|This precious Olive has changed me. See you in heaven!|
Would I truly GIVE everything for HIM?
What did Christ do?
We were all in the JOY of the moment - preparing out hearts and homes for Christmas and I was dumbfounded at the request of this family.
Not that I didn't have the faith to believe that INDEED, God could raise her from the dead - but would he?
They were requesting a miracle for their baby girl. A precious young life, named Olive Heiligenthal.
They wanted an AWAKENING.
I searched social media and tried my best to find out EVERY detail. It stopped me cold for a good 2 days. I wanted answers and God .... God... HOW can this be WHAT is consuming me?
It consumed me because I have a little girl close to me that will be TWO on Sunday. It consumed me because anytime a child is lost 'way before his or her time' - it hurts and we want answers.
It consumed me because God asked or called me to intercede for that family and I could feel pain and hurt and hopelessness.
I found myself thinking, "well, if she is on life support - then God can awaken her".
I rationalized that. It made sense to my brain. Then I found out that she was in a Coroner's office.
THEN I found myself feeling HOPELESS again. Why?
The hopelessness lasts only moments. It comes and goes as I seek Jesus and am reminded by Holy Spirit that indeed - GOD is good. She is in heaven -- period. THAT is indeed good and the ultimate outcome.
I read several editorials on the situation. Watched for updates and saw a firestorm of opinions. Those in support and those claiming this 'false worship and church' was crazy.
After a week, Bethel Church in Redding California put out a statement and video as to the 'why' they were having nightly services of prayer and worship and expecting a miracle.
Finally -- I was getting some 'peace'.
Her mother, Kalley, is a worship leader and song writer. Through the Holy Spirit, she has written some very present and meaningful worship songs that help me see HOPE and light in this dark world. I have rested while listening to her sing -- a worship song over and over.
I have prayed with women at an Encounter Weekend, resting in the words of "Ever Be" and "Spirit Move" and currently she has a new album out with more gut wrenching lyrics that will mean EVEN more as she begins a tour in January -- well, I state that but maybe she won't go on tour. Grieving.
Olive's home was spared over a year ago when the California wildfires consumed the homes all around hers and it caused both Olive's mom and her father to question and seek their Heavenly Father for more and an album was recently released with more gut wrenching lyrics that bring comfort, hope, and cause is to dig deep.
Do we love and serve our Lord for WHAT HE does for us or for HE did for us... opened heaven.
Died on that Cross so that we might live.
Are we only serving because of the provision and all the good?
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 ( KJV)
1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven;
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 A time to weep , and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, and time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of wart, and a time of peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 says
He hath made every thing beautiful in his time.
As Brendan and I prayed, my sister shared with me that she too prayed a Lazarus prayer after her son, my nephew, Blake passed. Maybe I knew this and had forgotten. I have NO doubt that I wouldn't pray the very same thing -- if a child around me died. Now. Too soon.
I have a nephew that did come back from death. His momma found him unresponsive and not breathing and by God's divine appointment - she gave him CPR and got him breathing as the ambulance arrived. Moments later the enormity of the situation is realized.... Did she change God's plan? No -- I believe Zander will be a walking testimony - to tell others of what the enemy tried to kill and HOW God intervened.
Back to Olive and her family -- Brendan and I also took comfort in the fact that 'their grieving'...was reaching millions. Thousands were having an awakening as they sought God and questioned and wondered.
There is nothing wrong with questioning our Lord - HE wants a relationship with us, to speak back and forth through prayer -- His Word and His gathering of the Body.
So, we grieved and prayed with her - through song. God gifted her, gifted that body of believers with a mission, and why shouldn't they seek God. As Bill Johnson ( Senior Pastor of Bethel Church ) stated, "we don't have a manual on this, we are taking it one moment at a time." I felt that was true courage. To boldly seek God for the answers and what to do.
I recalled this morning when I sat on a sweet child's bed. Her name was Rebekah. We prayed and I had such a yearning to declare LIFE - so I did! Many declared that she would be healed a 7th time from cancer. And it was a hard blow to hear that she was healed -- in heaven. She got up and walked into the arms of Jesus that fateful July day.... in all of our prayers, the enemy wanted to shame and tell us we were defeated and stupid for believing in a miracle.
We were not. God won.
In cleaning out some stuff and making room over this holiday season, I came across something that I found back in December of 2009. Not knowing at the time - but Beth Moore was seeking medical treatment for cancer and from the doctor's stand point, they were preparing for the worst.
