Yesterday I shared over at Christians Read that years ago I struggled with what I knew was a call on my life. It’s not only come to pass, it’s more specific.
I gave advice on how to avoid taking over and failing because we are not equipped.
What I didn’t say is how hard I’m struggling.
Early on I was so guilty of trying to save everyone. It never worked because that isn’t my job, and my health took a hit. A friend said, “Keep it up and it will kill you.” I have to hand the burdens over to Jesus. He fights for me. For the women I pray for. Not only does it have to be enough, it IS enough.
This year, even with that wisdom, I have been overcome with how unequipped I am. I battle guilt. I want to have the answers, the resources, the magic wand when they reach out to me. But the call isn’t any of those things. I’m only to pray and say as I feel I’m supposed to.
And guess what?
The silence is deafening.
He doesn’t want me to do a lot of talking right now.
In its wake, come the taunts. It’s not God’s voice and it isn’t mine. It’s the true defeated one, the one with so limited resources that he’s trying to convince me I’m the defeated one.
And it is a battle, my friends.
Surrendering not to the defeat but the taunts is draining. I’m a girl that wants to know why, and often with this prayer thing comes two things I hate and grieve, and deal with often. Loneliness and rejection.
Those things have been so intense this year I’ve thrown myself on the ground and just cried it out. I’ve realized there is power in tears, those are prayers that transcend language and I’ve got to get it out.
But it takes a lot out of me.
And once it subsides, I want to process it. Is it something I’m going through for my own life, something within our family? Because this has been a year I feel like those are critical prayers where my voice is the only one. Is it for those I’m standing in the gap for? Because never before have I had so many women coming at once with heartbreaking needs that hurt to hear. I hate hearing women are hurting. I see so much potential and most of these situations are strong women believing maybe not today, but someday they won’t just survive, but thrive. If I have to go through the valley for them, I’d do it. But not knowing the why I am having these times is hard.
Trust me, there is a lot of good stuff going on. We pressed in hard for our son to find steady employment and gradate from high school. The Lord gave us a picture of what his life looks like to Him and it is happening. It’s a beautiful thing. Our daughter is enjoying a good stretch of health after a rough spring. I’m finally okay with my husband’s job change and working from home. There are two books out with my name on the front that God is using to speak to women. Those are amazing praises.
But I’m the one that vowed to talk about surrender and make sure before I challenge anyone else, I’m doing it first. To be authentic even if no one else wants to hear it, or understand. So here I am. Maybe I’m waving in your imagination. Maybe I’m collapsed on a rug with a mouth full of chocolate and tears. Whatever you see, I’m all in.
And by faith, I have to believe that’s got the gates of hell shaking.
You can’t simultaneously be who God created you to be and the person Satan molded you into.
We are perfectly designed by God. He drafts our blueprint with distinct characteristics, traits, gifts, and talents and stamps it on our spirit before we are born. Unfortunately, Satan often succeeds at concealing our true identity when we are young. He uses an array of influences such as our family, our culture, and even the Church to wound and scar us. This not only stifles God’s original design, but we end up engraved with Satan’s trademark. We don’t realize that we’ve been altered because much of Satan’s work is either subtle or completely invisible.
The Refiner’s fire can expose the HIDDEN SECRETS of the heart!
Do you think the past can’t be changed because the damage is done? Spiritual destruction can be undone because in Christ, you have redemption from all of Satan’s work, including the impact it has on your heart, the reactions it produces in you, and even his work that becomes a part of who you are.
In this book you will witness how God’s truths destroy the lies of the enemy and heal the unseen wounds of the heart. You will discover in a radical way how God can break the spiritual bondage that holds you captive. Invite the Holy Spirit to reveal where your blueprint has been distorted and allow Him to restore you back to God’s original design. Only then can you be who God created you to be and do what He created you to do. This is your true freedom in Christ!
This is a powerful account from Denise Buss regarding her journey from a less than perfect childhood to a decent into alcohol, promiscuity and drugs, to a relationship with Christ where she was desperate for emotional healing. She shares how spiritual warfare was so intense that she asked her sister to care for her adopted daughter for fear of her daughter’s safety. There was depression to the point that Denise considered ending her life.
