When Visiting Bethel 

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We are still on the road so I am writing this up on my phone.  I’m not a gmfan of blogging from my phone…it’s usually messy.    And takes a long time.  

This weekend we visited Bethel church in Redding, California.  If you aren’t familiar, it is is difficult to describe other than, it’s a revivalist church, it’s a healing church, it’s a worship church; sime of the most beautiful worship music has come out of Bethel.  

Here is a link from a song they sang yesterday:  

Many people make pilgrimages to Bethel. Here are some things you need to keep in mind….

1.  Dorothy, you aren’t in Texas anymore (or the Deep South).  The people are nice people but you have approach them.  No one approached us as we stood awkwardly looking around needing help for where we needed to go.  I had to ask about childcare.  They get tons of visitors and I get the feeling they aren’t impressed.

2.  If you want a seat in the main sanctuarty, get there early.  The regulars come 30 minutes early and save seats for each other.  They will let you stand against the back walls during worship and try to grab a seat when it’s time to sit down but chances are you will end up in the over flow room.  

3.  They have four Sunday services.  If you make the trip, go to multiple services.  Different worship teams led at each service and they even played different songs.  My favorite worship time was the 10:30 service, worship was lead by Brian Johnson and Steffany Gretzinger.  On a side note, one of the worship leaders forgot some of the lyrics and told the media team he needed lyrics to the second verse on the back screen.  Everyone chuckled and continued to worship.  Loved this…this happens at every church occasionally and they are keeping it real.  

4. If you can only attend one service, I would go to the 6 pm service.  It’s not rushed so worship is long (over an hour) and Papa Johnson (Senior pastor Bill Johnson) spoke.  After the message, they offer ministry.  They had both a “fire tunnel” and a room to pray specifically for healing.  Take advantage of all the prayer you can get.  We took our kids through the fire tunnel.  They loved it and wanted to go again (I kind of wanted to go again too).

5.  They have childcare for the little ones for ok the services (from what I could tell).  When I picked up my girl from the morning service, they gave me a paper with a prophecy for her.  

I love this!  

6.  There are a lot of young people in attendance.  They are not very churchy. There were both young men and young women climbing over chairs to get to their seats. People would bump into you and not even notice…again, it’s not the South.  The culture is different. 

Main thing to remember….get there early!!! At least 30 minutes. 

Freedom Moment

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In our church planting quest, we have been visiting churches. One thing I didn’t count on, necessarily, is running into people I know. I’m not sure why.  I grew up in this region and I’m getting “older”.  The older you get it seems the more people you know. I’ve run into several familiar faces. I don’t always recognize people…we’re getting “older” and we’ve lost weight or in my case, gained some weight.  Or a teenage grew into an adult, etc.

Recently, I was recognized by a girl I went to high-school with.  As I was trying to placing her face…I knew it was familiar but it wasn’t clicking.  She told me her name.  That I recognized and then she added, for good measure, “I was the naughty (or maybe she said “bad”) cheer leader.”.  If I was an emoticon I would be the wide-eyed one.  We’ve been out of highschool for many years.  I was completely unaware of any highschool indiscretions she may have participated in.  In any case, I seriously doubt her highschool shenanigans would shock me today.  And more seriously, I ask myself, “How do I see myself? and how would I describe myself to someone from my past? How would I have handled the situation?”

I am not sure.  But I hope that I would not associate myself with my past or my sin.  To the best of my ability, I will associate myself with who God says I am; my best self.

Freedom is hard to come by…it took me a long time to get freed up.  Even recently, I prayed for continual healing.  Reluctantly.  Healing isn’t always fun but it is always good.  Deliverance isn’t always easy but it’s the best thing for us.

I prayed and a day or two later, I am driving down the road and I pass a house that I used to spend time at.  God tells me, “You have a soul tie with that house.”  A house?  Yes,  because  every time I drove by that house I remembered a season of my life that was sinful. Then I thought of the people who lived there and my mind would wonder to “Where are they now?”.  It triggered memories and emotions that were not from God.  I had to break it and let it go.

There are places we have to “break up” with.

I’m going to say something and please don’t take it out of context.  I don’t think I will go to hell if I walk into a bar.  I don’t also don’t want to sit in the bar with my family and eat dinner (too loud, too many TVs and too much bawdy behavior for my babies).  Having said all of that, there are some bars that I have no desire to step into and that’s because they used to be my place of worship…that’s right, I would go every Thursday, Saturday and sometimes Wednesdays or Sundays.  I was there all the time.  I had to stop going because I had made a choice to live my life for Jesus.  There are some things that are acceptable for us to do…the very act of walking into a bar isn’t going to cause me to lose faith in Jesus but it may also not be edifying for me.  And it’s not who I am.

