Ready, Set, Pray!

When God calls you into an adventure, how do you know when to go? How to go? Or even why to go? How do you shut up the flesh long enough to let the Spirit persuade your spirit into action?

You watch, wait and believe. I had been approached about going to Zimbabwe for years. But there was never one inkling to go. I had lots of reasons that compelled me to stay. A sick child. A conflict in schedule. But more than anything there was no “draw” to go. I would send stuff: books, CDs, T-shirts, lots of prayers. But I never had a desire to send “me.”

Then one day a letter came from across the world. A year later another letter came.  Like drops of rain begin sporadically then become a steady downpour, there was one thought then another, then it began to rain.  My friend came back from the most recent trip and said, “You have got to go.”

Before I even thought about it, I blurted out, “I know. I am going. I know I am going.”  And the rain began. Then there was meeting to hear about the youth camps, the students, the women’s events —the opportunities to build, to encourage, to influence a country torn apart — and my heart pounded in my chest. Raining down.

Then we had a prayer time and I just asked the Lord, “Tell me real plainly who is to go, and I will follow.”  As soon as I bowed my head, it was plain as day. “You and Salem.” What???

The trip was already seeming impossible, but now add my 12 year old?  Wow. That is a lot of rain…But the downpour came over the next three nights in songs and messages in my sleep. The first night was waking up to a line from the song, Healer, by Kari Jobe. “Nothing is impossible for you.” I had to decide whether this trip was too big for God.

Second was waking up to a verse God had given me as a promise long ago. He had told me that through Him, I was a tree planted by streams of water and that my fruit would prosper.  For years He has been talking  to me about trees.  But He cinched the conversation by reminding me of a verse He had spoken over me: “The tree will have healing in its leaves for the nations.”  It was time to go to the nations.

And finally, was the confirmation about Salem, that she was not a liability but a huge asset. Not an interruption but a purposeful planting.  And God said told me clearly that He had a design for Salem going at this time in her life and in mine. To drive the point home He said, “Salem is a mini-She.” I understood the power of that name. Here is why. We call the women who volunteer in WGR “The SHE” because we all work together as a Body under Christ. Salem is a mini-She. How do you argue with that?

When God speaks, how do you walk away and pretend He has not?  In all the wrestling and preparing, stripping off and surrendering, He has asked me just to pray and wait.  Pray for the people we are going to, not about my fear. Pray for the hearts to be healed, not about my needs. Pray about the power of God to change us all, not about my to do list.

Today He invites me and you.  Just rest your head on Me. I really can be trusted.

Will You Help Us Change the World?

Isn’t that an audacious question? It sounds like, uhm, let me think — oh yes, it sounds like Jesus. He is the One who took a handful of scarred and frail believers and changed the course of history.  Their encounter with the Living Messiah, their passion to tell their story about Him, changed the world, one person at a time.

That is what we are up to at Women Getting Real. Our desire is to rescue people from the heartache, lies and defeat in their lives and lead them into the presence of the Loving God where He can restore, renew and heal. Are we there yet ourselves? Nope. We are all in process, on the journey, ever seeking His face. But this one thing we know and bank our lives on: the same God who is healing us, will heal others too.

We believe that the same tender love, the same Living God who has radically altered our lives, altogether changed our existence not only in the hereafter but also with His overwhelming presence in our daily lives, is able and willing to do that for others too.  And we want to tell our stories, now and later, near and far, home and abroad.

Will you help us with this Holy Search and Rescue Mission?

There are four of us going to Zimbabwe in May. I am going to teach retreats and teens. Two other “dream team” members of WGR are going, Beth Hungerford and Laura Jones.  They are invaluable leaders in the workings of Unhindered events, and behind the scenes work of the ministry. When they go to Zimbabwe they will be helping with the youth camps and orphanage there. The final representative from WGR is our youngest team member, Salem, my 12 year old daughter. She is a bundle of gifting: child magnet, willing builder and adventurer extraordinaire.  God was so clear to us all that she was to make this trip. So we are quite eager to see all that God will reveal and deposit in her.

It is not so much what we offer, but that we have all been clearly, and almost humorously, Called. And we must answer. We are joining a larger team going with John Dee and Ebenezer Ministries and will be gone for three weeks. Does this sound crazy to you?  It still does to me. But isn’t that just like God? Nothing is impossible for Him.

So we are extending an invitation to you to link arms with us.  Will you pray for us?  Salem said it best. When I was helping her with her donor letters, I asked her what she wanted to put under her “prayer requests.”  She said,  “Preparation and faith.” I love that. That is our first step. Preparation and Faith. Our second step is to pray in the funds to go. We know that God has all the money we need. And He has given me such a verse:

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; His righteousness endures forever.” Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

2 Corinthians 9: 8-11

We stand on His promises to provide through many hands.. Will you  link arms with us financially too? Maybe you can’t go, but you can help send us.  You are going to Zimbabwe “through us”  as we all go through the power of Christ.

So if you want to join the Change the World adventure with us, click here.  This is will give you all the info you need to be part of this God work.

“Lord rend the heavens and come down, Seek the lost and heal the lame, Father bring glory to your name.”

God Story: The Power of Prayer

I have so many God stories of His supernatural provision that I could write 10 books. But Tuesday night I was basking in the beauty of one of my favorite answers to prayer.

My daughter, Salem.

We were in her room, full from birthday cake, waiting for the clock to display 8:38 pm — the time she had been born 12 years earlier. And like all kids, she was asking about who was at the hospital, what was the scoop, what was her story.

“What did Dad do when I was born?”
“He cried.”
“What were you doing?”
“And Grandmaw and Grandpaw, what were they doing?”
“Waiting anxiously, then crying.”

“Salem, I don’t think you realize how many prayers were sent up for us to have a baby. There was much rejoicing when you were born,” I said.

And with that last comment came a flood of memories. Of churches, of youth groups, and women’s groups. Places where I had shared my story of abortion, heartache and healing. The outcry of these listeners had been to pray for God to bless Chuck and me with a baby.  After Salem was born, I found out that people in my church had quietly prayed that God would heal our hearts and bodies so that we would be able to have children.

Here Chuck and I were walking through the silent and grieving hell of infertility, but God was stirring His saints to pray nonetheless.

Pray they did. And He was pleased to answer.

Looking at this feisty, strong willed, solemn warrior-child before me, I was really amazed again at the mercy of God.

My thoughts turned toward heaven when I will see all those people who prayed for us, who never saw us again and never heard the rest of the story. When I see them in heaven, I can’t wait to introduce them to Salem, the answer to their prayers.

Oh pray without ceasing, believing that He hears our cries and intercessions.

“The prayers of the saints are like sweet smelling incense.”