they drove to the coast for the day. she had some props to stage and photograph for a piece she was writing. she invited him along for company, for help and because she loved him.
it wasn’t a good weather day at the beach. the temperature was cold and the sky was overcast. the wind blew hard. after parking the car, they got out their cameras to explore the treasures of the beach.
it wasn’t long before he began walking the other direction, intently focused on unusual birds and adjusting camera settings. maybe today he would get perfect shots that would fix all the broken things.
she watched him go, giving him time do what he loved. it was low tide, offering them a rare opportunity to see eddies and tide pools normally hidden in high tide. the wind and the waves formed intricate designs and patterns in the sand. she took a few photos as she admired the handiwork and creativity of the one who’d made it all.
after a while she needed his help. she began calling his name as she walked toward him. to her surprise, he turned and walked the other direction, oblivious to her calls, to her existence on the beach with him. she started shouting his name hoping he would hear her voice above the wind, willing him to hear her deep calling to his.
suddenly, stark reality pierced her heart. tears and wind stung her eyes. she stopped shouting and stopped walking. she stood still in the wind watching him walk further away from her.
she realized he wouldn’t have needed to hear her if he saw her and honored her in his heart. he would have sensed her need and heard her calling him in his spirit.
but he couldn’t honor her because he didn’t honor father. and there were things blocking his vertical relationship with his abba. they were cameras, lenses, flash drives, birds, animals, all good things, yes, but they’d become idols.
the very gifts he’d been given were now stumbling blocks as he looked to them for identity and fulfillment. every day, he put them first, blocking the goodness, love and healing father wanted to pour into him.
those good things caused blindness, a tunnel vision in every part of his life. he was unable to see anyone else because he was focused on himself. similar to a funhouse mirror, the tunnel vision was destroying the very relationships he said mattered most to him.
vertical relationships with father, jesus and holy spirit must be correctly aligned for horizontal relationships with people to work.
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.
it was a birthday gift from a *sister, the one who filled the role of *jonathan in their david and jonathan relationship.
it was breathtaking, in full bloom the day she received it, adorned with five beautiful white blossoms. she’d never had an orchid before. it intimidated her. she knew they could be tricky to care for.
not only that, but this was a gift from a friend. what if it died? this was different than failing with a plant you bought for yourself. there was pressure to keep the plant alive and nurture the relationship that was clearly from papa god. oh boy.
over time, the delicate white petals dried up and gently fell to the cabinet below. the stems that held the petals also dried up and fell off. only a long green stalk remained where so much glory and beauty had shown weeks earlier. even the stalk began to dry up. she clipped it back, hopeful it would prevent further decay. it did not.
desperate, she cut it back again. ugh. this was a failure. no, she was failing at caring for the white orchid. so she thought.
there was danger in overwatering these plants. she followed the watering instructions. and somehow overwatered it. the little pieces of bark on the top of the pot grew mold. the small new shoots at the bottom of the plant were moldy. more failure. frustrated, she cut off some of the moldy shoots. they would not recover from the mold.
conversely, the green leaves at the base of the plant were huge. they looked healthy while the stalk that once held the flowers was dried up and quite a bit shorter than before. she shook her head. overall, the prognosis was poor. the big leaves were healthy but would it ever bloom again?
every day she looked at the orchid, wondering if she should just throw it in the dust bin and be done with it. looking at it was tormenting, a constant reminder of failure.
one day, with a burst of resolve, she moved it to the window ledge. here it would get intense sunlight whenever the sun made an appearance during the rainy winter. she still gave it an occasional drink, teetering between willing it to live and wanting to pitch it. she was sure she sucked at caring for this gift. where had the green thumbs gone?
months went by. on the saturday morning before easter sunday, she decided to give it a little drink. she considered it might be wise to turn the whole plant around on the window ledge. the backside of the orchid could benefit from the sun, too.
this complicated plant closely mirrored another relationship. she wrestled with vision, hope, and big promises from papa god about this one. all her eggs were in this one basket. the investment was great, the risk high, the reward and return not yet realized. it made her lay awake at night sometimes. what was that about walking by faith and not by sight?
