Wild Wilderness People

Pregnancy is weird.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again. But even though there is an Olympic-level soccer athlete inside my tummy trying to kick its way out, it seems to only be a slice of what I’m focused on right now. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. I mean it like I asked for a slice in my life and God handed me a whole cake.

It just shocks me that a year ago things were so different. I found myself in a place of waiting for everything. It was tough, praying every night before we went to sleep that we would get pregnant and not seeing it happen, praying for the Lord’s army to rush in and spring forward the timeline for the house we had just decided to build. Waiting, waiting, waiting. God was teaching us so much back then and we knew it, but it didn’t make it any easier. The message He made so clear to us was that His timing was perfect.

“Your timing is perfect. And you see all things.”

That was how we ended all of our prayers.

Not a lot of people know that I actually had a miscarriage this year, after seven months of trying to get pregnant and not succeeding. I know seven months isn’t a long time to try for a baby, many people have to try for much longer. And I know that miscarriages are extremely common. But it still stung.

I remember driving to the hospital at 3am the night that I woke up with minor contractions and I won’t even begin to tell you about what else was happening to my body. We had JUST found out we were pregnant too. I was so heartbroken that through my sobs I sang the bridge of a song by Elevation Worship that I had led recently as part of the worship team at my church, “By your Spirit I will rise from the ashes of defeat, the resurrecting King, is resurrecting me. In your name I come alive, to declare your victory. The resurrecting King, is resurrecting me.” I sang this because I was trying to bring my baby back to life. I knew that I was losing it and I was trying to bring it back. I was doing the only thing that I was able as my body rejected it; I was worshipping. Jesus, the One who raises the dead back to life, because He was my first and last resort.

The thing was that it finally seemed like we were experiencing some breakthrough. We had finally gotten pregnant. We had finally started to see some forward movement with the property we were purchasing to build a house. But God’s timing really is perfect, even when it doesn’t seem that way. And He sees ALL things. Every corner of our hearts and what we are feeling. He knows every word we speak and every word spoken against us. He knows everything.

Well it was a few weeks after the miscarriage that I started feeling pretty ill. I thought it was just a regular old sickness of some kind. I started falling asleep everywhere too, which really isn’t like me. And then at a family gathering my sister, whom I believe said this by the nudging of the Lord even though she may not have known it, suggested the possibility of me being pregnant. The thing was that I had just gone through the whole miscarriage thing and I didn’t think it was possible for me to be pregnant that fast. But since she said it, I couldn’t just let the thought slide, not after everything. And I’m so grateful that she had the courage to ask the question even though it was probably hard to ask, because it was that same day I buckled and went in to buy a pregnancy test. Oh pregnancy tests. How I loathed them by this point. But as it turned out, I was pregnant after all. And I was already several weeks into the pregnancy.

What?!

Everything was a bit behind schedule, even my first Dr. appointment which is supposed to be around 9 weeks didn’t happen until 12 weeks because before I saw the doctor I had to have an ultrasound to see how far along I was before I could book my first appointment. Then, because of how behind that all was, I missed the ultrasound deadline for screening, which isn’t imperative or anything but still, it was something to chuckle about considering how slow everything seemed to be moving in my life before. Suddenly everything was full throttle, and when my first trimester hit it was a sudden uncoordinated mess of sleeping all the time or barfing all the time. It seemed like in a flash I was right out of the game altogether and couldn’t even function at regular life.

Now instead of everything moving at the speed of a slug, time was getting away from me. I was halfway through my pregnancy before I had even registered completely that I was actually going to have a baby. And a GIRL no less! Suddenly I was sitting on my bed in a state of shock, with all kinds of bizarre thoughts going through my head, “A girl…? Really? I don’t know how to take care of a girl! I only have experience with a boy! I don’t even have any girl clothes, or pink things, or pretty stuff. How am I suppose to raise a girl?”

Well if there is one thing that I’ve learned, it’s that God DOES know how to take care of our children. And our homes. And our good old well being. This has been such an incredible time of growing (spiritually and literally) for me. We have kept to this prayer, “Your timing is perfect, and You see all things” because it has gotten us through the dry parts of the wilderness. The walk was long, hot, dry, and sometimes uncomfortable, but we knew that if we were faithful and trusted in the Lord, He really was going to bring us into the promised land, the place that we just couldn’t see over the dry hills until we crossed them.

