Have you ever had a dream so tangible, you could feel every emotion and savor every moment…then you wake to find it was merely a dream?
Well that is the beginning to this blog entry. I am a dreamer, in every sense of the word. I dream big unimaginable dreams in my heart. I have vision and focus and more so I see things I often do not fully understand. I had this dream in my heart for a long time…the dream of music, worship and partnering with the Lord in the place of prayer. A dream that never was my hearts desire to begin with. A few years ago, I would have dreamed of being an ad exec, conceptualizing award winning ideas. Now I dream of a simple life of playing music, and interceding for the nations of the earth. I see a future of bringing justice, through the extension of Christ’s love and hope…which I have found. Funny how the more I encounter the love of Jesus, my life becomes more wrecked with devotion and desire to live and be like Jesus.
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:3)
Often dreams are so vivid in your heart that you cannot deny them, you put measures in place to achieve them…then one set-back and you are a goner. The dream vanishes and you settle back into a place of fear and doubt – the dream becomes consumed by the fear of trusting, the accusations of life and the doubt in our hearts. Such is the story of my life this very moment…a story of a plan unravelled and a bruised faith. Allow me to take you on my journey…
So in a nutshell: about 2 years ago the Lord started marking my heart with the desire for intimacy. I would find myself sitting in church services…deeply perplexed at the unanswered cry in my soul: ‘there has to be more to God, than this’ – there had to be more to God than me going to church, hearing the word preached from the pulpit and happy ‘clappy’ fellowship. I was just unsettled by the lack of depth I was experiencing in my personal time with God…my heart began to search. I guess my heart has been searching all my life…it was now that the cry for intimacy was heightened. I was tired of unsatisfying wells…like the Samaritan woman I needed a drink of satisfying love.
It was then that the Lord led me down a path of letting go and following the cry of the bridegroom king. I went in search of intimacy with Jesus…I needed to know this man…I needed to encounter him. Naive little girl I was…it was such a blessing at the time…I delved in head first after what I had no idea would rock my world for the rest of my life. I started listening to Mike Bickle teachings on the Song of Solomon and was romanced by the phrases:
My beloved speaks and says to me: Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away, for behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. (Song of Solomon 2: 10-12)
A year later I was ready to give up my life and follow…I packed up my life and went to Kansas City, MO. I did an internship at the International House of Prayer (IHOPKC) and my life was never the same again. I still remember the journey of faith, I had little to no bucks…I just had this desire to go and spend my time with the Lord…a time of uninterrupted fellowship. I had encountered the Lord through the entire journey in a way which I was certain would never leave me the same. I had given up my job and so many other things in pursuit of this moment in life. I am back home now and still I feel the beauty of the work done in my heart. My fellowship with the Lord has grown deeper and sweeter each day…I can say with certainty that I have had deeper moments now than I have had before. Knowing the Lord as being real is so valuable and being able to experience who he is in a tangible way, has kept me going.
So almost one year later and the dream in my heart burns with more gusto than ever. I long more than ever to return to IHOPKC and do the school of ACTS (it is a missions training school).This leads me to the core of this blog. I have a desire to equip myself unto returning home and seeing the nation of South Africa burn with intimacy for Jesus again…or for now the community of Belhar. I long to be able to successfully plant myself in the place of prayer and by doing this school it would give me the tools to come back and do the things that burn upon my heart. So I had a plan…well thought out and planned. I was going to go and au pair in the States for a year…save money, pay off some debt and then do the school. To which I was going to come back and really labor in the place of prayer and worship. That seemed like a solid plan, I knew 100% it was from the Lord…I had spoken to him about this and things came together smoothly….then….
A week ago it unravelled….my host family cancelled my trip (This coming Sunday I would be flying to the States and my life would take its course). In an instant my faith was shaken…and doubt crept in. My heart was offended and all I wanted to do was cry and be gutted. There is such value in the process of crying and being broken…I was and still am so broken…most days I can only cry and breathe two words ‘Why Lord?’. I am still in a deep dialogue regarding the pain of a failed plan…and the embarrassment of having to face the world, knowing I had failed…I have put off telling my parents for 2 days until eventually I had to tell them the truth (my mom and dad are such amazing people…they fully support me in all I do). I have no idea where to from here…other than I am jobless and left with a deeply bruised faith. I have no faith in myself at this point, I doubt whether I hear the Lord and more so I doubt that he actually sees me.
Last week I just sat in my room and realized that I am not going anywhere right now…once the shock waned, the pain flooded me. As I sat there the simple phrase came to me ‘my promises are sure’. In that moment I am sure of only one thing…and it is that I am unsure of the promises the Lord has given me. I am shaken by this happening to the core of my soul…forcing me to sit in this place of deep humility. Uprooting the age old accusations of worth and more so leaving the inner most thoughts of me exposed…is He enough for me even when life fails me? Will my heart respond in love towards the Lord when all of life is taken from me? Do I love Jesus for the simple fact that he is my reward?
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. (Isaiah 40:8)
…Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. And he who was seated on the throne said, Behold, I am making all things new. (Revelation 21:3-5)
Having these real conversations with the Lord has shattered me (because the truth behind the state of my being is so easily masked), it has broken down my ideas once again of what love truly looks like. A dialogue I probably would have missed out on if I had that comfortable trip to the States. I am so bummed like any normal human being would have been…yet a part of me is thankful. This morning I had some quiet time and just felt the longing and broken heart for Jesus to be here with me. The beginnings of an eternal etching on my being. A reawakening of my eternal reward in Jesus and the truth of baring the stigma of being foolish in the eyes of society.
More than anything I am once again reminded of this very truth:
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Cor. 1:3-4)
The journey into the heart of God is not an easy one, but one filled with deep testing, trials and great reward. A reward unlike any seen in this age.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Pet. 1:3-9)
My hearts desire is to lay hold of this truth for myself, each and every day. I find that as I agree with the Lord’s truth within the trials, I find that he supernaturally transforms my heart to believe a little more…to love a little stronger. I find that as I begin to ask him for deeper insight into what he says in his word…he meets me in the place of not being able to understand. I long for more revelation and wisdom into the way he orchestrates my life’s journey…more so, I want to be offended now…so that he can help me overcome the offense in my heart. I have come to realize that my offended heart is not surprising to him…he knows my inner most being and he loves me the same each and everyday. He is deeply devoted to my affections for him and longs to have first place in my life.
So now I sit in this place of humiliation and I wait for him to show me his ways, to heal my broken heart and to feed my shattered soul. I hope that someday this story will be a fragrant offering unto the Lord.