*Click* On Goes the Lightbulb!

I have been back from Journey for 2 weeks now, and I’m still trying to process everything I learned and went through ūüôā¬† I know I already shared my ‘testimony’, but it seems like there is still so much to tell!!

I’m going to come clean here and say, that, in all honesty, I did not want to go on that Journey, but God was telling me I needed to.¬† I went back and forth on it for quite awhile…telling God I didn’t ‘feel’ like that’s where I ‘needed’ to be, and He reminded me of something I learned earlier this year – “Don’t wait for the feelings to obey; be obedient and the feelings will catch up.” ¬†(Tom Harmon)

So, after much prayer¬†and tearful confrontation,¬†I finally¬†said, “Okay God, I’ll go…even though I don’t really ‘feel’ like it”…and I am SO glad I did!!¬† The feelings did finally catch up ūüėČ

One of the first days we were there, Mr. Gothard said something that really opened my eyes!¬† It wasn’t profound, it wasn’t anything ‘amazing’, but it hit me like a ton of bricks.¬† He said, “If you aren’t walking in freedom, there are only 2 reasons why.¬† #1 – either you don’t know all the truth, or #2 – you aren’t applying the truth.”

Now, I’m sure I’ve heard that before, but that day, *click!* the light bulb went on!¬† I knew the truth…I just wasn’t applying it!¬† This was the case for several different areas of my life.¬† I was always seeking ways to find freedom – reading books, going to conferences, listening to messages, etc. – ¬†but I wasn’t applying everything¬†I was learning.

And let me tell you what…since God opened my eyes to that, He has given me several opportunities to apply truths in my life (sometimes more opportunities than I really care for!).¬† But it has been so amazing how God has been working since I got back.

I still have things that I want to share, but I think I’ll let them wait until another day…

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He’s Always Been Faithful

I found this song shortly before I went on Journey, and I absolutely LOVE it!!!¬† I’ve underlined my most favorite part!!
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He’s Always Been Faithful” – by Sara Groves
 
Morning by morning I wake up to find
the power and comfort of God’s hand in mine.
Season by season I watch him amazed, in
awe of the mystery of his perfect ways
 
CHORUS:
All I have need of his hand will provide.
He’s always been faithful to me
 
I can’t remember a trial or a pain he did
not recycle to bring me gain. I can’t
remember one single regret in serving
God only and trusting his hand
 
CHORUS
 
This is my anthem, this is my song, the
theme of the stories I’ve heard for so long.
God has been faithful, he will be again.
His loving compassion, it knows no end.
 
CHORUS
 
 

Whom Shall I Fear…

I just found this song via a friend, and it is AMAZING!¬† It’s called “Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies)”¬† by Chris Tomlin.¬† As I was listening to it, it reminded me of what I went through last Saturday night at Journey.¬† I KNOW who goes before me!¬† I KNOW who stands behind!¬† He is ALWAYS by my side!

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You hear me when I call
You are my morning song
Though darkness fills the night
It cannot hide the light
Whom shall I fear?

You crush the enemy
Underneath my feet
You are my sword and shield
Though troubles linger still
Whom shall I fear?

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies is always by my side
The One who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies is always by my side

My strength is in Your name
For You alone can save
You will deliver me
Yours is the victory
Whom shall I fear?
Whom shall I fear?

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies is always by my side
The One who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies is always by my side

And nothing formed against me shall stand
You hold the whole world in Your hands
I’m holding on to Your promises
You are faithful
You are faithful

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies is always by my side
The One who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies is always by my side

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Journey to the Heart Testimony part 2

I have been wracking my brain, trying to figure out how I would write all this so that it makes sense…I guess the best way is just to tell it like it happened and hope you can understand it ūüôā

Throughout the week, we had been learning of Spiritual Warfare, and little did I know that I was about to experience it…

It was Saturday evening and we had just finished watching a DVD by Tom Harmon.  We had planned to go back to our cabin, but decided that, since it was the last night in the Northwoods, we would stay at the lodge and visit for awhile.

