A few weeks ago I co-hosted the IF: Gathering at our local IF: Richmond/Katy. This is our second year to host an IF: Local and God has overwhelmed us both times…but for me, this time, was different.
As we have prepared and planned, I can honestly say that I wasn’t super excited. I had moments of excitement, but I knew the work that lay ahead and I knew it was going to be hard and take much effort and time. I was working outside of my strengths and though I had a God inspired team, I was uncertain of how to lead well and keep it all together. The weeks before IF, I was weary. I had shared, prayed, sent and answered so many texts and emails and questions that weariness was flooding over me.
Obedience was at stake. God had placed us and purposed us and called us to this and I had to walk in His ways. When God calls you to something you really don’t have a choice. You either obey or you don’t. I believe in God and I believe and trust Him so not obeying isn’t an option, no matter how difficult following God is. I knew well enough that God would bring me through the tired.
So I kept walking, one step, one decision, one answer, one day at a time. And I prayed. And God began to show me things. I heard stories from the year before that I hadn\’t heard before. I began to see every woman in my minds eye and I began to dream for them. I got excited because I was reminded of what God could do in a generation of women who were hungry after Him and I was reminded of all He had done for me.
Yet, I was still so very tired and stretched.
As we entered into the week or so before IF:, my prayer became “take me out, Lord. Every doubt, insecurity, fear, my whole self, take it out and do not let me enter into that room Father, but let your spirit infiltrate my entire being so that I may be your vessel poured out.”
To be honest, I was never overwhelmed beforehand, not in the way that I am when I have mounds of laundry screaming at me or when my children are needing so much of me. I never felt as if we couldn’t do this work, or that it wouldn’t all work out perfectly. God had shown up without any of our efforts the year before. I knew no matter what work we did, God was going to be present, whether we got the right journals or IF: Stamp or not. I was never worried.
I was simply, mentally and spiritually worn out.
I was weary in body.
I was weary in spirit.
I had been in constant intercession for my team, for my family, for myself and as we got to the weekend I was completely spent.
I fell on my face after a week of spiritual attacks and I prayed to be made completely desperate and dependent on Him. I needed Jesus to pull me through. I knew I was not enough, but I also knew he would come through and go before me.
During the weekend I was completely overwhelmed…like I am with laundry! I battled insecurity and doubt all weekend long. I was internally fighting the lies and uncertainty with fierceness.
I was utterly weak.
And you know what…His word is true, for in that weakness, my God was strong.
Before the weekend began I prayed over each member of my team and in those moments the fight began in me and in those moments the spirit of the living God sequestered me. At the same time the enemy began to torment and throw arrows.
You aren’t enough.
You can’t do this well.
You are a fake.
What will they think?
You will fail.
Every time I walked on stage the spirit of God prevailed; my insides were shaking as I confessed my sins, as I encouraged and I prayed and proclaimed his worth, his love and his truth.
And each time I walked off stage the enemy would pounce. Yet, as the weekend went on, the enemy got quieter or I got stronger.
By mid Saturday I was completely exhausted.
I had barely slept in 3 days for the Lord kept waking me at 5 every morning to pray and I was hungry, but nothing tasted good or filled me.
My feet were in pain, my head was pounding.
I wanted sleep.
I wanted quiet.
I wanted rest.
I had to remind myself to smile. To be pleasant. To breathe.
The end of the day was near. I knew the close, the response was on my shoulders and the response would launch women and ignite them forward. After the entire weekend, what would be our response? What would be the effect of our obedience?
I needed to push through.
I needed to pour out.
I needed to engage.
My boots had rubbed my feet to blister and it hurt to walk.
3 cups of coffee and nothing.
I was waiting for adrenaline to kick in.
I was waiting for that excitement to finally come through.
I couldn’t do it.
A song came on. The room of women began to sing and I broke.
Weary, desperate, breathless.
I kneeled on the floor because my weakness was screaming at me…my tired, my weary was taking over and all I could do was breathe. In that weakness, He lifted me.
The floor got cold and I felt this rejuvenation and sweet coolness wrap me.
I was kneeling on holy ground and in that moment the tired was gone. The ache in my feet was gone.
I stood and prayed and paced and prayed waiting for the leaders in Austin to prompt us.
I don’t remember much of anything after that. I don’t know what I said, I don’t know what I prayed, all I remember was women moving and coming forward, being brave and sharing and believing and being launched for His kingdom.
God did everything I had prayed for and of course, so much more. He brought the sins I had whispered long ago of ambition and recognition and pride and broke them completely. He showed me what it meant to be spent and completely reliant on His spirit, not my own works. Little did I know that my being spent and broken would complete His plan of restoration.
I have been praying desperation over myself for so long and I know now what that looks like and what that really means; And now I know what that truly feels like.
I know now what He has called me to: A life that is breathless and desperate for Him.
May I never forget the good work He has done, To God be the glory forever and ever.
Oh, and yeah, as soon as we closed, the blisters ached, the boots came off and the flip flops came on!