it was the weekend, time for another bath to rejuvenate and refresh. it was time for conversation with jesus on a topic she didn’t often broach.
it was painful. questions outnumbered answers. she was surprised when he addressed her thoughts before she could speak.
various scenes and encounters played through her mind like old movie reels.
years had passed. prophetic words had come, gone, fallen to the ground.
when they fell, she lifted them back up in her hands, gently cleansing them and strengthening them with promise.
well meaning friends attempted to console with platitudes and scripture. they didn’t quite fit or comfort.
other not so much friends came with false prophecy to take her away from the directives on her destiny scroll. she was both surprised and amused when demons rose up as lying words were confronted with truth.
she thanked abba for the spirit of truth. truth was a close companion and trusted friend. healing and deliverance came as fast as truth rooted out the counterfeit.
old doors were firmly closed while new ones opened wide to paths of freedom. it was a new season, one she’d waited for in earnest.
hope remained. she nurtured it daily. hope kept her focused and immovable.
new possibilities were presented for her consideration.
she tucked deeper into jesus’ protective embrace, occasionally glancing at his ring on her finger.
the bathtub conversation went to the promise she held in her heart.
it was jesus’ time to speak to it.
“you have said ‘yes’ to many of my sons, trusting me to do the work of transformation in them so you could be one flesh.
none of them have said ‘yes’ to you because of the high price it will cost to walk with you.
they have been afraid, unwilling to surrender to the work or the calling.
walking with you, child, is no small thing.
you have suffered massive rejection and misunderstanding, and yet you’ve never left my side.
i will make things right for you.”
in a few powerful words of truth, he’d blown away the shame, rejection, religion and all the other mess.
memories stirred in her heart like a wooden spoon stirring ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
there was the rainbow at beacon rock. plans for the little restaurant in the gorge. dreams of a home on the coast.
these were not small things. his was intense, passionate. he wanted to rebuild his life. he didn’t want to do it alone. but there were character issues. and pride. it caused him to stumble. and it kept him from yielding to holy spirit, jesus and papa.
she’d seen it often. when pride rose up in him, darkness would cover his face. the tenderness she loved in him was hidden. joy was crushed in anger and unforgiveness.
nearly a year passed since any communication occurred between them. and it was her doing the reaching out. again. he’d gone dark after helping her with the car battery at the airport after thanksgiving. christmas came and went without a word.
she texted him on new year’s day, wished him well. he responded back, but even his texting voice felt small. he wasn’t in a good place, maybe drunk.
now, on the eve of another christmas, memories resurfaced. she smiled, recalling times, places, conversations. his daughter. his family. aunt louise and uncle charlie.
she texted him again, fondly recalling a few details that would make him smile if she wasn’t blocked on his phone. she visited several of his family’s facebook pages, wondering out loud if he’d been home to visit them yet. it was fifteen years now since he’d seen them.
she recalled words spoken over their lives. his momma would be a momma to her. his daughter would be her daughter, just like she’d given birth to her. aunt louise had taken her under her wing, always grateful for how she’d brought him back into communication with the family.
when it got too painful to hold on, she quietly unfriended his momma. she contacted the half-brother and aunt louise to tell them she needed to move on. they wished her well. the half-brother invited her to visit him and his wife if she was ever in alabama. it hadn’t taken long to develop bonds with them.
on a whim, she reached out to aunt louise on messenger, not knowing if she’d even see her message since they were no longer connected. why was all of this flooding back into the forefront?
praying, she got into her weekly epsom salt bath. sitting in silence, papa surprised her with a question. “would you take him back if he was all cleaned up?” her head snapped as she looked up to him. “first of all, you can please confirm this is you. i’m pretty vulnerable right now. secondly, yes, i might, but with conditions.”
the conditions were clear: he needed to be walking closely with papa, jesus and holy spirit. and he would need to come out of agreement with every spirit that does not serve jesus. those two qualifiers covered a lot of ground.
something deeper was working. she wasn’t clear on what it was. more prayer, more healing in the salty, lavender water. thirty minutes later, she was on the living room floor stretching. then cleansing her gateways. this was an important process. forgive, cleanse, release. release is equated with liberty.
late afternoon arrived and she began cooking for the week. chicken thighs fried on the stove, rice cooked in the dutch oven. when the phone rang, she was startled, but not as much as she was when she saw the location of the caller: new orleans. who and why?
she answered. “hello?” “hi ______!” i see you wanted to talk with me. it was aunt louise. calling her. from new orleans. what??? something deeper was working here.