I’ve given this testimony before, I know my parents were praying for me because I had a distinct moment walking back from the bathroom in a crowded bar…I was buzzing and all of the sudden, I had a moment of sobriety when God said to me, “Look around.”  I was surrounded by people who were drunk, making out, being loud and aggressive.  It was as if the lights have been turned on.  Have you ever been in a bar at 2 a.m. when they turn the lights on? The “cool” decor is suddenly dated, gross and filthy; literally very dirty. There is trash on the floors and drunk people shielding their eyes from the light.  It’s not pretty.  Not to mention, the people…that “10” becomes a “6” real fast.  Then God said, “You weren’t made for this.  You don’t belong here.  I made you for for more than this.”   That’s why I don’t go to bars these days…I’ve been there when the lights came on and it’s not pretty.

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 12:8

That’s the whole thing about freedom.  When the light comes, you see things differently.  Once you are forgiven, you aren’t who you once were.   You must see yourself in the light.

Here’s an extra nugget…once you have asked God to forgive you for something, believe Him.  He forgave you.  Stop bringing it up to Him over and over.  It’s done.  Trusting that God has forgiven you is an act of faith.  You either believe Him or you don’t.  At times, it is easier to believe in God’s forgiveness for others than His forgiveness for us.   He hasn’t offered anything to anyone else that He isn’t offering to you.

God Bless You!

Praying Hard Prayers

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Are you willing to pray for those who have hurt you?  Are you willing to pray for those who have spitefully used you?

But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,  bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.  To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. Luke 6:27-29

Most people will pray for their enemies…those prayers may sound something like, “God, You see what they did to me and You should do something.” Those aren’t really difficult prayers to pray.  “God, please help me to forgive them” might be a little more difficult.

In my experience the hardest prayers to prayers to pray aren’t for “enemies” at all.  The hardest prayers to pray are the honest prayers for the people we love.  Or the truly honest prayer for someone who you loved who spitefully used you.

The Hubs and I had a conversation about a couple that we really loved but who have been to hell and back all in the name of serving Jesus.  It is so apparent that they are wounded.  It is sad.  It is effecting every relationship in their lives.  They have become very isolated because they keep everyone at a distance. Anyone who has approached them about their woundedness or the fruit that they have been producing (fruit that comes out of woundedness is…well, it’s bitter fruit that breeds bitterness and woundedness.  Wounded people wound people.) is immediately cut off.  No one is allowed to speak into their lives.  These are wonderfully talented, gifted people who have a deep calling on their lives.  Hear me here…these are NOT people who hate God.  They are not out there selling drugs or molesting children….these are people who are trying their hardest to build the Kingdom of God in their own way and their knowledge. They love Jesus but they have been hurt and they have hurt others.

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16

This passage in the Message version says it like this:

 Are you hurting? Pray. Do you feel great? Sing. Are you sick? Call the church leaders together to pray and anoint you with oil in the name of the Master. Believing-prayer will heal you, and Jesus will put you on your feet. And if you’ve sinned, you’ll be forgiven—healed inside and out.

16-18 Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with. Elijah, for instance, human just like us, prayed hard that it wouldn’t rain, and it didn’t—not a drop for three and a half years. Then he prayed that it would rain, and it did. The showers came and everything started growing again.

19-20 My dear friends, if you know people who have wandered off from God’s truth, don’t write them off. Go after them. Get them back and you will have rescued precious lives from destruction and prevented an epidemic of wandering away from God.

Here’s the thing…the most fervent prayers come from a place of deep love.   The people who are praying for them; the people who deeply love them will not acknowledge that they are wounded or “not perfect”.  With good reason, because anyone that suggest they are wounded are immediately rejected and cut out of their lives.  A cycle has been established.  Those people who have recognize that there is a problem are cut off, rejected, gossiped about and end up wounded thus spinning them into a place of seeking their own healing.  The people who love them and are praying for them are blind to the need for healing.  No one is praying “hard prayers” for them.

Sometimes a hard prayer is as simple as, “God, please bring them into alignment with You and Your Kingdom.”  A healthy leader; a whole leader welcomes a prayer like that because they want to be aligned with God.  All a wounded person hears is, “You are saying I am not aligned with God.”.  The truth is, it is very easy to veer off from God…if you get off track by even a millimeter or a fraction of a millimeter, you are off.  Off is off.