But it wasn’t just the baby. Like I said, that is just a slice. An itty-bitty four pound home-slice, to be exact. There was more. There was the house. The home. The place the Lord was preparing for us. God has a funny way of hiding the opportunities until the time is right, even when we are praying for them. Sometimes when we are in the wilderness we look around and don’t see much of anything, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something just behind that next hill, or the next one. Don’t let doubt make you stop walking. You will lose your way and it won’t look good on you. Keep your trust and keep your head on straight, eyes up to Heaven. Or you will quickly start to look like a wild wilderness monster, and you will probably sound like one too.

Worship is something that is very close to my heart, especially since I first found out I was pregnant with Chase, our first child. Over him I prayed for a Heart of Worship during my whole pregnancy, and that he would be anchored in the Father’s Heart. I also prayed that he would be a joyful child and tagged on that it would be really cool if he would sleep well through the night. Boy did I get that. But now a girl is coming. A sweet little princess…at least I think that’s the right thing to say about upcoming girls. I wasn’t a sweet little princess growing up. More like a sneaky, misbehaving, dirt-faced, toad who would put war paint across my face and run through the trees after squirrels. So it begs the question, what am I going to pray over this little girl?

Many ideas swarmed my mind at first. I thought I would pray for a little missionary, or more specifically, a trailblazer, who would head into uncharted territory with the gospel! But that didn’t feel right. Then I thought maybe she was more the dreaming type, and I would pray for big dreams and maybe even add on a prayer for the gift of dream interpretation, along with wild visions as a prophetic painter! But that didn’t feel right either. Teaching/Pastoral? A leader? Walking in the prophetic? Filled with words of knowledge? Wisdom and Creativity? No, I don’t think so. I mean I would love for her to have all these things but there wasn’t one thing in particular that stood out. Nothing seemed right to me until the image of mountains came into my mind. Mountains. Mover of mountains.

Yes. That was it.

Instantly I knew that what I was going to be praying over this child was for supernatural faith. The kind of faith that will see the mountains moved. Our little mountain mover. Prayers flooded my mind for unshakeable faith, someone who would go to war until the mountains before her started to tremble. Yes, this was definitely it. A prayer warrior in my own home? Yes, please! There were a few other things too, like patience, which may have just been a result of dealing with Chase and his business for the past two years and hoping for a child that might end up being a little more relaxed (ha!) I’m so excited for this baby, to look into her little eyes and tell her how much I love her. I’m so excited to paint gold mountains on the walls of her bedroom, so that she always remembers what she is capable of. I’m so excited to see what she grows up to be like.

Thank you, Jesus, for bringing us through the wilderness, and thank you that we didn’t lose sight of your plans, your perfect timing, and your wisdom when it would have been easy to do so.

Sorry this got so long, but it’s been a while and I guess I had a lot to tell. This walk through the wilderness has been a long one. But I believe it’s God’s heart that everyone makes it to the promised land. So hang in there.

Peace.

 

Hunt Your Dragons before You Come

It only makes sense. As children of a Holy King we are fully equipped to be dragon slayers.

One of the hard things I’ve had to learn in my twinkling twenties is that dragging around baggage into areas where the love of Jesus is supposed to shine is inappropriate, un-classy, and just plain bothersome. In order to walk in freedom we need to release those things into the hands of our all-powerful Commander of Angel Armies.

I am the first name on this “guilty” list. I have done this too many times, especially when I was just starting to fine tune my spiritual ears to hear the voice of God, because before my twenties I didn’t even really understanding what listening was. I was what I like to call, a “RUSHER”. Everything must be done instantly. The moment I got a vision, I believed it was only going to work if it happened overnight.

Well that doesn’t leave God any time to move, now does it?

I have learned a couple of times over that God prefers to drag things out, not to torture those of us who are impatient, but so He can teach us things along the way. There are hidden treasures in this, worthy of discovering. Things that will change our lives. Things that will turn out to be the solutions to other unrelated problems if we let God work. Things we will take with us for the rest of our days so we are stronger and can do more. These little gems are what I believe Heaven’s storehouses are bulging with. And if we are patiently looking for them we will find them. If we are not then we are no different than crazy children running around and grabbing candy at Halloween. After we consume it all we will probably feel sick.