she and uncle charlie were well. the big surprise and subsequent shock came shortly thereafter. he’d been home to visit. finally. he’d been there in october, just a few weeks ago. that was the big surprise. then came the shock.
he hadn’t gone alone. he went with a woman. not just a girlfriend. a fiancé. her head and heart reeled at the same time, shock waves tearing through her senses. aunt louise said something about them being forever grateful for bringing him back to them..somehow, the call ended abruptly.
devastation and betrayal set in. that was her trip to make with him, her family to meet. the new woman had taken credit for getting him there. truth spoke loudly over the top of the lie. she knew well the prophetic words she’d spoken over him two years earlier that propelled him forward to reconciliation with his family.
the truth could not be taken from her. his betrayal could not be ignored, either. he’d chosen not to yield, not to say, ‘yes,’ to papa, jesus and holy spirit. he didn’t want to do the work. it was easier to find someone else who didn’t require so much of him, someone who would be satisfied with mediocre.
it took two weeks to process all of it again. hashing over all the prophetic words, all the promises, all the conversations..and all the character flaws. left unchecked, the character flaws became massive stumbling blocks. indeed, they’d made the foundation of their relationship unstable.
his actions consistently sowed distrust. there was nothing solid to build on. it was unsustainable, shaky ground. she knew his history. if he was challenged to be more, he threw a tantrum. and if he didn’t get his way, he moved on to someone else.
two weeks later, she made a different decision. looking up, she spoke decisively. “i don’t want him back. if he was yielded to you, he would have come back for me. he did not. so i’m closing the door. you close it, too.”
she took back the key and the dream. papa had already breathed new life and purpose into her. it happened yesterday in the salty bath laced with lavender and into the future oils. he’d taken her heart into his large, gentle hands and breathed new life into it. it was beating strong again.
she held the key in her left hand, the side her heart lived in. someone was coming. he would be worthy of her heart, the key and the dream.
destiny beckoned as compromise lost its power and voice.
they’d last seen each other almost six months earlier. it ended abruptly when she decided not to listen to his tasmanian devil fit on the phone after confronting him on bad behavior.
as he spewed angry words across the airwaves, her response was simple and calm. “i am not having this conversation with you tonight.” she pressed the red button on her phone, disconnecting the call. kindness with boundaries. he does not have permission to speak to her this way. no.
the result of the boundary was an immediate facebook unfriend, a block on the phone and an email requesting she never call him again. it’s what people do when the mirror is placed before them. it was also a sign he was not worthy of her heart yet. sigh.
now here they were, giving it a go again. she was excited and wary. the phone call had gone well. now she waited for the text so she knew where to meet him.
they met at a new place, not one of their old favorites
he asked her to meet him at a new place. it was new to her, not to him, but new to them together – appropriate for a new beginning. arriving first, she made her way straight to the ladies room after a brief survey of the establishment.
she took a minute to get her bearings. and breathe. deep breath in, exhale slowly. rinse and repeat.
she checked her lipstick in the mirror, observing the glow on her face. there was a tenderness and light in her features that had been missing for several months. it returned the moment she heard his voice. love does that.
father, jesus and holy spirit were as excited as she was. realizing this was a new day, she asked holy spirit to order their conversation. shaking off any anxiety, she walked back into the bar area and settled at a table near the door. yikes. it was dark in this place. the smell of marijuana wafted in from the patio. it didn’t stimulate her appetite in the least. it wasn’t her favorite, never had been.
when he came in, he’d see her straight off. and he did. he walked in, saw her there, pulled back the chair to reach her and put his arms around her neck in greeting. my god, what a long time it had been since she felt his embrace. he sat down. they looked at each other. he asked her something she didn’t hear. she was so caught up in just looking at him she never heard the words.
“excuse me, i’m sorry. what did you say?” it was almost funny. well, no, it was funny. was she fifteen again? maybe. there wasn’t much that could render her speechless. she let him begin with the catching up so she could just look at him.
he was as beautiful as ever. dear lord. it wasn’t just his physical appearance. he was freer, glowing from the inside out, light in his eyes. his joy had returned. part of that joy was the call he got from her only a few hours earlier.
they glanced at menus. he was a regular here, so he made a couple of recommendations. “order whatever you like.” she ordered something, not really caring what it was. he went up to the bar, placing their order for food and drinks.
he was nervous, though, like a cat on a hot tin roof. she let him begin catching up on his life first. he was going to counseling, paying someone to listen to him vent. that was good. he also commented he’d tried dating, but it was a disaster. she felt some relief with a question mark following. why did he share this? this revelation would prove to be a clue later. she filed it away. guilty people always tell on themselves. they can’t help when it when truth is staring them in the face.
