Eight days ago, my husband and I experienced Heaven together. Our church had a young adults night and my all-time, most inspiring worship leader, Steffany Gretzinger from Bethel church was there helping lead the night of worship. We were right in front of the stage and just experiencing blow after blow from the Holy Spirit’s love crashing into us. I have never had a more intense encounter with God. We left on fire for the Lord and ready to share our experience with the world. There was a moment when we were praying together surrounded by the presence of God and his people, and we put our hands in front of us like a tray. My right hand and his left hand together holding an invisible cup. As we were praying I could physically feel our hands being pushed down, almost as if there was a flow so heavy that it nearly broke our hands apart. Our cup was being pressed down, shaken together, and running over (Luke 6:38). We left that night with one calling ringing louder in our ears than ever before:
“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
Now, I know that all of those who would choose to lay down their lives and follow Jesus are called to this Great Commission. We have been living out this calling over our lives from the moment we accepted Christ. Over the years that we have been married and walking out our salvation, the calling to share the gospel has been a constant whisper telling us to go deeper, to take a leap of faith and go further. We have come to this same exact place, hearing this same whisper from God at this exact time of year every year of our marriage. Last year when we heard it, we tried to make it happen ourselves by starting a ministry called “2+ Ministries” in which we would lead Bible Studies out of our home and disciple whoever was willing to follow Jesus with us. In the end, it just wasn’t God’s timing. So we stopped it and pressed harder into God with our marriage and family. Thinking about it all, it seems that we go full circle through out the year working whatever job is in our path, volunteering and being a part of whatever Bible study and church event comes our way, and yet we still feel that pull that something is missing. We believe God is calling us to full-time ministry. There, I said it!
We have been so afraid to admit that to the world because of the rejection and grief we have received over that idea. What about money? What about providing for your kids? Those are good questions. My only answer is…God. Will He not go where He calls us? Will God not provide for His children as He does the ravens and the flowers in the field? I’m telling you, this is a kind of faith that only comes from God…I wasn’t even close to this place a year ago and I wouldn’t be to this day had I not seem Him show up for my family like a superhero and save the day, time and time again.
Back to this night of worship last Tuesday… the still small voice finally became a shout because it became the only voice we heard. We left and declared to everyone we came across our experience with God. I even sent this text to my friend describing the night:
“Can’t wait to share my Heaven experience. I feel like a fish out of water walking out from that and will live my life to stay tuned into that place of spiritual connection. So amazing. I want to help usher everyone around me there, God is so good!!”
Another friend told me in response to my testimony that I needed to remember this night and let it strengthen me for the time when I did not feel like I was on a mountaintop. That was probably the most ironic advice I have yet to receive. Three days later, my husband called me around three in the afternoon. He said, “Honey, brace yourself.” My stomach fell to my feet as he told me he had been laid off because his company was on the verge of shutting down. He was laughing, so I started laughing. What?! Are you serious right now, God?! We went from the mountaintop to the valley in a matter of days.
Amidst all of this, the one word we keep hearing as we pray and seek out jobs is “wait”. We are waiting on God to show up and save the day. We don’t want to take matters into our own hands and miss out on the INCREDIBLE miracle God is working in our lives right now. You can’t tell me that God is not up to something big! These kinds of things are not coincidences. So we are waiting patiently. Not for man to come and save us, but for God to get the glory out of this situation. My husband is filling out job applications, working side jobs that our friends and family are offering, and today we have all that we need- provided to us by our Heavenly and Merciful Father who cares for us. We have even taken the huge leap of faith and e-mailed our church about possibly coming on full-time staff with the church! I don’t know what God is doing, I only want to be obedient in doing my part in it all.
Lord, get the glory in our waiting! I know we look crazy right now because we aren’t taking the first job opening that appears, but if we are out of our minds, it is for YOU (2 Corinthians 5:13)! Thank You God for the provision You give to us, thank You for the salvation You have already given us. You are enough for us! Show us the way. Make a way for us right here and right now where there is nothing but ocean before us. Split the sea! Yours is the kingdom, Yours is the power and Yours is the glory forever and ever!
Over the past 2 weeks, myself and my co-leader for our women’s group with Gateway church have been praying and writing prophetic words for all of the women in our group-including ourselves. We had someone write down all fourteen of our names, then put a number between one and fourteen beside the name. Andrea and I didn’t know who was what number. Andrea wrote prophetic words for the first half of numbers and I did the second half. Writing out these words was extremely powerful and intense for me. I kept thinking, “Wow this message is perfect for me” and I knew that all of these prophetic words for other women would also speak to me in different times throughout my life.
“But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort. Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church.” (1 Corinthians 14:3-4 NIV)
Genuine prophecy from God will not only come true, but it will edify the body of Christ, His people. Though prophecy may be for one person, it can also speak to another. At ten this morning our friend sent us the list she had made with our group member’s names attached to their numbers. For example, Sally-1, Jessica-2, Rachel-3, and so on. Again, we only assigned ourselves numbers and had no idea which woman had what number. We prayed for a word for the number we were given and knew it would go to the woman it was supposed to go to. I began handing out the numbered letters and found that my name was number fourteen, the last prophetic letter I had written. My jaw dropped! Here was the word:
My beloved daughter,
Deep breath. Breathe me in. My name is Yahweh; Who was, Who is, and Who is to come. I AM who I AM, your inhale and your exhale. I am giving you life. Choose this life! Believe in me and my power. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1-2 NKJV) My whisper catalyzed Creation, My very breath brought you to life in your mother’s womb. And I am still working miracles in you and around you now. Though you may not see Me, let your faith in Me be your evidence of what is to come and your firm foundation. I spoke and the universe formed. My Words are power. Meditate on them and speak them over your life. By the blood of My Son, Jesus Christ, My authority is now yours. Abide in Me and you will transform from “victim” to “everlasting VICTOR”. Circumstances change, but I remain the same. Hope in Me. Trust in Me. I am gentle, I will not harm you. I will not force Myself upon you. Open your heart to Me fully and I will fill you so completely that the fruits of My Spirit will burst forth in every area of your life. You are My beloved and My desire is for you. I love you, know that above all else. – Your Heavenly Father
Wow! How perfect and timely is that? What an encouraging message from God and at just the right time! How could I not have faith that He is at work in my life and will provide? My faith in God is my evidence of what we can’t yet see! God knows our desire to be full-time ministers of the Good News of Jesus. If it means we have to get jobs that allow us to start saving for our future ministry together or if it means an opportunity to become full-time ministers within a church or organization will arises, our faith is not in our circumstances but in our God who is over it all! As of now we aren’t sure what tomorrow holds, but today we have salvation and we are provided for. We choose life and we are standing on Christ our firm foundation. God will complete the good work He has begun in our lives (Philippians 1:6). Please join my family, the Sherrard clan, in praying for a way in all of this to continue walking out the calling God has placed on our lives! We are believing for a miracle that will shout to the world that our Messiah is very much real and very much alive! To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Check out this amazing worship song that gave my family huge confirmation this week!.