My prayer group met this past Saturday morning. I was beyond tired all week long, so it was no surprise that I woke up that day with a migraine. Several women had to cancel so I wasn’t sure if anyone was going to show up at all. Honestly, that was perfectly ok with me since I wasn’t feeling great. I was praying God’s will for the morning so I was prepared for a group or a few hours of downtime. Either was fine with me.
What I got was some one-on-one time with an amazing woman of God! It was faith-building, life-inspiring, tremendously encouraging time! If that isn’t a Jesus encounter, I don’t know what is.
For those of you that didn’t make it, let me share what God put on my heart:
If you have been reading my blog, you know I recently visited Bethel Church in Redding, California. You can read more about it hear Finding Joy.What I shared Saturday morning with my friend was another way I saw the Holy Spirit move in my life over that weekend.
My trip started at the airport at 7am with no wallet, meaning no ID to board my plane. An amazing act of God preformed by my two of my favorite girls ensured I made my 9am flight but it was not without an intense amount of stress. After the flight we had a nice drive from Sacramento to Redding. To most people that sounds delightful. For me, riding passenger in a car after flying on a plane messed me up. Sadly, all of that added up to a really bad attitude at church that night when the guest speaker brought a message on intimacy in marriage. I don’t recall much but a few points from the sermon that night but the points that stuck with me got me all riled.You see I’ve been married for 19 years. That’s a long time for someone (me) with a colossol amount of unresolved past hurts to share the same room with someone with equally as much junk. We love each other. We’re committed to each other and we are putting in the effort to make our relationship everything God intended it to be but it’s hard. Wouldn’t you know it, God choose this weekend to deal with something I’m a little hung up the moment; intimacy.
I had so much anticipation for what God was going to say to me that weekend and I ‘m rather embarrassed to say I got pissed when He said he wanted to talk about my struggle with intimacy. Here’s where I had a very Lyndsay moment. I pitched a fit. For the love of all that is decent in the world, when am I going to stop doing this? Hallelujah, I serve a God who doesn’t get fed up with me but instead lovingly draws me back to him every time.
Saturday morning we went to the healing rooms. This place is so incredible. If you are ever in the area you should check it out. http://bethelredding.com/content/healing-rooms-0 I can recommend a great place to stay too!
It was a life-changing experience. To be so immersed in the presence of Jesus does I something radical! If you get a chance to visit this place I promise you will not be disappointed at all.
I want to point out here that I am saying this several weeks later. At the time, I wasn’t seeing or feeling it. Instead I felt anxious. I was annoyed by something I thought I heard. Something about not being able to move forward in ministry because I struggling with intimacy in my marriage. This is a lie the enemy has recently been trying very hard to pin on me. It seems so easy to see it now but not so much when I thought I was hearing this Pastor tell me something I knew was a lie. This is where indignation typically rears its ugly head for me. And I’m not talking the righteous kind.
But God knows me and He was quick to do something awesome. While I was receiving prayer in the healing rooms the Lord told me he loves the relationship we share; that I make him smile and he takes delight in my quirky (or shall we say whiny) personality. I’m in the middle of throwing a fit and Jesus is reminding me how much he loves me even in my current state. Thank you Jesus!
Oh how I wish hearing that from Jesus would be enough to calm me down but no, not me. When I’m worked up the only remedy is to physically exert my emotions out. I may or may not have taken my life into my own hands by walking along the main road in front of my dad’s house but it had to be done. God kept me safe and my mom patiently listened as I unloaded exactly how I was feeling. Her words to me cut through all the bull. She knew my heart and she gently reminded me that what I desire most is a clean heart before the Lord. Above everything else; above my own indignation, stubbornness and self-centeredness, I desperately want that. A clean heart before the Lord.
In the wee hours of Saturday night, after an eventful joy-filled game of Mexican Train and witnessing someone else’s powerful encounter with Jesus I sat on the couch with Pastor Cindy and I unpacked my anxious, irritated feelings for the second time that day. This time I gave them to Jesus. Freedom came flooding back in His Presence. I had clarity again and could see Heaven invading my world. Another powerful Jesus encounter.
While my anxious thoughts had been replaced with peace, I still wasn’t really feelin it even the next day. Our 5 hour delay coming home didn’t aid my emotional situation in anyway. Monday morning life went back to normal as it always does. At first, I didn’t really notice anything. Life was its usual demanding self.
Then one day, very unexpectedly Jesus spoke through the words of Overflow. The section was on the story of Joshua and Caleb and the incredible faith they had to believe that even in the midst of adversity that everything is possible because the Lord told them to take the land and not to be afraid. The author goes on to pose this question, “How much stronger would we be if we used our adversity as food to strengthen our faith and walk with God?”
After reading that I remembered another word I got from a beautiful young lady at Bethel ironically named Lindsay too. She said that God waste’s nothing. This girl made a point to tell me this and in the moment of contemplating how my own adversity has strengthened my walk, Jesus was reminding me of it again. My usual feeling is that I have had more than my fair share of adversity in my life. While that might be true, I have also seen, over and over, God use that it to produces beautiful characteristics in me. Ones that weren’t there before. Ones that reflect the image of Christ. Adversity is always going to be a part of this fallen world. My desire is to be someone who’s adversity is a means through which the Kingdom of Heaven is brought to earth. The way to make that a reality is to stay focused on my source of life; Jesus. I must choose to put my adversity in its rightful place at the foot of the cross.
When I look at what Jesus has done in my life I see amazing things. In realizing all of this, I saw the bondage I was carrying because of my struggle with intimacy. I believe Jesus broke it off that weekend at Bethel. But I’m nothing if not stubborn so I held on to it believing it was somehow protecting me. Finally Jesus said enough. Let me take it from you so you can be free. Free to love everyone unconditionally, to be a minister of Jesus in EVERY relationship God brings into my life. Especially my relationship with my husband.
How are you feeling about your current adversity? Is it overwhelming you? Is it causing you to be anxious or irritated? Or maybe fearful or hopeless. If so, please know this IS NOT God’s intention for you. This week I will be praying that God will give you the same revelation He gave me. That you will begin to see that in the Presence of Jesus our adversity becomes power that transforms us more and more into the likeness of our King.
My challenge to you is to read “Allow Adversity to Fuel Your Fire” on page 55 of Overflow and see what Jesus has to say to you.