The title definitely describes this past weekend. I am still in awe of everything that God did. I am still processing it a lot but also seeing a TON of blessing from obeying His word IMMEDIATELY. I am going to go day by day through my weekend :)
I woke up around 4am, had a meeting in Bridgewater at 7am. On my way to the meeting I was praying for peace and for everything to just got well. God showed up HUGE at the meeting! Everything was interpreted extremely well and I was honestly encouraged when I left. After that
I drove a fellow manager to his store in Dorchester then headed back up to Beverly. I cleaned my car, got it washed then picked up Matt, Beth, and John. The four of us went into CFCF early to help set up for World Mandate. Going in was a littler nerve racking for me. I was worried about conflict and how my heart would react to certain situations. God showed up and really spoke promises for the weekend over me. After setup we ate an awesome meal and then headed into the gym for the first night of World Mandate 2011. Oh, by the way... I took a sweet fall in the parking lot... Don't run at night in the parking lot... you can't see black ice ;).
Friday night was definitely the hardest night of the weekend. I was extremely lost. After the session I was really just meditation on one thing that Robert Herber said. He spoke on the life of Peter but something that stuck with me was how Peter denied Jesus. The way Robert described it was funny. "A 13 year old girl says 'i saw you with Jesus' and Peter cries 'NO!'"... IDK why I put that in quoted because it's a paraphrase but you get the point. I sat in a seat just trying to figure out why I (just like Peter) am scared of the "13 year old girl. Why am I scared to tell people about Jesus? Why am I terrified to tell people that Jesus loves them? I found myself being scared of Gods will for my life and feeling useless for His purpose. I felt as if He couldn't use me EVER... I would NEVER go overseas and be a missionary. I have never entertained that thought in my life so I wasn't willing to entertain it then. I got prayed from Neil and it was SO GOOD. The insecurity was totally rooted in not knowing what it's like to trust a father. I don't want to over-spiritualize it but Neil's prayer was instantaneous relief. God captured my heart and really showed me that everything would be ok and that He was going to do BIG things in my heart but that I HAD to listen.... and if I listened... I wouldn't regret it..
So Saturday came along and I just felt ready to hear God... I was excited walking into the school for World Mandate 2011 day 2! However I was not expecting God to challenge me fast. I felt like God was wanting to release me of materialism and my desire to have a BIG Savings account and a secure future. Friday night I felt him tell me that I needed to give some things away... I obeyed though I didn't want to.... Back to Saturday: I'm going to be honest... I took ONE thing from Roberts talk on Saturday morning and it was this quote: "God wants to release your from desire nice clothes and nice cars so you can look good and impress people." That broke my heart. I can't say I bought my car because I wanted to look good - God definitely blessed me with it. However, I don't drive it as if he did. I drive like I'm better than people and I look down on people a lot. Primarily when things aren't going my way. On top of that expensive clothing was the Bane of my existence... sounds intense lol... but it's true... expensive clothing was misery to me... I had to have it, I had to look good. I had to impress people. I felt God tell me to empty my bank account, "GIVE IT ALL" and "TRUST IN HIM". It wasn't a thought I wanted to entertain but I knew I didn't have a choice.
During the break I picked up Dan... told him what was going on and he encouraged me to listen to God... I'm not going to lie... I didn't empty my bank account... I did take out money... more money than I was comfortable with... but God is still working through this. So we left the ATM, headed back to the school, ate lunch, the went to breakout sessions. Now to sum up everything thus far... my heart is hurting... I am disgusted, dissatisfied, and many other dis words I don't even know lol. But not at GOD... at myself.