I don’t think there’s a Christian on the planet who isn’t guilty of bag-dragging. It’s really hard not to bring our inner conflict with us everywhere, our negative mind-dialogue, and our limb-flailing fears. But God’s plan isn’t for us to walk while pulling seven or eight hefty bags behind us through the dirt, rather, it’s His plan that we walk freely. It’s His plan that we trust in Him for what we need, because if we need it He will provide it, and if He doesn’t provide it, it’s probably because we are delusional about what we need.

In every situation, whether you are on your way to church or on your way to work or on your way to a family gathering, its best to spend five minutes (it literally doesn’t take more than that) by yourself and say to God, “I give you all of these things.” If you know what your dragons are, speak them out, hand them over and take away their power. If you don’t know why you are feeling like garbage and want to pound on the walls, you are probably PMS-ing. Just kidding. You’re probably dealing with something deeper than surface level issues. But I promise you that even if you can’t exactly pin point what your problem is, God knows what it is. Ask Him to take it. Then invite the love of Jesus to come in and fill you. Trust me, if you head out of your house this way you will have a much better time and all the people who you want to karate chop off a cliff will suddenly be much less horrifying.

The love of Jesus conquers all. Every time.

No dragon is bigger than the Holy Army Commander. So take that mighty sword and chop off that ugly dragon’s head. Hiya!!!

This might seem obvious and simple, but I went a long time before coming to this conclusion. And now it’s my go-to. Even on good days I try to remember to do this, because it makes my heart so much bulgier. And everyone wants a bulgy heart.

That’s what I wanted to share today. Bless you all!

Silver Platter of Filth

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I have two dramatically different sides. And one of my sides is unquestionably more charming than the other.

There’s my fun, full-stomach, had a good sleep, ready to face the world and make mankind laugh at my expense side…and then there’s the hungry, tired, spaced, mirror-image-of-a-zombie side. And trust me, when I go all Jeckle-Hyde and my zombie side comes out, you’d better hide before I infect you with my atrocious attitude.

I’m pleased to say that over the years I’ve learned to manage this and I’m a bear much less of the time than in my past. I have Jesus to thank for that.

One simple cure; time with God.

I think I’ve said this before, but it baffles me how potent this remedy can be. There was a time where my health (and I do mean my physical health) depended on me taking time every single day to rest in God. If I didn’t I would be short tempered and often I would feel sick to my stomach and exhausted shortly after. It’s shameful that it took so much to get me to realize that I needed to be with God on my own time more than just once or twice a year when I was feeling particularly motivated. Sometimes God tries to get our attention nicely first, but we pathetic humans usually fail to catch on. And when we do catch on we still decide we have better things to do.

Unfortunately I’m one of those people that God needs to knock clean off my feet from time to time to get my attention. I get distracted easily. I’m guilty of taking off to ‘chase the butterflies’ whenever they fly by.

There is one thing though that is persistent. Regardless of the fact that God uses necessary discipline to get me to listen, every time I come back he doesn’t scold me or kick me back into the dirt and walk off. Every time I sit down with God, he tells me that he loves me. He simply says, “Welcome back. Now let’s get down to business.”

This has been the beginning of many conversations and ‘planning sessions’ with God that have resulted in some of the best accomplishments I’ve ever experienced in ministry. The great thing for me is that God already knows everything, so I don’t need to run around and try to get the answers or figure everything out on my own. I simply wait. He gives me what I need. And then I go.

For ages I was always in the mindset of “I just have to get it together and then I will talk with God”. God doesn’t want that garbage. But Jesus made a point to stay away from the ‘put together’ people in his time. The raw truth is that God wants both sides of us, including the nasty one that you don’t want anyone to see. In fact, I think he mostly wants you’re imperfect side. Sheesh he already knows how crabby you get. Try taking that gross part of you to him when you’re feeling in the dumps and see what he does with it. Those moments of surrender have become some of the most character building experiences of my life.

All I’m saying is that there are a lot of ‘butterflies’ that are vying for our attention these days. There are so many things to think about and for some reason we are terrified to let them out of our minds for one second. We think they are the most important things in the world.