As I thought about it, I am willing to pray “hard prayers” for them but I am not sure how fervent my prayers are for them.  One thing I know for sure is, if I submit (give) myself to God, He will put the words in my mouth to pray for them.  Have I been willing to pray for people who considered me a “throw away” person…when the Holy Spirit is involved, “Yes”; a resounding “Yes”.   Holy Spirit inspired prayers are the most powerful prayers because those are the prayer that God is prepared to answer quickly.

When I consider this situation, I believe that these dear people shouldn’t be where they are today.  I am not talking about geography.   They have become isolated.  When God created the whole world the only thing He said wasn’t “good” was man being alone.  From the passage in James we find that our healing comes through confession; shining a light on the sin in our lives, not to shame us but rather so He can come in and heal us and make us whole.  When sin (darkness) is illuminated is has no where to hide and then it can be dealt with.

I love that God doesn’t write people off!  Even when people hurt you or reject you…don’t write them off.  Pray some hard prayers for them.  Pray for their healing.  Pray for their wholeness.  Because healing and wholeness are God’s will for all of His people.

What if we all prayed a hard prayer for someone who has hurt us?  Imagine if healing began to flow through our churches and even our nation?  Imagine a church of people who are whole and flowing in their gifts and callings….I want to be a part of that church…I want my church to be that whole! (Our church is a very healthy church but there is always room for more healing.)

Pray a hard prayer this week. Pray for someone who wrote you off.  Pray for someone who has hurt you.  Ask God what His heart is for them and pray His heart, even if it is a hard prayer to pray.  And pray for someone you love this week.  Ask God to help you pray the hard prayer for them too…ask Him to show you what hard prayer you can pray for them even if it means you have to take them off of the pedestal you have put them on.  Honoring people is good; worshiping people is never okay.

God Bless you all.  Have a great week.

C.

Kairos 2

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I’m attempting to blog from my phone which means I am typing on a little keypad….so this may be a very short blog.

It is 6:15 a.m.. I am not a morning person…so this may be very short.

This week has been a whirlwind. Two weeks ago, the Hubs told me he was going to attend Kairos 2 (click kairos for past post about Kairos) and thought, good. I also thought about being home with my kids alone for three days and how fun that was going to be.

One evening, hanging out with my friend, Suzy, I mentioned him going. We were chatting about it and she offered to care for my children so I could attend as well. That’s a great friend because I have three little ones and she has two. I secretly think she’s a little crazy.

Naturally, as soon as we made plans, one of our vehicles begins to give us trouble. Then our finances take a hit. Then the day before, our washing machine goes out. The Hubs says, it is either God or it’s the devil. We decided it was the enemy. It had to be because God is for me being Free and I a more free than I was.

I am making a list of friends, family and acquaintances who should attend Kairos, your name is on the list. (Everyone’s name is on the list…I didn’t want you to feel left out, excluded or over-looked). You need to attend a Kairos event! Kairos means moment if change…an ah-ha moment. This year needs to be your Kairos! There is another Kairos coming up in the beginning of April, don’t let it pass by without attending.
Even if you think you are free…God has something for you! Do not let pride hold you back. Do not allow a religious spirit to allow you to wallow in self-righteousness telling you you are “good” when in reality you are barely holding it together. Everyone needs to attend both Kairos and Kairos 2. Everyone. I do not know of one person in the world who doesn’t need some type of healing.

Well, my hand is clenching up from typing on this little keyboard so I am finished. I will try to type up some if the golden nuggets I got at Kairos 2 later but i doubt it will happen today. I will loving on my sweet babies when we get home….maybe tomorrow I will get to it.

Love and peace to you!

Missions

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Yesterday was “Go” Sunday at our church.  We didn’t “Go” on a missions trip last year..we did but it was a missions trip, sort of,  but it was but it wasn’t “foreign”.  As we listened and contemplated, I do not expect to “go” this year either…but I do.  It’s not that complicated.

Last year, we had about 10 people attend the Kairos event in Dallas.  We took them, urged them, compelled them, drove them.  We went.  We spent our own money on travel expenses (each person paying for their food and their hotel).  KAIROS itself is a ministry of Gateway church and they give it free of charge (they do have offering boxes in their church if you want to sow into the ministry, but even with that I do not remember hearing about it…they do not guilt anyone into giving.  That would be weird…a ministry all about freedom putting guilt on people).

