Purpose | Waking Up

"Reflections of Joy" c
“Reflections of Joy” (c) Michelle Bentham, 2016

Months ago I wrote an article called “Purpose | Dormant Seasons” about discovering a settling of your spirit in a winter season. And today I want to talk about that season when spirit rest ends.

Isaiah writes: “Arise, shine, for your light has broken through! The Eternal One’s brilliance has dawned upon you. See truly, look carefully – darkness blankets the earth, people all over are cloaked in darkness. But God will rise and shine on you.” (Isaiah 60:1-2 (VOICE))

Do you hear the call to awaken in this passage? God is shining in you – shining on you – you have a purpose: Illuminate the world around you with His Light, Jesus, who is the Light of the World.

I’ve been waking up lately – coming out of that dormant season when things I held onto that I thought were my purpose were snatched away, where my character came under scrutiny and at one point it might have been suggested I was a “heretic.” Thankfully, shortly after that experience I also heard the Lord whisper, “You’re in good company. They called My Son a heretic, too.”

Last night, as I texted with a friend about what has been happening I wrote: “Just when I’m ready to give up God turns the tables on me.”

It has been months really since I had a ministry session beyond an occasional follow up appointment. In the last few weeks people have asked to meet with me, have a session. Some of it is challenging, some of it is glorious and some of it is really heart-breaking and hard. All of it is purpose.

Lately I’ve been working to get out of my office at the church. Seriously. I agreed to move out – my idea – and share an office with my director so I could work from home more. Love that idea. And, though I’ll miss my friends and coworkers in the office on a daily basis – I will enjoy the productive quiet of home and the peace that comes from being settled in there. This, too, is purpose.

I’ve been contemplating things I need to give up to make more room in my life for purpose. Good things I’ve chose saying yes to over and over again, wonderful, productive things that have meaning and value. But, at the end of the day in the quiet of my heart I hear a question: “What are you doing?”

The last few days I’ve been working on things I left off pursuing when I began to work more and more at the church where we have become family, a part of the team and find invaluable encouragement. And I find myself working late into the night to build excellence into my work.

In the last few weeks I’ve begun building a speaking platform online, recording and uploading podcasts nearly daily. I’m writing again. And I love the art of writing and sharing from the depths of my God’s heart about what He has been speaking to me.

I’ve begun to art journal in my Bible. That is new, fun territory.

I’ve gotten my house in order. Well, save a few errant clothes that have found their way out of the closet and a number of wads of dog hair with soft grass burrs in them from Pogo’s daily romps in the yard. But, the house is clean, and getting organized and I feel like my life is shaping into purpose.

I’m waking up. The other day my parents, my husband and I went to Braum’s to eat and we ran into friends from church. The gentleman had been my brother’s boyhood baseball coach and his wife the team mom.They were there eating with his brother-in-law and sister. As we walked through the door, my momma said under her breath, “I want you to pray for him.”

You see, my momma believes in my ministry. My purpose. She has experienced victory as I have prayed for the physical ailments she suffers with from injuries she remains afflicted with over the years. Her long distorted right foot and ankle are beginning to awaken and she is having sensations as her nerve endings are beginning to fire back up. We even saw some progress in her ability to wiggle her toes. Her other ankle suffered a torn ligament/tendon in the top of her foot and she has been wearing a brace. We’ve seen it jump and wiggle as we pray and it is getting better all the time. She believes in my ministry. I love my momma.

So before we left, I prayed for their friend, his wife, his brother and spoke a word of encouragement over his sister. His sister asked, “How did you know that?” Because the word resonated as true to her. I said, “I was listening to what God said about you and shared it.”

Her next question caught me off guard: “Is that hard to do?”

I’ve taught about hearing God many times now, but still I struggle when trying to explain what it means to receive a prophetic word from God for someone else. I’m growing, learning every day. I answered her question as best I could in that moment. Oh How I Love Jesus!

A few days later I was at a business I frequent talking to a business woman when she shared that her son is struggling with all kinds of issues and she was just beside herself in motherly concern. She asked about my church and I prayed for her and her son. I felt the Lord smile on that moment with her as she thanked me and we concluded our business.

Then a friend came to see me at work and we heard the Lord speak together and she is getting free from a lifetime of wounds, and I believe God is healing the cancer plaguing her body as we go.

A couple of other friends stopped in for a session and God is moving in big and small ways making shifts and changes in folks who are seeking Him with all their heart, soul, mind and strength.

I’m still painting and leading women through discovering their purpose and unique created identity. And it is good to be of use.

I’m still weighing what to hold onto and what to let go of – but most days I throw my arms wide and say, “Lord let’s do it your way.” And most days, we do. The other days He’s working on with me. I’m learning to let my light shine not just in the walls of the church – but outside where it drives out darkness. I’m grateful to be of use.

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2 thoughts on “Purpose | Waking Up

  1. I just love your heart Michelle! Thank you for sharing your “waking up” with such beautiful transparency!!! I bless you with all of Heaven’s purposes and plans!! Selah!!💚💚💚

    1. Thank you, Lori! I’m learning to just be… I feel God stirring all around me and rather than amping things up it is creating a settling down. It is a good place to be. 🙂 Love you back! Grateful God connected us to one another. 🙂

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