In case you missed them and need to catch up: Part 1 and Part 2
As you can imagine, at this point I'm just about undone. We have NOT EVEN BEEN TO THE WORSHIP NIGHT YET and I'm beside myself entirely. We left the breakout and I couldn't even really form the words that were in my heart. It was like I could ONLY communicate in emotion as the human language could not contain nor understand my feelings at all.
On our way to dinner, we didn't really say much. What could we say? Disbelief was the predominant feeling. We reached for normal - such as, what do we have on our pizza? Lemonade, or soda? Are we getting dessert? We called our families and checked in. We 'stole' electricity to charge our phones - well, we ALL didn't do that, but one of us did :) We reached, but we feel a little short.
On the walk back, I said that the one thing that would tip me over would be if someone were to prophesy over me at some point this evening. I remember laughing at how greedy that sounded - the first half of the night was so incredible that even IF it didn't happen, it wouldn't have tainted my experience. Little did I know that my desire WAS something that God had put in my heart and WAS something that He had for me.
As we were walking back in to the venue, I was getting a little overwhelmed. I LOATHE crowds - especially gigantic auditoriums full of strangers - and so I jokingly said to one of my friends that I really hope we can find 3 seats together - and maybe on the end so we don't have to be next to people. We walk in, and what do we see? A FLOOR, SIDE SEATING section with ONLY 3 CHAIRS THERE. Meaning, we each get one. Meaning... NO ONE else would be sitting WITH us. I could have cried. I swear the angels all gave a resounding hallelujah and pointed us directly to those seats.
So we sat. We chatted. I freaked out at how pumped I was. We took selfies and posted on Instagram - as any normal person would haha! We talked some more. As we sat, soaking it all in, I turned to my friend and said - I really think they are going to play the song Closer (it holds a special place in my heart - but that's another blogpost for another time). She smiled her beaming, beautiful smile and said that she hopes they do (for me, of course - because she's amazing like that).
Remember my #fangirl worship leader? Well, she couldn't sing that night. I was B U M M E D O U T but I couldn't really be mad after all that had happened already. So the team comes out and propels us right into heaven. Being a pourer-outer of worship, it felt weird to be on the receiving end (live and in person with a band. I personally lead myself in worship OR listen to Bethel or other worship teams online). At one point, I felt FULL of JOY! I mean - the kind that radiates from your heart - I felt like it could possibly look like a Care Bear when they do a Care Bear stare (google it if you don't know... shame on you if you don't haha!). I mean - the dazzling, leaping, shining, reaching, cascading joy. Never have I felt anything like it. Ever.
I remember at one point having a vision of people returning to churches in droves. Crowding at the doors on a Sunday morning - much like we did to get into the venue to see this concert.
I remember at one point praying these prayers that I didn't know were in my heart. Out loud. I feel like I was yelling them pretty loudly, but my friends say they couldn't hear a thing. I have never EVER felt so sure that my prayers were being heard. Sometimes we pray and we wonder... this night I prayed and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that my God heard me...I could feel that He is our faithful Father, our constant friend; He is closer than our breath and despite the fact that He made the UNIVERSE, He still knows me. And You. I've had encounters with God before... but this one wrecked me.
We worshiped our way to 'half time.' The lights came on for a little while. I was really anxious to get started on the second half considering what happened in the first. The girls were good though - keeping me busy during the brief intermission.
The lights dimmed. The songs began. I got right back in to the throne room of heaven. I knew this was it, so I threw my WHOLE self into it. It was near the end when I heard the piano begin. I threw my hands up and turned to my friend next to me - and I said - THIS IS IT!! That song? That song 'Closer' that I was waiting for? They were starting it. And I was beside myself.
As the leader sang out the first line of the song, I settled in and decided I wasn't going to sing this one, I was going to just let it wash over me. As I surrendered to it, I felt what I KNEW was a man's hand touch the top of my head. As SOON as it happened, I felt the surge of the Holy Spirit run through the tip of my toes. I slowly lowered my arms down and turned to look. It was him - the worship Pastor from earlier. The one who was pointing at me without knowing.
Here I am. In Portland, Maine. In a crowd of about a thousand. In an auditorium. In the dark. During a song that I knew in my Spirit was going to be played - and at that moment realized that it was going to be the trigger to hearing the prophesy that I knew was coming all along.
I looked at him. He introduced himself to me. I smiled, nodded, and inclined my heart and ear. Before I tell you what he said, I have to tell you this: after he introduced himself to me, he got a perplexed look on his face. He said 'have we already come to you?' and I said no. THAT was the confirmation I needed that what was about to be said was DEFINITELY for me. He felt like he had already done this - well, he hadn't, BUT it certainly WAS a divine appointment because my Spirit knew that someone would be coming.
