This past year has been less than pleasant. That is the nice “Holy Spirit filled girl” way to say it. Really, it has been very difficult. I would be less than honest if I didn’t tell you that there were many times I considered walking away from ministry. There were so many attacks on my identity, my confidence. There were attacks on my leadership. There were attacks on my relationships. These attacks were spiritual. I cried out, “Lord!” During this time one of my journal entries read, ” I am in a place in my life where I will carry on and soar or I will sink.” I was tired, weary. I heard, “trust me. When you don’t know what else to do just trust me.” I committed to choose to believe that the season I was in was a small speck in time compared to the greatness, vastness, supernatural blessings my Father had prepared for my future. Another journal entry- ” My Lord is calling me deeper, deeper, what does that mean? I’m on a journey to find out.”
I began to embrace the difficulty and seek God in the midst of it. I began to see Him there. I saw Him at work. Instead of running away from my struggle, I girded up and stood still. There was a pruning going on. Jesus was teaching me that I was not being disciplined I was being pruned. He was pleased with the fruit I was bearing, but He wanted more. He was preparing me. I begin to see that the pain in my life was targeted towards my leadership-huge light bulb turned on. Of course! This must be the area God is planning greatness because the enemy was attacking it and God was pruning it to bear more fruit. He was expanding territory. Slowly my confidence started to come back. God was using so many beautiful circumstances to speak such bold truth into my life.
“I will make you a missionary of hope to many.”
You will be a voice that always brings life to others and grace to the weakest one.”
“My plan for your life will be fulfilled.”
He took me away several times in solitude to hear His whispers that healed my heart and soul! Oh, there have been so many God stories! My word for 2018 was Abundant. It did not seem like the appropriate word for much of the year, but oh how I was experiencing His Abundance, His nature, His love through His visitations to me. My journal writing began to change. I wrote, “My dearest Jeannie, forget the former things. Do not dwell on the past anymore. I am doing a new thing! Don’t wander this desert anymore. Take my hand, together we will cross over the stream into your promise land. There is a harvest of good things coming. An abundance. You will birth something new that you have been carrying, a gift from me. This year will end as a year of reaping and sowing. A year of connecting and disconnecting both of which are equal importance in your kingdom destiny. Abide in me, only me and you will soar on wings of an eagle. You will run and not be weary. Love, Daddy.”
I am overwhelmed by what God has done in my life through the pruning. It has only made me want Him more, love Him more. Friend, He is so faithful! please don’t ever doubt it. The pruning or discipline which ever it is proves His love!
This past weekend, I experienced a spiritual attack that manifested itself in a very physical way. I was on my way to lead an abortion recovery weekend retreat. There was a storm passing through. My van was swaying on the highway from the wind, but I was determined to lead these women to healing. I was talking with my mom and suddenly, a pain gripped the right side of my head and shot behind my ear and around my neck. The hearing left my right ear. My mom prayed for me and I hung up to call my husband. I was scared and began to cry. He prayed immediately and then said- “Jeannie, it could be the pressure of the storm in the atmosphere or it could very well be the enemy trying to keep you from experiencing a huge blessing this weekend.” I became dizzy so I got a driver.
As we got closer to the destination, I looked to see the ocean waves roaring and crashing in a way I have never seen before. The vision reminded me of the past year in my life, the storms… Once we got to the destination, I walked in and the Holy Spirit stopped me and I stood still. I looked up to see a picture hanging on the wall. It was a picture of a boat sitting still on the shore with crashing waves behind it. In that moment, I felt a warmth, like honey come all over me from my head down to my toes. As the warmth moved down from my head the pain immediately left me. When it got to my toes, I heard, “It is Finished.”
Now, I believe my God was letting me know that this season of trial was over. The pruning for this season was over and He is now preparing me to see the harvest and blessing of it all! Of course, there will be other seasons and other pruning, but this one was over.
I don’t know what season your in. I don’t know if you have experienced a season like anything I have described, but I just want to encourage you. Stand still, stand strong in the storm, whatever it is. There is a purpose. There will be fruit. There will be blessing. There will be healing! Don’t quit! Don’t give up!
“Behold I will bring it health and cure and I will cure them, and reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth.” Jeremiah 33:6
“And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not, I will lead them in paths that they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:16
P.S. As I have been writing to you, I have been listening to my praise music (with ear buds) I am watching three men here working on my floor. They seem interested in what I am doing or maybe they wish I would stop singing! lol.. I whispered to my husband, “Do you think they know Jesus?” He shrugged his shoulders. Well guess what? I am getting ready to go find out!… Can I buy you guys lunch?
“You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit…” John 15:16