Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Conferences, Car rentals, and Airport Starbucks

4.5 years ago, I attended my very first Beth Moore Conference. I was very taken with the humbleness in which she went before the Lord, and depended on & glorified Him alone in everything. She really spoke my language. She said things in a way that got to me. The first night, I wrote in my journal that I was really struck by the way in which she glowed. Radiated. Like a woman in love. It hit me. She was IN love with Jesus Christ and it radiate in her face. I wanted that so desperately. To be mad about Jesus like that. But, oh, how impossibly far that seemed! I was a hot mess. In the throws of lifelong bondage and deeply intrenched in many pits all at once. Getting free from everything was a haunting picture that seemed to live in the distant corners of my dreams alone. That night, I scribbled a prayer next to my notes from her talk. "Jesus, I want to be like that. I want to radiate and glow because I've fallen madly IN love with you. I want to walk confidently & loudly in freedom over every chain of addiction, destructive thought pattern, and generational curse. I want the impossible." 

Chapter 1:
August 26, 2011. Living Proof Live with Beth Moore. I travel several states away-alone-to attend a familiar conference that I've been to several times. I knew what to expect. Or so I thought......

I got a seat in the front row and the night was amazing. I can't even begin describing it to someone who wasn't there, but there was an insanely thick presence of the Holy Spirit that I hadn't experienced in that way before. And everybody else was experiencing it, too. The night was intensely amazing. 

I arrived at my hotel for check-in to be told my card has declined. I was in shock. I had deposited over $700 that morning into my account! I checked my bank app to find that Hertz had charged me $700 for a $19.99 car rental! There really wasn't much I could do. I was broke, alone, stranded, and quite hungry. I panicked. I flipped out. I was completely overwhelmed. I felt like a fool for going so far to attend a silly, normal conference that I've been to many times. I began mentally beating myself up. And a whole bunch of issues with being in a season of such isolation and lack of community and single came to the surface and I lost it.

You know when you sob so hard it shakes your whole body? I didn't know a person could cry that hard for that long. 

I dug up $2.00 in change from my purse and went to Denny's. I ordered a $2 breakfast and sat for a few hrs. Just dazed.  Overwhelmed. Then I tried sleeping in the car, but I was scared. It didn't work too well.  I went back into Dennys a little after 4:00 in the morning to wash up, change, and put my face on. The poor waitress must've wondered what the heck was going on. I  returned to the venue for day # 2 of the conference. 

Chapter 2:
I sat in my seat in the front row and pleaded with the Lord for a very specific word for me. I needed to know I had gone so far for a reason. During the morning session, Beth touched on the fact that EVERYTHING in our lives is with such purpose. Nothing at all is an accident or wasted. She shared some of her story, a very familiar topic to me. As she did, my mind drifted because I'd heard it a lot before. I began to think of where I've come from. The amazing number of pits and amount of bondage He's taken me out of, healed the effects of, and built beautiful ebeneezers from the ashes of. As I recalled a lot of the addiction, mental illness, etc..... I've come from and been completely freed of, I was absolutely floored by the vision of what He's done with me. In me. In spite of me. I realized the extent of His work. And right about then, out of nowhere, Beth walks over and stands directly in front of me, points at me, and declares, "YOU, sister. Every single thang you're dealing with at this very moment is with complete purpose. Do you believe that? Do you trust Him?" We locked eyes and I just began bawling. I nodded and whispered "yes" to her. She said, "I know." 

I needed that. I needed to know all I'm dealing with-from isolation & singleness to the drama of being stranded- is with intense purpose. 

After that session, I got taken backstage with a few other Siestas to get a picture and a hug. She asked my name and said "I KNEW that was my CA girl. You're almost too darling to stand. And I have to tell you, your face is radiating with Jesus today." I laughed and thought, "yeah. Radiating no shower!" Then, In an instant, I had a flash back to the very first conference I attended. To the journal entry I wrote that included a prayer of longing to be so in love with Jesus that I radiated. And how deep in bondage I was at the time. And I realized what-in this moment-through Beth-The Lord was speaking to me. (Because He knew it all started with Her studies and wanted to wrap it up with her personally speaking this over me). With the words she specifically used, He was saying: 

"Baby Girl, we've arrived." 

