Faithful, Extravagant, Papa.

These past 2 weeks the Lord has been teaching me about his faithfulness and provision (not just money, and man is he so good!

It all started when Tyler and I were driving in Brentwood near some extremely large houses. I started ranting about the size of these houses, and how absurd they were, how much money they probably cost etc etc. Basically judging the people inside of them based upon the outside of their house. Tyler cut in and basically suggested that maybe I’m not able to receive the wealth that God has for me because I’m judging those around me that carry wealth. I sunk down into my seat real quick.

The following Monday we were at Emanate when Ryan & Katie Wegenast shared an incredible testimony. In short, they wanted to learn about favor and what it looked like to follow and walk in the Lords favor. They gave what they didn’t have and received what they couldn’t afford. At first they didn’t feel like they were seeing any return on their giving or walking in the favor they were desperate to know about. After a hard week their landlord calls to ask them to move out of their house. So Ryan posts a tweet just to see if anyone had a place they could stay.

They get a tweet back from a couple that attend Grace Center saying they have a house they could stay in for free. After Ryan explains how he expected for the house to be a fixer-upper they show a photo….and the house is huge. It’s remarkably similar to the houses I was unwisely judging just a few days prior.

I couldn’t help but cry and just laugh at the goodness of our God. It didn’t stop there. A few more times that week God used little things here and there to simply teach me about his goodness.

On top of God showing me the extravagant things he loves to give to his children. I was overwhelmed with joy just thinking about all my close brothers and sisters who are being given their hearts desires! From moving to Iceland to attending a sailing dts to being accepted into the school of supernatural life! Oh it’s so wonderful!

I don’t have much else to share and I feel like this blog has not stuck to one train-of-thought but I just want to remind you to think about all the things for which you are thankful. Even the small things like ice cream or sunshine. Write ’em down and praise Jesus for them. It’s been said a few times this week: if you’re busy being thankful it will download supernatural joy into your hearts and you wont have time to complain about what isn’t happening. Rejoice in what is!

Life is wonderful.

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Rich and Full.

“I don’t feel like a human,” I told Tyler last Monday  as we were walking in the compound here in Kapenguria. It seems like a strange statement, but it was the only way I could think to express how I felt inside. The night before our team had a memorial service for what happened to Laura & Ebel—maybe that’s what sparked this weird feeling of non-humanness. Later that night I went into the tiny kitchen we get to use here. Ari and Ty were cooking, listening to lovely folky music. As I stood there watching them cook & laughing with them over something seemingly insignificant, I’m sure…I realized what I had been feeling all day: nostalgia. I felt nostalgic over nothing specific. I imagined that this night, cooking, listening to good music, the cool African night and having the privilege to eat dinner again with my “forever family”—-this was something, one day I was going to feel nostalgic over.  After dinner we all stood around the kitchen and porch area while the dishes were being done, listening to music and simply enjoying each others company. I had the overwhelming urge to twirl like a little girl in a pretty dress. It all felt like a nostalgic movie scene from a Cameron Crowe film. Like when Penny Lane & the gang sang Tiny Dancer in Almost Famous, or Orlando Bloom jumping in with one hand in the air in Elizabethtown. I almost felt as though I could cry, I wanted to stop time.  My twirling led to the boys seeing how many spins they could go with their forehead on the broomstick & then walk straight. It was absolutely hilarious. At one point Nicholaus was spinning when all of a sudden the power went out. We all screamed in laughter–especially when the lights came back on and Nick was just laying on the ground against the wall of the house. “I thought it was the end of the world,” he got out in between laughs.  To add the movie-esqueness of the night; Tyler, Nick, Michelle and I listened to The Album Leaf as we stared at the Milky Way that shined so bright in the African sky. We talked about nothing much at all, just soaked up the beauty of it all.  While we were laying there Tyler whispered “better pay attention in life, or it’ll pass you by,” after I missed a shooting star. It was a joke, but it hit a nerve. I realized in all my revelation that Lord has been downloading about His gift of FULLNESS—a fear had crept in. I’ve become fearful in every decision I think I might make–scared that I’m making the wrong one and I’m missing the fullness–which in turn paralyzes me.  The next morning Nick played the song in my previous post —“Train song” by Josh Garrels, God started working and damaging that fear:

“And I’m steppin’ out the door,
I’m doin what feels right,
followin’ my Lord through the darkest night,
And when the path gets narrow,
I follow Him…
He said “sing it on the mountain high,or in the valley low
‘He’s my God and He never let me go.”