If it were up to me, I would make attending KAIROS a requirement before serving in church.  If it were up to me, I would attend once a year (after you attend twice they do ask you to pay…you get two free and some people need to go more than two times because God peels us like an onion at times so He peels back one layer and there is something else that needs healing).

The next Kairos event is April 3rd and 4th.  That is a Thursday and a Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  They start on time and you get so much out of it that you do not want to be late to any session and you certainly do not want to leave early.

We host a Life Group for our church, leading up to the event to view the prerequisite videos.  The videos are good but the event is the really big deal.  GET TO THE KAIROS, God is there and He will change everything for you.  If you cannot attend our Life Group, you can watch or listen to the Freedom Classes online here.

I want to encourage every person who went through the Freedom classes last year but were not able to attend the event to watch the videos again and GET TO KAIROS next month.  You have plenty of time to plan for this trip.

One hurdle we faced was childcare.  They don’t offer it.  Let me know if you have children…I’m not a “kid” person really (you would think with us fostering and adopting and all that that I am…I’m a “my kid” person) but I believe in this so much that if it comes down to it, your kids can stay with me that Thursday and Friday (you probably need to leave Wednesday night so Wednesday night through Saturday morning or late Friday depending on you.)  Seriously, let me know.  We will have one huge slumber party type event…THIS IS HOW MUCH I BELIEVE YOU NEED TO ATTEND THIS EVENT!!!

Go ahead and register online here.  You will need to setup a Gateway sign in to register.

My plan to “go” this year is to go to KAIROS (they have a KAIROS 2 as well that the Hubs and I are attending later this month) and more importantly, I want you to “go” to KAIROS.  Make it happen.  It is one of the most refreshing events I’ve ever attended, it’s main rival is the National Prayer Summit which this year conflicts with KAIROS…so “go” to KAIROS!!!!

 

Escapee

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I want to be an escapee.  There are some things I want to escapee and some things I should escape.  The problem is how I escape sometimes.

I love worship. I can remember standing in church as a little girl, before I could read,  clapping my hands and singing at the top of my lungs, “Victory in Jesus”.  I knew all the words by heart (I still do), “Victory in Jesus, my savior forever, He sought me and He taught me, with His redeeming blood….”  I’m not sure I knew what the words meant but I loved Jesus and I loved His house (the church).  And I still love worship.  If you check my playlist, 97% of the songs are worship songs.  My husband the worship, musician, prophet psalmist, told me the other day, “You only have 37 songs on your iTunes.”  That seems like such a small number of songs to him….he probably has 1200 songs.  Every one of my 37 songs are really good.

Last night, I had an impromptu (not planned in advance) girl’s night out.  My sister, Judy, my sister-friend, Kimberly and I went to The Deep, a worship service hosted on the first Sunday Night of each month at LifeAustin.  We heard that our friends, the Ragsdales were going to be there.  You can check them out here.  I didn’t really know what I was getting into but I knew it would be good, because I trust these pastors.  It turned out that it is a worship service…the focus being on worship and not on a message.

Yes, our church has worship every Sunday but we are also a church plant which means we  only have our facility for a few hours on Sunday morning.  Which usually means we have 4 or 5 worship songs and then we move on to a message.  There have been times in my life when I would have my own worship service at home and that is certainly ideal.  The reality is, it doesn’t always happen.  A service that is just worship with no other agenda…that’s like water to my soul and it washed over me. They didn’t even take up an offering.

As I sat (because they let you sit during worship there) and sang along with John Ragsdale singing, “You are Holy, Oh, so Holy, You are Holy, Lord on High…”  As He sang, it was like Zephaniah 3:17, God rejoicing over us.   Worship is like that.  We sing to Him and He rejoices over us.   I felt some walls in my heart begin to melt away.  I was surprised because I didn’t know I had walls.

