So let me tell you what God is doing in my life.
Heading into the mvmnt summer camp, I was feeling a little unsteady. I was beginning to doubt how well I was able to hear God's voice. There were some things I was getting upset about--with what I felt was a righteous anger--but I was beginning to think I was seeing things all wrong and it made me feel like I didn't have any place to be upset. I was doubting whether God was actually speaking to me, or if I was just listening to my own uncertainty and bias. I was almost wary of what would happen at camp. I expected to try my best to give and to serve, but I didn't really expect God to rock my world. I came with expectation of God to move in the lives of students--but not for myself. Fortunately, God doesn't limit himself to our expectations.
The first night of camp, I was heading into pre-service prayer. I was tired, hot, and just all around distracted. I spent the majority of the prayer time just trying to focus myself on God, and asking God to show up despite our (my) weariness. Towards the end I just felt God tell me to stop talking. I just stood there with my face towards the wall and I felt God speak to me. Stronger than I have ever heard God's voice before I heard God said "I love your heart. I love your voice." It hit me so powerfully that I just started crying. No one was praying for me, no one was talking to me. I was just there by myself with God. It was the most peaceful moment I can think of. I felt like God was reassuring me that he saw my heart, and my motives, and my frustration and that He loved me. That I wasn't crazy for being upset like I was--and that he loved my heart behind my frustration. I remember thinking "God, if this is all I get from you this entire weekend--it is enough. It is more than enough." I was excited about that.
The service started, and the kids all piled in the room. I was feeling attentive and aware of God's spirit, and how he was moving. We played a few games and started worship. God's presence just settled in that room. Students were just pressing in, and getting ministered to, on the first night, before the message, before the ministry time. Just the worship alone was touching lives. A song was ending and Dustin came up on the stage. He said "Where is Rachel Olson? Come up here." and I came up to the front. Surprised--because I've never had a word spoken over me publicly before, and I felt like God had already moved in me for the weekend. I went up to the front, and several leaders laid hands on me. Dustin spoke over me that I was a woman of God, and that God wanted to affirm that for me. That I saw my faith as one-dimensional, when there was so much more to God that God wanted to reveal to me. He said the past six months have been difficult and challenging for me, but that God saw me, and knew me, and that God loved my heart. That my heart had been broken and torn apart, but that God loved my heart and wanted to bring healing. That God was giving me a strong heart. That I am strong and a mighty woman of God. As soon as Dustin said that God loved my heart---I just started sobbing. That was such a strong word from the Lord. The fact that God spoke to me on my own and then just completely affirmed that through Dustin. I'm even crying as I write this. Like God MOVED in me. I can't even begin to express how completely encaptured and enraptured I feel that God sees me. I wanted to just rest in that place...just soak in that word. But worship was over, and the message began. Fortunately, God was able to take me right back to that place over and over again in worship, where I could just bask in His glory.
There was another moment in worship where I just heard God tell me that it is easy for me to get fired up and to jump around and stir up my passion for Him, but that I need to learn to rest in His presence in the quiet times. So I just stood there as the words "I want to look at the face of the one that I love. Want to stand in Your presence, thats where I belong" played in the background. God showed me that in His presence--healing comes. Restoration, peace, joy, love. Everything is made complete and whole in God's presence. I'd heard that so many times--but I finally understood and experienced it. Answers come in God's presence. God moves in His presence. and that I have the Holy Spirit in me, and I can bring God's presence with me. It can be in my room, in my car, at the mvmnt, when i'm anywhere.
I was reading in my Bible in Acts 9, where Saul was converted and became Paul. Saul was a pharisee. He studied the scriptures. He knew all the text book knowledge. But he was a major threat to the church. He was murdering Christians and getting them sent to jail. He was doing everything in his power to stop the Gospel from being spread. He was traveling on a Damascus road--when a blinding light stopped Him in His tracks and he was blinded by scales that formed on his eyes. He audibly heard God speak to him and give him a mission. He went into the city where a prophet of the Lord was urged to come and pray for him. He was prayed for, the scales fell off and he was never the same. He changed his name to Paul and he went along preaching that Jesus was Lord. The church was skeptical of him, but it says "Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ." Paul went on to write the majority of the New Testament. He spread the gospel all over the world. God used him BIG TIME.
From reading this I realized that Paul had had the answers the whole time. He knew the knowledge. He had been taught it from a young age--but he didn't get it. He was persecuting the church--and then he had an encounter with the Living God--Jesus. Once he experienced the presence of God on that road in Damascus--he was never the same. In God's presence...all the answers came together, and he was able to use that knowledge he once used to rebuke the church--to PROVE that Jesus was the Christ. It was the presence of God that made it all come together. How many of us have questions and doubts and mindsets that can totally get shattered, wrecked, and perfected by the presence of God?
So now. I'm different. I know God has healed my heart--even areas I didn't know were broken. I feel like a different person. I know I won't ...can't...be the same after this. So I'm writing it down, to show you what God has done, and to remember for myself what He did for me.
Love you all.
P.S. When I came back from my trip. I had an $1000 check waiting for me for my YWAM DTS. As if God hadn't already done enough.... I am so incredibly blessed