fall apart. You're the one that guides my heart... (Matt Maher)
Dear Heavenly Father,
Starting new, I will start in prayer. This silly girl started without you and in your mighty power you unexplainably deleted my blog not once but twice... once without an explanation, it was just gone. I stayed up till two am re-writing and this morning I deleted it myself, completely by accident. I read the words DELETE DRAFT and hit that instead of SAVE DRAFT. So I come... I confess... I am sorry for getting ahead of you. Please weed out what does not belong and give this girl your words and not my own. Thank you Father... Amen
I went to church on a Wednesday night, not knowing really where I was going, never been there before. I just knew I had to go. Hundreds of people sat in the room with me and I blended into obscurity. The only people who knew my name were the ones I came with; and God, He knew I was there. He knew because He told me to Go.
I needed Church this night. I was tired, the week had been long. I needed to sit and be. I needed to hear the songs. Worship with my whole heart. The music started; it was loud and it was booming, designed to get people off their feet and people stood. They raised their hands, lifted their voices and sang praises to the One who Saves! Then, as if... really it was... divine intervention, The worship leader told us to sit. He told us, if we were tired tonight, if we just needed to sit and let the words enfold us, wash over us, if we just needed to sit and be in this place with God - we had permission... his permission to just be! So I sat and I felt the waves of sound, the beat of the drum in-time with my heart. I felt the air alive with the Spirit...
The Holy Spirit, my friends, I have felt Him before... in prayer, in a flash during a song, a spot in a sermon. The Holy Spirit that comes to you, that we are told comes...
Then he opened their minds so they could understand the
Scriptures. He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will
suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and
forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at
Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going
to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have
been clothed with power from on high."
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together
in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind
came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were
sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated
and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the
Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled
them. Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every
nation under heaven.
That Spirit came... Now let me tell you... I've been waiting for that. I have been looking for that moment wondering where it was for me.
With Grace in Worship it came. HE came and HE stayed! During the sermon... I heard with a new ear, heart and mind as if I had heard for the first time.
I walked out... moved... in thought, afraid to speak for fear of sounding crazy... wahoo... a little nutty!
I thought... what happens now and the idea began to form that I am ruined for Church as I know it. I can never go back.
I cannot go back! Go back to what?
I am not a Pastor. Quite frankly I am learning the stories of the Bible over again as they come alive for me when I teach preschoolers in Sunday School. Maybe, rightly so.... to learn as the children do. Wide-eyed and with a pure heart.
Alive for me is the God making everything from nothing in 7 days. Alive for me is the rod and the snake. Alive for me is the Red Sea parting. Alive for me is the burning bush. Alive for me is the mountains moving. Alive for me is the walls of the fortified city coming down. Alive for me is THE Savior, MY Savior fulfilling prophecy after prophecy being born, turning water into wine, healing the sick and raising the dead. Then as Scripture says 1 Corinthians 15:3
New American Standard Bible
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures
Jesus was sent in all his perfection, without sin and by doing nothing wrong was sent to hang on a tree for me. Arms stretched out to the east and the west. Nailed... beaten... bloody... for me and my sin. For me and the things I can't turn away from, though I should... but Jesus covers all of that for me.
We don't pray like that....
We don't believe like that...
Visions don't really happen to regular people...
He won't speak to you that way...
Those things only happened in the time of Jesus...
We can't expect that...
My Salvation Story... you have to tell it you know, your story. Everyone has one. You also know the day, the time, the moment you received the Holy Spirit. But what if you don't? That makes me weird... my story is a progression of Church attendance in childhood, of my friend in high school who died in an accident that brought me back to church for understanding. Of 9-11, because lets face it, there was no understanding that.
Then... with the death of my unborn baby where I pick up my Salvation story. Like Jesus... She died so that I could live, so that my children could live. She was prayed for, with every breath she was wanted and loved. She was planned for before conception. The answer to ten years of waiting. Surely God has blessed us with a happy, healthy pregnancy... Except if she had lived, it would just be happily ever-after. But she did not live. God said, "not just yet." 8 weeks 6 days in she died... 3 weeks later we found out. No heart beat.
On the morning of my D&C, preparing my soul and body for the surgery that lay before me.... this shattered, broken shell of a person I was called out... "Where are you and why?!" and in His majesty and in His glory... he was there... in the midst of.
New Living Translation (NLT)
8 You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.
For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.
In that moment He came down to this girl and in his Mercy lifted me up and said "you will have three children". Blown away... filled with hope... in AWE... it didn't end there. I didn't pick myself up off the shower floor and say "OK, lets do this". Far from it. I still had to have surgery to cut out the dead. I had to have them physically remove what was gone from me because my body wouldn't do it, couldn't do it... possibly wanted to preserve me so they had to physically take this baby... Numb afterwards, in grief that this mother couldn't hold on to her baby, couldn't let her pass on her own... self-preserving and with guilt had to heal with the promise of two more children.
That was April... December 2006 an new stick... a new life... PREGNANT... And like Hannah... I prayed... be with this one. Watch over this one.... Let him or her grow strong... Don't let this one die... and I will give this one back to you... Weeks later... Twins! Thank you JESUS! A life gone so that others may live!
I say... IT CAN, IT WILL... HE DOES!!!
And weeks after that blessed Wednesday night... at a simulcast God also knew I would attend... when the speaker says --- And YOU are ruined for church as you know it forever. My being is shaken and rocked... and a fortified city falls.
The STONGHOLD of my religion is broken!