Journey of Hope: JUMP, JUMP! But then what?
You know the song... "Kris Kross'll make you Jump Jump!"
Oh wait. My bad. It's God. God'll make you JUMP! I went back to the 90's for a second...
But seriously... Wow, guys... life is changing pretty fast and furious over here! It's all good and beautiful and scary and exciting and emotional and all the things. But this is what it means to be alive, right? That's one thing that's really exciting about this season... I know I'm ALIVE! My hope in sharing this whole journey is that it will inspire you, encourage you and help you to know how much God Loves YOU!
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER YOU JUMP?
When I was praying about whether or not to go to Bethel's School of Supernatural Ministry, God asked me a simple question. "It's your story... what kind of story do you want to write?" My answer and the cry of my heart was "I want to write that I heard Your voice, I jumped and You caught me." So here I am... jumping hardcore! I think the biggest lesson I'm learning in this season of transition is what a gift Faith is and that Joy is literally the sound of my Faith. I'm learning that my state of mind is a choice and for the first time in my life, I'm able to choose Faith instead of Fear.
The thing is, after you jump off a cliff, there's this thing called the FREEFALL.
You know that space and time where you are falling and you don't really know what's waiting for you at the bottom of the drop. You're just dropping... and fast. And hoping that what ISN'T waiting for you at the end of that jump is a big ole SPLAT!
That's where I am right now... free falling! Where we left off last time, I just decided to take the plunge, but on the flip side of that decision there was the rest of all this jazz called life to figure out. Where am I gonna live? How am I gonna eat? Who's going to take my apartment!? Have I mentioned how am I gonna eat?!?! Oh boy....
Honestly, for the first week or two after deciding to go, it was more common than not for me to wake up to a mild sense of panic first thing in the morning. Cuz let me just tell you, there are so many things that need to line up in the natural for this to NOT be a colossal lesson in "Oops!" Which is probably why God had me turn in my notice and put my deposit down for school the day after I gave Him my "yes". I was sitting in my quiet time and He was all, "Put down your deposit." Um, God... are you sure you don't want to send someone with a check first? I mean, that would be so much more convenient. His response was simple. "I need your commitment." Now I know why... because this makes NO sense in the natural!! And there are times when my flesh wants to FREAK OUT!! It's so interesting to me how our natural intellect can be so different than what our spirit tells us - and when we get closer and more intimate with God, the voice of the Spirit is just louder. Way louder. Because there is this overriding peace in my spirit that really defies explanation. And yet, there is still this sense of falling.
JOY IS MY WEAPON!
The running theme of this season has been a song lyric God gave me about a month and a half ago. It's simply this...
"Joy is the weapon I wield at the enemy."
It came with this picture of the power in a shout of real JOY - especially when our circumstances are uncertain or we're in a trying season. Joy literally takes the head off our enemy. I know that's a gruesome picture, but it's what I got. It just completely incapacitates him because he's got nothing on us. He's thrown his best darts and we're still dancing, we're still singing, we're still laughing. And he just quits. Joy - it's the sound of faith - confident trust in God. That He is who He says He is - He is faithful, He is good, He is our Father who ALWAYS has our back.
There are have been so many times in the last couple of weeks when I've almost been overwhelmed by all the thoughts swimming around in my head of what needs to happen, what's on my to-do list, all the miracles that will need to fall into place for this to not be a disaster. And every single time, God just comes on the scene (usually because I start worshipping and invite Him - hint, hint) and helps me calm down. I remember getting home one night and turning on worship music while I was making dinner and just getting so carried away with the JOY in the music. I was singing and rejoicing from a place so far beyond my mind (because nothing had changed in the natural). And as I was praising Him I could FEEL the JOY of the Father - it was like everything in my body was aligned with the way it is in Heaven. And I got this download from God in that moment, that when we turn our eyes on Him and we rejoice when it's uncertain, when it doesn't make sense, IT MAKES HIM SO HAPPY! It does something for His heart that nothing else can do. It's our sacrifice - it's the alabaster jar we can break at His feet. That's when worship costs you something and it becomes a gift you give to Him.
The other thing worship does is align us with the reality of Heaven - and that begins to CREATE your future. It's like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. You know that scene at the end where he's crossing the invisible bridge and the stones only appear WHEN HE TAKES A STEP. In our lives, faith and worship are what make the bridge materialize. Because there is such a total reliance on the nature of God that it calls Him to work on your behalf. Actually, the real truth is - He's already done it. He's already made the way, fought the battle, won the victory, given you the provision, healed the relationship, healed your body. Worship is what calls His reality into our reality because we are agreeing with Him.
