Dreams and passions are often closer than we believe... and with our eyes so focused on the "future" we miss the budding flower that has sprung up right before our eyes. In this moment, I will not be found amiss.
I feel like I have settled down with a marriage proposal, realizing the inevitable that is right before my eyes... and that the commitment that I have made will be for the rest of my life. It's like getting cold feet right before your wedding, except this isn't my wedding and my feet aren't exactly cold, because they've already gotten a little bit wet with the prospect of my future. I am realizing right here in this moment that God is bringing me full force into my destiny, and the more days that pass the closer I realize I am to what God has been speaking into me since the beginning. How did I end up here, and how did my life go from a train wreck waiting to happen to walking in the fullness of grace? How His mercy abounds so greatly in our lives!
My passion for this generation has been fueled by the hurting and the lost that are out there, and mostly for the young girls and women that are out there without a hope in the world. For the last nearly 3-4 years my venue has been a church building every Wednesday and Saturday-Sunday, and the occasional high school lunch table meeting. And although there are dark places inside of both of those walls I knew that there were darker places that God was calling me to... there were back alleys, houses and clubs where that darkness was so thick that one's eyes might not see the possibility to move in love and grace. But I know the possibilities are endless, God is just waiting for one to stand up and say "Send me, I'll go." Just as Isaiah had his experience with the glory of God in chapter 6, I knew that I wanted a similar commissioning... I just wasn't sure if I could handle the whole "near-death-I-just-saw-God" experience, after all, I am an American, and those kinds of experiences aren't really talked about in church... let alone anywhere that I know of.
So anyways, God reveals unto Isaiah how unworthy he is and that his lips are unclean and just shows him really who's Boss... and after letting Isaiah know what's up He says to him "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" and Isaiah says "Here I am! Send me." And from the temple God sends him out full of the fear and I believe, love of God. And thus began my prayer of God commissioning me to go out and do what HE wanted me to do... not of my own will, or of any of the influencer's in my life... but truly what HE wanted. It was funny that after praying that prayer he not only commissioned me, but saved me too... yes, friend you heard me right... I got saved. My life's desire has been that to show love to a lost and broken world... but before I could do that, God had to show His love to a lost and broken me.
Enter my commissioning/salvation story:
On December 27th, 2009 I left on a trip to Kansas City and IHOP (International House of Prayer) to go to the OneThing09 Conference with Jen and Jacob, two of my spiritual parents and leaders from Heartland. It was a complete God appointment that I was even able to get a week off of work with nearly no notice, but I was headed for a full-on encounter with a God that I had NEVER encountered before, even in my deliverance from drugs. I got there not expecting that God was going to do more than just let me leave with another conference "high"... He was going to make sure that I walked out of that center with a life change, and so much so that I would NEVER be going back... after all, is that not true salvation? Anyways, to make a long story short, Misty Edwards preached on December 29th, 2009 about the amazing love of the Father, something that I had never connected with. I don't remember much else from her message, but that there was a lot of love there, and that I wanted to know this God... I wanted to know the God of love that came and gave His ONLY son for me... a love that stretched out his arms and died. That night after she preached with such mercy, grace and love on her life, I went down to the altar, not knowing the deep work that God was about to do in my life. I didn't listen to the altar-call requirements, I just knew that when I went forward God was going to do something in my life that I had been searching for for a long time, but just didn't know how to access it. There at the front of that conference center I was smacked by heaven... my heart was weighed down with something entirely new, and so out of the norm for what I was used to. Love. There on that floor in front of 20,000 people God decided to do a deep heart work on me. He saved me. My relationship for the last 3 years prior to this moment had been on the basis that I "knew" Him, and I am entirely certain that He did not, in those times, know me. My works and religion had stolen me away before I could even encounter the Father. The walls came crashing down like someone had put dynamite all around my heart and scheduled to set it off right at that very moment. I was broken... with a purpose.
On December 29th, 2009 I found my purpose, and my destiny was made clear. I was made to love, and be loved by Him. My idea of evangelizing and sharing the gospel had changed, and my every moment was now consumed by the FURIOUS love that overtook my life one night in December. The gospel was no longer head knowledge or how much I could go back and forth between the unbeliever, but rather the gospel message was a message of love... a message of hope and redemption, just like he found me there on the floor of that conference center. In fact I know that beyond a shadow of a doubt it was not the scriptures that I had already memorized that saved me in that moment, but rather it was the drawing of the Spirit unto the Father, and His love that redeemed me from the place that I was in. And just like Isaiah I was picked up from the place that I was in... and commissioned with a new message to share with His children; love.
Love is the motivating force behind the commissioning upon my life. I know that in the darkest places love shines the brightest and through the fear and the doubt I will press on knowing that it's the love of Christ that redeems all from the darkness that we are all in at some point or another. This love will reach the girl that feels like she has nowhere to turn. This love will reach the girl that has never been loved by any human being before. This love will go to the alleys, houses and clubs and it will break down all walls because I know that it's this love that was the motivating force behind the Cross of Jesus.
So here I stand, in reality a newly saved person, yet not a babe in Christ... and this ocean is massive before me... and the grains of sand that are but people upon the shores need to know this love that God has ready and available for everyone. Our eyes have yet to truly see this man who is full of love that burns with fire in His eyes... and He desires us to see.