While the other girls were talking, laughing, and playing games, I felt a real sense of heaviness on my heart…a heaviness I couldn’t explain. ¬†I felt like I could burst into tears at any moment, so I decided to go up in the tower to pray.

I sat against the wall, in total darkness, pouring my heart out to God, and crying.¬† What happened next is the part that is so hard to explain.¬† The heaviness in my heart would just not go away…no matter how hard I prayed.¬† In fact, it seemed the harder I prayed, the heavier it got…I soon realized I was experiencing¬†some type of Spiritual warfare.

I laid on the floor, praying and crying out to God to ‘take it away, whatever it is!’.¬† By this time I had begun to experience physical affects as well…my right arm was shaking uncontrollably and my chest was incredibly tight.

I don’t know how long I had been laying there, when I heard a group of girls come up into the tower to pray for another girl that was struggling with things as well.¬† I didn’t say anything, but they heard me crying and went back downstairs…except for one of them.¬† It was my friend, Tiana.

She came over and asked me if I was okay.¬† I told her I was, but she kept asking me the same questions – she told me later that she couldn’t hear what I was saying.¬† She went back downstairs, and within a minute or two, our assistant leader, Laura D., came up in the tower…Tiana had gone and gotten her.

She asked me if I was okay and I told her I was…not wanting to admit that something was wrong, but I didn’t know what.¬† She stayed with me a few minutes, then asked if I wanted her to stay or if I wanted to be alone – I told her I wanted to be alone.

So she left.¬† And the attack only increased…I then wished I had asked her to stay. ¬†I remember praying and feeling like I just didn’t have enough power to overcome whatever it was.¬† I knew there were a lot of people at home praying for me, so I started crying out to God, asking Him to “tell them to pray!”…knowing that the more people that prayed, the better.

I don’t know how long I had been alone, but Laura D. came back up in the tower to check on me.¬† She asked me what was wrong and I told her I didn’t know – not caring at this time what she might think of me.¬† She asked if I felt like satan was attacking and I said ‘YES!’.

The events at this point are a little unclear to me, but I think she had me pray out loud.¬† I do remember though that at one point it got so bad I couldn’t breathe – twice, when I exhaled, I felt as if my breath was being sucked right out of my lungs and I couldn’t inhale…my body shaking and incredibly tense…my breath finally returning after what seemed like way too long.

After awhile, she asked me if I wanted to have other leaders come and pray with me and I told her yes. At this point I had relaxed slightly, but was still shaking.¬† While she was getting the others, a few girls came up to the tower and were talking to me…making sure I was okay.

I remember hearing the leaders come upstairs and they asked me if I wanted to sit up…I firmly told them ‘no’.¬† But apparently it didn’t matter what I wanted as they told me I needed to sit up, and started trying to get me to my feet.¬† I remember trying to resist them, but I was so weak I couldn’t.¬† As they were lifting me up, I remember hearing Becky’s voice and next thing I knew she had her arms around me, holding me up.¬† I was still crying.

They then said we needed to go into the light, and I remember trying to resist again…something inside me was not wanting to go into the light – I wanted to stay in the dark.¬† But I didn’t really have a choice, and Becky helped me towards the stairs…practically having to carry me since my legs were so weak. My eyes were closed the entire time…I didn’t want to see the light.

When we got the top of the stairs, Becky helped me walk down until we got to the top of the next flight of stairs, where she sat me down and they all sat down around me.  I remember her asking me to look at her, and I told her no. But again she told me to look at her and I did Рfor about half a second and my eyes slammed shut.  Again she told me to look at her, and I had to force my eyes open, but I looked at her for a couple of seconds, then again closed my eyes Рleaning against her, still crying.

“It’s a Spirit of Fear” I heard her say.¬† I wondered how she knew, but didn’t ask…all I wanted was to be free from it!¬† This part is also slightly blurry, but I think she prayed for me and then told me I needed to pray.¬† She helped me as far as what I needed to say and I started to feel more and more relaxed…the prayers were working!

