Thursday, January 08, 2009

Changed From Within

I wrote my previous post hurriedly and did not have time to elaborate on the outcome of my amazing Day of Prayer in U.P. last Friday, January 2.

What I am realizing as each day of this new year unfolds is that I am experiencing all things new. The time to embrace life once more, in all its fullness, has come. I am being called to step out in faith again, for my time of rest and, to a certain extent, hiding, must come to an end.

Last year, I prayed for freedom and healing. I was beset by many trials, most of them personal, unexplainable, and recurring. I withdrew in my personal shell and just kept going, one day at a time. Although I was not completely enveloped in darkness, I experienced less of the amount of sunshine that I was used to. I was in transition, and felt every twist and turn.

For 2009, I wanted to do a Day of Prayer and invited the BNP choir to join me in UP campus. Since they had not done anything like that, I had to prepare a short exhortation, lineup the songs, lead the worship, and give the input for prayer. I had little time to do all that, but the LORD amazed me a hundredfold. The kids knew how to prophesy. They said that one hour of silence was not enough to listen to God and write in their journals. The picnic was fabulous, and the sharing was fantastic. My kids were growing in faith to and love for the Lord, and my heart expanded. The cool wind made our prayer time even more intimate, as if God was there embracing us. I sat in the midst of the trees and felt something, certain, tangible, and unforgettable: I WAS HAPPY.

The wind blew the leaves all around me. I was grateful.
Everywhere I looked, I could see green grass. I was thankful.
In the distance, I could hear the strumming of a guitar. I was joyful.
I looked above me, at the clouds in the sky, and instead of grayness, I saw beauty. It was blissful.

I saw where the Lord had taken me. It was to a place I hardly expected, to a ministry I never planned, to a state I had not even dreamed of. Truly, if we put our trust in Him, if we wait on Him, He will deliver us from our fears. I felt God's loving presence during my time of silence, and it was enough to bring me unabashed happiness.

The joy was overflowing that I shared it immediately with all the people I came into contact with. One friend commented that he had never seen me like that before. Another friend said that I had always been like that, and he was amazed.

If there was anyone who was surprised at this turn of events, it was I. For just last year I was filled with anxiety, depression, and fear. But after two weeks of rest, a few months of retreat, and a whole dose of love and support from friends and family, I felt strong enough to face the world again.

This is a preview of what is to come in 2009: a time of harvest. A time of peace, love, and joy. A time I had been waiting for for so long.

I stand amazed at you, Lord, for what You have done in my life. I have no words to express it.

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