I’ve often written about growing up in church and how it was from my perspective.  I grew up in a Pentecostal church.  You may think from some of the things that I have written that I despised that place but I do not.  I know that some things were not “right” or even accurate but that place laid a foundation for my life.  There are times when we receive a message that wasn’t exactly taught; the non-verbal message.  The message taught or words spoken and the message received are not the same.  Here is an example.  Growing up in church, I believe we did not have the understanding of the Holy Spirit that we have today.  We believed you had to speak in tongues to be saved; That was the point of salvation.  It was my understanding that if you spoke in tongues one time, you were saved and you may not speak in tongues again.  There were a few people who you would hear speaking in tongues in the prayer room (I miss churches having prayer rooms), but they were usually prophetic type people.  So they were consider a little “spooky-spiritual” and they were also put on a pedestal.   There seemed to be some criteria for people “getting touched”  1. The Holy Spirit mostly moved on Sunday Nights.  2. The Holy Spirit mostly moved at church.  3. The person who “got touched” had to “do” something…for example, they had to step out, they had to go to the alter, they had to raise their hands, cry.  And 4. When it happened, somebodies’ hair was coming down.  Chatting with the girls, we found out the phrase, “they shouted their hair down” was pretty exclusively Pentecostal or UPC.  Apparently, the charismatics didn’t use it and didn’t understand what it meant.  Let me explain.  If you were Pentecostal in the 70s or 80s and you were a woman, you had very long hair.  For the most part, you wore your hair pinned up either in a bun or some intricate updo.  When the Spirit moved, someone was sure to “shout” which really meant dance but we were not allowed to dance so we called it shouting, although no yelling was involved.  It might not make much sense unless you were there but bobby pins were flyin’.   I am going to look for some pictures to scan in…it will be fun.  What we believed and what I found was true were different.

When I was filled with the Holy Spirit I found that I could “be touched by God” at any time and anywhere.  It wasn’t limited to church, I didn’t have to do anything other than talk to Him.  I didn’t need a pastor or special speaker to pray for me and I didn’t have to dance my hair down.  God was much closer than I imagined.  God’s still small voice is sometimes a whisper.  Don’t get me wrong…I understand people liking to be zapped and it feels great when you get a powerful word and all of that.  But to really change, requires every day communication with God.  Paul wrote about it in I Corinthians.

1 Corinthians 14:15

 I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.

After walking this walk for many years, my belief is that we need to communicate with God daily and our spirit needs to communicate with His Spirit daily.  Full access is available to us.  We have full access to the living God!  Take the time to pray today.

Back to Sunday night and the walls.  I was worshipping and feeling the walls begin to thaw. And found myself praying and telling God, I don’t want to have walls that need to thaw.

I want to be open that what God is doing.

The thing about walls is people build them, not God.  We build them to keep something out or we allow others to build them in our lives with their words.  Either way, the walls that perhaps meant to keep something out usually turn out to be the walls that keep us in.  That’s right, the walls we allow others to build, the words that define us, become our prison.  The walls we build to keep the pain out or to keep other people out, become the cell that we seek to escape.

What are the walls to your prison?  Something someone said?  There was a season in my life when it seemed I couldn’t “get it right”.  I had friends who I thought were like sisters to me who exploded and walked away from our friendship.  I was told I was a toxic person…I was mean….I was rude.  At the time, I became focused on “Why did this happen?  What did  I do?”  And I failed to look around at all the successful relationships in my life.  I began to allow those words to define me.  It became harder to let people in…I began to lay bricks on top of the words that had said.  I agreed with some things they said that were not at all true.  The truth in my life is I am a “people” person and God intends for me to love people and be transparent and to allow others in my life all things which are hard to do with the walls that had been erected.  Once the walls are built or in process it doesn’t take much to complete the project.  And then one day you look around and the walls are closing in on you with no way of escape.

But we try to escape.  We try lots of things to escape….tv, movies, books, alcohol, drugs, sex…so many bad things in the world are just people trying to escape.

What I knew, but needed to be reminded of, is the greatest escape artist on the planet; Jesus was waiting to bust me out of that prison. Worship used to be my escape.  Not music necessarily but worshipping God.  I cannot keep my walls up when I worship Him.  He makes me free.  I cannot hold back the tears (by the way, they are not tears of sorrow but tears of thanksgiving for all He has done in my life).

I want to remain an escapee.  If I can, I want to help you become one too.

Blind but now I See

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Our LifeGroup has been doing a study on prayer.   It’s very practical more about “doing” than “defining” (I think).   Our first topic, which actually took two meetings to get through was about things that hinder our prayers.  The first week we talked about woundedness and this week we talked about hidden things and sin.  In my experience woundedness and sin are usually closely connected.

There are some friends of ours who divorced recently and it was not so much that it was ugly because they were mean to each other…they weren’t.  It was more tragic than anything as we all watched the house of cards they had erected collapse around them.  Many of us could see that there were problems for a while…for a long long while but they would never admit to problems or ask for help until it was too late.  There were secrets kept by everyone in the family.  The people they most closely surrounded themselves with were surface believers at best most were not believers at all.