The fear of missing out on the fullness will in turn guarantee it. I’ll come back to this in a moment….There’s only 2 short weeks left here in Kenya and as we were praying over this time here in Kapenguria we received words of fullness–that each day would be RICH and FULL of LIFE and that’s exactly my heart’s cry. On this past Sunday we had the privilege to attend the opening of church in the Pokot Tribe area, about an hour away from where we are staying. Please read up on the Pokot Tribe if you are curious…but some of the basic culture…The Pokot are polygamous normally having four to five wives.

Although it is against the law (which isn’t enforced properly) they still practice female circumcision (FGM). Boys are circumcised at age 15 and then there is a celebration called “sapana” for them in which they are then declared “real” men.The culture is under such strongholds of tradition and witch-craft so you can imagine the joy it was to see the freedom the Lord had brought to so many of them. It was such a joyous celebration that I am not sure how to put into words. To be part of a church being planted in an unreached people-group area was so surreal. The service was packed full of all kinds of dancing and fellowship–my heart was just “boiling” as Ari would say to express the feeling of peace and “this is right” you get when you know there’s no where else in the world that you should be except right there in that moment.

“This day couldn’t get much better, ” I said. Boy did I not even know what was coming….  On the jam-packed jeep ride home I had an “If This Were A Dream, What Would It Mean?” moment. All four of us girls were sitting on the middle bench, while the two Icelanders, were sitting up front and the boys were in the back packed with way to many Kenyans than should ever fit in a car. Ariel and I were listening to Jonsi in one ear while the sound of the Kenyan girls singing streamed in the other. It was as if Iceland was in one ear, and Kenya in the other. To top it off it started raining, really raining. Which is quite a big deal because they’ve been in a drought here. I smiled and thought about the day getting better and better.

When we arrived back at the compound Fanney had been busy making us french-press coffee and delicious coffee desert! Wow!

We spent some incredible time at their house and then headed back to ours for some rest. All four of us girls were just sitting in the living room enjoying each others company; it was only when Nick called us to dinner that I realized we hadn’t seen the boys all afternoon.  As we walked up to the table we realized that there were only four place-settings. There was a bright-burning candle and flowers all over the table. We sat down only soon to be crowned with princess crowns and African celebration necklaces. The boys proceeded to serve us salad and delicious pasta Milano, we just sat in awe. With every song that came on the playlist we said “awww..” The reality that this time, this season would soon be over hit us all this night. I was holding back my tears but then lost it when the boys surrounded us individually to pray and speak life into us! It was such a sacred time and the spirit was heavily there with us.

We were then guided into the living room for warmth and served chocolate cake and coffee! Oh it was so beautiful. The night came to a close with a movie and letters on our pillows :) A night (and day!) I’ll never forget.

So, going back to my fear of missing out on fullness…as soon as I laid it down to the Lord and let him take my cares, worries and fears…I’ve been able to enjoy this fullness that he’s been pouring into each day!

We head to Mombasa in a week…we’ll get to see the Indian Ocean!! I love my life.

As we hope in You…

Since I last wrote we traveled to a small town called Sombo–just 30Kil outside Garissa, Kenya in the Northeast. There is a small village way out in the desert bush that is committed to the Lords work among the surrounding villages that are mostly Muslim. By the grace of God they, knowing that the Sombo mission is a christian organization, have accepted them into the area. The Sombo mission provides free schooling to the children in the surrounding villages as well as a medical center. Also in the surrounding desert are 2 unreached people groups! Originally we were going to be living at Sombo while doing outreach to the Somalian refugee camps that were close, but we felt the Lord calling us to a time of prayer and intercession. So instead we didn’t do much but sweat and pray. We did a 24/3 and God gave so many encouraging words to the mission through us. It was challenging to not be physically doing anything but it was such a time of growth in patience and waiting upon the Lord.        The children at the school in Sombo.

