I'm Ashamed That I Prayed So Small

Isaiah 58The cell phone buzzed on my desk. Glancing at the name, I whispered a quick prayer, O Lord, help me to say the right things.

“Hello.”

“Mom, I want to tell you what happened this morning at church. It’s changed everything.”

NOT what I was expecting.

You see for nine months I’ve been praying for my collage-aged daughter. I’ve spent many hours on the phone with her over the months as she worked through the difficult feelings that accompany a breakup with a boy. She had good days, often I didn’t hear from her then. The bad days arrived and the phone would ring. Tears, sadness, confusion. I often would say the wrong thing and make it worse before I would struggle with word to make it better.

My heart has been broken for her and I grieved as she has been stuck in such a difficult emotional place and her self-esteem has been hammered. Her faith in God has been challenged to the point she questioned the truth of it all. Gulp!

Prayed. I’ve prayed and prayed for months for her. Spoken scriptures in prayer for her. Prayed with her and proclaimed promises from the Word to her on the phone. Each morning in my prayer time I bring her before God asking for Him to heal her heart. Recently my Friday morning prayer group, that meets at my house, prayed for her and her situation.

I’ve prayed so long and finally I began praying a prayer out of desperation, “Lord, send her a new boyfriend. Someone who will be kind and take away this pain.” This seemed like a reasonable prayer and certainly made sense as an acceptable outcome.

Until this phone call. Ugh!

“Mom, the most incredible thing happened. The message at church this morning was all about prayer. About praying and bringing God into our world. Mom, it was in that moment that God showed up. The Holy Spirit spoke so clearly to me to pray for my ex-boyfriend." She went on to share, "We are all just broken people crying out for help. He’s broken. I’m broken. My heart is moved to pray."

I’m stunned in silence as I listen. 

She continues, “All the anger inside of me disappeared in a moment and compassion flooded in. All I wanted to do was just ask him how I could pray for him. And then, truly just listen. People are desperate to be heard. I want to listen with a full heart and then pray for him in that moment.”

“O Baby girl.” I gulped back tears and could barely breathe.

“Mom, then I started thinking about all of my friends.” She lists several names, each who are also struggling deeply in their lives. “I want to ask them, ‘How can I pray for you?’ then really listen and pray for them. I know how to pray and for the first time I’m not afraid to just do it.”

“And most importantly, God showed up. He came to me in the moment and my faith is restored.”

As I listened to this young woman who I’ve prayed for nine months, my eyes teared up. “Caitie, it’s just so astounding. I’m humbled. I’m happy.

I prayed for her to not lose this moment and to write down this moment and read it in moments of doubt. “I love you sweetie.”

“Love you too Mom.”

Why am I sharing this story? For several reasons but mostly as a lesson to myself.

You see, I prayed for this kid way to small. I’m ashamed I even spoke words like, give her a new boyfriend. As if God needs suggestions from me…. God showed up bigger than I could have dreamed up or hoped. He knew EXACTLY what the right thing was for my daughter.

As I spent time in prayer the next morning, the Holy Spirit gently took me through some thoughts about how to pray going forward. I need to pray things for those I love such as, “Lord, encounter their heart. Move in love in their lives. Show them who You are and reveal Your great plans for them. Lord, protect them from the evil one.” And then all I could pray for all my family that morning was:

Lord, encounter Caitie’s heart more. Lord, encounter my husband hearts. Lord encounter their hearts. Encounter their hearts. Your wisdom is so great. And I’m sorry I pray such small prayers. Forgive me and teach me to pray Big. In Jesus name. Amen


NOOOOOO, NOT THAT! But It Turned out SO Good!

My friends,

Walking through a season of warfare is NOT fun. However, I’ve arrived now at the Jordan River and am about to cross into the Promised Land. I don't fully comprehend how I know this but I sense God is changing things within the spiritual realm as I am preparing to step into a year of Jubilee. I share more about Jubilee at Spiritually Unequal Marriage. You can read that post series, click here to start.

But for me personally, I will pick up my story where I left you. White knuckled, clinging to God’s promises in His Word. It was at this point that I realized that God wanted me to just --- rest. ARGH!!! I don’t do – rest- well. I’m a do-er, kind-a-girl!

But I’m also learning obedience and so I rest. I stopped praying about new writing projects. I rested from church assignments, I stopped taking on any extra writing/speaking work and I rest. And now as we approach the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, I’ve come to learn that this entire year, 2014 has been the year of the Shmita. Say what? This entire year, is a year of rest. The 49th year according to God’s Word in Leviticus. It is a year of rest leading into the year of Jubilee.

But guess what I’ve learned in the resting? The promises of the Lord are being prepared. I’ve watched the Lord start to put people, events and circumstances into place that will come to full fruition within the next 6-8 weeks. I kid you not.

