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Hope goes on

What happened across the street (mentioned in the previous update) started a time of dryness in my heart. There had been a lot of confusion, seeing God working directly in my life but not being able to have contact with him. It felt as if I was surrounded by an invisible shield (good or bad I don't know). 

On Monday night I got a text message from my family asking for prayer for one of my cousins who had been in a car accident. Not really any more details or knowing the intensity of the accident I prayed at the moment a small prayer and moved on with life. 

On Wednesday and Thursday we had Conrad Esh for the second and third time in this training. For me his sessions have been the ones that stand out the most, mainly because they are the ones that I can actually remember. 

He taught on spiritual warfare. When he started his session the room felt heavy, uncomfortable. I thought I would ask for prayer after session since I had been feeling weird since the night before. But 15 or 20 minutes into the session Conrad stopped and commented on how he felt like there was fear in the room. There was no response for the group, but he still prayed. 

At that moment I knew it wasn't just me but there was something more. He went on and continued with his session praying randomly throughout against the spirit of fear or whatever was in the room. Still no response. 

At the end of his talk he and his colleague Bill asked if anybody felt distant or oppressed. Some people started going up, and then I decided I could use some prayer.

As I was kneeling trying to start my prayer Kirsten came up and started praying with/for me. But that shield would not leave. 

I prayed for trust and faith that I would give it all to Christ, then Kirsten had this image of old chains/ropes and the idea of Jesus replacing them, then she prayed against deceit. I didn't really know what any of that meant or it connected to my life but Conrad also came and prayed against deceit in my family. Then, I thought, "ok I guess I can see that," so I also prayed against deceit. For the rest of the day I really didn't know what to think of any of that. I just thought I had gotten rid of something that didn't need to be there but didn't really know what. 

Then, Thursday came and the session was so good. Once again he and Bill felt some stuff so at the end they asked who wanted prayer and some as usual people did. As people were praying I was praying for one of the girls, just a general prayer of blessings and thanks. 

Right before the prayer time was over he said that Christ wanted to renew some bonds with past relationships. Instantly a whole list of people came to my mind, people I hadn't thought about until two nights before and didn't really know why. Then that image that Kirsten had said of Jesus giving me new ropes came to my mind. So he gave us 4 steps/things to pray for [sexual, psychological, emotional and spiritual bonds]. 

I skipped lunch and went to the prayer room and took care of those bonds. 

In the prayer room Jesus met me in a very needed way. He reminded me who he is. He took those old rotten ropes and gave me new ones, then proceeded to tie them from my wrist to his. Then the old broken ones flew away with balloons (I'm also scared of balloons) so God using them to represent those broken relationships was a big deal.  

FREEDOM!!! 

God continued to work throughout this week, bringing light and joy into my heart. Today (Wednesday) we had intercession, I hadn't really planned anything and was distracted by an inbox of 1000+ messages. The whole time I'm deleting messages I'm thinking of what I can do, journaling here and there, and getting to the conclusion that I need 'encouragement'. That's it more than 3 hours of planning and I get one word. So we go to the old prayer room at the end of the unfinished hall and take about 20 minutes of listening prayer for God's encouragement. 

Hope. Jesus gave me hope. The lyrics 'my hope is built on nothing less that Jesus' blood and righteousness...' and 'my hope is in you all the day long, I won't be shaken by drought or storm..' came to mind.  Jesus is my rock. No matter how much satan wants to bring me down I won't fall, because my hope is on him. This week I lost another family member, but God gave me peace because my hope is on him.

"Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." Romans 5:3-5

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope and certain of what we do not see" Hebrews 11:1

I am sure that the God that I serve is alive, he is working day and night, and he does not take a break.

But not all is sadness and dark, this week we also had our 2013 REACH Talent Show. This years REACHers got to show off their talents. From little people, flashbacks, a kilt, flying gummy bears, singing, playing, pizza, and a disco ball, we all got to enjoy each other's company and connect as we prepared for this event. Some say Jenny & Tyler attended the talent show.

The end.

-Connie