The Pastor at Sombo was David Minor, a wonderful man full of the joy of the Lord. He referred to me as his daughter-in-law and wanted me to marry his son. “Freesha, my daughter,” he would say with a big smile. His joy rubbed off on all of us—and his family showed us such an abundance of hospitality! At night the boys and the girls took turns sleeping on a trailer that was out in the compound–falling asleep under the starry African night is something I hope you get to experience one day.

After our short stay there we traveled to the Northwestern part of Kenya where we are now, Kapenguria. We’re nearing the end of our journey, only 3 more weeks in Africa and one more in Iceland–its making my heart desire to squeeze as much life out of these last few precious moments. Here in Kapenguria there is a bible school run by Icelandic missionaries that we are working with. The grounds are beautiful, though you can tell its run by westerners because of the western toilets, showers and kitchen its such an incredible place of rest; cobblestone walkways, beautiful gardens, and real beds! We will be here until we have our debrief week–we will be doing outreach to the surrounding unreached tribes in the area, as well as working with the street boys in this area.

After the long day of traveling on Friday we received some horrible news that I am still struggling to understand. Laura & Ebel, who we worked with in the beginning of our trip, we received a phone-call informing us that three armed robbers broke into their home on the YWAM Athi River base. When Ebel tried to get them out of the house they shot and killed him in front of their two precious children (around the ages of 2 and 4).

I was initially in shock–I wanted to shut down, but I knew I needed to pray fervently for Laura and the children. Before we traveled here to the Northwest we made a pit-stop back in Nairobi to celebrate Esther’s birthday and as we were leaving I felt the urge to ask Esther if I could borrow her copy of “Happy Intercessor” by Beni Johnson. It was literally as we were walking out the door and the taxi was honking. She handed it to me and I ran to the car. So when I felt the need to pray—I had no idea HOW. How do you pray into a situation such as this? The Lord led me to a few pages in the book that helped me to pray WITH Him and into His character. I came to a core peace, like what Steve Berger talks about in Have Heart—core peace doesn’t mean you don’t grieve, but it shuts out the lies and confusion that so often follow tragedies. I’m still consciously having to deny the lies of the enemy against God’s character because I don’t understand–but I also know that I’m not going to. All I know is that this act was the definition, literally, of the enemy. “A thief comes only to steal (robbers), kill (Ebel), and destroy (Levi, Ezra and Laura)–but I have come that they might have life and have it to the full.” (John 10:10) I know that this was NOT Papa’s will and I know that He has a brilliant plan of redemption that will shine His glory.

We had a little memorial service for Ebel here just with our team, reminiscing on the short time we were able to spend with Ebel. His sarcastic, dry humor and depth of wisdom is what stood out to us most. You can tell by the photo below, taken when we were helping to build on his orphanage community dream:

The guys working in the water tank at Ebel & Laura's orphanage.

The guys working in the water tank at Ebel & Laura’s orphanage.

Ebel and Laura’s hearts beat for the Lord and they dreamt with Him—I am so privileged to have gotten to be a part of the dream that the spirit birthed in them to start an orphanage community here in Kenya. I know in my heart that this dream will live on and shine even more of God’s glory.

I remember sitting in the little classroom at Athi River as Ebel shared him & Laura’s love story and dream for Kenya–just eating it up. The Lord used them to continue speaking to me about LIFE–what he came to bring–throughout this entire outreach he’s been deepening my understanding of what it really means. I’ve been learning to dream WITH him and their story was an incredible encouragement on this journey of deepening.

I hope that as you read this, it strikes your heart to pray for Laura and the children with us as we cry mercy. This song is what I keep praying:

In the still passion Oh God
Open Eyes, Mend hearts
Let the harvest fall like rain
As we cry Mercy. as we cry mercy
Oh, Jesus, You must come
Your presence, we must have
Your power, it must fall
As we hope in you
Our only hope
Mercy, mercy
Lord, show us mercy
Mercy, Mercy
Lord, show us mercy.
 