Let me give you an example. I’ve been praying for years. I mean years about getting my physical body back into shape. I’ve begged God. I’ve prayed for healing so many, many years. I’ve dieted and fasted and read a million books about healthy eating and creating a healthy life-style. To no avail. However, FINALLY in September I’m starting at a gym and with a new nutrition plan with an accountability partner. This is the only way I will succeed. And I can tell you that, YES, I will succeed. I’m on fire about this new plan and gym. My new training and the program begins, now get this, September 14. I didn’t even realize the date when I was working to get this all set up two months back.

I’ve also received some direction for my future writing. And another God set up is that my son and his wife are moving back to Las Vegas. This is all for the good for them and for us. These are all set ups for what God is preparing for me in the months of Jubilee.

I will tell you what I'm sensing the Jubilee year will hold for me personally, in my next post. And to discover what I believe Jubilee will hold for you, join the crowd reading the series at SUM.

For now, share with me what promise you have been praying into for a long time. I will pray along with you and let’s ask the Lord if it is destined for the redemption and restoration of Jubilee. I know that I will ask the Lord for specific insight and I will respond to you!

I love you my friends. It’s the greatest time to be alive since Jesus walked among us!!! Hallelujah!


The Reward Of Spiritual Warfare

Ephesians 1 17For a number of years I have been drawn to the church of Ephesians. This church represents a church that has overcome. A church of victory and power.

There are so many passages I could write about and for the next few months, I will likely share what Jesus has been teaching me throughout this book. But today I’m living out of the result of years and years of praying and pursuing the reward of this one specific verse.

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. —Ephesians 1:17 NIV

I could camp for weeks on the first chapter, but this verse in particular is proving true and powerful in my life.

It’s not often in the Word that we receive specific instructions on how or what to pray. The Lord’s Prayer comes to mind as an example. However in Ephesians, the apostle Paul, prays for us and leaves a powerful prayer we can emulate.

I began praying this passage with belief and conviction over myself several years ago. I would quote this verse and ask for the Spirit of wisdom and revelation to dwell in me that I would know Him better. My friends, this prayer is a petition seeking the Spirit, a spirit of wisdom and revelation, the Holy Spirit. I began to perceive that this was a specific anointing of the Holy Spirit that came with prayer and petition.

In the last several weeks as we approach Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (Jewish New Year), I’m finally sensing the Spirit of God revealing His plans because I have travailed in prayer for months seeking revelation.

In order to understand the specifics of what I’m sensing now from Holy Spirit, I need to share a bit of background. For the past 18 months I have walked through some of the most intense spiritual warfare I have ever faced. My son and family moved in with us. Caring for an infant was a joy as a grandmother but often I was her full-time caregiver. It is grueling. Also, for the last half of 2014 I was ill every three to four weeks. A nasty cold, fever, the flu so bad I had to visit the doctor to help me gain control of the vomiting. I endured laryngitis, Planter’s Fasciitis, sinus infection and yada, yada, yada… Sheesh. I don’t want to remember all the illness. For six months, and my granddaughter was just as ill. Likely she brought it home from daycare. But after six months. Boom, it was over. For the both of us.

Additionally in this season, I walked through a major challenge in almost all of my very close relationships, family and friends, with the exception of my husband. These close relationships upheavals were not of my doing and every person who was involved has sense come to me with apology and reconciliation. I was so glad to receive, forgive and restore. God was beautiful in the midst of these challenges and the relationships are even better than before.

I was persecuted by other believers for reasons that didn’t make sense and my latest book proposal wasn’t picked up. (It needs some revisions and I will try again). It was the weirdest time of my life. A very difficult time of my life. It felt as though the oppression was relentless and daunting.

In warfare such as this, we must cling to that one “moment.” The moment of our personal encounter with God. An encounter that was so life-altering and real that it’s impossible to deny. My encounter was on October 12, 2012. I will write more about that later. But white knuckled clinging was my lifeline.

The warfare affected all of my relationships, my health, my career, my finances and faith. I don’t want to dwell on the attacks because the devil is a loser but this season was filled with confusion and pain. I even went through a season of great sadness which is NOT like me at all. I’m one of the happiest people I know. *grin*

It’s in a season like this that we can fall into confusion and doubt. But with my white knuckles clinging to hope in one hand and the Lord’s Word and promises in the other, I prayed this prayer with faith.

In my next post I will share with you the results of clinging to God in the confusion and pain. My friends, stay tuned because it’s worth the wait.


A Good Word

Jeremiah 29 11Expect good things! 

Stop expecting the bad. Stop dreading! For the plans I have for you are all Good. 

I came to give you a hope and a future. I came to give you abundant life. Stop speaking the language of lack. Change your language. Change your understanding. I am not a God of barely enough. I am a God who can do exceedingly, abundantly more than you can ask or imagine. 

