Thursday, April 5, 2018

even in the storm...His "collector of friends"






I know I left off at the beginning of M sharing her message, but I want to say that since beginning to sit and write about M the enemy has been rallying his marksman and the flaming arrows and weapons of mass destruction have been coming from every direction. I have learned as my relationship with Jesus gets closer and my wisdom becomes more His than mine, that certain things can not come from God. Things like attacks, or sickness. There is NO darkness in God. Where He is, there is light. So when I see the beginnings of the foolish attempts of the enemy and his minions start my way, I step out of the way and stand behind my God Who is the Almighty Creator, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. I know He has me and He only asks me to be still. I share this because I know that M is a mighty prophet and that my "yes" to God asking me to share His message about His Princess, puts a target on me that otherwise wouldn't be here. The enemy will figure out that I listen to God, not him, not anymore. That doesn't mean he won't still try, and he sure does.

Right now I am doing the "Armor of God" study by Priscilla Shirer. This week is the belt of truth week. Perfect week for it, I have had a couple battles with the enemy already. Until I had a visual of what "girding your loins" meant, I tried to picture a simple belt for the "belt of Truth." The reality it is more like a "safety" belt that the delivery people and maybe weightlifters use to keep them safe from injury. I know that it's name brings an entirely different picture to mind now days, but it's the very first thing we need to go to, to wear or wrap ourselves in, the "belt of Truth." It's the very core of who we are, it's our foundation. It keeps everything else stable. If I don't put Truth on before I look at any situation, I can be manipulated by untruth, or close to truth. Just like Eve in Eden. The enemy uses just enough of the truth to make us believe, the rest is all fluff and junk. This has helped me stand firm through a couple of very painful battles this week. Battles that kept me distracted for a bit and also still, well digging into God's word to find answers to the pain and offence I had chosen to both pick up and then cling to for a moment. Only for a moment this time...that's a step forward.

So here I sit, ready to share a message about M and ready to bring you to my memory and share what God shared with me. Battle weary, but excited to introduce you to this amazing woman. She loved me at my lowest and she loves me now. She has never steered away from truth with me. God seems to have her tongue, or at least her words. She has said some honest things that I may have taken wrong, if I didn't know her heart was buried so deeply in our Savior that it was Him speaking to me. She has walked through things no person should walk through, yet instead of turning away from God or allowing this battle to steal her faith, she came out of the fire shining brighter and loving God more than ever before. 

God gave her a message for friendships and I believe He added more in the months after she was first scheduled to share this message. It blossomed into a message from the Lord about our reactions and actions when He says "no" to a prayer, instead of getting an automatically expected "yes."  My notes are pretty centered on what I know that God spoke to me, so these may be different for you, if you were at the retreat. M if you read this and say to yourself, "what, I don't think I said this?" Please just know it's what God shared with me in your courageous message. 

So she started with that question, "what do you do when you get a no?" My mind wandered and I thought, I think I do ok...but Poppa He will not leave me in that pit of deception. He instantly reminded me of the way I react when someone shares a truth I don't want to know, or hear. I know it's God because there's no condemnation in His voice, even has a tenderness to it. As I watch M share her message I hear her voice quiver at times, but even in those moments when it seems anyone else would be crumbling, she's standing firm in her belt of Truth. Little memories leave little trails down her cheeks at times, and in those moments she knows we all have her, we stand with her, under her, to her side, to her front, above her, all around her, protecting her with our love, God in us and standing guard for our sweet sister. Our prayer is to simply allow her to share the message God has harvested in her. 

At the beginning of the retreat the evening before J and I were chatting before it started and God stopped me on something she said, it was something she was speaking over herself. He stated unedited, "what you speak over your life is what will happen. stop speaking death over your life and speak life into every part." When she finished I shared God's whisper to me and then my new cousin sister, said "yes exactly." For me, God meant it did matter which words I use, it does matter if I want Him to use me in His Kingdom both here and in Heaven. Ouch. Then during M's message He confirmed it when He told me that my life and words matter if I want to speak for God...wow, throat punch. He didn't kick me, but He got my attention and it wasn't like I was angry or wanted to make an excuse, I wanted to make the change because that is becoming my hearts desire. I want to speak for God, I want to write for God and I want to live for God...I want others to want Jesus because they see Him in every part of my life. Because of Who He is and Not because I say how much better my life is, because the truth is my circumstances don't matter. Not for my faith. I can't just have faith when times are good, or bad, I need faith every time. 

For me M's word for me was that it matters the words I speak, the way I live, always not just at church. When God says, "no" or "not yet" it shouldn't trigger a toddler attitude in me. I need to be thankful for both "yes" and "no." She shared that this goes when we are seeking love, wanting to be fruitful or in any thing we are asking for. He can see the entire puzzle, we can only see a few pieces.

 When we are sitting on the edge of the bed our child takes their last breath, God knows us and He knows we may need a moment to catch our breath...but He will not leave us there in that moment. He will NOT leave us in that moment. He WILL take us to the moments of joy and memories of laughter and singing...and crying together. He's with us every moment that we are holding our breath waiting to get the answer to another pregnancy test...and He is there in the moment the negative sign comes up...again. That negative sign is NOT the final word, it doesn't mean a permanent no, it may just mean, not now.  M's courage and wisdom were thick with Holy Spirit and they moved many of us...most to tears. M shared her life verse is Jeremiah 29:11 ...I love the MSG translation,

This is God’s Word on the subject: “As soon as Babylon’s seventy years are up and not a day before, I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.

