I think this blog today is for me -- just me, sitting here recording in my journal what the HS ( Holy Spirit) and I have been thinking about, chatting about, and working through this morning.
However, this is me and I do believe that some times people think I have it all together and I don't -- but this is my head, this is my thinking out loud, and his is my journey with our Father ....and this is where I am this am! And, I do believe God wants me to be transparent and share -- as He will use it for another.
I watched an artist paint a canvas last night -- the photo was posted on FB so I snuck a copy of it and will share. The credit goes to the beautiful artist - Linda Robertson. I watched as she had the background pretty much done when I saw it at first. Or at least I think she did -- I was not at the GPS fellowship time last night, I arrived when worship began because I really did not want to fellowship with anyone -- I just wanted to me selfish and be ministered to. Just being honest. How many of us come to church 5-10 min late so we don't have to speak to others and then leave when the prayer line is called?? Guilty. I am.
But I digressed, back to that painting --
The foundation had to be painted first. I can paint. Well let me clarify - I can copy. I always admired and wanted to be like the artists who could just sit and go for it - do people, do objects without having something to study and copy. But as I said, I can copy. I get it -- some people would WANT that talent-- I know God gave me -- but again I come back to that foundation -- the beginning.
Let me put that painting here -
When I began to worship and then sneak a peek at her progress, I noticed a faint cross appearing in the background. At this point it could of been a painting of a bunch of rocks or even a forest, but the blue color certainly was prevalent and one could assume there was going to be water.
The theme last night was how God was pouring out - His living water and that He was lavishly pouring His love onto his Bride.
It was a beautiful picture -- not only all of the paintings being painted while we worshiped, but also of the 150+ women worshiping God. Some quiet and still, some kneeling, some with hands up and some trying to dance without looking weird or a little silly. I have to remind myself always -- this is 'my' worship time to focus on God and concentrate on Him -- but also, I don't want to be a hindrance or distraction for another believers. Parameters. It will be great -- one day IN HEAVEN where we won't have the human aspect of our worship and we may be free now - but we will be totally FREE then. Unity.
Back to the painting -
As the night continued one spoke about How God is RIGHT here and giving us an outpouring. Can you feel it? Let it be released. Then a silly girl got up there on stage and invited everyone to her church for another public event next weekend -- but TOTALLY forgot to introduce herself, give the name of the church, or even give a good review of the time for the event after her promo. And she is a teacher? A leader? That would be me.
Me -- who still gets SO NERVOUS in front of her friends, strangers, or peers -- but needs to have a teleprompter to remind her. So if you are reading this - forgive me. THERE was so much more that was going on in my head and I could only share a bit.
But you ARE invited to PINK Impact next Friday and Saturday. Maybe you can only come on Friday - that is OK. Maybe you can only sneak in Saturday morn - that is OK too. It is a RE-broadcast event. I receive a link to a live stream and I get to play it again next weekend as it is, actually LIVE, as I type this blog in Texas.
Some people will tell me, "I don't like a simulcast cause it is not authentic". I believe God can use a paper bag to tell of his mercies with another so I say, "don't put God in a box - come, try -- and if your heart is OPEN - YOU will receive. Period. And this is a VERY good way to cast a net -- invite a lost friend or co-worker and let them know we will have child care and it is FREE!"
By the way, My Pastor wanted to offer it free and I was the one that convinced him we needed to collect the $10 at the door -- to make up for the cost. But if you read my blog so far -- God spoke!
Now back to me and being transparent.....
You see when "Rain Down" was sung - I got mad.
And I told God -- "that is MY song" and I knew immediately I was to go to the cross. And repent. I was raised VERY competitively. I am the oldest of nine. You had to be first to eat... and get that last Rice Krispie bar or there was none left. But also, as a child --I was taught that my church was God's first church. The best church. As it was started by St. Peter. Jesus's first picked disciple. Even so much as we would get on the bus and sit on one side cause the kids from the "other denomination" had to sit away from us. I even felt we could not socialize with them. I mean, I don't remember any adult exactly saying that to me -- but that is what I learned from listening to comments, reading in between the lines, and just being a kid in the 70's. Or it could be that I witnessed many arguments with family members when one of my uncles dated a girl from a different denomination and the discussion began about where one would attend church? I even had a friend that had one Catholic parent and one Lutheran parent and I never saw her parents together at a function. Us humans can get stuff so mixed up. Anyway - I digressed --
So, for many many years, I was always in that prideful state of 'where' I attended church - as THAT had to be the right and best place and when the singer ( Alisha) began to sing that song -- I said, "that is my song".
And I realized how the enemy can sneak in so quickly.
I got beyond my pride and enjoyed that song throughly -- as it belongs to God and ALL of His bride and the lady singing it co-wrote it with another and so she CAN SING it wherever she wants!!
But, let me get back to being transparent here -- after I enjoyed that song, the HS reminded me I was to be AT the feet of Jesus so I made my way to the back of the sanctuary and then I laid at His feet and allowed HS to minister to me. I confessed. I cried. I shook. I wept. And quickly -- very quickly -- God spoke.
He reminded me that I was His daughter and there was no need to compare myself -to ANY one. He reminded me that He would give me the words to say as I promoted the Pink Event and He also knew what I was scared of -- what was making my heart literally POUND and I could feel my blood pressure going up.
He reminded me HE took the nails already and to LOOK up -- and see the beauty in the cross that was at the alter there -- it was full of nail marks -- where women had left their hurts and bondages at His feet - THAT was the ultimate church -- THAT was His intention. I assumed it was a cross that had been used at a Women's Encounter as we have a very similar one at our alter where I attend on Sundays.
