After that plain and clear encouragement from my Heavenly Father last week, one that I didn’t deserve because I was brought up in His presence and should have known better than to feel lost, I definitely shouldn’t have received even more love and encouragement last night. God met me again and this time, He spoke through 6 different people, overflowing me in love and reassurance.
I serve a God who never tires of reminding me how much He loves me, no matter how many times my sin, my pride, my easily distracted mind forget. I again didn’t deserve what God did for me last night, but my God overflows in grace and lovingly placed His hand on my heart and told me, over and over again, to trust Him.
Let me step back a bit.
I am the type of person who likes to be in charge, delegating and getting things done. For those of you who know me, I am bossy and loud. I am the person who is usually handed leadership positions because I tend to stand out in my bossiness and loudness. I’m dominant, and in the past, have had places or positions in which to use that aspect of my personality. I am also used to having on fire Christians around me, encouraging me and I encouraging them. I am used to growing along side someone.
But here in college, I don’t have that.
I am not in any leadership position and I do my devotions and growing in God by myself. I don’t think doing devotions by myself is a bad thing; if anything, it’s forced me to keep myself accountable instead of relying on someone else. And I have grown a lot because of my loner experience in college. I spend most of my time talking to like four really good friends here at college and the rest with God or friends and family back home. I’m not involved in any clubs or leadership positions in college so I am not utilizing my bossiness and loudness either. There are a few girls that come to me for prayer and guidance and I thank God for those opportunities to lead them, but I just felt lost for some reason.
I think a lot of that confusion and disorientation came with a leadership position I applied for and didn’t get. While I am thankful that I didn’t get it now, mostly because I don’t agree with a lot of theology in my college and I believe I would have been spiritually frustrated in that position, I was lost.
I thought, God, what the heck? I would have been perfect for that position, isn’t that what you wanted me to do? I don’t really fit in here on campus and I don’t know what else to do. I thought that was it, that was my calling for right now, to do your will on campus. I just don’t know what you want me to do. I’m passionate and ready, but when can we start?
So let’s call that the back story for last night’s main event.
I invited my former roommate Shongi to the life group and we walked in a few minutes past 7, greeted with hugs and smiles and how-are-you’s. Because God spoke to me last week, I felt like I knew everything I needed to know. Just keep my shoes on, stay hungry, keep pressing, your time is coming. I was definitely not expecting God to do what He did.
We began the evening with another game and moved into listening to a life story, a new aspect of life group I had yet to encounter. Brett, the life group leader, shared his life story with the group, as a way for all of us to get to know one another a little better. I assume they have someone share every few weeks or so. Brett shared about his past, his family, and how he met Jesus. His life story was a lot like mine in the beginning, so I enjoyed listening to him talk about his family and growing up in the church. He was very honest and genuine and blessed us all by his willingness to be vulnerable. We all prayed for him when he finished and thanked him for his boldness in sharing his life with the group.
Lynette, the other life group leader, began to speak about breakthrough.
Now that I write about it, I see how everything connected and how I did in fact experience a breakthrough last night.
Lynette explained to us that breakthrough’s happen when God shows up and performs the impossible. She asked us to close our eyes for ten seconds and think of something that needs to happen in our lives but seems impossible.
I closed my eyes and thought of…nothing.
I couldn’t think of a single thing.
And as I sat there, trying to rack my brain for something I am believing God for that is impossible, Lynette started talking again and the ten seconds were up. I’d like to pin this act on my intense faith in God, but that was not the case, as I found out later. Lynette then asked us how we bridge the gap between our amazing God who’s power can bring incredible breakthrough and our impossible situation.
Then Brett took the floor, telling us that breakthrough’s begin with authority. Authority doesn’t ask or beg for what it wants, it demands it. And God gives us authority over evil and sickness. Jesus said in John 14 that the Holy Spirit, the Helper, lives in us and helps us perform miracles like Jesus and even greater than He did. Brett explained that in our prayer, we must pray with authority in Jesus’ name and believe that great things will be done.