Through those battles, Denise has a pastor friend that is wise in prayer strategies that gives her the tools to find healing and restoration in Christ. He is a major factor in the book and Denise credits him for being gracious with his time, prayers, and wisdom as he shared with her time and time again.
The writing is strong and her story is gripping. The book description lead me to believe I’d be reading a book that gives strategies in the theme of something you might read from Chuck Pierce or Dutch Sheets. Instead, Original Design reads more like a memoir. It’s still powerful, though.
One issue I have that I think deserves a mention in the book is I have received training in spiritual warfare/deliverance ministry and rule number one, especially if you have a history of promiscuity and insecurity, is to receive prayer from someone of the same sex. If you are with someone from the opposite sex, you bring someone from your gender with you. It’s wisdom and accountability and I’ve seen just as many accounts written from people who failed to do this, and it took the prayer times to a dangerous place. Denise makes it clear Ed is like a brother figure and not once do I ever see where he crosses a line. However, I think it warrants a warning concerning anyone considering adopting her approach.
She features information on salvation and Baptism of the Holy Spirit that are helpful. There is of course a lot of talk of demons and battling them through prayer.
If you enjoy stories that show the freedom Christ gives, especially through times of torment from the enemy, you will enjoy ORIGINAL DESIGN.
To purchase ORIGINAL DESIGN, click here.
I received ORIGINAL DESIGN in exchange for an honest review.
It isn’t every day I want to walk away from being me, but there are days. And my whine to heaven is one I could record and just press play because it’s almost always the same vent.
I prayed for that person.
I did what You asked.
I spent so much time encouraging them.
And they are exactly where they were when they asked for my help/time/prayers.
Or, even worse off.
I’m someone that needs to see progress. I joke that it’s the reason I love steam cleaning. I see the dirt getting sucked up, and that makes it worth my time. But being a surrendered vessel open for Him to use? It’s like steamcleaning only to have the person dump the dirty contents back on the floor.
And it’s heartbreaking.
Part of being that vessel is rejection. I believe there are also times I was used. Cozy up to good ole Julie and see if she can do the God work for them and they’ll be transformed by osmosis. I’ve felt on call. I wondered if I was misunderstood to be a personal genie or crystal ball, which I assure you, I’m not.
What I am is willing, and that’s what most people miss. That’s all God’s asking of us. Be willing, and He’ll do the rest. But I suspect the people who call on me think He wants an entire change done in an evening. So once I pray and direct them to seek Him, they don’t.
I learned that a stronghold is a demonic lie that has been around so long it feels like a safe place. It’s like an embassy to run to. There will always be an open door there. But greater freedom lies outside those walls and very few want to leave. And I can’t make anyone. Oh, I used to try.
I wish I could tell you I dust the proverbial dirt off me and keep going, but…not so. Not at first.
There are times I’ve been absolutely shattered by the rejection. When I walked through doors ready to encourage and was met with the Lucy hitting Charlie Brown with a football up against the side of my head reaction. Some of it has been public and it was all I could do to keep the tears from falling on the spot. I’ve kept praying when I know the people who came to me in the past were now mocking me. Ignoring me when I know they saw me. Lying about things we both knew weren’t the truth. Crying doesn’t even begin to describe my response. Weeping isn’t even accurate. Broken is more like it. Undone. Devastated. Because I can see the potential, and they choose to stay right where they are. It’s heartbreaking.
What does one do when they want to quit? Well, here is what I shared on FB this week:
Another one of those updates that’s my journey, but perhaps someone out there needs the encouragement, too.
I have to keep before me at all times that the battle is the Lord’s. As “justice Julie,” I’d love to be the problem solver, but it isn’t my job. Years ago I’d lose sleep and make myself sick wondering what perfect thing can I say to change that marriage or have that person turn it around for Him. I got no where. It wasn’t my place.
