A week ago, I went to a prayer meeting called Fireplace – a warm, small room with bulbs lacing the ceiling like fireflies and candles adorning the windowsills like little gatekeepers. I didn’t feel the atmosphere when I first walked in, speedily with Jordan on my heels, as we were twenty minutes late – the atmosphere seeped into my skin slowly, steeping all its rich, powerful flavor from my head to my toes until it was as much a part of me as I it. I was a teacup at the mercy of an acoustic guitar, worn pages of a Bible, and the voices of strangers.
I cannot put into words the light that sparks when someone speaks Life over you – when they read your mind from a transcript penned by none other than God Almighty, and the uncertainty you walked in with becomes the certainty you dance out with.
This is for the one reading this who feels distant from God. You know Him, you know He was close once, perhaps even recently, but as of late, something feels different. I know how that feels – so close but not close enough to feel worthy enough to touch Him. Last night, shame had followed me into that meeting place like a bad excuse in my shadow. “I didn’t know it was there,” I find myself telling God. He did.
The woman that prayed over me prayed first for the request I had given her; that my prayer life would be strengthened. It was a true request, but a last minute thought I’d taken too long to fish out. As I bent over, eyes loosely shut, I found myself zoning out.
“God, we pray against the rejection she has felt. The hurt and the unforgiveness.”
Y’all already know I burst into tears.
She spoke Life over every lie the enemy had spoken into my heart the past several months. Issues that I thought I’d resolved. The Word that began the night was “Confess, then be healed.” So I come to you, love, with that same Word God knows you need.
Sometimes, distance and separation from God doesn’t come from sin. It can come from a wound. It can come from someone close to you, or someone distant. Someone you know, or someone you don’t. It can come from yourself. But it always, always comes with shame and condemnation, and that BS* isn’t from your Abba.
Confess that you’ve held onto it. Confess that it hurt you. Confess that you feel rejected, jealous, or angry (or all three, like I did). Confess it, repent it; then be healed. Open your heart to the possibility of healing. Speak Truth over the lies.
Rather than rejected, you are loved and embraced by your heavenly Father. Your parent or friend wounds have become scars, but He’s made them white as snow. He will never leave you, He will never let you down. He can be counted on, time and time again, unlike any other.
Rather than jealous, you are content and happy for those around you. Others have God destinies that you can’t live, just as they can’t live yours. The feeling may not subside yet, but you are free from its control because you are a Son or Daughter who knows the truth of God’s unique Love and plan for you.
And rather than angry, you are a prayer. An intercessor. You are going to war for those who hurt you, instead of warring against them. As a result, your heart is light and your Love for others is stronger than you’ve ever felt it.
Heaven comes to Earth when you come to the Cross. Any distance or separation from God incites a desperate, Love-based cry from the King Who created you with your every thought, decision, and dream in mind. He will never shame you for anything you’ve done, because He’s too busy running, tripping, falling over Himself to pull you into His arms and hold you there forever.
The morning after that prayer meeting, chance placed me at a church I don’t normally attend every Sunday. The worship leaders I knew, and the ones I didn’t, sang their hearts out.
“Step out of the shadows, step out of the grave
Break into the wild and don’t be afraid
Run into wide open spaces, grace is waiting for you
Dance like the weight has been lifted, grace is waiting
Where the Spirit of the Lord is
There is freedom, there is freedom ”. (Freedom, by Jesus Culture)
The miracles the night before met the lyrics of the first song in wild worship that felt an awful lot like confirmation. I danced, jumped, sang, and took Holy communion; God took my chains and obliterated them. He rubbed my sore wrists and lifted my arms to praise Him. Rejection, jealousy, and anger hid behind the usual fear, and God drowned them in grape juice and gluten-free breadcrumbs mixed with a previous coffee aftertaste. Ask, and He gives. Release and you’ll be released. Give and you’ll receive undeniable freedom. He asks nothing of you, dear, but to take what He gives freely and give freely to others. Before you even look at Him, He’s saying, “I Love you.”. That’s free too.
“Let me be clear, the Anointed One has set us free – not partially, but completely and wonderfully free! We must always cherish this truth and stubbornly refuse to go back into the bondage of our past.” – Galatians 5:1.