Robert Herber held the first breakout session I went too it was entitled "power evangelism" and honestly... it was GREAT. I need to tell people about Jesus, I need to love people well and really desire the will of God to be done in the lives of the people around me. Robert did some skits for some passages in the bible and they were awesome and funny. When it came to the 3rd skit he called on some people. He brings a guy from the front row up, then the guy in front of me then calls me up. Ironically enough we are about to act out "The Parable of the Prodigal Son". On top of that... I am picked to be the lost son. I didn't even UNDERSTAND what God was doing until the end.... you have all probably heard the story... the younger son demands his inheritance from his father... he blows it all on partying and just junk... gets a crappy job then returns home upset... His father runs and embraces him with a HUGE HUG which was entirely uncommon for a father to do in that era. I had to hold back some emotions during this... I wiped it off with laughter... but I knew God was still making a HUGE POINT in my life.... Think back to friday... Neil's prayer for feeling "Fathered by God"... that was just God confirming that He loves me... despite all the pain from my "earthly father" God LOVES ME and HE is my TRUE FATHER
So after that AMAZING breakout session I then went and attended Kurt Mahler's session called "Perseverance: The War of 1000 Choices." Overall I would say I know a lot about perseverance but I definitely stink at it... I complain, and don't go to God. It's a hard area for me. But something Kurt said stuck with me. It was on forgiveness. He gave a long list of things we need to persevere through but this was one that cut to the core : " we are called to forgive because we have been forgiven." A TON of situations came to mind but one specific one stuck out and I knew I needed to actually APOLOGIZE to this person.... but of course I didn't believe it. I tried to run from it all and ignore it. However, every single time I went somewhere that person would be there. Needless to say a close friend noticed this and encouraged me to listen to God... talk about accountability!
Saturday night comes along and I am honestly nervous about what God is doing. Keep in mind I still have money to give to another person... and at this point I have no idea who it is... I just know God wants to bless someone. Worship time was amazing! God spoke clear to me about providing for a practical need and how that's where HIS money is going. So I got a name and I held onto it for 2 hours haha! Kurt Mahler was leading this session and a ton of the things he said were amazing but yet again one thing stuck with me and that was that "I am being prepared for a purpose". First time I though about my calling like that... and I am in a training school that teaches JUST THAT... talk about not having faith! We did the usual altar call. I got up there and just started surrendering it to God. Dan started praying for me and just asking God to have me "GO!" where He is calling me. To stop making excuses and to stop holding back from giving my life completely to God. I was rocked and this was 5 minuted into response time. After that Jeff Bianchi got up on the mic and spoke on some healings that He felt were going to happen. The first one was for a back. Now I have had back pain my whole life! I have had numbness in my lower spine and when that happens to someone they bend their neck backwards to regain feeling... it sounds confusing but it is actually kind of painful. Matt and Dan started praying for my back then "Ny Ny" came over. I felt COLD hands and I was just telling some of these people that they had warm hands. It was happening... my back was being healed... Now I KNOW God healed it then but I was so out of it that I didn't know how to react. Right after that a good friend from the Harbor named Jim came up to me and asked to pray for Joy in my life. Once he started praying I started losing my feeling in my legs... I just couldn't stand up... so I got down on the ground to my knees and my face. After that I a few more people came up and started praying....
I felt more HEAT then immediate COLD. I could feel things breaking off of me. I started just screaming "YES JESUS!" then I started speaking in tongues... which I have never done. I don't really know what was happening because I couldn't hear what people were praying but I know that Matt told me he started praying for joy to fill my stomach and that was when I fell flat down because I couldn't hold myself up. It was CRAZY! God healed my back, filled me with joy, and also gave me a call to the nations(forgot to mention that part). I think I am still currently terrified to go to the middle east but I did get a heart throb for indonesia and I'm just praying through what God wants to do there. I believe God wants me to reach out and share the gospel with muslims but I am open to anything.... except the middle east... but that's fear that I know God can break off!
Right after that I went over to a friend who I knew God told me to give the money too. She was blessed and praying for her with a bunch of people was even more amazing!
Needless to say this weekend radically changed my life and I'm not even done talking about it yet! I am going to blog about Sunday and Today... tomorrow! :)
Jesus Loves You!!!