The Bridge Begins to Materialize
We'll just keep going with the Indiana Jones metaphor here... The last four weeks (wow, it's been that long since I decided!) have been a whirlwind but bit by bit, the bridge is starting to materialize in front of my eyes. I can't tell you how much it means to see myself walking in Faith and not being stopped by fear the way I was before. I have struggled with fear and anxiety my whole life, so to be free from it is really a thing of beauty. I used to be paralyzed with the fear of doing the wrong thing - taking a wrong step. I'm learning over and over in this season that God will direct my steps as I take them. I mean, I still have those moments where I feel like I'm gonna panic or I get super nervous. But it's just different than it was before. I'm not the same girl. God is showing me over and over in this season that He has ALREADY provided for me. He's gone before me and prepared a way (a bridge if you will) for this whole adventure! I'm finally living and acting like a daughter. As that settles into my heart more and more, my reality and what is possible for me changes and expands. It's exciting!
Still, my biggest "I think I could be on the edge of panic" moments have been around what I'm going to do for provision. Note the "what I'm going to do". God just keeps showing me that He's already got that taken care of. Just to be super clear, I didn't save up for this and I won't be able to work full time while I'm in school so some extra provision is going to have to come from somewhere... I was really struggling with it a couple of weeks ago, and I kept asking friends and mentors if I should do some fundraising or at least provide a way for people to partner if they want to... and the resounding answer was "Yes! People don't know you need help if you don't ask and they want to partner with you. It is a chance for them to be blessed." But still. I was having a REALLY hard time putting it out there. Every time I thought about it, I just couldn't see myself doing it. Well, turns out God knows how to handle me. He knows I need a story to tell. ;)
One day last week, a sweet friend pulled me aside and told me she had something for me. She handed me a card and I opened it and there was a beautiful note and a financial gift from her and her husband. She told me God put it on her heart to give me the first offering into my ministry. Those words blew me away and I literally felt the weight of them. I mean, my ministry?!? I knew God had given me a vision for what He wants me to do (impact culture and creative people in the area of freedom, identity and purpose - I'm gonna preach some more about that soon!) but for some reason it shocked me that someone else saw it too. It gave a whole new meaning to hearing and obeying because now it's not just my thing... it's a community thing! She went on to say that God told her that this gift would open the door in my heart to receive other gifts from people and the love that God wanted to show me through Him and through the people around me.
I started crying. The word RECEIVE really caught me because God has been talking to me in my quiet time about that exact thing lately. I remember one morning three months ago, He got very real with me and told me I had always strived to earn everything I had. And He wanted to teach me in this season what it means to receive from Him. He showed me my true nature is one of receiving, but the lie I believed was that if I didn't grasp it or earn it for myself, it just wasn't coming. I was my own provider. He's made it abundantly clear that He wants that spot in my life. So, when this friend used the same words God did, it was my undoing. I was so humbled and reassured at the same time. Humbled because I realized it was pride that was keeping me from asking. Reassured because it was a tangible representation that God has His eye on me and He's moving on my behalf.
Other things have just been lining up, too! An old boss of mine randomly reached out to me to see if I could work with him part time while I'm in California for something that is totally up my alley, I found a great place to stay with roommates that I'm super excited to get to know and three more people gave towards the Journey of Hope last week! Every time I cried. I don't know why it hits me that way so hard. I guess I'm just learning to receive.
FREE FALLING IN FULL EFFECT
So here I am... still free falling. Excited, scared, exhilarated, sad, hopeful, nervous, overwhelmed at times... all the feels! But I have a promise. God told me that if I would leave the life I built for myself, He would give me the life I always dreamed of. And that, dear people, is what I hold onto. It's my parachute. I know He will catch me.
If this story is resonating with you or if you have the same desire to impact our current culture with freedom and identity I do, I am looking for people who will partner with me and this vision in prayer. If you'd like to partner, please subscribe to the blog or follow me on social media so we can stay in touch! And if you feel led to partner financially, here's a link.
I already know what I want to talk about next time... it's more about letting yourself FEEL seasons of change and transition like this and the freedom in doing that safely in the arms of Jesus. Till then, let me challenge you. Where is God asking you to take a jump and believe Him? What step can you take today to show your total trust in Him? It doesn't have to be dramatic. It can be reaching out to that friend you've had a strained relationship with. It can be taking a step in that creative endeavor that's been locked in your heart for years. It can just be taking some "you" time and letting the swirling chips of your life fall where they may. What does TRUST look like for you today? Make it small. Make it measurable. And then go do it.
And then tell me about it! I'd love to hear your stories! Love you guys so much!