they finished their food while keeping the conversation moving. she studied him closely. he hadn’t been home to see his family yet. another item to file. she was in contact with his aunt/godmother, a lovely woman who prayed for her nephew consistently. she took her role of godmother seriously.
he knew the two of them spoke on messenger, asking what they talked about. she lightly danced around revealing their conversations. there was no need to show her hand except to encourage him to go home to visit. his parents and the rest of his family weren’t getting any younger. they wanted to see him before moving to heaven. it was that simple.
his response indicated he wasn’t ready for that trip yet. he ordered another beer. she asked how he was going to drive home. he wasn’t. an uber driver had dropped him there and uber driver would collect him and take him home. this had become a regular routine. he thought himself clever. it was a good choice for keeping his driver’s license, not so good for other obvious reasons.
it was late now and she had to work the next day, friday. he walked her down the street to her car. he hugged her goodbye, embracing her for a very long time, longer than he ever had before.
she got in her car and watched him walk back to the bar with unease and a heavy heart.
she was twenty years old when it happened, days shy of her 21st birthday. young, tender, naive trying to find her way in life after years of abuse. she was pretty, beautiful even.
modeling might have been her career if not for her head crashing through the windshield of an old ford fairlane. the event had many layers, a redemption for every tragedy. maybe the man who hit them in the rainstorm was delivered from alcoholism. she prayed and hoped.
the scars were healed. indeed, no one even saw them unless she pointed them out in telling the story. her fractured internal condition was well hidden from most people, too. when her mother told her to, “just get over it,” her permission slip to process the pain and loss was taken away.
it was only after she reading, “broken to whole,” that she saw what had occurred within her that fateful night and why it happened. and that jesus was good with it. really good with it. there was never any condemnation nor would there ever be.
having suffered post traumatic stress disorder for decades, the most recent trigger broke the camel’s back. it was the wreck on highway 30, the one she drove past on the last leg of the drive home from seattle. it was the one with the fatality. someone died. it was her years ago, except she’d lived to tell.
if the timing had been different by a few minutes, hers might have been the car hit by the driver veering over the center line. but she was not. this time she was a passerby, speaking life to the victims.
the car left standing on all four wheels was the trigger, opening the wound wide open. it was the hole in the windshield where the driver’s head crashed through. the internal shaking began almost immediately. the other part of her tried to shut it all down, to stuff it back in the box. this time, however, it would not be contained.
he came to pick her up for dinner right after she arrived home. did he see the train wreck inside her? no, thank god, he did not. she was skilled and adept at hiding it from nearly everyone but herself and jesus. he knew. she knew.
today she had new information, new revelation. she had explanations and tools to help her heal. she could talk to that broken, traumatized fragment of her soul. she could help it and be whole again.
the conversation between them began awkwardly, her spirit engaging with a soul fragment stuck at the age of twenty. an epsom salt bath followed to begin the release. it was a process, not something to be done in five minutes.
there were movies to watch to shake the trauma loose and another movie to watch to find out the fragment’s name, the name of the girl who went away 35 years ago. who was she? what was her personality? and how could she bring her back home safely?
the movies were cathartic, internal earthquakes with no richter scale to measure their intensity. more shook free, rising to the surface. the fragment’s name was, ‘lucy.’ now she could call the broken girl by name. she lay curled up in the fetal position in her bed, sobbing deep guttural sobs on and off for hours.
a friend voxed her to ask her a question about someone they were both praying for. she sobbed back, “i think so and so is fine, but i am in this…” and she went on to explain.
he listened, voxed her back. through heaving, broken sobs, she explained until he had enough context to see how to pray. he gave her hope she would come through. jesus had him tell her she was close to completing this journey she never knew she was on or wanted to take.
in all of it, she saw glimpses of the mystery girl ‘lucy‘ who went away. she’d catch lucy peering out from behind her to see if it was safe to come out. sometimes she could turn around to see lucy behind her. it was an odd thing to see part of herself living in hiding for so long.
it was time to come home. when the sobbing was over, she took another epsom salt bath. she spoke to lucy and the other fragmented parts of her, introducing them to jesus for redemption and healing. soon, they’d all be integrated back into her soul. wholeness was coming.
the following day, she rose early and drove to the coast. jesus showed her the scene days earlier. as she drove, fear and panic rose up in lucy. she called her friend. “how do you feel?” the friend asked. “i feel terrified,” came the response. it was real. driving was not easy. pressing through in her vulnerable state was the overcoming part.