reaching down, she turned the plant 180° and set it down gently. sitting back down at her desk, she saw it. there was a new, beautiful green shoot growing from the stalk she’d cut back and left for dead. not only that, there was another smaller shoot growing up at the base of the pot on the top of one of those big, healthy green leaves.
new life was springing up all over this plant.
she was dumbstruck. leaning in for closer examination with wide eyes and eyebrows raised, she found yet another new shoot growing from underneath another large green leaf. even the moldy shoots that remained were growing new shoots. what???
the stalk she’d thought was dead was now producing new life. she looked at it, tears running down her face. new life was springing up all over this plant she’d wanted to toss out.
she looked spoke to the orchid and the man she loved in her words of blessing.
“i bless you to grow and bloom more than you were ever told you could.”
the plant and the man would respond beautifully to her words of love and encouragement.
it was easter morning when she wrote this post. the deer were passing through the back yard, playing and leaping as they often did. her morning cup of coffee went down easy as she listened to elisabeth cooper (the journey) sing about the banqueting table set before her.
the plant continued to speak to her. things were seldom as they appeared. more tears flowed.
then she heard daddy god’s quiet voice break into her thoughts, mingling with her hopeful tears.
her experience with high tea was limited to british tv programs. she’d spent countless hours howling in laughter watching ‘fawlty towers‘, ‘keeping up appearances‘ and ‘to the manor born.‘ she’d owned every episode on vhs, even had them memorized, a fact that was a well kept secret until now. she’d always had a fascination with all things british, the humor, the mannerisms, jane eyre, the yorkshire moors and old english estates. fancy that.
her momma told her of her heritage as a child: english, irish and german. the german slice was of little interest, further proven out by her near failure of german class in high school. the english and irish pieces of her heritage, though, they were fascinating and very alive. she was convinced narnia was a real place somewhere over there. and by george, she was going to have a chocolate box cottage one day, yes, she was.
papa god, good papa that he is, why, he even brought her a friend whose roots were all united kingdom. she grew up having tea several times a day. fascinating. black tea, cucumber sandwiches, sausage rolls, little cakes and tarts, biscuits and digestive crackers. licorice all sorts and peppermints. she knew about all of it, lived it. brilliant.
weeks prior, her friend had told her of this place, a real destination, a very british place with all manner of british fair. oh my. they plotted and planned to visit and eat english pastry. filled with gluten. and sugar. it was time to break all the eating rules if only for a bit.
finally, the day came. they were going to go the ‘place’ for high tea. she speculated to said friend, “certainly, there will be a portal in the place and we’ll just translate to the united kingdom. why not?” indeed, why not?
in keeping with the english theme, rain fell steadily as they drove along to their destination. the pair of them were rather a sanitized version of thelma and louise with a jesus bent, slightly more than eccentric and completely over people pleasing. this was their time. yes, it was.
her friend encountered a problem during the drive. the passenger headrest did not fit her head and neck properly, so for nearly the entire trip, she was not only uncomfortable, but also in a bit of pain. clearly, this was not acceptable. alas, there was no way to remedy the issue while they were driving, so on they went.
each lady had dressed for the occasion, looking very lovely, all made up and gushing with childlike anticipation. when they pulled up to the front of the restaurant and gift shop, she put the car in park and took in the sight before them. her mouth opened to a perfect ‘o’ like shirley temple might have done.
she drew in a long breath like a little girl seeing her first lollipop. the women turned and looked at each other. oh. my. goodness. they had arrived. they were going in. this was going to be good, jolly good, right?
they walked to the entrance and paused, trying to decide who would go in first. it was too much excitement. walking through the foyer, they approached the doorway into the restaurant. a voice without a body asked how many were in their party. she responded, “two, please,” to the invisible woman who then appeared to take them into the dining room.
they slowly entered the charming, quaint space and looked about. the hostess encouraged them to sit wherever they would like. they agreed on a table near the window with a wall opposite them on one side and more tables on the other. the wall featured various photos of british royalty. they gazed upon the royal family, prince philip and the queen mum. she was resting on the wall right above them, gazing down upon their table. surely all would be well if the queen was keeping watch.
