A wise scholar once told me something infinitely prudent. In her ravishing well-toned voice she said, “Love is like a fart. If you have to force it, it’s probably crap.”
True dat sister. True dat.
God has been showing me, through the Love Encounter experience and others, that His love doesn’t need to be forced. It’s unnecessary for me to try and force Him to move when the timing isn’t right, or to force His answers to be the ones I want. It’s humbling to realize these things. It makes us realize that we’re all really just amateurs.
I took some time to debrief after The Love Encounter, and if you were there you heard me share that credible fart quote during my testimony and you were also graced with the opportunity to see me spew a mouthful of water across the stage, all within the first five minutes. But throughout the whole weekend I was writing a lot of things down in my journal. I tried to keep track of everything that God was doing. I’m ready to spill a little bit now.
I was really nervous. I think there were a few times where I was seconds away from blowing chunks in the sanctuary, which I’m 83% sure would have considerably altered the mood. The truth is that I wasn’t completely confident in myself in any one of the areas that I was leading. I wasn’t only speaking at one of the sessions, I was also leading worship and hosting. Yes, this is a lot. It’s too much in fact. But I was one hundred percent confident in God (though it took me a moment to get back to this state of mind – fear is a nasty monster). I was confident that God was going to make this His own, because He had been telling me this over and over again beforehand. Back when He was showing me this I decided that I wasn’t going to push any kind of agenda, not even the schedule that I’d created for us to stick to. I told God that this was His. He was the one who gave me the idea anyway. He should be allowed to do whatever He wanted, even if it wasn’t originally part of the “on-paper-plan”. I wanted to be ready for anything. I wanted God to do what He thought was best, without my meddling. But what I don’t think I was ready for was the way that God met me during the weekend.
Really my attitude of submission was just me trying to cover my bases so that I didn’t walk in there with my own ideas and watch them bomb. I’ve learned the hard way in the past that if I go into something like this with a solid unchangeable plan then I can be prepared to watch it crumble. By my own strength I can only accomplish mediocre ministry, if any at all. But by His strength I’ll get my mind blown to shreds.
I stood back and watched what was happening a few times at TLE weekend. And I was struck every time by how amazing God is. All of the best stuff that happened that weekend had nothing to do with me or what I’d planned. Sometimes I think too highly of myself, and assume that I might have something to do with the great stuff. But really I could have not even shown up for the whole weekend and God would have lit the place up with me not even being there to oversee. I’m amazed by God. I’m amazed by what he does. And I’m constantly thrown off my game when he does things that I don’t expect. It’s humbling really, because it reminds me that I’m not the one running the show, and my power only comes from Him. God moved, bringing people back to their origins, to a place of one-on-one intimacy with Him. The Spirit was heavy in the room. Things were shaking in the spiritual realm. And God was being glorified.
I couldn’t have asked for better. I want to say an incredibly large THANK YOU to everyone who helped, to everyone who came and also to everyone who was praying throughout the weekend, whether you were there or not. I could feel the prayers. I think everyone could.
I still have a lot to learn, but God has opened my eyes in ways I didn’t realize were possible. I can’t wait to see where things will go from here. My vision is already bursting with colours of new things to come.
I’ll keep you posted, even though I’m terrible at consistency.