the grounding came as her feet pressed into the cool sand. jesus was with her.
broken to whole was tangible and achievable. how did she know?
the entire region was thick with smoke as fires burned out of control. she was driving back from a quick overnight trip. they agreed to meet for late lunch when she returned. the trip was uneventful until she was twenty minutes from home.
traffic slowed, then stopped. there was a wreck on the highway. someone had died. she was triggered. hands shaking, she used the voice recorder to message him a heads up about the delay and the triggering. he responded saying he would pick her up at the house.
as she neared home, she called her friend to pray with her. images of the wrecked vehicles wanted to stick in her mind like super glue, only causing more angst. she fought to keep her peace. it wasn’t the first time she was triggered by a wreck and a death. she let the thoughts go by, asking jesus to heal her and wash away those images. breathe, just breathe. keep breathing. inhale, exhale. let it out.
he pulled up to the house minutes after she arrived. she jumped into his pickup and they drove downtown to their favorite hangout in town, choosing to sit outside in smoky haze generate by fires hundreds of miles away. they ordered late lunch, happy to have their regular server welcome them.
he pulled out his phone to show her several new family photos sent from his mom. they were photos of his own dad and his daughter together, another of both his parents with his daughter. “look at this!” he said. “purpose. they have purpose! she has given them purpose to live! i guarantee he would not be alive now without her living with them, giving them purpose.”
tears filled her eyes as she listened to him. he had missed all of his daughter’s growing up years, the birthdays, the special events, proms and homecomings. even as regret tried to strong-arm him into condemnation, he was beyond grateful his parents raised his only daughter. she was a beautiful, confident young woman. her grandparents had poured love and care into her. his fought through a whirlwind of emotions and thoughts, battling to get free of years of guilt and shame.
tears in her eyes, she only affirmed him. “i’m so proud of you, so glad you can see this. this was the absolute best thing for her under the circumstances. they gave her a stability you could not. her life would have been destroyed if she’d been with you these years.” it was not an easy truth, but it was the truth, nonetheless. they both knew it.
when lunch was finished they walked to the marina, resting on ‘their’ bench for a minute before walking down the sidewalk. he shared how there were issues with a couple who were friends of his. the wife was having some issues with him being around her husband. he was angry about it, feeling rejected.
she was silent, knowing well the why the wife felt this way. conversation continued as they walked along the river and sat down at a picnic table. the smoke from the fires was thick now. it was getting harder to breathe. wisdom showed up to warn them, but they did not hear her voice.
his work was ongoing drama, too. a new female mechanic was not performing up to his work standards. he was angry at her sloppiness, wanting her to steer clear of his own workspace so he wouldn’t get hurt. he was afraid of getting hurt, afraid of getting sick again. afraid of so many things.
fear had entered his heart as a small boy when he had leukemia. the demon of fear and it’s sidekick infirmity still tormented his mind like a battering ram, keeping him from sleep most nights.
she gently tried to steer him out of the current thought pattern, but he wasn’t having it. suddenly, she’d become the enemy as he looked back at her with daggers in his eyes. she apologized for what she said. it was the quickest way to diffuse his anger and fear.
after a time, they walked back to the truck and he took her home. she mentioned her upcoming trip to him, and asked if he’d take her to the airport. he answered her query with his own. “do you want me to take you to the airport?” “yes, i’d like that very much.” “okay, done.”
a few days later they had dinner at their favorite mexican restaurant in the city. it happened to be the same place where they often had lively conversation about matters of the heart and family. old memories came back to her as they found a table in the backyard.
shortly thereafter, his phone lit up with a photo of a woman on it. she was calling him. the ringer was silent, but it didn’t keep the photo from popping up. he nervously looked at it, then across the table at her, trying to find a way to explain what he hoped she had not seen.
he excused himself to the restroom, clearly busted and guilt-ridden for something she was not yet certain of. filing away the important and curious clue, she later presumed he’d left to call the woman for a brief moment. she saw it, knew she was correct. it was painful when the seer gift showed her more than her heart wanted to see.
they ordered dinner. he began to talk about how he joined a social organization called, ‘meet up.’ it allowed him to meet other people, get out and socialize, so he wouldn’t be ‘that creepy guy” any more. she’d never seen him in that light, but apparently he saw himself this way.
he offered that maybe she could join, too. there were a bunch of christian groups doing things. he pulled out his phone, showed her the app, opening it up so she could see. she might like it. she studied him again. what was this all about? was he inviting her deeper into his world? did he want her to join him in some other type of activities? more puzzle pieces, more filing.