their waitress left them to peruse the menus. more big eyes formed as oohs and aahs sounded over the potential selections available to their palates. this was akin to the wallace and gromit episode, ‘a grand day out.‘ could it get better? they decided on the high tea plate. it looked like a feast. after placing their orders, they looked at each other across the table, still hardly believing they were there. it was surreal. america was a world away as they took in the atmosphere.
her friend was moving her neck about, still trying to ease the ache she felt from the headrest issue. always the fixer, always the healer, she looked across the table and spoke. “if you ever get a pair of those balls….” her words trailed off as her ears heard what her mouth had just uttered in public. at the very proper british restaurant.
it hit her at the same time she observed her friend’s expression, the mirth showing in her eyes and already escaping her mouth. and then it was over. it went from zero to sixty in three seconds flat as both women erupted in laughter, doubled over with hands over their mouths. did that really just happen? yes, love, it most certainly did. brilliant.
kind reader, do stop for a moment. it’s not what you think. really. those balls are not the balls you’re imagining right now. these balls were invented by a ballerina in new york city. these are different, for different purposes. oh my. google miracle balls. you will see.
back to the problem at hand. there was no way to reel those words back in. she didn’t dare look at the family to her right. she didn’t know if the father or his children had heard her words, but they were certainly hearing them try to contain the snorts and chortles. crikey, mate.
after several minutes of hysterics, they contained themselves. the queen mum hanging on the wall was no longer looking on with approval, however. her countenance had gone from a controlled, stately expression to one of stern disapproval. who were these two brash american women sorely lacking in manners and decorum, and what was a queen to do?
enjoy high tea, that’s what.
and they did. what a meal. it was more gluten and sugar than either of them had consumed in six months.
she wasn’t sure when the thought came to her. and to go to that restaurant? she hadn’t been there since they’d last been there together. the pleasant thought stayed with her until it became almost a compulsion. breakfast food. ham and eggs. what?
the weekend arrived and the prompting to go out to breakfast persisted. but it wouldn’t happen today. today was just about rest. she had no intention of leaving the house. the last week brought revelation and information she hadn’t necessarily appreciated, even though it was necessary. mucking around in family cobwebs was dusty and dirty. an epsom salt bath to get it off was in order. saturday was largely uneventful, exactly the way she wanted it.
then sunday morning came. she rose early and cleaned up. should she go to church? no. that was easy. she was going out to breakfast. ham and eggs called her. ridiculous, but all right.
in the meantime, another friend texted her. she was going through some transitions and needed time. they talked until the issues were unpacked and prayers were spoken to resolve them. it was good to be daughters of the king. he was kind, loving, patient. he ruled his kingdom well.
she left the house, got in her car and drove downtown to the restaurant. there was parking right in the front of the stairs up to the entrance. she parked and sat in the car for a moment. off to the right was the courtyard they’d sat in so many times after church drinking iced teas, beer or hot tea depending on the weather and the mood.
they’d sorted things in this place, laughing, crying, grieving, making friends with their favorite waitress, all the while looking to the future. the memories were sweet and there would be more of them. soon.
this morning, no one was sitting outside. it was still cool, the weekend prior to the grand eclipse. everyone was out of town getting in position to witness the heaven-kissing-earth event.
the only activity was the young woman sweeping the entrance to the courtyard. she was a teenager, fifteen or sixteen perhaps, with long sandy, blonde hair pulled back in a pony tail. she was assigned to wait on any guests who chose to sit outside during her shift.
she was drawn to her. why? she grabbed her bag and exited the car, greeting the young woman at the same time. “good morning! how are you?” there was purpose in being friendly. a door needed opening. they made some small talk, and then she saw them. the young woman’s right cheek had scratches all over it.
“honey, what happened to your cheek?” she asked. the young woman hesitated, unsure of herself. was she embarrassed? was she afraid? what was it?
finally, the waitress met her gaze and answered. “i, uh, fell down. i’m sort of clumsy. i fall down a lot.” she looked into the young woman’s eyes intently. did she call her out or did she meet her where she was? grace took over.
