I want to share one part of what the Lord did and spoke over me at the OneThing conference this past week. Let me start by saying, I don't share this because I particularly like having the deepest places of my heart visible for anyone to see. I lay my heart bare in hopes that it will lead others to the place of heart encounter with this amazing God who completely knows us and longs to give us understanding of how He feels towards us; not just a cognitive intellectual head knowledge, but an experiential heart knowledge that changes completely how we pursue this Lover of our souls.
With that said, the conference was great. Soon I hope to share more about how energized and excited I am about some of the things the Lord showed me. In the midst of awesome teaching and great worship times, I couldn't help but notice many, many fathers with their little children. Starting Wednesday afternoon, it seemed as though there wasn't a direction I could look without noticing them. A sense of sadness started settling in. By Wednesday night, I knew that where I was emotionally was so different than what was going on in the worship time at the conference. They had the prayer room going on site so I went over there to get in the Word and be still before the Lord. He gave me two verses while I was in there. Is 62:3-5 and Hos 2:19-20. These verses speak of no longer being called desolate and forsaken but being called "my delight is in her" and married. The Hosea verse says I will betroth you to Me forever and in faithfulness. I knew He was speaking, but my heart wasn't connecting. That night ended with that same sadness over me. The next day was similar in that all of these fathers were present with and loving on their babies. The absence in my life and my children's lives seem so much more present. At the night service they started singing You're faithful to the end, You're faithful to my heart, Won't you come and marry me. Although the Lord has been SO SO faithful and good, I felt an overwhelming need for Him to speak to my heart and touch my soul. I kept praying and asking Him to comfort me but I became overwhelmed and frustrated. I even asked someone to pray for me, but that only frustrated me more. I told her there was a heaviness in my heart and she interpreted it to be something it wasn't and although thankful for her prayer, I was done. I decided to head to the prayer room again, but this time (last session of conference) it had moved back to the IHOP missions base. So I went again into the service and had enough time away to let my emotions settle some. I decided since I didn't have any resolution in asking for Him to touch my heart, I would just start praying for others. I was praying for a little while and a man that I have met several times at different houses of prayer was coming through the crowd praying for people. I had kept an eye out for him earlier in the conference, but had not seen him at all until this last session of the four days. When I saw him, I knew that the Lord had sent him FOR ME. He saw me and made his way over and just started praying for me and speaking over my life. Within 8 seconds I was in hard and full weeping. Thankfully, there were so many people being touched in significant ways and with the worship loud, it was a little sanctuary for just me and the Lord. There was so much that he spoke over me that hit me to the core, but the one thing that left me undone was that the Father was giving me as a reward to Jesus. I was a gift from the Father to the Son. After this precious man had left I kept hearing that again and again in my spirit, I was a reward to the Son.
Lou Engle was one of the speakers there and he has such a tender heart for the Lord and people. I absolute love this man! I jokingly asked a friend of mine how old Lou's oldest son is insinuating that might be a way I could get into Lou's family (incidentally his oldest son is 22 :). Through that random comment from earlier, the Father spoke so tenderly into my heart. It was as though He said, what if Lou were choosing a bride for his son from thousands of women and he chose ME and said out of all of those who I would choose from for my son, I want YOU to be his bride; that would be a weak analogy because the Father has looked out among thousands and thousands and has seen me and chosen ME as a bride for His son, as a reward for Him! Words alone cannot communicate what the Spirit did in me through this revelation from the Father. Although this bridal identity is definitely a corporate one, at that moment in time, the Father was speaking to me and revealing His delight in me and desire for me. I remembered those verses from the night before and went straight to them.
Isaiah 62:3-4 "You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. It will no longer be said to you, "Forsaken," Nor to your land will it any longer be said, "Desolate"; But you will be called, "My delight is in her," and your land, "Married" For the Lord delights in you and to Him your land will be married...as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so your God will rejoice over you."
Hosea 2:19-20 "I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, In lovingkindness and in compassion, And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the Lord."
The amazing thing about this last verse is that is doesn't just say marry you to me, but it says betroth. In betrothal, it very much has the idea that the father is the one choosing the bride for the son. As intimately and personally as I am chosen to know the Lord in this bridal identity, so is every believer. I very much believe that the Lord allowed my pain to rise to the surface and my desperation level to increase so that He could reveal His faithfulness to me, His delight in me, and a new level of His love for me. He is mindful of us, He cares for us, He sets His heart on US! Psalm 8:4, Psalm 144:3, Heb 2:6, Job 7:17ESV.
"Who am I, that You make so much of me, and set Your heart on Me??!"
P.S. Kirk- I already liked you a lot, but love that the Lord let it be you through the Spirit to breathe new life into my heart!