people who go here aren’t looking to date other people
he was going to yoga class, too. hot yoga, designed to release tension, without any of the foo-foo religious stuff. this was purely for stretching and endurance. as they drove down lombard street, he showed her where the studio was.
then he made the oddest remark of the evening. “you know, people who go to this class aren’t looking for people to date. it’s almost 100 degrees in here, so most people don’t have a lot of clothes on.” what??? now, that was just plain odd. what was he talking about? another clue.
her trip was only a week away. he still on board to take her to the airport and pick her up when she returned. the following weekend, she drove north to her friend’s house. she texted him on saturday morning when she woke but never got a response. it stung. something was amiss, out of order. what was it?
her heart hurt as she went to sleep that night. peace was elusive. she would soon understand why. when dreams came, they were vivid, often strange. this one was no exception. it came to her early in the morning, when it was nearly time to get up for the day.
in the dream, there was a race with many people running in it. she was one of them. so was a woman she admired but did not know well. there was a man in the race, too. she knew him, too, but not very well, either.
she observed the man closely. while he wasn’t wearing a shirt, he was wearing running shorts, but something was wrong. he was missing the undergarment one would expect him to be wearing under the running shorts. as he was moving about, he experienced a wardrobe malfunction.
it was not the front of his anatomy suffering exposure, but the backside, the place where one releases excrement. in the dream, she saw his ***hole. it was unexpected and shocking.
at the same time she saw his ***hole, she heard the woman she knew calling her name loudly, warning her. as she transitioned out of the dream, it was her friend’s voice she heard calling her name…
tens minutes later, she had a cup of coffee in her hand as the dream replayed in her mind. oh, my. this would take a minute to process. and still no word from him. why? why was he ignoring her? why wasn’t he responding? it wasn’t like him at all.
the why was revealed in the dream. he was hiding something. he was being an ***hole and he was exposed. was this dream from father or from the liar? what was she to do with it? and what about those clues?
clearly, the inference of the dream could not be ignored. he’d been caught talking out of both sides of his mouth.
it was not funny or cute. it was painful and hard.
it was friday, november 8, 2019. the alarm went off at 6 am stirring both women to get up and get moving. the conference schedule had two full days remaining, but their food supplies needed replenishing. the quick fix was another run to the local trader joe’s before driving to the conference location.
they made coffee in the room, turned on the tv and began chatting as they got ready for the day. the florida woman took a quick shower while the oregon woman read and posted some prophetic words on facebook.
one of those words reached in and grabbed her spirit as she read it the first time. when her friend was within earshot again, she read it out loud:
“be prepared to be sprung into action. days are quickly approaching when you will be called upon without a moment’s notice. be ready and in a state of preparedness to tackle whatever situation you encounter. it will be somewhat like being an emergency room physician. i am about to vault you into situations where you will have to respond quickly and be fast on your feet without second-guessing yourself. you are aspiritual first responder.”
philippians 4:13 (ampc) “i have strength for all things in christ who empowers me [i am ready for anything and equal to anything through him who infuses inner strength into me; i am self-sufficient in christ’s sufficiency].” kevin robinson
it was a rather sobering word. pay attention to your surroundings and respond as needed. nothing is coincidence.
the women got their gear in order for the day and headed to trader joe’s. armed with salads, granola bars and chocolate, they checked out and got in the car to drive to the conference.
the oregon woman, chauffeur for the week, noted her quickly declining patience as activity behind her prevented them from backing out and leaving. it was an odd configuration for a parking lot, not easy to navigate to the street. as they finally pulled up to the street to turn left, they saw her.
she was on the sidewalk to the left of the car, standing stock-still, almost catatonic. her eyes were fixed in a vacant stare. her left arm was draped across the top of her abdomen while her right arm covered the lower part. she was protecting herself.
her hair was sort of dishwater blond hair reaching past her shoulders. she looked well kept, not homeless. her coat was purple, her leggings black. she just stood there about 15 feet away from the car.
“my god, what’s wrong with her??” both women were shocked as they observed her. something was seriously wrong. the oregon woman looked at the florida woman in the car.
“she’s in shock. something happened to her. from the way she’s holding herself, she might have been raped or had an abortion. the oregon woman rolled down the driver’s window and called out to her.