No one needs to become a zombie. Zombies are unnecessary. And the zombified-droopy-face-look is unflattering on everyone. So get back to God for a ‘faith-lift’.

I’m sending out dozens of little prayers right now. If you’re reading this then one of them will land on you. I’m sending out a prayer of God’s peace, and I’m praying that in this moment you would get a glimpse of God’s warm love. I hope he has your attention now.

Kropf out.

Enter the Maze

How do I explain this? Okay, sometimes I look at other people and I imagine their heads are like eggs. If you crack them open (non-violently of course) inside you will find egg whites and a yolk. This is normal. This is healthy.

I feel like when God made me He jammed a tub of cotton candy, twisty patterns, endless tunnels to other worlds, a whole village of people with strong personalities, eight vastly different pairs of shoes and a box of crayons into my egg-head. I hope I never have to get brain surgery. Because I have this sinking feeling that I’ll freak out the surgeons.

I’m not saying that there is something wrong with me, but there are definitely times when I feel like I’m doing everything I can to hide the fact that I might be a ‘crazy person’. Sometimes it’s incredibly frustrating to try and keep ‘the brain beast’ under control. Someone can be having an entire conversation with me and I will be looking right into their eyes, even nodding, but I can be in a completely different place, having no idea what they’re saying. I want to listen. I want to be a part of what the person is talking about. But my mind takes off without consent. I’ll catch the first few words, and then notice something across the room, or something they say will trigger an idea or thought, and then I’m gone. For the next couple of minutes while they talk, I’m not aware of anything except what my mind is producing.

It’s borderline embarrassing. If I’m not quick on my feet at the time I won’t be able to come up with some sort of stuttering response to whatever I think they were talking about. Usually I have to take a wild guess. And thankfully I’m usually right. But sometimes I’m not, which makes me look really stupid.

It started in high school, I think. But maybe it was before that. I had systematically trained myself to sit in a chair and check out, the moment the teacher opened his/her mouth. I would stare at them so they thought I was listening. But I would be somewhere else entirely, creating a distant landscape or engaging in some ridiculous legendary battle that I’d fabricated in my mind. I was doing it on purpose at first. But after a few years of getting into the habit, I couldn’t stop. Daydreaming became my kryptonite.

It started getting really bad when I could sit by myself for hours with no concept of what time it was. In those moments the idea of having to move was aggravating, almost unthinkable. I would watch things; machines, people, animals, trees. I would study them obsessively until I understood how they worked, or discovered every detail. A tree is not just a tree. It is branches, leaves, a trunk, bark, moss, buds, bugs, and sometimes birds. And it feels cold, sometimes moist, depending on the tree. I don’t know why I ever realized this. Trees really aren’t of any concern to me. Why do I even care? I don’t. But for some stinking reason I notice it anyway. Bah.

85% of the time I’m battling between trying to pay attention to what’s important (like someone talking to me, remembering that I have to make supper, or that I should probably do the laundry) and the overwhelming pull that is taking me in another direction – somewhere that isn’t important but consumes me. Some fantasy land I create. Plotting out the traits of a character that isn’t real. Some crisis that would cool for the character to overcome.

It’s exhausting. Several times a day I’m telling my brain to shut up. Who talks to their own brain? I don’t typically sleep well on a normal night either – usually because I just think and think and think and think…

The weird part is that I actually can focus on something, if it’s something I like. If it’s making the preparations for something that I can see the big picture of that no one else seems to get, I can do it. I can do it because I want to prove the world wrong. I want to do it so that everyone can see the end result, the way I see it. People don’t always see what I see, the big dream that I know will be amazing once it’s finished. In those instances my focus is spear-like.

I’m not going to lie, I think if I didn’t believe in God, if I didn’t have the relationship with Him that I have, I would have probably lost my mind by now. I would be restless all the time. Peace was foreign to me, until I really started to pursue God to the point of choosing to give those things, those parts of me that I typically can’t control, to Him. He keeps the aimless wanderings going in the right direction at least. I must focus my energy on something. So I know I can accomplish masterpieces if I keep my focus on Him.

Not everyone gets my need to constantly spring into a new situation or venture out into new territory. It’s not that I’m reckless. And it’s not that I’m ignorant and don’t understand the risks. It’s that I’m trying to feed the howling ‘brain-beast’ that won’t shut up until I do.

