This past Saturday evening at my retreat, we had a church service, in which our pastor invited us to regain our imagination, and ask God to give us a vision of where we should be individually and collectively as a church body. He invited us to share our individual visions, so that we can support one another. I've never shared at a church wide gathering before, but I was the second person to stand up. I knew that if I waited to speak, I would chicken out and never stand up. My pastor handed me the microphone, and I began to speak,
"Hey, I'm really nervous to share this. I have a vision for myself, and I actually have a literal picture that reminds me of this vision. It's a picture that a few months ago I printed out and have in my car dashboard to remind me. It's from last summer, when I was in Switzerland, in the mountains. So, picture the most beautiful mountain scene that you can imagine, and me in front of it, smiling and confident. I have a vision of myself as someone who is really confident, truly confident in the Lord, in who He says He is, and in who Hey says I am, and who really believes those things. I want my confidence to come from God, and not from others, and their approval, and what others say and do towards me. Yeah, so, that's my vision of myself, and I wanted to share that with you guys. I'd really appreciate your prayers for this to happen, and I'm not sure how you can help me with this, but any help you can offer would be great. Thanks."
I sat back down, relieved that I had shared this, and listened to many others share about their desires to use their gifts, their desires to be free from certain things, major lifestyle changes they were making, ways that they wanted to be different. After everyone was done sharing, our pastor encouraged any who did not stand but who were touched by something someone shared or who knew them personally and wanted to pray for them, to go find that person and share with them and pray for them. Four women approached me, Amanda from my smallgroup, two friends my age, Elaine and Jen M, and Kim, my new neighbor, a mother who is an occupational therapist and who's husband is a psychologists. Each of them prayed for me, and prayed that I would have this confidence that I described. Amanda prayed that they would be better friends toward me and help support me in this. Kim prayed that she already saw this confidence in me, and that it would continue to grow. I don't remember what Elaine and Jen prayed, but I remembered it also being good and true and touching, and there were happy, grateful tears in my eyes as I experienced the support of these four women.
Afterwards, we all walked outside to watch a fireworks show. As the flames rose and burst, I felt that my act of voicing this vision, and the affirmation I received, of speaking it outloud, of others speaking it, somehow this voice gave power to that vision. I felt and believed that this is something that God wants for me, and this is something that He will achieve. This past year has been full of many doubts, so easily, I feel attacked, rejected, left alone, made worthless. It's sometimes so easy for believe the worst about a situation and to believe the worst about others. But I know these are lies. I know that God is good, and I know that He is my provider, and with me, and taking care of me, but sometimes I feel like He's holding back on me. I know that's not true, but ugh, it's so easy to believe. I have to continue to remind myself that God is good, that he knows what he's doing, that he provides for me, that he never leaves me, that his will is perfect, and that I want his will more than anything. I doubt it, I try to take control, but when it really comes down to it, I don't want to be outside of his will, because He is good. He is good, and this is good.
So I share this with you, friends, family, blog brothers and sisters, because you are an extension of my church, of the body that I belong to. I ask you to support me, and to pray for me, that this vision will become more and more a reality to me.