At my right hand are pleasures for evermore. I have more in store for you but you have to believe and have hope that it CAN be possible. 

Get your eyes off yourself, get them back on Me. Stop being led and controlled by fear. Let your trust and confidence in Me be what leads you continually. When you don’t know what to do, talk to Me. When you are afraid, call to Me. I will comfort you and give you the confidence to move forward. 

Do not expect to do this alone. You are NOT alone. I Am with you!

-----

One of my prayer partners, Yvette Watson, sent this to me this past week. During her prayer time as we are all seeking breakthrough, she recorded this above in her prayer journal, then texted it to the prayer team.

I thought it was a good word for me and for others in the Body. Have a blessed and amazing day in His Presence!


Trifecta Gifts From God - The Restoration of Lynn Donovan

You may be following my posts over at Spiritually Unequal Marriage where I'm chronicling: Disappointment With God.

Part I
Part II

Today I'm living with the Dove again and boy howdy, God is showing me the love. I went for a walk-n-pray after arriving back home from visiting my mother in Colorado. I experienced the beginning of my breakthrough there and when I arrived home, the Lord welcomed me with special little love messages. 

I want to share them with you.

I arrived home and for two days it RAINED!!!! The Thunder cracked and I felt the Lord speaking. Nearly and inch of rain fell in dry, drought stricken Southern California in July…. A miracle in itself. What a metaphor for where I recently resided in my spirit. Parched, oppressed and sad.

But the rain fell and washed it all away. And when I finally went to walk in the vineyards of Temecula, God welcomed me with three sweet love notes all on the same day! Can I get a Hallelujah?

Rooster july 2015First, very early on the trail as I was passing the horses and before the rooster chased me down the road I was out in the middle of an open field. I froze in place immediately when a small, pristine white feather floated down right in front of me. Here is a photo.

I have spent the last 30 days memorizing, singing and reading Psalm 91. And this verse specifically sprang to my mind as I watched it slow drift down:

White feather July 2015

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. —Psalms 91:4

Can I get an AMEN!!!!

 

Then on my way back after being chased by the rooster, I spied this. Yep, it’s a confirmation of the angels. A halo!

Halo Angels Can July 19 2015

Warm hugs

Finally, as I neared the end of my walk. God just decided to love on my a little more. A Mylar balloon. And all I could think of is God saying to me, “Do you want a warm hug?” Teary eyed, I picked up the balloon and in the moment was lost in an ocean of forgiveness, love and grace. The God trifecta!

It’s a blast living the believer’s life.


God Speaks. Balloons Arrive

Every day we find ourselves surrounded by the supernatural. There are wonders to behold, glory to discover and miracles everywhere. We just don’t know how to see them.

This little playground on the web is where I want to share some of these crazy, astonishing stories of where an ordinary believer intersects with the God of the universe. I have many stories to tell of His faithfulness and my encounters.

I’m a bit older now and reflecting on my past, I clearly understand where, when and how the hand of God covered me. Stories of delight, deliverance, warfare and miracles. Soon I'm sharing a story of which I’m certain God saved me as a small child when I was drowning in a public pool. Amazing….. Stay tuned.

But right now, and mostly for me, I want to share my balloons. Many of my friends and readers at SUM know about these balloons. But it’s a story I need to write out for me.

Baloon BaptizedGod speaks to me through Mylar balloons. It’s a very personal and intimate way that the Lord sends me love notes, messages and His approval and affirmations. I’ve written and spoken often about the first one I remember receiving. The Baptism balloon that my husband found prominently placed at our back door. (See video here.)

But here are a few more and what the message was in the season and circumstances I found myself at the time.

IMG_1718This balloon arrived one morning while on a walk-n-pray. I had been through a long season, six months, of illnesses, colds, sniffles, laryngitis over and over, flu.... the works. One morning after a prolonged illness that left me on the couch for two weeks I finally was able to go on a morning walk. Not too long into my walk I spied this balloon floating two feet above the ground. It was waiting for me. When I walked over to it I said out loud, "O Lord, I've missed you."

Immediately He replied right back, "NO! I've missed you." I broke down in snotty sobs *grin* as my heart was filled with His unconditional love. To think that our Papa, God loves us and missed us when we don't pray or are too sick to walk with Him and that He cares when we are ill. It is ..... A holy mind-blow. This was a powerful and holy experience I treasure in my heart.

IMG_1757I will often receive balloons before and/or following a major speaking event. Recently I spoke at my local church on a Sunday morning. I shared with the congregation several of my balloon stories and wouldn't you know it, just to show off a bit. The next day, Monday, bright and early while on my walk-n-pray, I spy a shinny balloon on the dirt. I walk toward it and clearly see it's a baseball.

