So! I’ve kind of neglected writing lately but for semi good reasons! However, as my official comeback I decided to Blog about an event that was worth the wait.
This event is an empowerment conference titled “God Is!” started by Jamell Matthews, who is a resident of Nashville, Tennessee. Jamell started a summer conference in honor of her daughter Taylor Makensie Matthews. Now, the conference does take place in Convington,TN and I know I only blog about Memphis events or Memphians(which Jamell pretty much is) but be patient while I give you the back story. You’ll understand how it connects to Memphis and why it had to be blogged about!
In the summer of 2015 the worst thing that could have happened to a mother happened to Jamell Matthews (Hey Melly, Love you). That morning Jamell received a call informing her that her 5 year old daughter had been one of three people involved in a house fire at her father’s house in Memphis, TN. She was informed that her daughter unfortunately did not make it. Jamell, who lives in Nashville had to drive 3 hours with the thought of her only child being gone replaying over in her mind. Hoping and praying that when she arrived to Memphis Taylor would be alive, welcoming her with open arms or that Taylor would recover from whatever injuries she had sustained.
“What were your thoughts while driving to Memphis?”
While driving to Memphis, I had every emotion that one could possess. I was angry, confused, in shock, hurt, in disbelief, scared, hopeless but faithful…literally, whatever you name, I felt it in those 200 miles. I remember talking to God about all the miracles in the Bible and I knew He would do something for me. And when I say I talked to God, I literally talked to Him as if he was sitting in the car with me. There was nothing that could have prepared my heart or my mind for what I was going home to. Once I got the call that I needed to go home because there was nothing that could be done until the medical examiner’s office opened up, there was so much rage in my heart. I felt God had completely betrayed me. I had no other child, she was my only and I just knew He wouldn’t put me in that situation. I still had about an hour left in the drive and I just remember driving, crying, cursing, and trying to avoid phone calls with questions I had NO answers to.
Months went by and I could never really find the words to express to comfort Jamell. I just made sure that I was present whenever she needed me. I watched her be as normal as she could possibly be and would have conversations trying to convince her that she wasn’t crazy. However, one day Jamell texted me about something a little different. Jamell said she wanted to start an empowerment conference and have a website dedicated to Taylor. Of course I was all for it. I knew it would help her to deal with her loss and allow her to be a blessing to others in some sort of way. She briefly explained that the conference would be to equip others with the necessary tools to overcome adversity and to expose them to topics that aren’t heavily discussed in everyday life. That was the same summer Taylor passed. Fast forward to now, as we are approaching year two of the conference. Talk about perseverance! I was able to attend some of a piece of the conference on last year and although I was only sit through the relationship session I could tell it was needed and effective. So many questions for that session alone and on top of that we ended with us grabbing hands with an individually we did not know and praying for them. Can you imagine holding hands with someone you just met at that moment and them praying for you, brining up subjects that you never mentioned to them...because you don't know them! We all need others to intervene for us at times, support, counsel, knowledge, and connections.
The conference was a direct response to a vision God gave me. While I was questioning how He could do this to me, He quickly showed me that I wasn’t going through this for myself, but it was to help others and show them what true faith and trust in God looked like.
Taking place the weekend of July 14th (July 14th-July 16th). Registration begun Jun 4th and will continue until July 2nd. Ticket prices range from 15-25 with the different prices including:
Food (Breakfast and Lunch Saturday)
$20: All of the above plus shirt
$25: All of the above
Priority for meals
Intimate VIP panel meet and greet
Some of the sessions include discussions on the power of your words, mental health, and relationships with Prayer and Worship kicking off the conference on Friday and Church bringing everything to an end on Sunday. Vendors will be present after church service. For those who are interested in signing up for the conference (can find sign up under the events tab on the website), becoming a vendor at the conference, or simply donating to the cause please contact via e-mail or visit the website.
For anyone who met Taylor, they can attest to her strength and determination at the age of 5. Taylors World was once a hashtag that documented all of the craziness that she brought me; it was a place I wanted to escape some days. Now, it’s a place I want to live in. It’s a place I find strength. At 5, she challenged me to be better. The overall concept of this conference is to empower people to be their best selves. Had I not birthed her, there would be no Taylor’s World and I wouldn’t be in a situation where I felt the need to help empower others to make it through the story of my daughter.
Thank you Jamell for sharing your testimony with the world. For displaying the true meaning of walking by faith and stepping into your purpose! Jamell’s story shows your trials and tribulations do not define who you are but equip you for what God has in store for you. The journey is probably never a desired one but one that brings you to an understanding of who you are, eventually. Remember to love each other while there is still time.
St Luke Church in Covington, TN
Friday- 7:00 PM
(Prayer and Worship is Free)
Saturday- 9:00 AM
Sunday- 9:00 AM (Worship)