And then -- He told me to offer the event next weekend at our church for FREE. The practical person in me said, "God -- we don't have extra like these bigger churches have and that cost needs to be recouped so we can do it again in 2018...." To which he reminded me through a song that played at that moment in my head -- "when did I forget that you've always been the King of the World". (Natalie Grant's song - perfect.)
I knew instantly it was not a matter of $$ -- it was about His Kingdom. Amen. Unity.
The entire night was about unity. And God wasn't finished with me. He did more work within my head and heart as the next speaker spoke but I believe I will finish here.....
One of the lessons that God has been teaching me -- weaning me from is: affirmation.
I crave affirmation. I believe MANY of us do. Soul Wounds -- I am to pursue and do WHAT He has asked me to - even if it costs. That looks different in some ways -- but doing His HARD work and being obedient is where He wants ALL of us.
I also have been beating to death my pride - daily. The only solace I get is that every once in a great while Beth Moore or maybe Lisa Harper will blog or I will hear a teaching and they admit -- they still battle it too -- and I forgive myself.
Its funny -- no its really sad-- as GOD has been forgiving me of that for many many many years and yet, I don't believe it in my heart until I hear Beth or maybe my friend Barbara confirm it ........But ...that is me.
I have a feeling, there are others like me reading this. If not - that is OK too! As I don't have to have the affirmation on this blog -- it comes from God. ( Just a side note -- I used to check my readership of this blog literally by the hour. I just realized this am - I have not checked it in over a week. As I do check it - but now its maybe once a week rather than each hour. And THAT for me is healing. Just a funny thing - but that is me! So, I am releasing that NEED for affirmation!)
Back to that affirmation thing. As I was having time with God this am, He reminded me that I still don't totally trust Him to really HAVE my heart and HOLD it when it comes to affirmation. I have trusted him at some very hard times but when things seem to get 'better'....I slack off. And at those HARD times, God had people that were constantly feeding my head with affirmation. Now that stuff is a little better -- I don't necessarily have that affirmation anymore. However, God does supply it when HE knows I need it.
I wanted it- after I felt like a foolish kid when I promoted the Pink Event -- but it did not happen. And allowing myself to let God just be God -- was indeed a process.
A lot has transpired since we rang in the new year -- a lot. One big thing is our new home. I have blogged about that -- but there has been some personal setbacks, transitions, and just stuff that I can't blog about -- but that God has allowed and He has given me great peace -- but as I told the ladies who prayed for me last night --
"it sucks" ..."can't the Rapture just happen - now?".
And they laughed at me. And God sweetly reminded me -- I was His daughter.
And another sister in Christ whispered that in my ear last night before I went home - so God gave me that "HUMAN" affirmation. God is SO stinkin sweet!
Now BACK to that beautiful painting.
As the night went on, details were added. I began to notice how the outline of a cross which seemed to be obscure in the background began to come out and get bigger. Then more and more details and more refinements were added. Shadows and extra color to bring a fullness to the painting. I watched her, she sat a few times and looked at her painting from a different angle. Then she would add more highlights and you could see she was concentrating - making it just right. Then at some point, the artist felt it was done. From where I was sitting -- God was speaking to me through that process.
I thought about how this is such a parallel picture of our lives.
Our foundation....Christ was placed there maybe in our childhood but it was off in the distant. Where was Christ placed in your childhood? IS his cross obscure in your life?
That Cross stayed in the background, until more layers had to be added to our lives, color, highlights, and then in that painting -- it popped out. What about our lives? What has been added - what color? Has the Cross now popped out in your life?
And the Great Artist - our Father watched and allowed more refinements and added His touches and all of a sudden --
Where are you?
I believe the Great Artist is not finished with me yet - as if He was - I would be in heaven and complete.
So, while I live in this 21st Century and navigate the waters of my life -- I will hug onto, grab ahold of, and grasp that Cross - any which way I can and look up -- what a beautiful illustration. The Waves may come crashing in, but she is looking up!
I look forward to that homecoming -- heaven when we are 'finished' and then beginning a new eternity with Jesus, Holy Spirit and our Father.
Lord, for the unfinished details that you are still working out and painting within the lives of me and within those hearts and heads who are reading this -- and can understand my therapy/writing today --I pray that You indeed will meet every need, heal every hurt, and love every moment and spot of our lives. Especially for the woman represented in that painting. That woman has been me -- is me... but I also believe she represents many who will read this. I pray anyone reading this will be encouraged that indeed we can forgive ourselves when we need to but also that we don't get so full of ourselves. I pray that anyone one reading this would be encouraged to seek You more and allow you to heal the whatever - even the wrong teaching we may of received as young adults or kids. I pray that if one is reading this by chance and feels like they can NO longer hold onto that cross, like the lady in the picture - that there would be a sister in Christ RIGHT there - sitting next to them that they can reach out to -- just like you had one there for me when I needed her last night, seven years ago, last week, and even this morning. I pray specifically for the artist and that You would use this painting for Your glory and that she would indeed be blessed by it. I also pray Lord that if you commission her to paint more of this particular painting-- that you would grant me favor to have one - to remind me - to place in my house of worship - to remind me to remind others -- YOU do calm the waters, Yours is the light we look up to and You are holding us RIGHT there as we submit and surrender to YOU! IN Jesus name, Amen.
And I pray for those that are in leadership that presented and prayed for the GPS event last night -- as it was indeed a God Encounter and so today - I can basically believe that Satan is totally ticked and most likely those women were attacked in some way - but I believe you AFFIRMED to each of them, THEY were YOUR daughters and they did well in being obedient - if it was only to push the button on the projector -- every hand was indeed a part of Your glory last night and so therefore bless them and affirm them in the way that meets their needs. In Jesus name - amen.