“honey, are you okay? do you need anything?” the young woman continued to stare off into the distance. both women began calling out to her with urgency. “are you okay? are you hungry? do you need money? how can we help you?”
after what felt like an eternity, the young woman’s head turned toward them to engage. she took a few steps toward the car. her brokenness was heart breaking.
by this time, each woman had pulled cash out of their wallets to give her. now, she was closer to the car. the oregon woman extended the cash out the window to her. “honey, what’s your name?”
her answer stunned them, confirming her need for help. her lips trembled as she answered, “my name is john.” the women looked at each other. tears came to their eyes as they quickly realized they weren’t at all equipped to help her. and whoever john was, well, that opened up more questions than answers.
they couldn’t take her anywhere and they couldn’t stay parked at the exit of the parking lot. they left her there, standing still on the sidewalk, motionless, holding two twenties in her left hand, broken.
the florida woman cried as they drove away. they felt helpless but knew couldn’t care for her further. the oregon woman dialed 911. they could get a patrol car to do a wellness check on her.
“911 operator, can I help you?”
“yes, please, my name is ___________. we were just pulling out of trader’s joe’s at the intersection of ___________.
there’s a young woman standing on the sidewalk, almost catatonic. she needs a wellness check. something is very wrong. we gave her some money, but she needs looking after.”
the operator asked for a few more details and the call ended. as they drove to their destination, jesus spoke up, “you did exactly what I wanted you to do.”
when they arrived at the conference, the oregon woman ran to one of the spiritual mothers who also happened to be a social worker. after telling the story, the older woman confirmed what jesus had said.
“you were not equipped to help her. i would’ve done the very same thing. it was the right thing to do.”
the prophetic word they received earlier did equip the women for the assignment they were given. they cared, they loved, they provided, they prayed. the young woman would be okay.
once upon a time, two women made plans to room together for a conference in washington state. complete strangers only weeks earlier, they’d connected on facebook through a group they both belonged to.
their lodging was an extended stay hotel in everett, washington. one woman flew in from florida and the other drove from oregon. as the woman from oregon parked her car, she wondered if her roommate had arrived.
she pulled her luggage into the hotel lobby to find a couple people checking in at the front desk. as she waited, another woman burst though the lobby doors addressing the two people at the desk. “there’s no coffee pot in our room! why isn’t there a coffee pot in our room?” she was a petite, blond fireball with a very legitimate question.
the oregon woman spoke up behind her. “what?? there’s no coffee pot in the room? every hotel room has a coffee pot in it. that’s crazy!”
the blond woman turned around to face her, nodding in agreement, “right??” and then it clicked. they were each other’s roommate for the week. laughing, they walked through the double doors into the interior of the hotel to their room.
as they unpacked, their conversation erupted into lively chatter planning for the week long conference. breaks were short, so they needed food for breakfast and lunch. and they needed coffee in the morning. no coffee pot was a serious thing requiring immediate resolution.
since the hotel was an extended stay facility, their room was larger than normal and pretty well equipped. the room had a sink, dishwasher, a full size refrigerator, but no plates or cups. there were two saucepans and a small frying pan. utensils were sparse. but no coffee pot, filters or coffee. it defied reason and practicality. both women were old enough to know what a stocked kitchen should look like; this wasn’t it.
shaking their heads, the pair decided to go to dinner and visit the local trader joe’s for provisions. on their way out, the man behind the front desk reported he still had no coffee pot for them. but he would work on it. the women looked at each other with the same expression of disbelief.
after a good meal of pasta and gathering foodstuffs for the week, they drove back toward the hotel. the oregon woman with the car looked to her new friend. “well, I saw a little coffee hut very near the hotel. i’ll get up in the morning and get us coffee.”
morning came quickly. while the florida woman jumped in the shower, the oregon woman went to fetch coffee in the dark and fog. she drove past the driveway leading down to the little coffee shack and did a quick u-turn to complete the mission.
the neighborhood around the hotel wasn’t great. huge power lines towered over the land adjacent to the hotel. it felt dark. but she didn’t put it all together until she drove up to the order window. then it all clicked together like legos.
what she saw was unexpected and shocking. it took her breath away. to her left in the little shack was a beautiful young woman. almost naked. close enough to naked to leave nothing to the imagination.
it was a bikini barista coffee shack, one of a small chain of coffee shops that draws mostly broken men as clientele. they show up for a few minutes to stare at broken beautiful, almost naked women as they wait for their morning coffee.
quickly composing herself, she locked her eyes on the young woman’s face. this was a holy spirit setup. not a mistake. time to engage and be present. she ordered two coffees and the conversation flowed.
the barista asked if she was local or visiting. she explained she was visiting for a conference on biblical healing with essential oils, etc. the young woman responded with enthusiasm. “oh, i totally believe in the power of prayer. a man from my dad’s church had a heart attack. everyone prayed for him and he had no damage to his heart when he went home.”
observation made, door open. “you’re a beautiful young woman, kind and smart. i’m pretty sure daddy god has more for you to do than work here. it’s not his best for you to be seen like this.” she kept the tone of her voice gentle, calm and motherly.
the young woman, smiled. “i know what you’re saying, but the owner of the company really believes in women’s rights. she thinks we should be very comfortable in our own skin.”
now momma bear rose up growling inside her. jesus. all these women had wounds that made them believe lies from the liar.