Meme nakupende Kenya.

In the past few weeks God has been growing, stretching and challenging me and the rest of our team tremendously.

We’ve been working with Janjaap (aka: Jayjay) & Esther (the couple we were led to by Peter). We’ve been working with their ministry with street women & street boys. It’s been so rewarding! Praying, loving and just spending time with them. We’ve seen physical healings, outpourings of the Lords joy and peace,  & realizations of God, the Father’s love for them personally.

Louise, one of the street women.

Some of my favorite moments have been with the street boys; one Friday we were teaching about the Holy Spirit–which was just an incredible day. The boys were open and asking for us to pray with them so they might be able to receive the Holy Spirit! How awesome is that? Me & Ari prayed for this one boy named Francis. After we had been praying for a little bit he started rubbing his forehead really intensely. He told us that he just had felt something leave his body, the translator said “Oh it was probably just a demon” really nonchalantly, ha. But then he said the prayer of salvation and gave his life to Jesus!
Bwana ase five! (Praise Jesus! in Swahili)

I’ve loved that we can’t walk into the city without stopping to spend a moment or two with the women on the hill. We’ve built real relationships with them and its been incredible! Just loving on them–they have such a hunger to be loved. What breaks my heart though, is seeing the boys (10+) sniffing diesel & glue to escape the realities of life. We’ve been trying to speak truth and life into them. To remind them to dream BIG! They’re at pivotal points in their lives where they can either sniff glue and accept the life of living on the streets or fight for more–knowing that they are sons of the Most High–and God has better in store for them; this is what were praying that they realize. So if you want to pray for them, some of their names are: Silas, Virginia, Peter, Bogwa, John, Kennedy and Purity. :)

Also this past week we were robbed at our hostel. Which shook us all up a bit. They took my cameras (Canon 5D and Canon Rebel XTi film), Michelle’s computer & camera along with Gilli’s computer and phone. I have been extremely bummed, bu God is good (All the time) and He’s used this to teach us to lean more on His understanding more & more. And to trust Him.

We’ve been blessed with some amazing times of soaking, rest and refreshment. After the night of the robbery, the next day we went over to Jayjay and Esther’s from some incredible, and much-needed soaking time. While we were there, God first just washed over me with peace and rest–then he started assuring me that he’s going to fulfill his promises of provision and is going to take care of me. When we were praying after soaking, God showed me this picture of me eating the crumbs of financial worries and future worries —he was showing it to me like a chart and I was eating wayyy at the bottom and where He wanted me was wayyy at the top at the banquet table. There is where I can really share His heart and do ministry–living from the banquet table! I felt such a sweet release! Ah it was wonderful. With that release came hunger that I’ve not experienced before. hunger for more and more of God pouring into me!

Michelle’s birthday was also incredible–we went out to a fancy Japanese restaurant for sushi (yummm) and then spent time in park praying over her new year, eating cake, and resting…it was magical.

God’s been teaching me a lot about the goodness He has in store for me (and you!) and A LOT about trust and reliance on Him.

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield
The Lord gives grace and glory
He does not withhold the GOOD
from those who live in integrity.
HAPPY is the person who TRUSTS in you,
Oh Lord of Hosts!” Psalm 84:11-12

I love living this adventure with Papa and sharing His love. It’s truly wonderful.

Out in the Bush Bush.

After 24 hours of traveling we finally arrived here in Kenya on Thursday. Our eyes squinted and even hurt when we walked out of the airport to see the bright African sun. We’ve been so used to barely any sunlight in Iceland (only 4 hours at best, normally cloudy) and it was so wonderful to finally see the sun in full! We were picked up by one of the base staff here at YWAM Athi River, and we drove out to the bush bush where the base is located. The van blasted some pretty sweet reggae-MIA-esque music through some blown-out speakers; a great soundtrack as we made our way. Just from staring out the dusty van window I caught a glimpse of the people of Kenya….there were many people walking along the road and everyone seemed so friendly–waving at every person they passed.