By the time I had finished praying, I was still crying, but the heaviness was gone.  I felt incredibly weak, but also a sense of joy!  One of the girls there had a box of kleenex and was handing me some and, bless her sweet servants heart!, gathering the ones I was done with.

We sang of couple of songs, and then we all headed down to the lobby…me still leaning on Becky since I physically could not walk on my own – let alone go down 3 flights of stairs!

Several of us then gathered around and Becky prayed, and we sang several songs, and shared testimonies.¬† As I sat on the couch next to my leader Laura B. I was almost falling asleep – I felt like I had just been in a hand-to-hand combat, I was so weak and exhausted…but at the same time I was smiling!

Satan had tried to defeat me, but in the end, he was the one who lost!

I just want to wrap this up by saying that, the God I serve – the Lord Jesus Christ – is one amazing, powerful, and awesome God!

Journey to the Heart Testimony part 1

How does one put in words just how great our God really is?! There are only 3 words I can think of that describe my Journey….intense, powerful, and life-changing.

It wasn’t until the first night up in the Northwoods (Monday night), ¬†that I really began to feel God…before that I just kind of felt like I was in a fog.

Tuesday, as I was doing my personal devotions, I prayed that God would give me a Rhema, and I opened up my Bible (actually planning on reading Psalms), but it opened up to Malachi 3 and the first part of verse 6 almost jumped off the page at me…it said “I the Lord do not change.”¬† I continued reading and when I got to verse 10, I knew God had shown me my Rhema.¬† It said,

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house.¬† Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”

I didn’t even know that verse in the Bible, and I felt God was telling me…”Sara, give me everything you’re holding onto and just watch what I can do with it!”¬† I was incredibly encouraged and excited, but little did I know that this was actually preparation for Thursday….

Thursday was our “Day of Delighting in the Lord” (where we fast until supper and spend the day just seeking God and spending time with Him).¬† I was sitting in the kitchen reading my Bible and I knew I had given a certain area in my life over to Him, but I felt that God was telling me to write it out on a note and bury it there in the Northwoods…so I did.

I wrote a note of full surrender to Him, grabbed my coat, and headed out the door.¬† I had walked a ways around the lake a couple days before, and knew the exact ‘burial place’.¬† I buried the note, had a little ‘funeral’¬† and said, “There you are God, you have my ‘whole tithe'”…and what He said next was not what I wanted, nor expected, to hear.

¬†“No I don’t” He replied.¬† I was shocked…what did He mean?!¬† I thought I had just given Him everything, what else did He want?!¬† So I asked Him…and He told me.¬† He wanted my eating habits.¬† Back in July I had acknowledged the fact that the way I ate (or didn’t eat) was not pleasing to Him, but I hadn’t changed anything.¬† Now He was asking for control over it all!

I’ll be perfectly honest and say that my reaction was not “oh, yes Lord, you can have it!”…but rather it was “No! absolutely not!¬† I’m doing just fine on my own, I don’t need your help with that.”¬†¬† (and yes, that’s almost word for word what I was telling God).

As I continued my walk around the lake, there was a battle…God wanting to help, and me telling Him I didn’t need, nor did I want it!

By the time I got back to our cabin, however (it was a 3.7 mile walk!) I had decided that God could have it…I’d given it to Him.¬† I also knew I wanted to write a surrender note for this area of my life and bury it as well – so I would have a time that I could look back to and say, “this is when I gave it to God, He has it and I’m not going to take it back.”

I wasn’t able to do it that day, but first thing Friday morning, I grabbed the note, headed to the same place I had buried my note before, found a place on the opposite side of the trail and had another funeral.

I felt a sense of freedom and knew that there would/will be struggles ahead, but with God in control, I don’t have to worry! ¬†He now has my ‘whole tithe’.

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Seeing as how this blog post is a whole lot longer than I thought it would be, I’ll continue my testimony in a later post.¬† I still need time to find the words for it anyhow ūüôā

The Green Team!! Our last night together as a team.
Back row L to R: Hannah, myself, Alexis
Middle Row L to R: Melissa, Deenalin, Tiana, Suzanna, Crystal
Front Row L to R: Laura D., Laura B., Selena and Julia