2013 = IN.SANE.
On January 1, 2013, a dear friend prayed that I would encounter God in ways I'd never before thought possible.
Check. Multiple times.
This year has been the single most extraordinary, fruitful, challenging, productive, and amazing year of my entire life. And no, I'm not exaggerating. Not even a little.
But I won't walk you through each and every encounter or event because... well, I'm exhausted and I'd literally be writing for countless hours, just to even hit the highlights. So instead, I'll just share with you this one story that I've been dying to share for approximately six months now.
It was an evening, I believe this was June. The wives from my home group met with another group of ladies from a sister church in the area. The goal of the evening was to spend some much-needed time just listening to God and pressing in to anything we felt that needed more prayer. During the course of the evening, about twenty of us gathered and sat quietly as we listened to some worship music and waited for God to speak.
And then I saw my first glimpse of what previous experience had taught me was God speaking directly to me. You see, He created me, so He knows best how to speak to me in ways I understand. Most often, it's either a word that looks like a Powerpoint, or it's a single image. This time, it was a few single images, followed by a sort of dream.
In the beginning of said dream, two of my close friends were locked arm in arm, one on either side of my hospital bed. They were weeping as they prayed over my belly (in the dream, I was nine months pregnant). I could see them, but it was as if they couldn't see that I was awake. As they prayed, they wept even more intensely... and then a flower started growing up out of my belly. It was almost as if they were praying life in to this lifeless thing. It was sort of a digital flower that just kept growing and growing up out of my womb, or my belly.
Then, that image stopped, and I saw myself holding a little baby girl. We were standing on the side of the road during a 4th of July parade. I told her "Wave to Daddy!" In the dream, my husband was driving a fire truck.
I didn't know what to make of the second part of the dream, but I assumed God showed me the first part to show me that, perhaps, these friends would play a major role in helping me birth something- like a ministry, or something. I sent a text to each of my friends the night I had that dream. In the message, I detailed each part of the vision, so they could pray in to the dream to see if they had any thoughts on what it meant.
You see, I am not a prophet. I am just an ordinary girl. In previous prayer sessions, I had seen simple things, but they always made sense. This time, they did not. For what I have not told you was this- at the time of the dream, my husband did not have a job as a firefighter, and I was not pregnant. These two events (which occurred simultaneously) did not take place for at least another six weeks after the night of prayer.
In late August, my husband was hired with the same fire department that was in the dream, and about the time he got that job, we became pregnant with our sixth and final child.
No, I don't have special powers. I'm not a fortune teller. I have no idea why God chose to give me those images, except to bring hope and encourage me to trust Him.
When I was about eight weeks pregnant, I began to bleed heavily and was certain I was losing this baby. My friends all prayed over me that night at church and I surrendered the baby to God. I told Him that if He wanted to take her, then I trusted in His sovereign plan. After that, as I was sitting in worship, He again showed me the second part of that dream. He showed me the parade scene, where I was holding my baby girl, telling her to wave to daddy.
I felt like He showed me that to remind me that He has a plan for her, for both of us. He reminded me that He indeed, is in control. SO from that moment, I chose to trust Him, and trust what He showed me. Even though all signs pointed to miscarriage, I trusted Him.
And the next day, I saw her for the first time- very strong heartbeat. Perfect.
Several weeks later, I was again able to see her- this time to confirm what we already knew to be true- this little angel is, indeed, a girl.
SO what does this mean? I have no idea, except that if I ever doubted God's desire and ability to speak, I certainly would doubt no longer.
If you had asked me at the beginning of 2013 whether or not I thought God spoke, I'd have told you yes. If you asked me whether or not I thought He spoke to me, I'd have told you no. I've always felt like I could love Him, but I always felt like I had to earn His love because there was no way that He could love me. I have been such a mess and made so many mistakes. Because of my past, I never felt like I was "good enough" to receive His love, and definitely not "good enough" to hear directly from Him.
But in so many more ways than this, God showed up in 2013 and reminded me that He created me with a significant plan. He loved me long before I ever made any of the mistakes I made. He saw through time and space. He knew the decisions I would make long before I even drew my first breath- even when I chose to walk away from Him... multiple times.... and He loved me the same then as He does now. In 2013, I learned more than I could ever write in one single blog.
But I had to write tonight. I had to share this. Because if I had to sum it all up, I'd say this- I'm no prophet. I'm nothing special. I'm just a girl, who finally took a step of faith and got out of the boat.
And God moved in ways I could never, ever have imagined- not because I'm special. Just because He loves me, and I FINALLY learned to believe it.
So, dear friend, I pray that 2014 is a year where you experience God like never before. I pray you are able to receive His love, His forgiveness, His friendship, His hope, and everything else He has to offer. Because, trust me- this is just the beginning... it only gets sweeter from here!
Happy New Year!