Monday, April 2, 2018

His "collector of friends" pt 1

One Who Knows Much Says Little...

 Friends love through all kinds of weather,
    and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.
Proverbs 17:17 MSG

This is exactly what says when I searched this verse for the Message version. I looked at this verse in so many different versions in the last few months. God has used it to transform so many parts of my brokenness lately. But for today the emotions are flowing and I am not going to let them blind the message Poppa God wants to share. I prayer specifically to surrender my hands and words to Him. This message is an important one. This one is one I have struggled to get still for, mostly because I have felt unworthy of doing it justice. Today God has asked me gently to sit and give Him my heart. So here I am. Please bear with me and I will do my best to stay focused and also share exactly what God wants to. I will warn you ahead of time that this will more than likely not make it into one blog post, it's too good. I don't want to overwhelm y'all with one super long blog post, so I have already prepared for more than one. God is good, as I type Bethel Music with Kristene Di Marco's "Take Courage" is playing. Here I go.

This beautiful woman right here...this amazing Godly woman. She's one of God's mightiest fighters. She's my M. I have shared about her many times. She's the chairman of MYRRH Ministries. Most of us know her as God's "collector of friends." She chases people for God, I'd like to say though that she's gentle and does run after them for Jesus. She is the one who God shares His first visions of the retreats with. She's a listener, first to God, then to others. She doesn't just listen like most people do. Most people listen to answer, she listens to hear. She hears what God wants her to hear though, it's not always what others are saying. She's humble, she's wise beyond her years. God has asked her to step up for a God sized dream, and He has not just said "ok here you go." No this has been a long time battle. With each season He walks her through, she shares the wisdom He gives her and collects more friends. I can't sit here and act like I talk to her daily, I only know the annual retreat M. She's much much more than the amazing woman I know. This is me being transparent. I do seem to be talking to her a bit more often since T is in Texas working right now. 

I think the word that seems to always come up to me about M is real. Google defined it several ways, the ones that define her...

Real...Not imitation, or artificial but genuine. Having NO imaginary parts

Don't get me wrong, I know how creative she is and she's not lacking imagination. She's just not pretend, NOT one piece of her is anything but authentic. With all the times God has asked her to share an uncomfortable truth with people, she seems to make sure she's completely hearing what God has for her...before she speaks a word, she speaks many to Poppa. This was only the 5th retreat I have been to, there were many more in the books before I joined this band of Saints. Many more people were collected by God's "collector of friends" in too many places to count, prior to her collecting me. Lord thank You for blessing me with being counted in among some pretty mighty warriors for You. 

So,  I shared the entire message on Biblegateway because I loved what it says before the verse itself..."One who knows much but says little." This sentence sums up M. The verse following expands on who she is. During one of the most difficult losses in her life she would NOT hear of canceling the last retreat. I bet she fought herself trying to run up there, just to make sure everything was just as God wanted it...but she was battling for the life of her girl. This was a battle that God knew would take her to her knees...before she would take His Hand and allow Him to help her up. He knew He was calling her daughter and unborn grandbaby to Heaven. While all the prayer requests and the praise that was lifted on this amazing strawberry blond Saint's behalf was spread far across the earth, He knew that she was complete and that her loss would bring pain to many...but He had a plan for her in His Kingdom.

M was unable to come share her message at that retreat. God also knew that she would get to share this word, but He was changing the time and location. I don't know if we can ever understand His complex, yet simple plan. I only know that about 16 months later, M would be sitting in the retreat center sharing her message...the one that opened my eyes to so much. 

As I shared the first morning of the retreat was my birthday. It was my 23rd time being 29. Sorry just had to throw that in there. I shared that I was surprised and blessed to tears by the beautiful sight I woke up to. The day light brought it all to life. Throughout the day I learned that several of the women had been helping M get the decorations up all around me, as I slept. She brought them for me. She started after worship the Happy birthday song and then had them present me with a banner, signed by many of the saints at the retreat. Can I share that in my 52 years the only time I remember feeling excited for a birthday, was when I turned 50. I hosted my own party and collected gift cards, well I tried to collect them, I only got 2. That one paled in comparison to the one I had at this retreat. There's No party like the Holy Ghost party came to life for me...God spoke so deeply into parts of me. I will share more about some of the beautiful highlights of my birthday in the posts to come. This one I really want to get back to God's message. Just wanted to share how much love and how she just exhales it...always. 

The first question in my notes from M's message is this, "What do you do when you get a no from God?" 

The next note says..."lean into M Poppa." 

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