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Posts Tagged ‘prophecy’

crossing the worth line

So a couple weeks ago at the hotel there was a ladies retreat for a group of Pentecostal women.  Midway through the retreat I was asked to fulfill a request which took me through the room where the Spirit was apparently moving.  There was a lady prophesying, sharing a word she believed that God had for the other women in the room.  It was very …. ahem…vehement.  

I walked through and a couple of thoughts ran through my head.
Pre-requisite statements of belief:
i) I believe God does care about us, and sometimes he speaks.  
ii) I believe that this speaking isn't generic and isn't always puppies and chocolate, but it is directed to help you choose what is best.
iii) I believe that when God speaks it isn't just to make church goers feel all loved and special and safe where we are, but instead it is to help us grow.
iv) I believe that God wants and does speak to everyone, not just those of us who are in the family so to speak.
v) When God speaks and I know it is God it is often because what comes is so unique that only God and you could have known it.
So back to the story at hand.  
A couple of thoughts ran through my head.
(engage Universal Sarcastic Font)
"Isn't it great that God says the same thing all the time regardless of the group or nature of the group, and it's pretty much the exact same language?"
"Isn't it great that God says stuff that is designed to make us feel good about the fact that we're living comfortable when people around us are hurting?"
(disengage font)
"Isn't it sad that I can't walk past someone saying what they think the spirit wants them to say without being extremely cynical"
So Sunday at church someone had what they felt was a prophetic word.
I felt the cynicism rise.
I got to thinking.
I realized it has been a very long time since someone has had anything to say to me from God.  It's been a long time since I've heard God say anything to me about me. You've heard me waxing lyrical about that before.  However I heard something in the back of my head that I haven't noticed before. There was a part of me that felt like I've lost my usefulness, my worth.
I think I have a right to be cynical about the fact that no one has spoken a 'word' over me.  (Really, I don't want anything generic, or something designed to make me feel good and special to the people around me.)  However I do see a pattern that emerges.  If you're in the inner circle.  If people perceive that you have value or worth, then the words tend to be spoken.  I am not inner circle at all any more.  I'm not an up and comer, I'm just useful to fill in the holes.
The problem is that I have twined this understanding with my perception of God.  There is a part of me which thinks that God doesn't see my worth any more. 
I know in my head this isn't true.
But doesn't it suck when your head and your emotions don't agree?  
Which one gets the upper hand?
In moments like today…..
mumble mumble mumble stupid emotions mumble
Faith takes work.
It would be really nice just to get a little note slipped in my pocket from God that said something like
"I have not forgotten you."

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Be forewarned.  This is the first of several spiritual posts, chronicling my journey, dealing with the stuff that that dregs up.  If you don't feel into any of that…I'm not going to be annoyed.  I'm just mentioning this because some of the subject matter is pretty raw for me, so If you feel like commenting, please be gentle, and courteous. My fragile psyche thanks you 🙂
     *as always thanks to John whose format I have appropriated*

    O.k. So.  The last month or so has been a little difficult for me, mostly because there is a convergence of stuff happening: Norm dying, the visa struggles, trying to figure out next steps, going through everything I own and trying to decide if it's worth transporting to England (should I get to go). Not to mention the personal struggles, such as dealing with weight, being alone, no kids…etc, all things you've heard me moan about before. 

    In the middle of all this has been The Silence of God, which has probably been the most difficult to swallow. Mostly because of the history that this entails.  Somewhat vague, I know, but see how it plays out in the encounters I've had recently.

    A little over a month ago a couple in church came up to me after the service.  I don't know them very well. I've seen them, said hello to them, but didn't even know their names. I kind of referred to them in my head as "High pitched, King James prophecy guy" (because he has a very high pitched voice, and when he has words from the Lord that he shares with our congregation he tends to throw in a couple of thee's and yea verily's.) [2] [3] Anyway, he and his wife seemed very excited as came over to where I sat,  just following the church service.  I was kinda nonplussed, especially when he said that he felt God had a word for me, mostly because it has been a really long time since God has said anything to me, directly or through King James English. So, beaming, he gave me this word. "I feel like God is saying that he is going to take you to the next level.  Like he's going to bring you to a deeper place with him.  But it is not like you're just going up the stairs, it's like I see you in this elevator, that is going fast and high, up several levels. Like you are going to get much closer to him then you have been."  He goes on this theme for a few more sentences. 
   