What I know is this, she has a pretty rocky path, I believe it's because Poppa God knew she could and would walk it...completely. So when she was sitting at the speakers table of a retreat center, 16 months after Jesus received her oldest daughter and her unborn baby in Heaven, making sure that we knew how important giving God every part of our lives is, God wasn't surprised and most of the people she's "collected" weren't surprised either. We knew that the enemy may have struck a hard blow but M's faith is too big to take. She has the heart for others and the enemy can not take that weapon from her. God buried that deep in her dna, it's her foundation.

As she brought out these verses in Mark 2:1-5

When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. 2 Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God’s word to them, 3 four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. 4 They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. 5 Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.”

I instantly thought about my circle of friends...it was pretty quick I really have mostly social media friends, and my friends who live in Texas, and various other amazing southern states like Florida, Georgia and Alabama. Here in the desert, I have people I know. I have a few very dear people to me, and lots of others I know from my past...but mostly I don't surround myself. I can make excuses but the truth of the matter is that those I had made friends with seemed to move to Texas, or into town, or parts of my state...or we are in different times in our lives. 

Friends that would dig a hole in the roof of someone else's house to drop me in to be healed...that number is very small. While the enemy was trying to distract me with the quantity, God reminded me of the quality...M would dig that hole and not think twice. It's not about the quantity, it's the quality of friends. I need to let God surround me with the ones willing to step in the chaos and speak His truth boldly, without fear of my reaction, because they love like Jesus. They see the parts of me that God has already grown and transformed, they know my deepest desire is to live for God, become like Christ. They don't stop to determine if I am worthy of being healed, or loved they just love me. Not only will they, they would do it without hesitation. I needed to get with God and look into me to see if I would carry their mat. Again the enemy wanted to get in and try to convince me otherwise, but God reminded me I am not that woman anymore. I have repented and moved forward in change. Those holding onto anger or bitterness in the past, well I get to pray for them. Praying for some is the only gift I get to give them. I no longer get to see them, or talk to them. It is still a wonderful gift. 

M headed into the territory of why do some get "yes" and some get "no" to the same prayer...even at this moment my tears are flowing and though I have no idea of her feelings of loss, I know that my own feelings of loss have had me asking this question, many many times in the last 7 years...especially the last couple, so I can't imagine hers or any other parents feeling of losing their sweet child and grandchild. I only know that as God's wisdom flowed her sweet prayers did too, down her face, where Poppa captured every single one. He will use those to pour into her, when she needs them the most. 

She could have stayed in her bed and grieved for her loss, she could have gotten angry with God when other people's prayers were answered with a yes and she got the no. She knew that envy is created when we compare what we are living to what others live. She knew that it had nothing to do with her faith, or how much God loved her. She wasn't fooled by the lies the enemy tried to bring against her. She knew that this hurt deeper than any other hurt, ever. She also knew that God will not let His plans go. We can bury ourselves in the envy, but it will not change the circumstances.

 It can block my view of what God has for me, where He's taking me, if I let it. I need to turn to Jesus and refuse to allow the lies of the enemy to steal my peace. Not just in the wonderful perfect times, but in the times when God takes every single person around you away and surrounds you with people to speak His truth into your life in several other states, but not yours. Then takes T to Texas to work and whispers to me, "shhhhhh, be still." Even the hurt of a parent coming from about 1500 miles away to 30 minutes from your house and doesn't tell you they are in town...you have to find out on social media then have to text to find out. In every single moment, no matter how painful, we have to search for the Jesus. He's there, in the smile of the woman in front of you, in the friend who calls knowing you need to vent and hear truth, even though she's in a different time zone and needs to go to bed. He's there in the words of the worship music. Instead of watching the "show" the enemy is putting on, get on your knees and take it to God. He will bring what and who you need, to bring Him glory and give you instruction to His plan.

At the end of her message I could feel the release. It was thick, Holy Spirit was thrilled. I didn't ask her, so this is just what I sensed, it seemed like M was lighter, freer even. She took God's opportunity and opened her life and heart to sharing His message and growth with us, even through the rivers of tears shed that day.

I love that God brought this mighty prophet of His into my life and I know that she's gonna be an even bigger part in the near future, I dearly hope. She would not let go of what she knew God was giving me to do. She can't deny the desire God gave her to make sure that He is known, it is her breath. 

I love that she is never afraid to share God's truth anywhere we are, she's the same. She is authentic and real and loves God with all herself....from leading her dear family and walking hand in hand with Mr A...moments that are theirs alone that God has been the center of...the cord of 3 strands, M~God~Mr A, the cord is unbroken, stronger even. The storm that the enemy thought would silence MYRRH Ministries, has ignited God's powerful fire instead. He can't get past God's truth with his lies, even if she had only been left with faith the size of a tiny mustard seed, that was too much. Her God sized dream, is still alive and flourishing. Sharing God's love and truth with any one and everyone that will listen...or gets close enough to one of the many friends she's collected as God's "collector of friends."