I was able to make it to church again today. It was one of those post mission trip services where they share stories about the trip. Their team went to work with girls who had been rescued from prostitution. (One girl had been sold into that life for two chickens.)
If you know me at all you know that missions and rescuing trafficked girls are two things very close to my heart. The stories started to stir me. The sensation was similar to after your leg falls asleep and goes completely numb, when you start to move it sharp pains shoot through the limb for a minute before full sensation returns. My spirit has been numb for months now and as the stories moved it, shots of pain coursed through me, my spirit trying to wake up.
As I was sitting there I could see the state of myself, split in three. My body: functioning, if not in a constant state of exhaustion, and very loud about its needs and desires. My heart: like one drunk, feeling everything and nothing, inconstant and staggering from emotion to emotion. My spirit: laying in a coma, occasionally twitching, wanting to wake but not yet having the strength.
As I looked at the image of my unconscious spirit God pointed me to Ezekiel.
“The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”
Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’ ”
So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’ ” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army. (Ezekiel 37:1-10)
I am not an intercessor. My sword is the prophetic. In the past, when people have come to me for prayer I moved quickly from prayer to declaring life, truth and God’s heart for them. My life and my spirit feel to me like Ezekiel’s dry bones and God told me this morning that I need to remind myself who I am, to do for myself what I have done for so many others: speak to the dry bones. So that’s what I’m going to do for the rest of this blog post.
( Feel free to stop here if you want. The rest is more for me than for anyone else. )
Who I am:
God calls me a lioness. The first time He did so was in a vision. At church one night the pastor had us ask God to reveal how He saw us. So I asked God, “What do you see when You see me?” Immediately He gave me a vision of myself as a lioness-human hybrid. I stood crouched looking over a bolder into a dark, twisted forest searching for those who might need to be rescued or those who might be a threat to the safety of the good land behind me. Either way I was ready to act. Then the vision ended and I heard God say to me “You are my lioness. You are fearless.”
I am fearless in many ways. I am not afraid of the darkness. “Dark” people and dark places do not trouble me. (Although there is a difference between courage and stupidity!) The demonic have tried to take my life once many years ago when I was at my weakest, and failed. I don’t fear them. I know they must obey me because I know and understand the authority that resides within me.
I am an adventurer and my adventures have purpose. I have known for a long time that I am called to the hardest to reach people in the darkest of places (both physical and spiritual). This has lead me to intentionally reach out to those most often overlooked or unwanted in my own sphere of influence. This calling has moved me since I was 16 years old to travel far from home to slums and jungles to bring light into darkness and hope to the hopeless.
I am a teacher. Not the kind that teaches about math or science. I teach about life. I know that might sound presumptuous for someone still a couple years from 30, but it’s role that I have walked in for as long as I can remember. I have this ability to take something complicated and turn it into a metaphor that can be easily understood. Once I have learned something I want to teach others too, it’s almost automatic. I love to help others understand. It’s funny that I find mingling in crowds exhausting and overwhelming, but put me on a microphone with my keynote slides and I am perfectly comfortable. I feel like this piece is going to be a big part of what lies ahead of me. Even this blog, while it is mostly for myself to process, I know in some ways I am teaching others through it.
I have had a hard time reconciling these parts of me with the fact that I am a single mom. How can I possibly operate in these areas if I have children to care for? It would be so easy to let these pieces of me go, to settle for a simple life. But I know deep down that I wouldn’t be satisfied for long. I know God made me this way for a reason. So even though I can’t see where my life is going I will continue to remind myself who I am until I do see.
I will end with the verse that I have taken on as my life verse. In 9th grade I literally had it written on my wall in letters so large that it took up several square feet. (Fun fact: In 9th grade my bedroom was made out of styrofoam.) This verse is basically Jesus’s job description and since my desire is to live like Him I have taken it on as my job description as well. This blog post has been to remind myself who I am. This verse is to remind myself what I will do.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.