She wrote this -- and it HIT me so squarely between the eyes -- that I copied it and read it daily for several months back in 2009. I even included it in my Christmas letter that year.
I am sharing it again - because God had me FIND it in HIS timing, as it brought words to me that I couldn't express, but needed to read. Over the past two weeks, He has been forming this blog in my head and heart. This finding -- It brought closure to this Olive Awakening -- God does that.
He brings us peace and answers through His Word, through prayer and through godly counsel. His timing is always best. I believe, therefore, it is time for me to blog.
This is from Beth Moore's Blog - back in December of 2009:
"There is no way I can emphasize strongly enough that the outcome of the story I am about to share with you has nothing to do with God's extravagant love for me, the right kind of praying, or the fact that "He's not finished with me yet."
He loves us ALL extravagantly, whatever the outcome of medical tests. He does not play favorites. He hears EACH desperate cry and esteems the groanings of our souls.
He doesn't let our lives be touched or even ravaged by disease because we didn't get our words exactly right or because we yelped, "Help my unbelief!".
He is not a mean, distant God playing Monopoly with human lives.
And He's not finished with a single one of us or we wouldn't be drawing terrestrial air in our lungs and coursing our eyes over words on a computer screen.
The fact is, He has a sovereign plan that is for good and not evil and He is writing a story of on -going redemption with each of our lives. Our lives are woven together through seasons.
It is one person's season to experience this. And another person's season to experience that. Neither is loved more. Neither is more dispensable."
Olive Heiligenthal made a tremendous impact on MANY in her two short years. Her family has shown me and others - to grieve-- in their own way -- that will help others. Since then, I have seen two other families on social media asking for prayer for their little ones. Why are these 'sudden infant crib deaths' arising again? Many have their opinions -- but indeed, God is writing their story.
Since then, I have prayed for protection and life over my own two granddaughters with an ever more present urgency.
If God's plan for them is a long life -- amen. If in His Kingdom plans, they see Jesus before me, I will be ----changed -- but, I know that I know, God is not mean. No one is more loved cause of this or that. I know that no one is dispensable. I know that HE will bring beauty out of the ashes. I know that I know, I will meet Olive one day - and the many others that left this earth too soon.
Today -- there are several families that I thought of as I wrote. Many are dealing with the death of a loved one and its hurts. It still hurts and for several it has been several years. One family in particular, in on my heart almost daily, as this family is walking in a new season and it is HARD.
The after affects -- especially during the holiday of Christmas when so much is focused on the birth of a child and the HOPE that Jesus brings.
Today - there are several women I know, grieving the loss of a marriage because of a husband who is choosing to listen to the enemy instead of the Word of God. They see their present circumstance and wonder HOW God is going to meet their needs, hold their hearts, and guide them. And there is not only women -- there are several men that my husband and I have lifted before Jesus as they too seek to HOLD their marriage together as the enemy continues to 'seem' to get victory.
And today, there are just life decisions and circumstances for several others where 'olive branches' need to be offered and they are not.
Unforgiveness that has such a hold onto and into families that needs to be brought to the light and needs reconciliation. But.. in God's timing. In the right season. Waiting meanwhile and watching is hard -- but we can't go ahead of God. Sometimes in our waiting -- that is where WE are healed and SEE more. May we always SEE others through YOU Lord and the blood that was shed on the Cross.
So for this - I end in prayer --
Lord, to the whomever that reads this - may they know and understand that YOU SEE them. May those around them, SEE as well and may the followers of Christ around them, ACT and be Your immediate hands and feet of hope.
Lord, for me -- this blog today is a prayer for ME. YOU know what the enemy bombarded me with this am - early and YOU know what I took to the Cross. May this transparency help others - and may this cause another to pray -- for that HARD stuff.
May this blog - reach THOSE YOU want today and may their receive it and act. And Lord, I pray that this would be shared - that YOU would get the glory and the understanding would come from the Holy Spirit.
Lord, for the Heiligenthal family and the people surrounding them at Bethel and in the world -- may their faith GROW stronger. For those that WANT answers - please provide the WHY in this death for them, and for the rest of us, let us be satisfied that we don't have to have all of the answers.
Lord, for the ones around me and reading this that NEED to extend that olive branch - may they have courage and may they proceed even when it is not reciprocated.
And Lord, that we would have faith over our feelings. That indeed as Beth reminded me this week -- YOU don't DO stuff to us or for us because we need an adjustment in our UNBELIEF. That YOU are not mean and don't play Monopoly with our lives. Lord, may we be aware that we are still here and breathing for YOUR purpose and YOUR sovereign plan is for good and not evil.