The conversation was taken over by Daniel, a life group leader-in-training, and he asked us to turn to James 5:13-18 and for someone to read it aloud. Since my Nana always sang the books of the Bible in order to me as a kid, I found James 5 in no time and raised my hand to read it.
13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.
This verse reminded me of something, but I couldn’t remember what it reminded me of.
I stayed silent as Daniel asked what this verse calls us to do in prayer. He must have noticed my expression of “I have something to say but I can’t remember what it is so pretend I have nothing to say.” He kept staring at me and I stared back, trying to remember, until it was awkward and I glanced away, but then Brett asked, “Kayley, do you have something?”
“Sure,” I laughed, but right after I said that, I immediately remembered what the verses reminded me of. It was the part about praying in faith and I remembered that when I attended the 2015 Worldview Apologetics Conference, I went to a seminar about spiritual warfare, taught by a man named Dr. Karl Payne.
Dr. Payne said that when we don’t operate in the power God has given us but cower in fear, we slap our Savior in the face. I told the group, “I think this verse is reminding us to speak with authority and that it is wrong not to. When we don’t speak with the power of God, a God we say we love and firmly believe in, it’s like slapping Him in the face.”
Daniel continued by saying that we should have faith like Elijah and to pray with intention and passion. We have to pray earnestly and powerfully, saying firmly “I BELIEVE!”
The other leader-in-training, Candice, closed the conversation with, “The stories of Abraham and Jacob and Joseph inspire us to place God above everything because He is always working in our lives.” She reminded us to always expect the breakthrough.
We moved into a short time of worship, followed by Lynette inviting us to practice powerful prayer. She said that God had given her a few things that some people needed prayer for, read them off, and asked the group to raise their hands if any of those were about them and if they would like prayer. She then said that if there wasn’t anything on that list for someone, that they should think of their impossible thing from the ten second reflection and get prayer.
She encouraged us not to leave until we had prayed with authority over that impossible thing and believed God for a breakthrough.
Again, as she spoke, I searched my brain for an impossible thing, and again came up empty.
We sat in a circle and asked each person to reveal what their impossible thing was, followed by prayer and the laying on of hands for each person. We’d prayed for a few people when it was Shongi’s turn.
Just before this life group, Shongi had been telling me that she needed a Moses to part the Red Sea of her life for her. I told her that maybe she was Moses and that God was going to use her to perform the miracle she needed, she just had to press into Him more and trust Him.
We began each prayer by praying with one voice, which basically means we all pray at once, and then one person would end it. I was asked to close the prayer for Shongi and I prayed for her hunger for God to continue to grow, for her to be a light of love and truth to her family, and that she would be the Moses and be able to allow God to part her Red Sea, her impossible situation.
After Shongi, it was my turn.
As all eyes turned to me, fear gripped my heart tight. I couldn’t breath as the realization of my impossible thing filled my mind. Tears flooded my eyes and I tried to stay calm as I explained to the group what I needed prayer for. It came out broken and patchy as I tried to explain myself.
I wanted to say that I could feel God and I loved Him and I knew He loved me, but I didn’t know where He wanted me to go. I didn’t know what to do. I felt lost and scared because I could feel God every day, but I couldn’t hear Him. His plan for my life was unclear and I wasn’t even sure where I was supposed to start. I felt trapped, constantly excited about God but nowhere to put that excitement, no one to be excited with, no position to place all my energy into. I felt lost and restless.
All that came out was, “I feel God…but I don’t know what to do with that. I know that doesn’t make much sense, but it’s where I’m at right now.”
I walked to the middle of the room, crying, as my new friends gathered around me and held my hands and placed their hands on my shoulders. Lynette said for everyone to wait ten seconds because God had something to say to me before we started. Five seconds in, Leah behind me spoke:
I see you on the yellow brick road. I know that sounds silly, but you are on the yellow brick road, you are on the right road, but you can’t see in front of you. You don’t know where you are going, only that you are getting closer and closer to God. Keep going on the road.
