Ever read the bible, hear an amazing testimony or see a healing and think “Wow, that’s amazing.” but then you stop but you can’t help but think “but it’s never going to happen to me though.” Ever thought that?
Yeah, I have too.
I’ve read so many times about God providing for people, I’ve heard so many testimonys where God has provided in such amazing supernatural ways or in small, simple but impactful acts of kindness. The bible is full of that kind of stuff and if you ask around at church you’ll probably find that people round you would have had some amazing God encounters too. However, I know that I’ve always doubted that God would do anything like that for me. I’ve never truly accepted that he cares and unconditionally loves me. I’ve always believed that I have to do things in my own strength because God wasn’t bothered in my insignificant life. Sadly, I know I’m not the only one who believes these lies either.
Today though I can say with confidence that God will provide, that he cares and loves you unconditionally and that you don’t have to do things in your own strength anymore because your life is so important to him.
(This post is going to be lengthy but I ask that you stick with me n this one till the end, I promise you won’t be disappointed.)
On Saturday I’d finished work in a low mood, it’d been a quiet and easy day but I wanted nothing more than to go home, hide in my bedroom and wrap myself in my own self pity (something that had sadly became a regular thing for me). However, this week I didn’t have this option, my mum and family friends were going to an evening even at a church that none of us had ever been to before. It was publicised as a night of just worship and I got dragged along to this.
We were a bit uncertain going in there, we were one of the first people in this big room and we really didn’t know anyone there. This being said, I can state with confidence that it was the most free, open worship I have ever seen in my life. It was a solid two hours of worship and I have no idea how the people leading it could sing for that long. Not once did people stop praising God and wow, God did really move. The Holy Spirit was there and moving in ways I’d never seen before, even after going to New Wine for 4 years I’d never seen anything like that before. Unlike New Wine and Revival Alliance (another even I was at recently) there wasn’t thousands of people there. There couldn’t have been more than 30 people there.
About half way into the evening, I just happened to look behind me and make eye contact with a young woman. Like most, I don’t really enjoy making eye conact with strangers so after a quick smile, that was returned, I looked away.
Not too long after though, I felt a tap on my shoulder, I turned around to find the same woman, and a guy I was assuming to be her partner, she asked me if they could get past. It struck me as odd at the time that she walked down the aisle that I was in ( I find worshiping very difficult if I’m boxed in with rows of chairs so I try to find a way to be in the aisle) as I was the only person in the entire place who was blocking an isle. There were many other routes that they could have gone down to get to the free seats in front of us. But I shrugged it off and moved, but weirdly as the night went on, I found myself feeling the need to talk to her.
Near the end of the night we, as a group, all joined together in a big cluster to pray for London, as those of you who follow the news will know about the awful attacks that have been happening. At this point I was still feeling the need to go talk to her, so I spilt off from the people I was with to go be closer. Can I just mention how out of character this was for me, I tend to avoid people when I’m in a new environment and I most certainly don’t split off from the safely of the group that I’m with.
Eventually after a pretty powerful time of prayer, people were praying in tongues and it was just amazing, some of us started to break away from the main bunch, myself included. I wanted to be part of the group who were praying but I felt that I had done my part.
This is when God showed me just how much he cares.
Remember how I said I wanted to talk to this girl?
Turns out I didn’t have to stress myself about approaching her because she approached me!
I leaned that her name was Sonyia, she was brought up originally in a Sikh household till her family came to know God and she was there with her brother, who shared a great testimony involving KFC, and a guy whom I’m assuming to be her boyfriend. She told me that God had been prompting her to speak to me all evening, hence her going the awkward route to her seat, it involved briefly talking to me.
We sat down and got talking. God had highlighted three things to her that involved me FEAR, FRIENDS and ACCOUNTABILITY. These three thing are areas that I’ve been struggling with secretly for the past months, especially in the last two weeks.
She said that I had to let go of my fears, that I’d been giving them up to God but was still fearful and worrying about them. By holding onto them she said it was like I wasn’t fully trusting God and that I just had to LET GO.
Give it to God, trust that he’s got it and just let it go.