We were greeted with so much hospitality when we arrived here on the base, breakfast was prepared–peanutbutter and jelly! As we were washing our dishes in plastic baby pools I heard a little wimper. BACKSTORY: I got my first puppy when I was 11 or so and I fell in love, it (Maxxwell) was my comforter…it sound silly, but I guess only true dog lovers would get this love. Ha. Ever since Maxx I’ve always had a puppy/dog in my life–just a tangible  comforter.  So my time in Iceland seemed like the longest time I’ve ever spent without a puppy around. ANYWAYS, you can imagine how happy I was to see a puppy running up to us..oh it was so adorable. Just another way that Papa was showing me how much he loved me (I think).

IMG_2482

The next day we took a long walk into the bush…we saw giraffes, gazelles, cows and goats! Oh it was so wonderful. I’ve really fallen in love with the simplicity of life here. Every night I find myself looking at the stars before bed with such a thankful heart for Gods beauty.

IMG_2476We went on a prayer walk through the closest town to the base, just opening our eyes to what life here is like. It was definitely eye-opening to say the least. Little kids kept pointing at us and yelling “Mzungu!” which means white. Whats so beautiful is the joy the people who I’ve met here in Kenya have. Pure joy not interfered or dependent on what they do or don’t have, or based on the new iphone.

                I’ve really connected with the Kenyans here on the base. Benard was sharing with me about the young women here; how they grow up without a dad or with an emotionally absent dad. Then when they get older they have affairs with much older men because they are looking for a father figure. Hmm…this sounds a bit familiar, eh?       Gods really been laying the topic of purity on my heart—and my heart just breaks when I hear about young girls just giving it away to feel loved and accepted. I was just pondering and praying about this though and I just realized how the enemy is using the same tricks everywhere. The spirit of rejection, the spirit of abandonment, feeling unworthy, etc. These are all things we struggle with in the western world, the enemy doesn’t have any different tricks up his sleeve. We may live in riches, technology, opportunity in the western world but we are wrecked with spiritual poverty and lukewarmness. Here they deal with much more  blatant poverty but the joy and hunger for Love is so great.

Ebel and Laura, one of the couples living here on the base have an amazing testimony filled with great adventures with the Lord; I wont share it completely but basically they had a vision to build an orphanage  type community that allowed children to grow up in a family setting. Here in Kenya they found a place to make that vision reality. So what it will look like is eight houses filled with eight couples. They will have a few of their own children, then they will have nine or so foster children. They don’t want any westerners living there, they want it to be as naturally Kenyan as possible, just allowing room for orphans to grow up in a family, not just another institution full of westerners. And WE got to be a part of making this vision real! We helped in replanting the garden in the back of the first house, weed-wacking, lawn mowing, cementing the bottom of the water tank (well, the guys did this one):

We also helped out in another womans vision for an orphanage..called the Amadeo Home for children. She bought the land and everywhere around her land doesn’t have access to fresh water—its too salty—but after putting the pump in her ground she found that she has fresh water! Hallelujah! God provided a way for her to help pay for this orphanage that is in the making! We dug holes for planting trees out in the hot African Sun, but it was so worth it–its funny how by digging holes all day we’re indirectly helping little children have a home.

Lastly we spent some time at an all-girls High School where we set up a field-day. We had different stations, each with a different game. We also had a testimony station in which me and another girl got to share our testimonies with the girls. I finally got to share the purity message that has been on my heart.

The guys working in the water tank at Ebel & Laura's orphanage.

The guys working in the water tank at Ebel & Laura’s orphanage.

 

Oh just shoveling some manure

Oh just shoveling some manure

IMG_2895I forgot to mention earlier that another DTS team from Germany was also staying at the Athi River base while we were there–it was amazing to make new friends and hear about their lecture phase and hear what God had been doing in their hearts. So before we left, both of the teams had communion together. It was one of those times that you can’t put into words. God was so there  with us as we went around a circle and shared what Jesus was to us. As I listened to what everyone had to say I was just overtaken with joy to see how personal He is with us–everyone has their own encounters that are custom to them, and their needs. I was also just so happy to be in fellowship with so many incredible people…..kingdom-mindset people that love the Lord!