“well, then. you are a daughter of god, and he didn’t make you to be clumsy and fall down. do you mind if i pray for you, honey?” “no, not at all,” the waitress smiled shyly.
she bridged the distance between them with two steps and put her left hand on the girl’s right shoulder. in a few sentences, she commanded her angels to protect her from future falls and harm of any kind, declaring that daddy god would order her steps and make them sure. she blessed her.
when she opened her eyes, she saw the young woman still had her eyes closed. it was a sweet image to see. as they finished, a young man, either a cook or a waiter from inside the restaurant called out from the top of the stairs to young woman. hmm. okay. she would have time to observe more while she ate. she went up the stairs and got seated.
the menu choices were varied and good, but she stuck to ham, eggs, potatoes and sourdough toast. as she ate, she recalled another meal in that place with other dear friends she hadn’t seen in months. more good memories. it was good to be here and think on happy things.
the young woman appeared to clear her plate and refill her water glass. she had been touched that a stranger loved her enough to pray for her, and not say out loud what they both knew: she was not clumsy. she did not fall. someone had pushed her down. hard.
they kept the secret between them and daddy god. it was fine for now. but when she went back there again, she would be checking on the girl who wasn’t clumsy.
the weeks apart turned into months. truth be told, it was not easy. standing and believing took on new meaning. her faith grew exponentially in the process.
day by day, she took communion, prayed and declared over them and their children, mixed lot that they were. when she prayed, she saw things and then she would speak them out. in one vignette, she saw him with his head resting on father god’s chest, hearing the heartbeat of the one who made him.
in another, she saw father god building a new bridge between him and one of his children. they approached from opposite ends of the bridge, getting closer to each other every day. in the moment they met in the middle, they entered into a brand new beginning, one that would make up for the lost years.
she knew he was getting closer. father gave her dreams to encourage her to keep doing what she was doing. he was so close, she could feel it. when the breakthrough began, she would see him coming to the house to get her, standing at the front door ringing the doorbell.
other times, she would see him at her work. memories of them working in the conference room together would flood back to her mind. they were precious, sweet and painful at the same time. their foundation together had been good, but now it would be strong, solid, immoveable. father said so.
several friends knew this road they were walking out. their prayers were impactful, clear, declarative, filled with power and love. praying together, they moved things that had blocked and hindered, clearing a path for his healing, freedom, future and calling.
on the day she cut a cord of control and witchcraft, one friend observed it would take him a few days to get his bearings. this action was critical. the ties that held him captive held him no more. now, he was able to move freely like never before.
and then, days later, father let her see him walking free. on a thursday night after work, she headed to the pool for a swim. it was the same pool where they’d met a year earlier. it was the same park they walked and talked around many times.
she was parked on the street sitting in the car talking to another friend. their conversation went all over the place, rabbit tracks in every direction. they were still getting to know each other. there was a lot of ground to cover – and not. conversations were rarely short and this was no exception. she opened the car windows to keep from melting from the heat. she rolled down the passenger window and looked to her left. what she saw stopped her talking in mid-sentence.
there he was, walking on the path. she looked again, hard. yes, it was him. “oh, my god, he’s here, ****’* here!!! he’s about twenty feet away from me walking on the path around the park. what do i do?!?!”
‘”what is the lord saying to you to do?” “i don’t know! my heart is beating so hard i can’t think.” she stopped talking to listen, to feel and know what to do. then it was easy.
“i’m not doing anything. i’m not going after him. he still has to come for me when he’s ready. i just get to see him.” crying, she continued, “he looks good. he’s standing taller. and his gait seems more purposeful, like he’s freer and sorting things out.”
she waited to see if he went into the pool building. he did not. he kept walking. “okay, he’s out of sight now. i’ve got to get in the building while he’s on the other side of the park.” they postponed their remaining conversation until later.
she went on to swim. what was normally relaxing was anything but after the excitement of the ‘sighting.’ she kept an eye on the men’s changing room to see if he’d walk through the door.
when later came and their conversation resumed, both women agreed how special it was for father to let her see him. she knew a few more things now, with certainty: he was healing. he was free. he was stronger. and he would be coming for her soon.
