I was sitting on the couch watching Jocelyn play, a bit tired and feeling very pregnant. It was just another day in the life of a stay-at-home mom. Then I heard in the recesses of my mind God whispering a name. The name of a good friend. I heard God say his name louder and suddenly I felt the strongest urge to pray for him.
Now, I know many people who are prayer warriors, but an intercessor I am not. My prayers tend to be straightforward: “God, this is the issue, do what you do best. Done.” There have been maybe 10 times in my walk with God where I have been moved to intense prayer for someone and this was one of them. I started praying for his life, his heart, his future, and everything I could think of.
As my prayer began to wind down, I felt God’s presence begin to fill me and my whole body began to tremble. Then I asked, “God, is there something you want to tell him?” Immediately I saw a picture of his hands. They were shackled. I could see where the metal had dug into his skin, leaving it bruised and raw. It was obvious he had been straining against it for a long time. The frame pulled back and I could see he was exhausted but still pulling against the chain, looking longingly toward the mountains in the distance. Mountains I knew he had not been to before, but everything in him was dying to get there somehow. Suddenly, out of nowhere an ax comes down and breaks the chain. He didn’t hesitate. The second he was free he ran towards the mountains and did not look back. As abruptly as his chain was broken, the vision stopped.
I was equal parts excited and terrified. Knowing the circumstances of his life, I had a good idea of what this vision could mean for him and I was so excited to see what God was about to do. But I was terrified. I was going to have to tell someone who didn’t necessarily believe in God that God had given me a message specifically for him. But I believed what God had said to me for him. I knew it meant he was about escape into something awesome so I gathered up my courage and told him what I saw. It wasn’t that long before I saw what I hoped and believed would happen come to pass. (If you’re curious as to the end of this story, he wrote about it here.)
It was so easy for me to believe for awesome things to happen for my friend. I was completely on board with what I saw God about to do in the life of someone else, but when it comes to the things that God has been speaking over my life, I don’t believe it.
(Even now, I wrote about what I saw for my friend easily, but I’ve written and erased the next part about what God has been speaking to me a dozen times.)
Ever since the future that I had with Jon was shattered I haven’t been able to believe for good things to come for me. I have been able to hear God speaking to me about my future just as clearly as the day He spoke to me about my friend. But it hurts me to expect it to happen.
A long time ago God gave me a promise. He has promised that I would walk the shores of nations. I can narrow the desires of my heart down to two things: to travel the world and to see broken hearts restored. In this past year, God has revived that dream over and over. He shows me images of me speaking in front of crowds, not only here in America, but in India, Columbia, Scotland… all around the world. But every time He brings it up I bury it, quickly.
It’s impossible, it’s arrogant, and it’s simply too hard. I don’t even know a way to get to Nashville to attend a ministry school. How can I possibly expect to travel the world as a widowed mother of two? Better I settle for a simple life here in a small town where I get a 9-5 job, raise my kids and not expect any more out of life.
But He has been relentless. Everywhere I am getting little reminders of the things He has promised. Most recently He has used the movie Moana. You know it’s bad when God starts speaking to me in Disney movies. The first time I watched it I heard Him say, “Watch how she defeats the fire demon, that is what I am calling you to do.” When I got to that part I was overwhelmed and cried the first moment I was able to be alone. I’ve embedded the clip here for those of you who haven’t seen it. As she lifted the heart (the green stone) I heard God say, “This is who you are, this is what you are to do.”
I tried on two separate occasions to write a blog about all of the things God spoke to me through that movie. But no matter how I wrestled with it I couldn’t get the words right. In exasperation, I said, “Why can’t I write this?!” The answer came immediate and soft, “Because you still don’t believe it.”
I want to believe, I just don’t know how. How do I partner with a vision so grandiose? That through me God would restore the hearts of the broken, that He is calling me to see beyond the darkness and prophesy the true identities of the people He loves? That I would travel beyond my horizon to find and touch the untouchables? Even as I write this I feel it’s too much. Why would He choose me? (I echo Moana once again. I’m seriously going to have to try that blog one more time.)
There are two verses that I have carried close to my heart since I was 15 years old:
Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.
The Year of the Lord’s Favor
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.
One is a verse of “where” and the other a verse of “what”. I want to go to the nations. I want to bring healing with me. Most of all.. I want to believe it’s going to happen. That, just like my friend, I can break free of my own chains so I too can live out the dreams of my heart.
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