I don't know how it happens. But along the way, you get pieces of the puzzle revealed to you. At first it's so minute you hardly notice it was there. Like the tiniest sound you heard but was so small you wonder if you imagined it. You didn't. It was Jesus whispering.
And then. Then you begin to get to a place where you crave it-pieces of that puzzle. You begin longing to know God's plans for you. Somewhere along the way you learned to ask for it and then look.
(Thank you Jesus for stellar teachers.) So you ask. And then keep your eyes peeled. And more pieces fall into place. It's beautiful.
And not because you want it by any means, you one day find yourself in a difficult, painful place or season. You love Jesus. You're even working in ministry. But something is....well....off. Not progressing. By this point, you've caught a glimpse of some of your future but know somehow something is just.....stuck. You question where you are. What you're doing. What's missing. You were sure God had showed you great things. And it didn't look like this.......
You press on. You are wrestling with everything but you know you have to keep asking. Keep Believing God and what He's said. So you pray. And cry. And pray a thousand times more. And give it up. Deciding He knows what He's doing and throw your hands in the air.
All of a sudden things turn around. You get a crazy opportunity to do something you've always wanted to do. And you practically skip in on your first day because you can't contain your excitement. At least....I did. I was so excited to begin working with Elijah Rising. All I could think about was learning how to combat the horror of trafficking and see what this led to for my future.
The first two days of this internship were a shock. I thought I knew exactly what I would walk into, how I'd handle it, what I'd do. In my head I had a plan mapped out. I had answers prepared for the questions I knew were coming at me. And that was just how it was going to be. I should've remembered that the second you do this planning/control thing God chuckles and stirs the pot.
On Tuesday the founder and fearless leader Cat spoke to us about all authority in Heaven and Earth being given to Jesus and gladly handed to us. We were reminded that He said we will do "even greater things than what I am doing." And with that in mind, we can literally walk into any place or situation and take spiritual authority over it. Command it under Jesus. That was followed by some incredible stories and was all enough to chew on for about 2 weeks. But I should have tried less than 2 days.
Today was one of the craziest and most mind-blowing I've ever experienced. It included but is not limited to learning how to intercede in prayer for specific trafficking situations, having a "John" come into our building because it used to be a brothel and leaving in tears because the staff reconciled him to Jesus, praying over/visiting a neighbor brothel and having the team face demonic attack, and then some intense care and prayer for me by everyone there. I never planned on all of this. Especially the way the staff cares for issues in each other. I hadn't had any intensions of discussing anything personal with them. My plan involved serving and working. But they saw right through it. I had a choice. I could choose to play all my cards close to my vest and not reveal my struggles. Or I could be blatantly honest-even though I knew exactly what their response would be and that it was the one thing I've kind of always feared. I chose to go with the fear. And guess what? That was the first thing to go. And now the place I thought was the most frightening and eccentric to hang out in is the safest I can think of. Today I was changed. Today I saw more of who I'm going to be than I have in a very long time. Perhaps ever. And today, some of the "blocks" were demolished.
Moral of the story? Open up those fists that have held so tightly to those last things you just don't want to give up. He is a gentleman, you know. He will wait for you to let go and invite Him to it. Once you grant Him access, it gets better than anything you could have planned for yourself. You have nothing to fear. The one who created this world has your name written on the palm of His hand.
As I left to drive home today, I asked Jesus if what I had just experienced was real. If I was just imagining I had literally become a new being in that building. I got in the car and turned a corner.