It’s friday… As a matter of fact, it’s really only Friday for another 15 minutes. Today has been a long day, one that began hours before I am used to (who knew there was a 5:45 in the A.M.?)
Friday’s mean Five Minute Friday. I got the prompt last night before bed & had it in my mind all day through.
Being at work so early meant I got off work early. Getting off work so early, though, gave me the opportunity to plan something for Friday night. What was intended to be a shopping trip, turned into an opportunity to experience God & witness Him working in a powerful way.
During the worship time at this event, I wrote my piece for Five Minute Friday.
This week’s theme is PAINT:
That’s all I feel I am these days.
Allowing secret sins to take over my life
Adding to anxiety and depression.
They Have taken up residence in my spirit
Separating me from my life-force.
Shattering my very existence.
I gasp for breath.
I cry out in desperation.
God, fill my lungs
Wash my heart.
Restore my broken pieces
Exert your healing power in my soul.
Redeem my shattered life.
Bring Your name Glory
From the new picture that
You paint of my mess.
Now, let me tell you about how a shopping trip turned into such a wonderful time in God’s house…
I recently reconnected with a college friend, and he invited me to a healing conference at his church. In light of my Barns & Noble experience, I knew I could not turn down the opportunity be in God’s presence.
However, saying yes is always easier said than done. You think, “yes, a night in God’s presence with His people. Sounds great. And, the possibility of seeing an old friend, just makes it even better.”
But, going there, was not as easy.
There is still a war going on. You’re not wanted there. The whispers start. You won’t get anything out of it. The selfishness begins. You don’t deserve to be there. You’re still in the “wrong” place. The condemnation takes over.
YOU’RE ALL ALONE! The anxiety screams.
When I left work after an 8 hour shift, my entire body ached and a migraine was beginning to form. I was tired, and then suddenly overwhelmed by the realization that I would be going into this unknown situation ALONE.
Because the shopping center & the conference were both so far from my house, I almost turned around several times, nearly foregoing the event & even the shopping that had been my original draw (and my shopping was successful, if I do say so myself :).
But, that church was exactly where I needed to be tonight.
A song played during worship reminded me that I wasn’t there alone at all. That God was listening to me. Yes, me. Though the room had hundreds of people in it, He heard my heart.
As a matter of fact, I was feeling so disengaged & somewhat anxious, I was contemplating leaving, when the band began the song “Oceans” (by Hillsong).
Lately, this has become one of those songs that God uses to remind me that He is with me; it’s a song that helps me feel wrapped in His love & covered in His grace. It’s currently “Our Song”, if you will.
And, it was during this song that something happened: peace filled me. My body no longer ached. The anxiety fled, and I was able to engage.
They had an artist on stage who was allowing God to use her gift to create a painting, an art piece of worship to Him while the worship portion of the evening was happening.
And, it was during this time that I got my piece for Five Minute Friday (above).
After worship, the service was focused on healing. It’s always an incredible thing to see people healed. To feel God’s presence. To experience Him moving.
To allow God to heal me, even through the resistance of the flesh & the enemy.
To know that the reason the enemy keeps attacking is because I keep getting up & won’t stay down.
To know that His Kingdom is still strong on this earth, even though we often allow ourselves to get detached or apathetic about it, in light of the pressures of this world.
When we say no to opportunities like this, we cut ourselves off from His life-giving power. We limit what He can do in our lives and what we will do for him.
It is in saying yes to these opportunities that we really open ourselves up to Him working in our lives, to use us to reach others, and to Glorify His name.
It is in saying yes to these opportunities that we find freedom, wholeness, and relationship.