“i get that, being comfortable in your own skin and all, but not in front of men that are not your husband. that is not honoring you! you are not called to this. father god does not want you to share your beautiful body with any man except the one he’s chosen as your husband.”
the young barista was quiet for a moment as she handed the two coffees through the driver’s window. the conversation ended as they wished each other well and the oregon woman drove up the potholed road back to the hotel sloshing coffee all over. this was not at all what she’d expected. not even close. but god.
when she got back in their room, she told the story to the florida woman. they laughed, both knowing it was a god setup. “i was absolutely mortified. i did my best not to look at her body, but man..!”
it was certainly a way for the enemy to further exploit god’s daughters by luring god’s sons into further into pornography, strip clubs and worse. when they’d unpacked the event in great detail, holy spirit spoke to the oregon woman. “i want you to go back there for coffee every morning this week.”
there it was. the assignment. her flesh had little time to rebel as she quickly responded, “yes, i’ll go,” out loud to make it real.
tuesday morning came. no fog today. good. it made seeing the driveway for the coffee shack easier.
the same young woman was working again, wearing less on her body for cover than the day before. was that even possible?? silent anger rose up in her against the exploitation as she ordered two black coffees and sugar packets for her friend.
they had small talk, but not as much as the previous day. the truth had been spoken and it hung there in the space between them, waiting for action to be taken. she collected the coffees, paid for them and smiled at the young woman.
there was no time for more as a man in a semi tractor pulled in behind her for coffee. she felt the intent of the man’s heart, feeling righteous anger build in waves.
marching the coffee back to their room, she angrily told florida woman what transpired. something had to be done. in a moment, she saw herself above all those coffee shacks and the words came pouring out.
“father god, we agree for all of these daughters to receive healing for every soul wound, every place where they have been used and abused to be made whole. we agree for each them to be released into their destiny, into the plans and purposes you have for them.
we agree that they are hidden in you, no longer seen by men or women who do not have your permission to see them in their vulnerability. we release the spirit of righteousness into this whole coffee chain and command a realignment of it into your plans and purposes for it. we break deception off of all concerned and ask the spirit of truth to lead them into all truth, and we give you thanks.”
the words were hardly out of her mouth as holy spirit spoke up again. “you don’t have to go back there again.” she saw it. what was needed was done.
feeling honored by what father had given them to do, the two women finished preparing for their day. to their surprise, the man at the front desk even had a coffee pot for them.
they thanked him, smiling as they walked to the car.
when you tell me we can be friends but you’re not interested in a relationship with any woman, i will guard my heart.
when you tell me you don’t need me to call or text you, i will honor your request.
when you tell me you don’t need help, i will not offer my assistance.
be mindful of the words you speak.
intent carries inertia. it makes what you say become reality.
passive aggressive behavior is dangerous all around.
be mindful you’re not being a bully when you can choose to be kind and loving.
brave introspection reveals less than desirable behaviors to us. it offers a rear view mirror of our lives, sometimes reflecting people who love you running the other direction because they were not valued.
father only puts up with our nonsense for so long. then he comes with loving discipline because we cannot be children forever. we must grow up.
he removes the people we bully, scapegoat and gas light because he loves them. he will hide and protect them.
he also removes them because he loves us.
after he’s done a hot extraction to rescue our victims of selfishness and narcissism, there’s only the two of us left. then what?
then it’s time to learn who we really are. it’s time to stop living that false identity. it’s time to stop acting out in toddler-esque behavior. it’s time to grow up in jesus.
now, i’m going to get personal.
i won’t say you don’t deserve me because at the core of your being, you absolutely do. you deserve the best. that is father’s plan for you.
it’s also his plan for me. i deserve his best because i’m his daughter. i deserve better than being bullied and mistreated. i deserve to be honored, loved and cherished as my father‘s daughter.
it doesn’t mean there’s not room for mercy, forgiveness and grace. it means i am loving and honoring myself properly. it means i will honor my boundaries to stay healthy.
i’m not willing to eat bread crumbs from the floor when i can feast abundantly at his table. the same holds true for you.