Maybe a lot of people won't understand it.
Maybe I'm sounding dramatic.
But coming from where I was, It's almost too much to bear. 

Chapter 3:
(Back at the airport).....
After getting everything straightened out with Hertz and money back, the first thing I did was find my gate and then a Starbucks. As I waited, my eyes welled up with tears again at the thought of everything that had happened in 2 days. I said to Jesus, "Man. I just feel like hugging someone who'd understand how big this weekend was." And I turned around and ran straight into Beth. Yep. A good choice of someone to hug who'd understand. And isn't it just like Jesus to do that? Does it get any better?

I am wrestling hard with what all this might mean. Since I'm completely free and healed and passionately in love, I am aware I'm called to something. Deep. Intense. Sacrificial. Unique. Mis-understood by this world. (And sadly, perhaps even a lot of believers out there.)  I know I'm only going to grow more abnormal from here. I'm going to make people uncomfortable. I'm going to have to get used to that. My feelings say that I need and want to figure out where I can go. What I can do. And perhaps that is the next step. Or perhaps I need to figure out how to successfully and completely live all this fully right here doing what I already do. I don't see that being a strong possibility. Starbucks forbids you to talk to each other or customers about your faith. It's making it hard to stay. To affect my co-workers. I don't know WHAT I'm supposed to be doing. So I will love Jesus. I will work on falling IN LOVE with Jesus & knowing Him more. I will work on loving those around me and those He's placed in my life madly to the best of my ability each day. Period. Everything else eventually fades. It's all crap that doesn't last. Love. Only love. Jesus.  Only Him. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

i'm just an ordinary person,
with so much resistance and so many hindrances.
i'm just a common average woman,
with an ugly past, that keeps tryin' to hold me back.
limitations all surround me
and this world thinks that it's drowning in hopelessness.

then i hear you call my name
out loud and i say yes!

just a moment for a lifetime.
for such a time as this, i say yes!
i've been chosen to arise,
for such a time as this, and i say yes!

alive awake alert, i know i don't deserve,
why i'm in this position,
but i'm here ready to serve.
willing to lose it all, i'm answering your call.
oh heart and soul please listen,

for the mandate must be heard.
your grace and favor crown me,
and i need your strength around me,
'cause i still fear how hard it might be.

and what's worth living for, if nothing is worth dying for?
i'm gonna make a stand, i'm gonna make an echo.
i'm gonna make some history, with his story!
writing the pages of today to read about tomorrows change,
'cause i know i was made, for such a time as this.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Land

"A time will come when you will no longer call me the Living God who rescued Israel from Egypt. Instead, you will call me the living God who rescued you from the land and places where I had forced you to go. And you will once again live in your own land. " -Jeremiah 23

Sometimes God allows us to go to places that are not our land. Sometimes we spend years in slavery and it creates a question of why God allows such pain. Oftentimes the answer is that if we didn't experience crap, we wouldn't be able to help anyone else through thiers. And we wouldn't know the beauty of redemption and the fresh new beginning that comes with healing.

It's a beautiful thing to hear God say here that we will be drawn back from the places we've ended up in and inherit our promised land. I don't know about you, but it's time. I'm taking my land. Finding out what it is and taking it. Whatever that is going to look like. It's time and I'm ready. Are you? Let's get in gear and Thrive. Nothing compares. NOTHING.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Journey

Nothing deeply spiritual today. Except to say that this is around a year ago.

And this is around now.

And it's one of the hardest things on this earth to go from 230 to 160 pounds. And I'm not talking physically difficult. I'm talking about beginning the working out and realizing that the reasons for overeating and a lack of discipline are very much intimacy, trust, and Daddy issues in your walk with The Abba King. And it takes HARD work to deal with those. I've gone through more revelation of the good, bad, and ugly in the last year than ever. I don't thinkI was aware that someone could go through such an array of emotions and experiences in one year. And seeing that array of experiences show up in a physical way is a very eary, odd, and out-of-body experience. Hmmmmmmm. I said nothing deep and spiritual today. Guess that's not possible......If I'm proud of my appearance it's mainly because it's a physical proof of all He's doing in me. Lest I ever begin to forget. And, oh, we're not done yet!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

"And Joshua son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands upon him; so the Israelites listened to him and did as the Lord commanded Moses.  And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like Moses,
whom the Lord knew face to face" (Deuteronomy 34:9-10 AMP)I want to have the kind of intimacy with The King that means when I lay hands on someone in prayer or blessing, things really start to happen. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

I've been ruined. Utterly, intensely, truly, violently ruined. 

