I hope you have enjoyed July’s Friends Edition series. I think it turned out pretty amazing. Thank you ladies for sharing your hearts. I was inspired and impacted by your thoughts and testimonies.
Welcome back to your regularly scheduled program. I’m excited to give an account of my last few weeks of adventures. My kids and I started our first leg of what I want to call the “Thank you Tour” in Maryland. In 2017, there were so many churches that prayed with us in that season and continue to this day. I felt it was time for me to return the favor. Here is a passage of scripture that was brought to my mind for this thank you themed tour:
“On his way to Jerusalem Jesus passed through the border region between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered one village, ten men approached him, but they kept their distance, for they were lepers. They shouted to him, ‘Mighty Lord, our wonderful Master! Won’t you have mercy on us and heal us?’ When Jesus stopped to look at them, he spoke these words: ‘Go to be examined by the Jewish priests.’ They set off, and they were healed while walking along the way. One of them, a Samaritan, when he discovered that he was completely healed, turned back to find Jesus, shouting out joyous praises and glorifying God. When he found Jesus, he fell down at his feet and thanked him over and over, saying to him, You are the Messiah.’ ‘So where are the other nine?’ Jesus asked. ‘Weren’t there ten who were healed? They all refused to return to give thanks and give glory to God except you, a foreigner from Samaria?’ Then Jesus said to the healed man lying at his feet, ‘Arise and go. It was your faith that brought you salvation and made you whole.’”
Luke 17:11-19 TPT
Our trip started off with traffic, a wreck, and rerouting, which extended my drive time to Crossroads Community Church in Maryland. I finally made it to the Pastor’s home. (I will post a picture of their beautiful back yard.) A huge storm came through soon after I arrived. The following Saturday morning, as I walked into the church, I found a window had been broken and someone tried to break in. As I pondered the window incident, I wrote this down in my journal later that day. I hope it will speak to your heart today as it did mine.
“You might have been broken into, but the facts do not tell the whole story. It’s just one part of the story. It doesn’t mean the church is broken. Don’t focus your attention on that one piece of the story and make it into the big event as a way to vent. Venting is not tied to My glory. It’s tied to you telling your story. Instead of venting, focus on this one thing. Focus on My relentless love. Look for Me in every day small things. My relentless goodness. My relentless grace. My relentless pursuit. Relentlessly pursue My goodness instead of being focused on that one part of the event. Use your power of choice to relentlessly pursue Me, your Heavenly Father, instead.”
He is pursuing us, but we must also pursue Him. Find the good even if everything isn’t good.
Reminder: Something was broken. The church (the people) were not a part of it. The church isn’t broken and it was protected from harm too, for nothing was found harmed or stole. He is pursuing us every day and He loves when we are looking for Him along the way.
Back to Saturday morning—I walked into a room with a group of 20 to 30 ladies around a table. I spoke for about 30 minutes and passed out a worksheet to each person. As I played one instrumental song, the ladies filled out their sheets. All of them were done in 5 minutes. We then went into a time of confession, reflection, and everything became a moment of collective celebration. Vulnerability deserves a cheer in my book.
The gift was hearing these ladies share their thoughts on the page. Their hearts were talking and revealing some things right before their eyes. It's made us cry, yet you could feel His healing presence very near. So, we had to cheer. 🎉🎉🎉
(I'm hoping to do more ladies meeting like this in the local future. If you would be interested in having me speak to your local church, message me personally through any of my social handles or through the contact page on this website.)
I also wrote this below from journaling the experience:
“30 ladies gathered. 30 sheets were scattered. The Holy Spirit hovered. The women began their ascent of confession, which is a Holy expression. That caused an eruption from the Holy confession that brought about an intimate moment called celebration. Courageous compassion plus confession equals celebration and celebration when completed ushers in contentment.”
I was given the opportunity to greet the church that Sunday morning and sing a few songs. One song I sang was called “God’s Fire” which will be officially released sometime this winter. A young man came up to me with his mom after the service and said he heard the voice of the Lord for the first time. He acknowledged it and was also inspired by some of my lyrics. The song has a line about a dove that connected him to birds, which he loves, and a lyric was birthed out of him. He said his dad died two years ago and nothing had been inspiring him since then. What a gift from Jesus to receive. And also, I found out it was his birthday. Wow! Jesus gives the best gifts. Amen and Amen.
From there, I headed to Pennsylvania to see my cousins for a few days. Within 30 minutes, my low air tire warning appeared on my dash. We were looking for a place to stop and eat. Finally, we decided on a place, and when I got out I found a nail in my tire. Low and behold, the tire repair place was right across the street. They were open on a Sunday, and with a little persuading, the mechanic was able to fit me in. We ordered our food and ate it at the shop while our tire was being repaired. Jesus was looking out.
The rest of the trip turned out well. It was a great few days with family. My kids have cousins the same age as them and they love to be together, even if it’s only once a year.
Next stop was Alfred, New York. I will post a few pictures of this beautiful location. Within two hours of being there, the Pastors of Lighthouse Church had us jumping into their natural spring pond with our clothes on. It’s was a wildly refreshing experience. These are the moments I love to experience with the kids.
Another group of ladies came together that Friday night. 20 ladies circled the table and I spoke on belonging. The church there is a house of belonging. Alfred is a college town, so every semester young adults come in and out, and yet they find this church called The Lighthouse. It’s was a beautiful night. This is the place I read the above passage about the healed leper coming back to say thank you.
Every Saturday morning, this church community comes together for prayer. I was able to attend and some of the ones who stood in the gap for me and my family confirmed that they pleaded to Jesus on our behalf. At the end, they even took a moment to lay hands and pray over me. My heart broke open and a healing moment was shared. On Sunday morning, I was able to sing a few songs over them as well, and by the end, people were up shouting and giving adoration to the Father, for the joy of the Lord is our strength. Afterwards, I received some pure maple syrup as a gift, a ceramic mug, which they are known for, and homemade goats soap, which I love.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this little trip review. Many other things happened, but I will keep those close to my heart.
Here’s a quick summary: Even when your heart says go, crazy things can and will happen along the way to get you off course.
Yet, this thought came to me yesterday: Always stay thankful and watch Him be faithful.
I hope this reflection shows His faithful hand was present all along the way. The detours will come, yet our heart posture and how we recover is on us.
Until next time,
Connect to the Mender.
Be a sender.
P.S. New Send Her Tee shirts are out for purchase and they are the most comfortable shirts yet!