both heard God at the conference and we both decided that it was high time we started listening. 

When God wants a work done in us...He always completes it. It just may take a lot of patience, listening and trusting His plan. So, Justin is now without a tour and I am no longer an active yoga instructor. 

Thank you Justin for having the courage to worship with 25,000 people, to listen to God and for hanging in that elevator when 4 crazy women were trying to not freak out. And thank you God, for endlessly pursuing our hearts and desiring our best. 

XO ~Heather


Heather Strommen