It is a very VERY powerful and moving experience.
Before I tell you what he said, I will tell you THIS - there is absolutely, positively NO WAY that anyone could have made this up by just looking at me. Not possible. He just didn't come up to some random person and say some random thing that made no sense. NOPE. He came up to a random person, and said some specific things that made TOO MUCH sense. NO ONE could have guessed these things. Not without God's help and guidance.
Some of this is quoted, some of this is paraphrased - but here it is:
In a firm and sure voice, he said "I see You. God wants you to know that He sees you, but He also wants you to know that I (insert his name here) See. You. I do. You are SEEN. You are free from being behind. You are freed up from the back and you're being pushed to the front. There are people who you hold in esteem above you - and that holds you back - but that is BROKEN TODAY. That is NO MORE. NO. MORE (caps indicate intensity and urgency). You are seen. People SEE YOU - and I want them to. Its time to come out of the shadows - ALL of them - and move to the front.
And then he walked away. And then I COMPLETELY LOST IT. With shoulder shaking sobs, I collapsed in my seat. I couldn't believe that had just happened. I couldn't believe what he said. I still don't. I processed for a minute, and then took out my notebook and dumped all those words on a page so I wouldn't forget.
I gathered myself back together just in time for the song to be over. Honestly though? I'm not upset about that. I realize now it wasn't the SONG that I needed to hear. The song was the catalyst for the word.
So - I am FASCINATED by the idea that God is El Roi - the God who sees me. I've even blogged about it before (find it here) .. That the lead in would be "I see you" is incredible. Another fun fact: When this pastor introduced himself to the breakout group earlier in the day, he said 'you guys all need to know me because I will be hanging around today. I am ____ and I do ___.' I believe he mentioned music production. I gave a quick chuckle and turned to my friend and said - I think I DO need to know him since being a published artist is on my bucket list. And then for him to follow the I see you from God with an I, Pastor ____ see you made me wonder ... I hope that doesn't come across as me thinking I have a 'network' with him - or even a chance of ever meeting/seeing him again - BUT it did make me think...
I struggle with confidence issues. I know a lot of people do, so I'll spare you the details - but it is a definite struggle for me. I am sure some of you who know me just said 'no she doesn't'... but trust me when I tell you I do. I just make the conscious decision every day to push through them. Some days are easier than others. Because of this, I am VERY MUCH content to be in the background. I don't need center stage. And here he is, telling me that I am seen. People see me and I can't hide anymore. Bummer haha! But as much as that scares me, it also gives me a great sense of wonder at what God would want to do with me when I'm not 'hidden.'
This one thing though - the one about the people I hold in esteem and because of that I am being held back. THAT is what broke me. There are a select few who know this (more now, obviously haha!) - but there are a select few who KNOW that this inferiority is a VERY real issue that I have - but only with certain people. And he was SO RIGHT that it holds me back because I fear rejection from them... And that he would say those chains are broken? I never thought it possible........................................................................................................................I'm here to tell you, it WAS possible. Because for the first time in my life, the people I hold in this esteem no longer have that stronghold of authority over me. Let me be clear here - these people have NO CLUE of their position in my life - meaning - they have NO CLUE that I struggled with that. These are people I love to the ends of the earth and for some reason, I put them on a pedestal that I thought would always be too high for me to reach. And I can see CLEARLY now that the esteem actually held me back. It smothered me. It made me believe things that were NOT TRUE. It was broken that day. I am free from it. And I am SO grateful for a God who sees me.
The rest of our night was pretty uneventful - I mean, WHAT could possibly compare to what had already happened? My girls were in shock with me. I couldn't sleep. The tv at the hotel was TERRIBLE so I couldn't even use that to take my mind off of what happened. I ended up spending the night reliving every single event that happened. I ended up spending the night in awe of our Father who knows our every want and desire - and who meets us right where we are. The whole experience was such an incredible blessing. I can't imagine God outdoing that one. Even if I never have another day like that day, it was powerful enough that I would be ok with that.
That day changed my life. Forever. Since then, I have taken more chances. I have written more spontaneous songs. I have pursued Jesus harder. I have spent more time in worship and prayer. I have leaned IN to my calling instead of bending away from it - and He has blessed that over and over again. I have cemented the reality that there IS a God and He is all knowing, all powerful, and all seeing. I pray that one day, you can have an encounter that does the same for you.