    I'm not going to lie.  That sounds like a winning proposition for me.  It is like water to parched ground.  My immediate response was to tear up and ask them to pray with me about it. Then I drove home.  By the time I got there (less than two miles down the road) I was a blubbering mess. Why? Because of the Onion Memory. You know, the thing you think about, from your past, that makes you cry.

    Here's the deal.  In '99 I led a team to England with a short term mission organization.  We worked with a ministry in London, helping with some local churches, and the various ministries that they had.  The leaders that we worked with were a very intriguing husband-wife duo, who experienced a huge life changing miracle (no exaggeration) while we were there [4].  The husband side of this couple was very prophetic. [5] Never once in the entire time we were there did he ever have a 'word' for me, although God spoke truth to many others through him, until 3 days before we were supposed to leave.  The churches had this big goodbye party for us, and towards the end, they all prayed for us.  In the midst of this prayer time Husband felt like he had something from God for me.  He spoke that there were going to be some significant obstacles that had to be overcome before I would be released to come to England (oh so damnably true) and also said "I feel like God is going to take you to the next level.  It's like you are reaching the end of a video game level, but instead of just going up to the next level you've found the warp zone, and you are going up very high, closer to God in your relationship and your ministry is going to the next level too." Hmm. Sounds familiar doesn't it?

    Three days later I returned to the US and within a few months was asked to come on staff at my church as the Worship Arts Coordinator, and (more importantly) head up the Youth Ministry.  This was also the beginning of one of the most painful, difficult, and gut wrenching period of my life [6]. So Suddenly this new prophecy doesn't seem so wonderful. I just sat there in my car thinking "Ok God, can you just tell me how much this is going to hurt. so I can prepare myself"

    So now that we got the exposition out of the way,  I was living in this place for a few weeks when I attended Artzy Carmen and youthworkerf's adoption fund raiser.  I walked into the room and other than those two (whom the event revolved around) the only people I knew were marlafb2000 and her husband B. I got my food and moved to sit by them.  Marla informed me that she had to go be responsible for the money so I had to keep her husband company.  B and I got to talking, and he mentioned reading my blog, and laughing about the whole church directory thing.  He asked me how I got to know that, and I told him about everything I've just related in re the prophecy stuff.  B listened, and encouraged, and said that I was in their prayers.

    The next morning I was on the worship team at church.  We gather to pray, all of us involved in leadership of that particular service, about half an hour before church starts.  B and I were among the people there.  B caught me on the way out, and asked if he could talk to me.  First he started by apologizing on behalf of the church for any wounds that I might have as a result of their behavior.  It was pretty much a beautiful thing, and I appreciated it, but I don't really blame the church, it's more like I thing that God used that on the journey, and yes it was painful, but ultimately it is something he has used to shape me.  I take my pain up with God, not the church.  Anyway, B then says that while he was on the way to the fundraiser God told him that he had a word for someone there, and that he would tell B who it was for later.  B said on the way home God told him that it was for me. 

    B said "The word is this 'You passed the test'.  It was like God was saying that the test was a test of faithfulness, and you passed the test, and the faithfulness that you showed would now be sewn into the next season you your life."

    Needless to say, I didn't really have words to respond, beyond moist eyes, and a soft 'thank you'.  I'm still wresting with this.  Some moments I feel hopeful, others I feel tentative and scared, other times I try and talk myself out of this.  I'm trying to not be gun shy, but I still struggle with hope.  It still feels reckless and dangerous to me.  I want to be able to trust what God is doing, and what he's building, but still the cost of the past seems very heavy to me.  I've paid a heavy price for where I am today, and therefore am apprehensive of the future costs.

     I am trying to believe.  And trying not to cry.  And trying not to insulate myself.  It's not that easy. I have started watching Buffy again from the beginning. Portentous.  Shows that I'm afraid.

[1] Geek points if you get the reference.
[2] As if God speaks in 16th century English.
[3] After this encounter I looked through our new church directory to find out his name, so I could ditch the nickname, but that didn't work as they were not in it.  I did, however, discover this.  Ironic, eh?
[4] Story for another time, but if you beg me enough I might just tell you sooner.
[5] Interestingly I came across a new definition of a prophet recently.  A prophet is someone who is passionate about calling people to live out the truth they already know.
[6] If you want a snapshot of the pain you can check out the pain here.  Just recognize that the recording is amateur and my talk starts half way through the first one.  

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