I could say so much more, but our time spent there was just an incredible beginning to this outreach, where God really met each one of us individually and ministered to us–preparing our hearts and depositing a peace at our core.

Papa is just so good. *Hopefully I can add more photos soon!

1 Peter 1:3-9,

I Actually Know Nothing At All.

It all started last week when the wonderful Eleanor Rich challenged me to open my eyes to some baggage that Lord wanted to start healing. It was as if I only wanted to peek, to put my hand over my eyes and peek through the cracks. God was challenging me, once again,  fully, completely, and totally rely on Him; and honestly it didn’t feel so great.

Michelle and I being explorers :)

This revelation, although rough to face, revealed the roots of independence, fear of intimacy, poverty mindset… and as God takes me through this, it will bring more and more freedom!

The weekend came and went, always faster than I feel it should and I found myself wishing there were so many more hours to sleep come Monday morning at 7:15AM. I was excited to see I had a wonderful email from home, oh I miss home, I really do. But this email slightly blindsided me when I was challenged to face another situation I had been trying to shrug off, hoping it would deal with itself. (Haha) This on top of last weeks challenge was pretty heavy.

9 This third I will put into the fire;
I will refine them like silver
and test them like gold.
They will call on my name
and I will answer them;
I will say, ‘They are my people,’
and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.’

-Zechariah 13:9

Then come Tuesday night we had our second Kenya team meeting. During this meeting we found out what our various jobs were going to be; they range from being in charge of the food to worship to photography etc. My stomach dropped when I found out that I was going to be in charge of finances. Finances?! I will be keeping up with the budget and the flow of money. I sat there pretty much pouting the rest of the meeting. Acting like a 5-year-old. I was so angry. Of all the jobs…finances?! God has a sick and twisted sense of humor. You see, I love administrative work. I really do. What I do not love is money.

Come Wednesday I thought I was just going to lose it. Which is what I hate, loosing it. I have a tendency to want to be in control, and keep poised. There’s nothing I can’t face, just a few deep breaths and keep moving forward. This week, my deep breaths weren’t working and I found myself loosing control (in a good way, I’m sure). After talking it out with a few lovelies I realized that I actually know nothing, which makes it rather hard to be in a constant state of being in control of everything. You see we are all under construction, a house not yet fully built. This, if I’m being honest, has always looked like a weakness to me. Because think about a house under construction, if a tornado comes towards the house it will collapse. The difference here is if we are trusting in the Lord, he has us, and the tornado, although might shake us up, will not destroy us. And we are always going to be under construction this side of heaven, so I might as well get over it. I’ve constantly been consumed each week with something new that I’ve decided I want to be healed from…and I want to be healed and move on, I haven’t been accepting that it’s all a process with the Father and its all in his timing.

Ingunn :) Love you..

Once Alyn Jones drew a diagram at emanate; it had 2 circles and the first, the smallest, was the stuff in life we have direct control over (i.e. what we eat, what we wear, etc). Another circle was drawn around the “direct control” circle this is the amount of things we have indirect control over (i.e. how we react in conversations) and then the rest of the diagram was white space which represented everything we had absolutely no control over. He pointed out –most people spend all their time in the white space area, worrying about what they have absolutely no control over.  I’m still chewing on this one.

34“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” -Matt 6:34 (The Message)

I felt so much lighter and free just by accepting these things. And it was like a celebration when I went on a date (haha) with my beautiful friend, Ingunn. We went to her sisters Gospel Christmas concert (yes, they sing Gospel in Iceland) and it was so wonderful!

Icelandic Gospel Choir

Oh so amazing (videos to come). We ended the night on the roof of the guesthouse looking at the stars and talking about the exciting year to come!

The rest of the week came a bit more at ease, I’m still not the happiest camper about dealing with finances for outreach, but it’ll be ok, who knows maybe I have some hidden desire to be an accountant that I never knew about. The rest of the week and this weekend have been filled with those sweet fun moments that you couldn’t plan if you wanted to– with the amazing DTS team I am privileged to know.

