Over the weekend something sort of wild happened. I regularly visit and occasionally post comments at a widely followed and extremely popular Christian blog. A few days ago we were asked to offer encouragement to others who read the blog in comments.
I began to read through the comments that presented on the page I happened to land on and responded to a young woman asking for encouragement about her marriage. The next day as I sat reading comment after comment from women who were expressing the need to grieve changes in their lives: everything from broken relationships and the death of those they loved. My heart was moved with compassion and my mind began to rehearse all the things I’ve said to people these last few years as I ministered to them in their grief.
More than that I thought back to my own grieving season when the ache of losing my first born child was so fresh and new that I still felt numb many months later when other losses might have found me moving forward in my life. I thought about what I would’ve needed to hear in those days of deep heartache and pain. My fingers responded to my thoughts dancing across my keyboard pounding our the life’s message branded into my heart. GOD HEALS OUR WOUNDED HEART!
As I reread what I shared before hitting the “Post Comment’ button I had a fleeting thought, “This is not concise.” No… Not at all.
I regularly follow this blog owner on Twitter and had tweeted a response to something she had written earlier in the day. I don’t typically get responses to my tweets to popular public figures.
I didn’t think any more of it. I went in the living room and joined my husband in watching my favorite NASCAR driver win his third race this season. This happy girl spent a half hour or so cleaning up and straightening the house before I picked up my phone and headed to bed. I flipped the phone over and hit the little home button at the bottom to check the battery and found myself staring at a response from the owner of the blog.
I had to check my bearings a bit. I do not really frequent Twitter or the blog to get a response anymore. I do so because I enjoy the interaction and have followed this blog for a number of years with all the following folk there feeling very connected to one another in a a community sort of way.
A few years ago thousand or so of us congregated in San Antonio, Texas at one of the live events this writer and teacher hosts throughout the year and had a wonderful afternoon of Q&A after the conference. Just a little more than a year ago many of us rallied around one of the “Siestas” through Twitter when she suffered a stroke and was hospitalized fighting for her very life. We stood like watchmen on the walls, prayed together by conference call and watched God move and work miracles on this woman’s behalf. There is something more than just a Christian writer blogging to her peeps going on there. We are having church on the internet on a regular basis.
My heart skipped a beat as my mind raced to catch up with what my eyes just read. I stopped and slid the comment open to read it fully.
Now let me just take a moment to confess that the person I am referencing here is Lifeway Bible teacher, Beth Moore. And once upon a time when I found myself facilitating her studies and her influence connecting me to God in a way I had never known — I told God I wanted to be just 1/10 of the person, teacher, Christian that she is. Yes… As weird as that sounds I did it.
I so admire her in-depth knowledge of God’s Word and the familiar, relational way that she drew us into each lesson. She often said that she felt we were her very dear friends, and I felt the same way. And let’s just say it: I needed to “grow up” in my faith.
I wrote her letters when her influence had a significant impact on my life. And when I found her blog I began to take time to read and comment. I secretly hoped in my heart that she read my comments and recognized my name from the letters. I also thought it might be nice to someday meet her and hug her neck to thank her in person. I now realize that all of this sounds extremely crazy, and very stalker-ish. But I did say that word: confess.
Still I continued to read and comment. I grew in my faith until something I did not see coming happened. I got a job at my church that took up a lot of my time and energy. God politely severed my opportunity to connect so regularly with this teacher, AND He politely introduced to many more wonderful teachers who offered me the opportunity to follow them to Jesus time and again. Some of them I have had the privilege of working with, getting to know personally and call my friends.
I realized during my three year sabbatical from almost everything Beth Moore that in truth she is just ordinary people like any one of us whom God has entrusted a platform or influence. A platform on which she very effectively elevates Jesus and blesses the lives of God’s children through anointed teaching and insights. Messages she plucks from her own personal relationship with Him through His Word. Did I really say she is just ordinary people? Well, maybe she is…
She recently spoke at our women’s conference where I reconnected with her teaching and felt a release to begin to participate in the blog more. In addition… I’m on this new journey that gives me more time to invest in reading and connecting with the rather large community that congregates on her blog.