I say to the Lord, "Baseball??? Lord, Baseball? Why a baseball?" I puzzle. 

Then all of a sudden, I hear Him reply to me, in what I can only describe as a tone with a bit of mischief, "Look closer."

Good grief! I look closer and I see a very large "A" and a halo.... I immediately hear again, "Angels are all around!"

I giggled like a little girl and just knew that they were!

I have more stories likes these to come. I wonder, do you hear the Lord speak? Do you want to?


We Owe People An Encounter

In the last several weeks I’ve been called out by God to become brave. In fact, that’s the title of my next book: Becoming Brave. And I’m diligently seeking the Lord for His Words for this manuscript. 

So today I want to share with you what happens when you dial in the combination of the Kingdom. Remember the three-part combination from Friday’s post? If not, go read it now. 

In the last several weeks God’s voice has intensified in my life. And I want to share with you what I hear and what God asks of me.

Most of you know that nearly every morning I head out to the vineyards and walk-n-pray for about an hour. Crazy and amazing things happen during this intimate time when I’m alone with the Trinity. But this week, several mornings in a row, as I was nearing my car to return home, I noted a young man stretching in the park. He looked to be about 19 or 20 years old. Something about him drew my spirit to him. Well after three days of this, as I entered the park, the Holy Spirit spoke to me. He said, "Go over to that young man and tell him…….."

I argued with God, “Lord, it’s always weird when I go to speak to a complete stranger.” 

Then I said, “Okay, Lord, I will do it if he looks up at me and says something.” 

So what do you think happened? 

Yep, indeed. The young man greeted me with a smile and said, “Hey. Good morning.” 

My inner voice: Yep God. I knew that was going to happen. 

Me, “Hi. Ahem, well….." I walked over to talk with him. "This may be weird but I’m drawn to your spirit. Are you a believer?” 

“Yes, I am. A devout Catholic.” 

“Well, I want to tell you that God sees you. He has a calling on your life and has plans for you.” And I shared a few others things, detrails, I felt the Spirit was impressing upon me about him. 

He smiles as big as the outdoors. I’m relieved that I’m not going to be feeling awkward when I see him in the future. 

“That’s so amazing. I had someone else speak the same thing over me, my priest," the young man responds.

We went on to have an amazing conversation and I heard God tell me to instruct him to begin to read God’s Word. So I told him that he needed to get God’s Word into him and doors will be opened for his calling. But He must have the Word of God in him so that satan will not snatch it away. So I told him what kind of Bible to buy. He took out his phone and made a note. 

I finally asked his name, “Michael.” I smiled a knowing smile.... (There are a lot of Michaels in my life.)

I said goodby. Hopped in my car and thanked Jesus that He loves that young man so much that He would encourage him into his devine destiny. That was a few days ago.

Today, I was ordering a burger for lunch and the Holy Spirit impressed upon me that the woman helping me at the counter had a good heart. I felt the intense love God has for her. Then the Holy Spirit impressed upon me that this woman was facing some very difficult decision but if she were to pray to God, He would help her through them.

So….. yep……. I didn’t say anything to her. I took my order to my table. And for the next 20 minutes the Holy Spirit urged (nagged) me to tell this woman what I heard. My friends, it’s weird and uncomfortable and I take a risk of complete humiliation but not once has God been wrong nor let me down. 

Finally, as I’m ready to leave, I approach the counter. The restaurant is getting busy. The woman comes over to me. I lean way into speak to her as I don’t want to speak too loudly and make a spectacle of her or myself. 

“I just want to tell you that when I saw you 30 minutes ago, God told me you have a good heart.” She smiles. “And that you are facing some difficult decisions in your life.” I pause and see if she affirms this. 

She does, “Yes, that’s true.” 

“If you pray, God will help you through those.” 

I smile, “You have such a good heart. God adores you.” She smiles, I turn and leave. I think she thinks I'm nuts. Then all of a sudden I hear her shout to me as I’m across the restaurant and half way out the door, “Thank you. THANK YOU!” she shouts louder. I felt the joy in her voice. 

GOOD GRIEF….. 

These encounters make every struggle and difficulty worth it all.. Times ten.

My friends, we are those who have been with Jesus. It’s time now to step into our Kingdom destiny and bring the hope of the world to…. Well, the world. 

And what is the hope of the world? It’s the Lord God, His Son, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Keep praying. Be hungry for more. Ask for more and more and do the hard work of sanctification. We are all going to walk in His divine power, love and healing. 

In Jesus name. Amen. 

And his name will be the hope of all the world." —Matthew 12:21

This post is so much about God's love for people and it's about obedience. We believers owe an encounter to the world. Because once a person encounters the love of our God of the Universe, His Son and the Spirit, it changes everything.