I began to cry harder, and Michael in front of me spoke in broken images:
I keep hearing the name Jehovah Yahweh. And I see the verse about the lilies of the field. God takes such good care of those lilies; He sends the rain and the sun to help them grow, and they are beautiful. And God loves you so much more than those lilies; He is going to take care of you. And He’s given you all these gifts of passion and beauty and He wants you to use them and remind you that He is in control.
At this point, I felt like falling to my knees, but I stayed still. Brett spoke next:
You can’t see in front of you, and that’s the whole point. You aren’t supposed to see what is happening next or where you are going because God wants you to trust Him completely. He is bringing you into a season of growing in trust and He wants you to rely on Him only.
Brett then prayed for me individually for trust and patience in my longing to know God’s plans. Then Shongi spoke:
Yes, Kayley, I see you on a road too, like the yellow brick road. And God is farther along the path than you are, so far that you can’t really see Him but you can feel Him pulling at you and saying “Kayley, come on! Come to me! Let’s go, I’m here!” So you run to Him, girl you have your shoes on! You are ready, but once you get to Him, He’s farther along the path. And you are frustrated, but God is trying to take you farther. He’s still calling you, again and again. And every time you get to where He wants you, He calls you farther. Keep going, God is calling you to big things, you just need to keep trusting in Him.
My spirit was so overwhelmed at this point, I am surprised I was still standing. Granted, tears and snot were running down my face, along with my makeup, and the group prayed for me in one voice, followed by Shongi praying over my life. I sat down after they’d finished in absolute awe.
I just thought, God, who am I to deserve such amazing love? And I tried to stop crying, to no avail. We prayed for everyone else who needed it and moved into worship to end the night. I stood silently, unable to sing, when Candice came up to me.
She said that she had a word for me from God. I was a little shocked and couldn’t help but smiling really big, in disbelief that God had even more to say to me. She said that she saw a huge, bright light over my life. She just keeps seeing that light. Then she said that God told her to write something down a little while ago and she asked God to show her who she was supposed to give the note to. She said God told her to give it to me and remind me that God’s light, the big light over my life, covers any darkness. The note said:
“I loved you at your darkest.”
Candice asked if she could pray for me and I laughed at her. Of course she could pray for me, are you kidding? After how incredibly clear God was right now, there was no way I would pass down an opportunity for prayer. I tried not to cry again and failed again and thanked Candice and went back to worship.
Then someone else tapped me on the shoulder and I thought no way, there’s more? How am I going to remember all of this?
I opened my eyes to find a spunky girl named Lexi telling me she had a word for me from God.
She said that she saw me looking at a big, beautiful house that was for sale. She said that I really wanted the house, I thought it was so beautiful. But I was hesitant to buy it because I had so many memories in my current house. I didn’t want to leave because I grew up in my old house and I loved it and I was stuck between wanting the new house and loving the old one. Lexi said that God wanted to remind me that His house is forever and I don’t have to be scared about making decisions like that because He is in control.
Basically, last night was the greatest night of my life and I can’t thank God enough for His constant love for me. I definitely don’t know what I’m doing or where I’m going next, but at least I can totally rest in His presence and be comforted by the fact that I am the daughter of the King of everything who still has the time and love to remind me as much.
He identified my fear of the unknown and quieted my heart at the same time.
My devotional about Esther from shereadstruth.com said, “We serve a God who designs our deliverance before man can devise our destruction.”
I serve a good, good God.
Oh and I’ve seen many searching for answers far and wide
But I know we’re all searching for answers only you can provide
’cause you know just what we need before we say a word.
You’re a good, good Father. It’s who You are. It’s who You are. It’s who You are.
And I’m loved by you. It’s who I am. It’s who I am. It’s who I am.