Cheers to continual acceptance that God is actually in control, sweet moments with friends, and Christmas.

Love,

Felicia, in repair.

Falling In Love

Last week was a pretty intense week, and at the beginning of this week I think I was still recovering and processing stuff that the Lord was showing me last week. I was relieved to find out that this week’s topic was relationships. How hard can a week on relationships be?
We started the week with a little bit of review (for us DTS students)–Ron (the speaker, from Colombia, MO) drew some diagrams and talked about not putting up walls because it blocks others out, loving your neighbor and being interdependent on the Father, Son & Holy Spirit. Great things to take note of and a crucial foundation to any relationship, romantic or not. In conversation he asked me what I would like to know about relationships. I thought about it for a moment and decided it would be really nice to learn how to unconditionally love annoying people (haha). Ron planned to teach on just that the following day…teaching us how to walk through life with a heart of peace–not judging others–and not becoming focused on the hurt (annoyance) someone causes you. When you start magnifying this you become blinded and distracted from the race.

“You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth?”
Galatians 5:7

All of this was great stuff, but still light compared to last week.
I spoke to soon,but before I can share what happened next I feel like I need to backtrack a little bit…

Earlier this year I went to an Encounter weekend where I discovered an ungodly belief I carried:  Somewhere in my life I decided to make a general belief about men, that they were destructive beings and not worth my trust. I believed that the only role men played in my life was to hurt, abandon or abuse. This was due to past Father figures, boyfriends and other authority figures. The Lord started healing this just this year, he brought some amazing brothers into my life and started opening my eyes to the beauty of his sons. He opened my eyes and showed me that when I expect men to fail and believe that they are destructive I am calling Gods sons less than who they are; they are sons of the kingdom! Full of worth and great inheritance!

Fast-forward to Wednesday Ron gets in front of the class and shares a heart-breaking story about a young girls road to restoration after she had been attacked by a man. Ron told us that the Lord asked him in that situation to get on his face in front of this girl and speak the words of the Father: ” This was not my will for you. Here I come humbly to you.” Ron then stood in the gap and asked for forgiveness on behalf of the attacker.

By the end of the story I, along with most everyone was tearing up and I wasn’t prepared for what was coming next. Ron turns and addresses the girls in the room and begins to tell us that he wanted to stand in that gap for us; he wanted to apologize and ask for forgiveness in place of the men who had damaged and hurt us. He came to us and got down on his knees took all the weight of other men’s wrong doings in our lives..and asked for forgiveness. Oh my heart….
Throughout last week I felt as though my heart was going to burst, it was actually painful. And although I did receive breakthrough, it wasn’t enough to feel a release in my heart; but in this moment my heart finally burst and sweet refreshing water was finally able to flow in. There is so much more building up to this moment, but some of it is a little to personal to share on the world-wide web.

I think the main thing was the realization that by me holding onto the hurt…constantly saying “but this person hurt me!” as a subconscious excuse to not fully forgive, it was making my heart ache–and distracting me from the race.

Oh sweet release.

We then moved onto marriage and love…oh joy joy.
The teaching was a little more on the open dialogue side…and I think he had a great answer to the question of whether or not God tells us who are future spouse is: he pointed out that God can’t promise you something that requires someone elses free-will–brilliant. He may on the other hand say “this would a good one.” while nudging and winking at you. :)

What I got out of what he had to say was basically every love story is going to be unique and different, that’s the beauty of it. It’s just wise to make sure your mind, spirit and emotions are all balance–and although God may not be clearly saying “this is the one” still be in counsel with Him. You and your love could completely feel as though you got a divine word that confirmed the love you had, it could be full of risk and movie-esque fate moments or it could be something easy flowing like a friendship into marriage. Either way its beautiful.

“Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. There are many things below it, but there are also things above it. You cannot make it the basis of a whole life. It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling… Knowledge can last, principles can last, habits can last; but feelings come and go… But, of course, ceasing to be “in love” need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense — love as distinct from “being in love” — is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God… “Being in love” first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it.” -C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity.

What a healing, intense and lovely week.