Not everyone gets my need to escape either. I love people, don’t get me wrong. But sometimes I realize that I need seclusion, and I don’t know where the freak-desperation comes from without warning, but sometimes I just need to be by myself so that I can ‘hear myself think’. Little distractions instantly become my enemy. I need to focus, or I will lose my train of thought. And if I lose my train of thought I might never get it back. And for whatever reason my mind deems it pivotal to keep these little thoughts safe, like they are priceless treasures that are worth a fortune.

It’s so weird. I’m not saying it’s normal. I was never really a normal kid – even in elementary school I had more than one teacher that had to pull me aside to get me in trouble for handing in papers with doodles and pictures coloured in around all the margins of the paper and only half the required school notes. I never broke that habit. In fact, halfway through my grade 10 math exam I gave up and just wrote, “I don’t need math. I will get through life with my art” across the page. And then I handed it in. Granted, at the time I might have been a little naïve. But I was never good at exams.

You know, finally confessing all of this actually makes me feel better about it. I think I just needed to let it all out for a change. Thank God, for God. I can’t even comprehend what my life would be like without Him.

And for the record I’m not crazy. Just a little distracted on a regular basis.

That’s my rant. Tootles.

When God Breathes. (Or Sneezes.)

ImageI did that thing again. The thing where I get the absurd idea that I can push forwards and figure out this dandy life all on my own. At what point am I going to realize that I’m not strong enough? I mean, I’m great. Sure. Maybe. Maybe not. But either way I’m stinking weak.

Me trying to run around and get things done for the Kingdom of God without actually taking a moment to consult God, is like me trying to build a Lego castle with my hands tied behind my back.

Now that would just be plain embarrassing. I’d have to use my feet.

When the Word of God speaks into my life I imagine God breathing right into me; inhale… exhale… redeemed. Forgiven. Shameless.

It takes time for God to breathe. Resting in his presence is pivotal when you’re trying to do something on His behalf. When I decide to take something He’s given me and run with it before He’s finished talking, or before I get the whole picture, I take God’s precious breaths and splatter them onto the world like a nasty sneeze. And that’s a bad representation of God. God doesn’t sneeze. He breathes.

God has so much to say. People misunderstand this because sometimes they shoot a prayer up to Heaven and don’t hear a reply. So they move on. But He’s talking. And He’s saying the most amazing things, things that could change your life, or your circumstance. Things that could call you into your destiny, or into an adventure.

What would God show you if you simply rested in his presence for twenty minutes? And don’t say you don’t have time. Twenty minutes is nothing. Twenty minutes is the amount of time it takes my husband to make a ham sandwich. Anyone can talk to God for twenty minutes.

Something that I’ve avoided telling the world thus far is that I’ve been writing nonfiction novels since I was fifteen years old. I probably have about thirty novels sitting on my laptop right now that are around 100 pages in Microsoft Word. I do it as a hobby. It was always my way to relax after a rough day at work or at school. Depending on where I was working in the past, sometimes I wrote 4 – 5 novels a month. I’d sit down with a great opening line or a mind boggling concept and in three days I would polish off a whole book, which resulted in a lot of series writing.

This, though fun, has also been a crutch for me. It’s so easy to dive into a place that’s not real and disappear for a while, instead of taking responsibility for the things that God is telling me to do by simply ‘holding off’ on them until I’m ‘ready’. So when I come up for air from my book-universes I take off running with the last thing I can remember that God told me, and get confused as to why it seems like I’m starting to veer off in the wrong direction.

I feel like this could be solved so easily if I just took twenty minutes to have a conversation with Him before I start plowing forwards. But I’m constantly forgetting. I love writing, a little too much, in a borderline-obsessive kind of way. I think that most writers have a story inside of them that’s relentlessly trying to get out at least 83% of the time. And I don’t consider that to be a curse, I consider it to be a gift. But I have to make time for God, I must. Or I’ll stop in the middle of the journey somewhere and realize that I don’t know even know where I am. And those moments are the worst. It makes me restless. I usually turn into a bear.

God breathes. And it’s so refreshing. It’s like sinking into a hot bath with pomegranate scented bubbles.