My Daddy is THE King. And I'm His daughter, whom He created in His very image. He's given me all the power and authority He has over this earth and the demons that live on it. He's handed me His seal so that I can act on behalf of His name while He's there and I'm here. And I haven't been living in that. Not NEARLY enough. I should be dynamic. I should be dangerous. I have the ability to literally move mountains, heal disease, and make demons shriek with fright when they see me coming. Jesus said to His disciples, "and you will do even greater things than these." I have the Holy Spirit alive within me and I'm not living in this!?!? I've neglected Him too long because I'm afraid of where He'll ask me to go & the things He'll ask me to do. People are going to think I'm a nutcase and I don't want to deal with friends, family, and co-workers dis-approving of the way I walk in the Spirit rather than in the way most people in this country live. But I SHOULD be more afraid of grieving the Spirit by pushing Him down than of what others think. 

So, here starts the weirdness. I'm refusing from here on out to be sucked into materialism and statuses ever again. I am not a Barista. I am not a Zumba instructor. I am not a clown. I will not find comfort in these labels. I am royalty. A real princess who has power beyond belief because her Daddy redeems, heals, defends, provides, rights wrongs, makes beauty out of ashes and gladness out of mourning. I don't know what's becoming of me. I don't know how I'm about to change. I don't know how many people are going to find me too extreme. But I know I won't regret it when I stand before my Daddy-King. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Yesterday I was in tight quarters around lots of strangers all day. Naturally, you get into conversation. About the fifth or sixth time someone asked me "what do you do?" As I began my regular speel of "I'm a partner @ SBUX, I'm on staff w/ a High School ministry, I'm a clown, I'm a Zumba instructor...." I became very convicted. In a sudden flash something became extremely apparent to me. When asked about myself, I automatically default into these answers. I realized that in my mind they are a description of who I am & how I see myself. And I realized how very dangerous that is. Because that brings u to one of two schools of thought. 1.) most people think there I absolutely nothing wrong with what I do. In fact, to most people these are all good things. And sometimes I sit in a lot of ugly pride over some of it. 2.)To some people they may seem slightly immature and not quite successful ENOUGH for a woman my age.

I struggle & go back & forth between both pride & shame over the list of things I'm involved in. I either love being different or think "Have I completely failed at success for someone my age because I do things that are basically minimum wage?" This is often looming over my head with sharp teeth waiting to sink into a good, juicy victim for dinner.

Yesterday I had a real moment of clarity. Of reminders. Of vision. Of conviction. Of renewed focus. When asked "what do you do?" people are essentially saying "what are you and your life about?" And here I'm answering with this list. That tells a lot about what I see when I look at myself in my heart & spirit. If I was truly seeing myself accurately, I would have such an overflow that when asked this question my answer would be "I'm actually royalty. I'm a daughter of the King over all. I have His authority and seal so that I can make things happen on His behalf wherever I go." Can you imagine what'd happen if we actually got that & functioned in this daily? What if when asked what we do, we answered like that? We SHOULD.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Beautiful butterfly!

I was thinking today about A Bugs life. And Heimlich. And caterpillars. And how weird it must be to go from a crawly fat creature who lives in the dirt to beautiful wings and flying. Ha. Do u see the parallel here? My mind goes straight to Beth's "Breaking Free". Yeah. Weird bunny trail. My mind is a scary place. The point is that with Jesus, we get to go from fat crawly creatures who spend their time wriggling around in the dirt (bondage, pits...) to utter beauty. And I'm not talkin the kind on the cover of Vogue.  I mean, really. Is there anything better? This is just IT! In the words of Heimlich, "I am a beauuuuutiful butterfly!" 