And then Saturday happened. I had given up any hope of ever connecting directly with Beth when she pops up and replies to a tweet on social media.
Like I said, my heart sort of skipped a beat. Not like Jesus appeared to me in a vision or anything. Just someone I greatly respect and admire reached out to me and offered me a cup of cold water that brought humility and gratitude to my heart in a way I am not sure words can express.
Oh Sister, it was 11:00 pm by the time I read this. I thought “I gotta’ find that comment. What exactly did I write that warranted this response?” After all my last thought happened to be that no one would read my wordy advice.
I opened the door to our bedroom and announced, “Honey, Beth Moore replied to one of my tweets.”
And Honey replied, “Snnnnn—-ooooo—-rrrr—-eeeee.”
Yep. I was having a total “I met the President” moment and absolutely no one to share it with. So I went into the bathroom, shut the seat on the toilet, propped up my feet on the tub and began to filter hundreds of comments to this post on my iPhone.
That’s when I saw it. My picture beside the grief comment. And, I scrolled down to read through before reading what she had written. (See picture 12:12 AM)
Okay, so a mentor in my faith had that to say about something I expressed related to one of the most powerful seasons of loss and healing I had ever experienced in my life.
CAN. YOU. SAY. FACE. DOWN. ON. THE. FLOOR?
I love her to pieces and thank God for her everyday but this is beyond what I even imagined she might respond.
The point of sharing this is not so you know Beth Moore thinks I am a great grief counselor… Well, maybe a little. Still, the bigger point would be back there in those early days when I just wanted her to know how much her ministry meant to me and I appreciated her willingness to give of herself for the Lord’s glory and benefit… When I asked God if I could just be 1/10 the (whatever) she is…
In that moment, sitting alone in my bathroom reading her words of blessing and encouragement I came full circle.
Which brings me to the rhema word I received this week. I wanted to just brush by it here because it must be shared. I am blessed to have been at Gateway Church last night when Dr. James B. Richards taught the Freedom Class.
As I sat listening to him teaching on how in Christ we lack nothing we need. I had this moment where I recalled myself recounting the very same story I’ve shared with you to a friend over lunch. Dr. Richards basically said, in Christ you already are made like Him in His righteousness. You lack nothing: completely equipped and empowered to do everything that He has put in our hearts to do.
At that point “clever” me leaned over to my friend who was two seats away. “Okay, then I want to be all of Beth Moore.”
As I straightened back up in my chair God promptly interrupted Dr. Richards and began to speak to me Himself. (Not Audibly… But I knew…) No, that’s not it.
I had a momentary flash of all the times I’d wished I could be like or actually be “someone else.” I mean seriously at 9 years old I wanted to be Loretta Lynn. I think I may have even wanted to be Dolly Parton during a few of those years as well. And then as an adult — Beth Moore. God definitely saw a pattern in my thinking even if I didn’t. My knewer KNEW that God wanted me to hear this. You ALREADY are everything I’ve created you to be – complete. And Beth Moore does not have anything that you don’t have.
I briefly thought I’d argue, “Except…” But thought better of it. I spoke with Dr. Richards after the class and told him about my revelation while he signed a few books. He told me, “Now, go home and sit down and picture what it would look like to live that in your life.”
I already know. He’s already given me, right now, in Christ Jesus, everything I need for victory, life and godliness. I have provision, prosperity, influence and favor as a child of the Most High King in His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus will not die again to give me more of Himself. I have it now – right now. The only thing keeping me from living in it is me. And I’m not going to let anyone stop me there!
What is it that you keep thinking you would like to see happen in your life?
What is it that you know God is calling you that you have not tapped into yet?
Just get out there and do the THING! Picture what it your life would be like if it’s just you and Jesus. What would that look like?
Are you complete in Him? Colossians 2:9-10 says you are.
He’s already planned for it. He’s provided for it. According to Scripture, you are walking in all the authority and power of Christ which resides in you bodily so GET TO IT!