Yesterday, I was reflecting on part of that experience, a skit. Now, I am NOT a big skit person. Honestly, I'd rather walk across burning hot coals than get up in front of a group of people and do anything. However, I was not alone. I was surrounded by a group of women, amazing women, that expanded my comfort zone every so slightly and we pulled off a skit, that, in my humble opinion, ROCKED!!
This skit was about grace. What IS grace? And how exactly does one make a skit about what grace is?? Glad you asked!! So, we were in a line. I had a cup of water, and each of my sisters had an empty cup. The premise of the skit, was, my cup was full of grace, not the elegant kind, the kind God provides. As my sister next to me enacted wrongdoing against me, I poured my grace, from God, into her cup. She, in turn, poured her grace, from God, into the cup of the sister next to her. On down the line it went, until it reached our curly, redheaded sister, and really, no amount of grace can help her on a humid day!! (Love you girl!!!)
That word, grace, has stuck with me. It's echoed in my mind since that day. The message of God's grace pouring into me so that I could pour it out to others, I "got" that message. I had knowledge of grace. I knew the definition! I saw examples of it throughout scripture! "I got this grace thing", I thought to myself! Very proudly too.
For 72 hours, starting Thursday, September 22, 2016, I began praying. Before bed, second thing in the morning, and around mid-day. I was praying for someone, for 29 someones, and roughly 90 other someones. There is power in prayer, if anyone tells you otherwise, it's a lie from the pit of hell. It was a good exercise for me. Even though I have always prayed, I am learning to be strategic in my prayer. Yes, I can blanket the world in a prayer for peace. But I am learning to target my enemy, and the enemy that attacks (or at least tries to) others.
Boldly I declared, in the name of Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior, that the enemy had no power over these 120 someones. I stood in unison with countless others declaring the exact same thing.
"Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them."
- Matthew 18:19-20
Fun Fact: When we pray for others, it not only helps them, it also helps us.
As the hours ticked by, even if I wasn't in prayer, I was thinking about the work God was doing in the lives of these people I was praying for. For some time, I sat remembering my experience, recalling the awesomeness of seeing God show up in ways I never knew were even possible! Remembering the burning of my spirit, the beginning of something I could not have even imagined. What I envisioned a year and a half ago, was.not what God had planned for me...
You see, God has a plan. For each and every one of us, He has known His purpose for our lives even before they began! I will be the first to admit, that while walking in that plan, I was completely and utterly lost!!! I'm a planner for certain things. I like logic, I like to make sense of things, I like to solve puzzles. (Hmm, there's a bunch of I in that sentence, isn't there?) Let me tell you a secret. Let me tell you the one thing (though there are many more) you need to know. God.has.a.plan. And I'll tell you something else, His plan is perfect, it comes in perfect timing.
Well, the last year and a half of my life seemed like a horrible plan!! I was on a path I did.not. want to be on! I was going in the complete opposite direction I wanted to go!! (Hmm, there's that I again.) The further I walked down this path, the more I had to rely on my faith. And it seemed, the more I relied on my faith, the harder the path became. There were times I literally did not have the strength to take one more step forward. That is when the Lord carried me.
Yesterday, through discussions in Sunday School, and the sermon in church, God decided I needed to see my path in hindsight. I went back to the beginning, that skit. As God led me, as I submitted to His plan, over and over, I saw the purpose of each and ever turn. The puzzle pieces fell into place, and I saw a beautiful picture.
"But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them - yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me."
- 1 Corinthians 15:10
You see, as I walked down this path, there were times I could do nothing more than stand in God's grace. There was nothing, no one else that could sustain me and save me from the circumstances of that particular season of my life. God did not break me down. No. The enemy tried to break me. Shatter me, destroy the very woman God designed me to be. What God did do, is love me. Cherish me. He was faithful. He was my rock, my firm foundation. He prepared me to receive His blessing of grace.
I "got" the skit. The message we conveyed was pretty simple. Let God's grace fill your cup, and you can pour it out on others. Simple, right? (Insert warm smile here). I had no idea.
After 72 hours focused on a someone, on many specific someones, but one above all others, God gave me, me, a blessing. Over the last year and a half, He brought me to exactly where I needed to be so I could bring glory to Him. I stood, firmly in HIS grace, and let it pour out of me, wash over me, flow through me. My spirit was cleansed of strongholds with deep roots. Things that have blocked me from being the woman God designed me to be. It was a gift I was not expecting to receive, I was not worthy to receive. But through Jesus Christ my Savior, I was able to receive this most precious gift. I was able to destroy a wall that had taken years to build. It is gone. I am no longer chained to that fear.
As I go forward on this path, I know the depth and capacity of my love, because I know the depth and capacity of love my Father has for me. I know He will never leave me, nor forsake me. His love is perfect, it will sustain me. And I know, I know with my knower, that there is nothing the enemy can do to take that love away from me. It is mine! I claim it in the mighty name of Jesus!
I am so very thankful for each and ever step of the path that brought me to this point. Had even one of those steps been different, I would not be able to receive God's amazing grace. I would not have been able to pour that grace over another someone that is so very special, so cherished, and so loved by me.
To God be the glory!! De Colores.