Before I forget, I need to write some stuff down.
During the dark days (this is how i will refer to the pain of PRK (lasik) and the terrible 5 days of alone time i had between my magnificent 4th and now), I learned a lot. I was alone. In my house. For days, for hours–crying. Not sadness. Just–eyes wouldnt stop crying from pain. It was just awkward. Lots of healthy choice microwave meals, sermons online and prayer. Good thing I had like, one visitor. Eyes that dont stop watering and stuff are a little bit nasty, if you ask me.
1.) AMAZING women in our church (coughEmilyHorjuscough) and great roommates helped me a lot — so I realized I needed people. I needed people to give me spaghetti –TWICE. And it feels really good to need people. Dependence is frowned upon by our society (you need to grow up and be out on your own!) but as a Christian i am NOT called to be independent either (that would be silly since he says to live as one body, called to peace).
Interdependent is what i’m going for, and this was a good taste of it. There’s helping others (the night i lent an ear to a struggling friend since it’s all i had while lying in total darkness) and being helped (driven to Norwood 6 times by a new mom and her really well-behaved baby). We give to others because Romans 12:5 says: “so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”
We belong to each other!? So i should not feel bad asking for help. Wow. This is big. Sometimes I think we don’t ask because we feel busy and we think others must also be busy and we wouldn’t want someone to ask US for that —
I need to say yes to people asking ME for help, and look for ways to serve, so that I can build up the body (since it’s command, not a request. Galatians 5:13: “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.”). right?!
I was thinking that I’ve never seen a church where every person knows and practices using their gifts. Juan said “i have!” and i said, “wait…everybody!? using gifts!?” and he said “oh wait yea, no.” Jesus said:
John 15:8: “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples”.
You = me? That’s what I always thought. I better bear fruit, for God’s glory! Last night i read it to mean ALL OF YOU. All Jesus’ body and people that come after him—that YOU (collective) bear much fruit! It’s not enough for some of you to bear fruit–for God’s glory you should ALL bear fruit! So let’s use our gifts to serve each other and not ourselves. Let’s practice gifts we’re given as good stewards.
I learned WAY more last night (like why not to be jealous of someone’s singing voice since He gave it to them to bless OTHERS and so he made it for me to rejoice in, not be envious of! What a waste of a gift if someone is using it to edify me and i’m just wishing i could sing better. He wants us to enjoy each other’s gifts!). I don’t have time for all of it here but maybe in future posts?
2.) Today God showed me something in prayer. This rarely happens—last time i heard this kind of command it was at morning prayer in March or Feb. and God said to ask media to report on us and all that happens at the Church. Today God convicted me of restlessness. He explained that I cannot complain about staying in one city for 3 years (signing a lease Saturday) when he has 1.) brought nations here for me to meet 2.) made neighborhoods ive never been in cause no one thinks they’re safe to go to 3.) has places i’ve never seen that will provide mini adventures without leaving. I believe i’ll be on ‘the mission field” later in life. For now, he’s asked me to work hard and do “staycations” in a way. Mini adventures every day in a big exciting city as a single woman with time on her hands to practice, learn and build community. SO FUN. impatience is flying out the window as i type. This is awesome. Before i was like “had i known i’d have to stay here, I wouldve gotten a PH.d, GOD. Why didn’t I just do it?” then i remembered i have the coolest.job.everrrr.
3.) I’ve been asking God to show me things and especially to increase my ability to pray for things…I was lying in the dark listening to: Quest for a Life of Prayer (http://www.archive.org/details/MistyEdwardsQuestforaLifeofPrayer) and I asked Jesus: “Jesus, I really have to have more of you. Do I need to pray for like, 2-3 hours a morning and get up at 3AM to hear you and follow?” Immediately Misty says on the sermon “If you want to pray more, just start with 20 minutes a day. More will flow from that if you stick to it–you will definitely want to do more, but start there.” It was slightly creepy how she said it right when I asked. Then i called and spoke with my mentor, Michelle. “Should I pray for 2-3 hours or get up earlier? If I don’t want to pray, should I push it or is it like running on a bad knee and I ought to just quit”? And she said “Just start with 20-30 minutes. You’ll want to do more but start smaller”.
so it was confirmed and i was STOKED. I’m an on-off person. It was always 2-3 hours or none. It never occurred to me that all these people who pray for hours and see God’s spirit fall started smaller.
4.) Brother Yun is amazing. You should check out his book, Heavenly Man if you want a great read.
We picked him up today at the airport. I had a sign in all Chinese with his name on it (Brian showed me which way to hold it since I asked and had it upside-down). When we met, finally, he and his wife were SO happy to see me with his name. Oh Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! (all the English he knows). So we praised the Lord and Hallelujahed for a long time. Had to get 2 bags. Took forever. No Chinese. No English. What will we do? We will use motions and gestures (which i found out he understood entirely and said i have a gift of communication! Genetic. Parents are sign language people). and we will sing. Loudly. in the airport. Why? Cause the bags arent here yet, and why not? It encouraged me so much to sing next time my bags take a while on the belt.
Then we drove to where he was staying and a woman cooked us authentic Chinese food. It was phenomenal. Once Brian came, I could ask him whatever I wanted, for hours. If you asked me, “who would you want to have dinner with who is LIVING today” i think he would be in my top 5. I asked him about prayer. He gets up and prays before 5AM daily, even on vacation, til around 8 AM. He also says that he doesn’t see miracles in the West like he does in China because we do not rely on prayer the way they do—and we had a great conversation about childlike faith, prayer and God’s will being completed. It was insane.
I learned that it’s good to sing praises to God and say Praise the Lord a lot when it’s what you know. He sang at dinner too–and always looks SO HAPPY when he sings. He also prayed for my eyes, which feel almost 100 percent now. He blessed me and prayed for me to be a prophetess (I eagerly desire this gift as you know) — and said I am a worshiper. I was overwhelmed. I love learning. Next year, I’ll be on the older 1/2 of my housemates (unlike now). I’ll be helping to teach (but still learn from ) younger women. But I prefer older women (like his wife) teaching me things—this was a bigger blessing that I had expected. I just really pray that God would continue to show me how little I know WHILE introducing me to more of his knowledge and love. If i just realize I’m inadequate to do the work, that’s not enough and it’s not humble. I have to learn to seek out wisdom like a precious jewel, and ask for more of his love and power and gifts and just–more of HIMSELF. If you think you’re empty, pray to be filled! if you think you’re filled and dont need more of Him–well, i’m afraid for you. If you think you’re partly filled…why not pray for WAY more filling?!
I don’t want to have stories or be famous like Brother Yun. I’m afraid of what I’d be like as a famous person and I bet it’s harder to get into heaven or something. But I do want to be as close to Jesus as he is–and to see His Kingdom more clearly as he does–so pray for me to pray if you are that type—we’re opposed by both flesh and Evil and when we try to pray more, he tries to lay the smackdown. Let’s keep each other covered! Anyone have the gift of intercession :)? I’d love some training and prayer.
Exciting time to be alive, young, in Boston, working, deepening friendships and waiting on Him. :D.