People spend years and thousands of dollars on things that they think can give them a moment of relief like that; therapy, vacations, spa days, whatever. And that stuff can be fab. But none of it will make a difference if your mind is restless – if you haven’t made things right with God.

Twenty minutes of letting Him breathe into you. Please just try it. It’s free.

Kropf out.

It’s Rude to Treat God Like Santa

Here’s why,

I don’t know about you but it’s pretty easy for me to make a list in my mind of things that I would like and “send it up” to God. This is generally the nature of my prayers, since I’m a ‘list person’. Even if you’re not a ‘list person’ though, I bet you sometimes do the same:

Dear God,

1) Please do this

2) Please change that

3) Please cause Janine, my least favourite co-worker, to choke on her banana this morning

4) I want more money

5) I want more happiness

6) I want more candy

7) A Ferrari would be nice

8) A McLaren F1 is my second choice

9) Please make Janine go mute

10) I will settle for a new Mazda 3

11) Please God, for the love of yourself, don’t let these maniac drivers on the road ram me into a tree. They all drive like idiots. Maybe it’s the snow… Okay it’s probably not the snow, they look like idiots too. Everyone is an idiot. God, why did you make a whole heaping world of idiots?

Lists, right? Admit it. You do it too.

But here’s the thing, as handy-dandy as lists are to write for ourselves to remember things, they seem to sometimes get in the way of our relationship with God.

Feel free to try and disagree with me. But I think I’m right.

God seems to constantly be asking for a relationship. If he wanted us to whip up a list and submit it to him, we might as well call him Santa Clause and treat every day like Coca Cola’s version of Christmas. Because that’s basically what we’re doing. But all throughout the Bible God had conversations with his faithful ones, relationships that were so strong that certain human beings actually changed the course of the world by having a conversation with God that made God change his mind about things. That seems crazy, but it also seems so obvious; why wouldn’t God value our opinion enough to be swayed by it? He is asking for a relationship. Moses was constantly conversing with God, asking him to give the Israelites another chance even though they became rude ungrateful whiner babies on more than one occasion. God made the animals but then let Adam name them. And God’s relationship with many others throughout the Bible was the same as these. God wants to know how you feel, what you think and he wants to ‘talk it out’. He doesn’t want your Christmas list. Save that for the fat fraud in red. What he really wants is to know the real you, not what you want, and for you to know the real him. He wants us to listen and wait for him to respond. But maybe we’re too busy reciting our list, trying to make sure we tell him everything we want in the ten seconds we reserve for prayer. But the joke is on us. God already knows everything we want. In fact, he knows all the desires of our hearts.

Do we know the desires of his?

I’m SO guilty of getting caught up in my list. What will I tell God in the end if I see him in person for the first time and he says, “I told you the desire of my heart. I told you because I knew you could fulfil it.” And then I say, “Well you see…I really wanted this car…and then there was all of this drama at work…and then the dog crapped on the floor…and I really just needed to get it all sorted out.”

He also doesn’t want us to simply surrender all of our hopes, dreams and passions though either. He gave us those things for a reason. If he didn’t want us to have free will, to have passions, opinions, or gifts, he would have built himself robots – not humans. But he made us human for the sake of relationship. He says, “I know your dreams. Bring them to me and let’s discuss them”. He wants to give you the desires of your heart. He doesn’t want you to toss them out the window and then turn to him and say, “God, what am I supposed to do? I need direction! What am I supposed to do with my life?” I like to imagine him sitting in a lazy boy with a cup of coffee and pondering this. Then finally he leans forward, smirking a little, and says, “What do you want to do?”

All I’m saying is that I think God cares more about what we think than we realize. He will sit with you for hours and ‘hash it out’ until you can both come up with a solution to the problem, if that’s what you really want. But he wants to sort it out with you. It’s okay to let him help, because no offense but he’s better at this life stuff than you are. He has a gazillion more years of experience. And if we’re willing to build on that relationship, we will start to understand his heart. And that’s where the fun begins. Because you never know, he just might say, “Go to Jamaica and preach the gospel. Then go to Mexico and build homes for the homeless so that the people can see that I love them, and after that, go to South Africa and minister to orphans and teach about me in the schools. You, precious one, are going to live a life of adventure.”

Can you feel it? He’s speaking to you.

Kropf out.

Mind…Blown.

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.
Peace out.