I couldn’t help but think of their situation and how woundness led to pride (a sin) and that led to more woundness that led to….well, it eventually led to the destruction of a family.

Many of you know that I have been working on a book that has the working title of  “Fatherless”. It is basically about falling prey to an orphan spirit.  After years as a Christian, I have witnessed so many people fall into complete destruction in their families, in finances, and in their health because of wounds that were inflicted at the hand of the church or at the hand of a spiritual father.

Last night in our group as I was recounting a situation we were in a few years ago with a church and a pastor (if you follow my blog, you probably read about it at some point), I admitted the hidden sin that I feel I walked in during that season; It was pride. I certainly do not take all the credit for what played out…oh no, there were a host of players in that game.  But I see how our ideas and even some of our actions could have been perceived as  prideful and “know it all”.  I get it.   God got us through the situation and He landed us in a church with a pastor we respect and are able to honor.  In my heart, I feel we had to go through what we went through so 1.) We could identify the pride in our lives or I could and 2). so God could place us in our current church.  If we had stayed at the church we were at 3 years ago, we would probably still be there because it is a great church.  And if we would have stayed there, we ever would have gotten my brother-in-law, Peter to visit our church because he lives in Austin and that church is in San Marcos and our current church isn’t all that far from Austin, in Buda,.  What you don’t realize is we have been praying for Peter for YEARS.  And he and his family have been faithfully attending our church for almost a year and they joined the church a few weeks after attending for the first time. This is HUGE for our family.  I would go through all that we went through again in order for Pete and Shelia to reconnect to God!  And I never want to go through that again.

I want to skip over the pride part of my testimony but I can’t.  I cannot guarantee that I won’t fall into pride again.  For you see, it is so very blinding.  It sneaks in with just enough truth to throw your vision off, just slightly.  With those pride colored glasses on we think we are right in all of our thinking and that our resulting actions are justified.

Back to my friends.  As I said, for years they have surrounded themselves with people who are less spiritual.  You see, they stopped attending church in any real way years ago after they had a disagreement with their pastor.  A disagreement that escalated.  I am not saying it the pastor was “right” and they were “wrong”.  I do know that pastor and I know that he grieves for every person who leaves his church whether the circumstances or good or in the case bad.  These friends told themselves that they were “ministering” to their less spiritual friends.  And they talk about how they poured themselves out until all of this happened (to them) and then very few people reached out to help.  The truth of the situation was they were being pulled down to the level or their unsaved friends rather than pulling their friends up.  The never realized their lifestyle no longer looked any different than their friends.  They were just people who sort of believed in something they weren’t really living anymore.  Their eyes weren’t on Jesus any more.

There was and is so much blindness in the situation.

Here is what I want to say to them:

Dear friend, you are beautiful. Jesus loves you beyond measure.  You were created for so much more than where you are right now.  You say that no one has loved you unconditionally but over the years, people did reach out to you.  We told you about the importance of your family going to church.  We loved you and we still love you.  We still love you. We were there for you.  You closed yourself off.  You isolated yourself.  You pretended everything was perfect and good when things had been crumbling for years.  You pretended that you had it all even when you knew that there was nothing left.  You poured out without ever getting refilled.  You tried to fill your life with pop psychology and quick fixes for things only God is able to “fix”.  You still think all of this “happened” to you without ever admitting you played a part….  My friends, this is the season of your healing if you will turn your heart back to Him.  Jesus loves you beyond measure and will always accept you back into His arms.  You are right, it isn’t about a “church”  it never was, but the Church is His Bride and He loves her , and He wants you to be a part  and He never, ever meant for you to be alone; that simply wasn’t His plan for you.  His Word tells you to connect with and meet with other believers.  He want’s to connect you with real people who will love you unconditionally…that love you have been longing for your whole life.  He wants to heal you.  He wants to give you a real ministry led by Him and not by you because you are called and He wants to equip you.   Now is not the season for you to minister.  Now is the season for you rest, be healed, be filled…stop striving and admit that you faked it; you faked it your whole life and He never wanted you to.  He loves you, the “real you” the part you hide from everyone. He wants to show you.  You are so important to Him that He couldn’t let you go on one more day the way you were.

Own your part in what went down.  Ask Him to forgive you and heal you.  Forgive the people who wronged you. Let it go; give it to Him; He can handle it.  He has so much more for you than what the last 25 years of your life have been.  He wants to give you real prosperity and not a cheap imitation.  Your real life is just beginning!

You are loved, friend; your are loved.