the next morning, another friend messaged her. she asked if something had happened with him due to her post the night before: “tears of joy, peace, contentment, high expectations and a pint of organic vanilla ice cream drowning in chocolate sauce. it was a grand day. ♥”
this friend had surmised correctly, and she had some encouragement to bring, as well. she offered what father showed her:
“it’s not a long road between you two,” father says. “turn around, look.” she continued. “i see things in pictures mostly. so i saw the path being swept, and you a short distance away waiting. father is saying turn around and look. maybe an encouragement to see what father is doing.”
yes, it was an encouragement. yes, yes, yes! she mulled over the words again. “it’s not a long road between you two. father says, “turn around, look.”
she turned around to look.
psalm 37:4 the voice
take great joy in the eternal!
his gifts are coming, and they are all your heart desires!
neither one of them remembered exactly when they became facebook friends. was it four months, six months? it was only in recent weeks that regular communication began. they both caught it. something was happening.
initially, she wasn’t planning on attending the event. there were obstacles, some natural, some spiritual. the natural ones were easy to see, the spiritual not so much. she sensed dark spirits trying to keep her from going, from connecting. one friend lovingly prodded her until she agreed to go. she let go of the obstacles she could see and pressed through the ones she could not. father god would take care of it all.
it was time to go, to meet the tribe in person. and that new friend. there was something there, something important. when the day arrived, she drove north and met with customers she’d grown to love over the years. those appointments went well. now, it was time to meet the new friend and get with ‘family.’
they’d exchanged telephone numbers days earlier, anticipating meeting. the texting began, then the calls to figure out where to meet for coffee. after muddling through disconnects and bad reception, they agreed on a nearby starbucks location.
she got there first and ordered, nearly inhaling the frosty frappachino to counter the heat outside. as she waited at the large table, she observed a man to her left.
he was mumbling and reading stuff that was well, not right and not truth. the book cover saidsomething about the legion of mary, whatever that was. it was legion, all right, that was for certain. interesting. an enemy plant here? what was he thinking? they would pray for him. of course they would.
the liar was shaking in his boots about this relationship. that was obvious. no matter. she prayed in tongues and watched the guy, smiling at him when he would happen to steal a glance her way.
then, the moment arrived. the new friend walked in the door and crossed the room. they embraced like old friends only needing to get reacquainted. after having the baristas craft a cool beverage for her, they both sat down on high stools at the table. the conversation began flowing like water. holy spirit joined them and joy erupted all over the place.
three hours and thousands of words later, they parted company, albeit unwillingly. she had to get to the meeting. what a thrill it was to drive the last few miles and anticipate the joy to come.
after parking, she first met and hugged the precious friend who’d never let up getting her there. then there was everyone else. she was overcome with emotion. it was surreal to see, touch, hug and love so many people she’d only known long distance.
all these relationships spanned from a few months to several years. she had yet to comprehend why she screamed not once, but twice when she saw her friend from the u.k. she’d never done that before for anyone. maybe love just does that.
even with the physical distance, so much of life had been shared heart to heart in telephone conversations and over chat. that epic friday evening was a wash of glory, tears, laughter and worship on a level she had sorely missed for years. she was finally with family, her tribe. and it was good. but someone was missing.
saturday morning came. more teaching, more fellowship, then late lunch at a local restaurant mulling over all the wonderful things happening. she acted on the nudge to call her new friend to come and join them that evening. they agreed on a time, and in a matter of hours, they were sitting together again, side by side this time. she was on the right, her friend on the left.
the teaching was good, rich, full of life and impartation. then came time for the offering. she had four one dollar bills in her wallet. the remaining large bills were a gift from the new friend for a trip home to see momma. that was important. she looked at the ones and put them back in her wallet. she had no peace giving the cash. dad spoke. “you don’t need to sow into this conference. it’s my gift to you.” she thanked him silently.
the holy moment
five minutes later, he spoke again. “i want you to give ****** your ring.” she felt the prick in her heart immediately as she slid the two-toned ring off of her left ring finger. it was her favorite, most loved, cherished and enjoyed piece of jewelry.
turning to her new friend, she spoke. “father wants you to have my ring.” it was a holy moment as both women’s eyes filled with tears. they knew what it meant, even while seeing only a small fraction of what he wanted for them, with them.
it was a david and jonathan moment with strong women in the lead roles.