the door to your heart is only open to me when you open it to Jesus. the first love gate belongs to Him. i am second.
until you say, ‘yes’ to holy spirit and yield to the transforming work of the cross in your own life, you won’t have room for me in your heart. it really is that simple.
as you are healed and made whole, you take responsibility for your words and your behavior.
you take responsibility for saying yes to holy spirit’s fire every day so fruit can develop in your life.
i am content. i am my father‘s daughter. no matter what you choose, i will move forward and complete my destiny. nothing will change that.
none of us can fix our lives. not one. nope. nada. zip.
jesus showed up so we would stop the do-it-yourself, burn-the-house-to-the-ground home-improvement projects.
your life was never meant to be torment.
it was meant to be beautiful, full of love, grace and good fruits. you get to choose.
look around you. i know you don’t like what you see and i know you don’t like how you behave. you shouldn’t. it’s not who you really are. i see you. i know.
surrender. surrender it all. surrender your pride. surrender your self-rule.
invite his hammer of grace to come down and utterly smash every false idol you’ve erected.
be who you are as a son of god and kick every false identity to the curb.
give to jesus the reward of his suffering – you.
learn who he is. learn who you are. break bread with him.
cultivate a relationship with the one who made you.
today’s a good day to be born from above.
we have things to do, things we agreed to written on parchment scrolls stored in heaven.
it was 5 am saturday morning. she was wide awake. sleeping in wasn’t happening today. another roller coaster week in her never a dull moment life was over. it was time to rest and reflect, laugh again.
it was a melting pot of warfare, sleepless nights, tears, passionate conversations with bad endings. demons swearing at her. nice. what was that about being blessed when you’re persecuted and people talk ugly to you? she shook her head and laughed. the devil only has a hissy fit when you’re doing something right. well then.
trust the process
“trust the process,” her friend told her. when she heard it, she knew it came right from papa god’s heart. trust the process. indeed. she’d asked papa for his best for her.
she’d seen him through his papa’s eyes for some time now. she saw him in truth, in perfection, as a beloved son even when he wasn’t fully awake to this reality.
he’d had brilliant prophetic words spoken over him, words of promise, hope and a future. he saw vignettes of unlimited possibilities and potential, the ways papa god wanted to bless him as his son. he saw how his gifts and talents could be brought to life.
most importantly, he was presented with the beautiful gift of a wife, a full partner he could walk with in this life. would he step into his destiny? would he come back for her?
this was a major life decision. in returning to her, he’d be turning his face fully back to papa god. it meant walking arm in arm with him in unity. it meant stepping into sonship.
it meant radical change in direction, a homecoming worth celebrating loudly. the cloud of witnesses perched on the edge of their seats wondering how this would play out. would he choose well? would he be bold and courageous? yes, the stakes were high but the reward was great.
she’d prayed intently over him and his family for cleansing and restoration in their blood lines. for all the enemy stole to be returned to them 7-fold.
weeks turned to months, months grew to years. she wept over him, took communion over him, visioning life with him. she determined to cooperate fully with papa god, willing him to have every opportunity to make the best choice for his future and future generations.
she prayed for wisdom and revelation that the eyes of his understanding would be open. she prayed for his heart to be one with father god’s heart again. she called to his spirit to rise up and lead his soul, declaring his spirit would only be led by holy spirit.
faithful friends stood with her and prayed. in all of it she kept telling papa god she wanted his best.
she gave him wide margins to work things out on his own. she spoke when holy spirit prompted her – and sometimes when silence was the better option. grace covered her.
unconditional love often gets an unexpected response
wisdom dictated several things she would not compromise. those things had earned her unfriending, blocking and ‘goodbye.’ unconditional love often gets an unexpected response.
jesus chimed in on her thoughts, showing her some of his daily experience. he’s telling us, “i love you, i’m here for you, not leaving you. ever.” his compassion rises, watching us trying to stitch up our gaping wounds. we lay there bleeding, still holding up the hand, saying, “i’m good here. get the hell away from me.”
see how we are
see how we are. still, he doesn’t leave. he waits until we give in, showing him our wounds, allowing him to love and heal us. she remembered her conversation with jesus, drowning in her own lake of mess. “i am so freaking broken. what do you want with me??”
she could see it wasn’t him rejecting her. it was a combination of pain, fear and angst speaking, a realization that the old ways of dodging brokenness weren’t working.
she didn’t leave, either. she loved him hard, praying for him when she would have rather kicked his backside. love never fails, never gives up. it gets up in the morning to love another day, to love the hell away.
now, she waited, trusting the process, waiting on the promise.