Fear and friends fall hand in hand. I keep how lonely I feel very quite. It’s not something I enjoy discussing. I have a loving boyfriend who I know I can trust and rely on, and a beautiful amazing friend from college who had just started university this year. These pair mean an awful lot to me but I still wrestle with myself about the friends I’ve left behind. School friends, dance partners, shooting partners, people who have been in my life for 13+ years but suddenly dropped of the face of the planet.
I’ve never told anyone just how badly I torment myself with the people who are no longer in my life it was one of my little secrets, but Sonyia knew. She called her brother over and the pair prayed with me very specifically about it. In the past few days I’ve managed to let go of a lot of people who I’ve been using to torment myself. It’s been scary but freeing.
The final one was accountability. This one is more self explanatory than the others but at the same time very personal to me. One day I might come back and talk to you all about this one with a God glorifying testimony, but for now the details of this one is between God and myself.
Another thing that was touched on were my ‘excuses’. These were something that I’d never shared with anyone before.
It’s amazing how God can use a compleat stranger to show just how much he know about your life, it was a moment where I believed that I was someone to God. I wasn’t insignificant or forgotten. God knew about me and he used Sonyia to show me that.
We approached my views on leaving my comfort zone, how I would allow myself to become distracted, how I spoke, how I worshiped, prayer, seeking God honesty and my fears. We touched on 16 areas where I had deeply rooted excuses. Those subject areas might sound like positives ones but over the two years they had been twisted to become excuses as to why I couldn’t grow with God.
Soynia was very real with me and gave me a polite, kind ticking off whilst at the same time ripping my excuses to shreds. It sounds brutal but I’d needed it so much. We finished up with the prayer that I’d been desperate for since New Wine.
Then something amazing happened.
We were talking about what I wanted to do in the up coming years and I mentioned that I wanted to do a discipleship gap year before I headed off to University. I mentioned off hand that it was impossible as it’d cost £3000 minium and as a student I couldn’t generate that much money in under a year.
This sparked another polite ticking off about that fact that the words impossible should never be in the same sentence. She finished off by saying “God will stay true to his promises and will provide for you and that includes financially.” As soon as those words left her lips someone picked up the mic and said,
“I’ve had a word and I was just wondering if anyone in the room has a worry about finances as I think God would like to do something with it.”
Sonyia and myself looked at each other in shock. You couldn’t have planed that sort of timing. I wasn’t originally going to raise my hand but she reassured me it was God and it was something I needed to do.
Very fearfully I raised my hand and promptly got handed the mic. For someone who LOVES public speaking, I can say that I really didn’t like talking about it because I believed that God didn’t want me doing the discipleship year and I was just wasting everyone’s time by talking because surly that word wasnt for me, but with a bit of encouragement I explained to them what I had told Sonyia only seconds before.
I expected them to just say “oh ok, cool” and be done with it. However, this wasn’t the case. Adam, the person who led the worship, explained that he was in a similar situation not too long ago when he was planning on going to bible college but God provided. Then he did something I never expected.
He said that they were going to take an offering.
I’d not too long ago stopped crying, the things that Sonyia had been saying previously had gave me the freedom to let myself cry in the company of a stranger, but watching a room full of strangers go over to a bucket, putting in money for me to do this course reduced me to tears again.
Then when I was handed the bucket and they prayed for me, I couldn’t stop crying. I never believed that God would want me to do the discipleship year. I’d been praying for so long asking guidance on wether I should go to University or do the year with God and I never expected an answer. I didn’t expect to be handed an envelope of money (I gave them their bucket back) from a room of strangers with the words “From Jesus” on the front.
The generosity of strangers was amazing. Even on the way out a young man named Sam passed me in the hallway and handed me £20. He was in the room when we were praying and realised he didn’t have any money on him so he went to the cash point to draw money out. He didn’t look like he had a lot of money but God stirred his heart.
I’m a faceless person in a sea of people.
I’m someone you pass on the street.
I’m not special.
There’s 7 billion people on this planet, I’m noting more that a little spec in time.
But God still knows me. He knows my worries, my secret excuses and he knows my needs and he provides.
Want to know the best part?
He knows you too. He knows your worries, your strengths, weaknesses, he knows your needs before you even utter a word and he loves you unconditionally.
I have no idea what you’re going trough at the moment, or where you are in your walk with God. But no matter what, be reassured that he loves you and nothing you can do will ever change that.