What is my job is to be obedient. When I’m supposed to pray for someone, I do. Whatever guidance I’ve been given to point people back to Him, I do it. And for the person reading, the success track record doesn’t look worth the time. Most people aren’t willing to dive deeper. As Beth Moore says, “the ocean’s right there but they’d rather stay in the puddle.” That still breaks my heart and feels like rejection, but it isn’t. I did my job. My dad used to say “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.” And applying that to my life helps, even though I see such potential in each person I come in contact with, and rarely am I able to see that potential come to pass. It’s hard. I’m human.
Why keep being a vessel God can use during those late night emergency calls, the times I miss dinner to hear a hurting person out, etc…when most of the people don’t receive the hope and encouragement they have waiting for them? I guess a friend shared it best a few years ago. I’m not doing this to leave a Burger King crown at His feet. My heartbreak and hard days on earth will be forgotten in eternity. So, I press on.
Do I want to quit? More than you know. But this Surrendered Scribe presses on.
I hope you do, too.
Each Saturday I share a confession.
Something I’ve learned from or am growing in.
Nothing horrible, certainly not criminal, but a confession to show you.
Hey, you aren’t alone.
And if you want to share your confession and link up,
I’ve made that possible, too. See the end of the post.
While I have you, I need you to help me out.
Next month I’m handing my blog over to you.
November is all about the thankful posts.
So send me a few sentences or as many as 750 words on why you are thankful.
Any family friendly reason is fine.
Send it to email@example.com with a bio and optional picture,
signing off as you want the world to see your name.
First come, first serve, and I reserve the right to edit, but rarely do.
Now, it’s confession time.
Sometimes I say no when I’m asked to pray.
It happened recently. I didn’t always say no, but now I do.
I read somewhere that a prayer warrior lifts up all kinds of prayers as they are asked and the Holy Spirit leads.
An intercessor stands in the gap and dedicates a season of prayer to a purpose or a person as the Holy spirit guides.
I’m an intercessor. When someone says hey, pray for me, I have a test tomorrow, I do. And mean it.
But when someone says, hey, I’m part of this ministry and I need you to take the cause up with me by praying a,b,c…that’s intercession to me. It might not be the same for all, but for me, I’m not led a lot of places.
When I stand in the gap, it’s a mentally intense place that is like giving birth. It is hard. It takes everything I’ve got. It is painful. But it’s always worth it. I think something that labor intensive can’t be spread too thin.
I’ve had to say no to praying for a person and their ministry because I knew God wasn’t asking me to. I said no with the confidence He did ask someone else, and they would know who it was, ask them, and get a yes. I’ve said no to praying for others because I had a check in my spirit that it wasn’t where God wanted me to be. When I said yes to everyone that asked, I was spread thin. I was lifting up sporadic prayers, hoping they’d stick. And that’s not what you want out of an intercessor.
The most recent no was from someone who had a mission that was Biblical and I’m sure on target for them. But I knew it wasn’t for me. I’d taken that on before and knew I was released from it. Taking it on out of guilt or obligation wouldn’t benefit any of us. It wasn’t easy to say no, but I had to. Right now there are two main places God has me in prayer. And that wasn’t one of them.
I left the conversation asking the Lord to bless that person and the mission He gave them, and those they are praying for. I always pray the person or thing that requests my intercession to prosper (unless they are asking me to pray for something outside God’s will, of course.) And I’m now able to walk away and feel free.
And move on and go to that place only intercessors know where words are lost and tears accelerate as intimacy with Him increases.
What about you? What’s your confession? Share in the comments or better yet, write your own confession on your blog and link up below. Thanks!
Each Sunday I share an amateur nature picture of mine with a few thoughts about God’s love for you.
Are you a praying person? Have you answered the call to be a prayer warrior or an intercessor? It’s not an easy assignment. In fact, without proper perspective, it can be crushing.
Your job is to stand in the gap and intercede for the person God has laid on your heart. The temptation is to feel the burden to be the one to solve their problems.
The Lord let me know a few years ago if I try, the burden will literally kill me.
So what do you do when people you love come to you with real problems, heartbreak, and situations?
And you keep it simple.
Simply put, you believe He is God.
Or, He isn’t.
The choice is yours.