Thursday, January 6, 2011

redemption never felt so good

I think the time has come for me to write out my experiences from Passion2011.  :)
If you read this blog, you know I've been going through a major rough season.  The last two months have been pretty terrible.  I've had some definite highs, but a lot more lows.  Lows covered in depression, insomnia, panic attacks, rebellion, etc.  January 1st 2011 I went to Atlanta to the Passion conference, where close to 25,000 college students gather and love God.  The hotel I was staying in had a prayer room for the conference that students could sign up to pray any time from midnight to 7 am.  As I have insomnia, I figured that would be a brilliant way to spend time.  I signed up for 1 am the night of the 1st (so technically it was the morning of the 2nd).  The prayer room turned out to be a sort of a journey through prayer stations.  The first one was named "Purify Your Heart."  If you know me at all, you know I'm an OBSESSIVE journaler.  For me, it is how I stay connected with Jesus.  It is how I stay functioning.  Well the last two months, I haven't been journaling.  So as I sat down at station number one, I pulled out my journal. . . and began to confess to God how I had broken my Nazirite vow (I began my vow on October 1, 2010).  I guess the Lord had just been waiting for me to confess because the moment I began, the Lord began speaking to me.  And because I was ready to make a change, I actually began to listen and write down every word the Lord spoke to me.  I won't type it all out, but to summarize it, the Lord told me to think about a marriage between a man and woman and how they say vows.  He told me that because I had broken my vow, I had been cheating on Him, just like an adulterous wife.  Then He said He had been waiting because He knew I would remember His promises and love.  He then told me to read Hosea.  Keep in mind I'm sitting at prayer station one in a hotel in the middle of the night.  I read Hosea.  The whole thing, right there.  And duuuuude. . .  the Lord told me I had been being Gomer.  Wake up call much?!  I'm going to type out some of the verses and then what the Lord showed me in response to them.  

2.6a - Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes;
Insomnia. Panic attacks. 
2.6b - I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way.
2.7 - She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them.
I'll spare you the details, but this was true also.
2.13b - she decked herself with rings and jewelry, and went after lovers, but me she forgot.
I got my nose pierced in COMPLETE disobedience and disrespect towards my mother.
11.2a - But the more I called Israel, the further they went from me.
If you recall, back in late October I felt the Lord was calling me into a deeper intimacy involving much sacrifice. However, shortly after that, I began backing away from Jesus.  Backing away from the gospel.  Running away from intimacy.  I was scared.  I didn't think I could do it.  

I don't know if you've ever read Hosea.  I never had in its entirety.  If you have, you know, there is good news.  :)  Just as Israel returned to God, so did I.  Just as the Word says, I prayed, "Forgive all my sins and receive me graciously, that I may offer the fruit of my lips." (14.2).  So good news!  14.4: I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them.  He loves me freely.  I have been redeemed.  The rest of Passion brought much needed healing.  I'll post more about that later.  Thank you for taking the time to read my journey with Jesus.  It's an adventure for sure..  Good thing I have the King of Kings on my side.  :)