On the first flight from Denver to Washington DC, I listened to a couple of podcasts. They are from Louie Giglio’s Passion City Church in Atlanta. If you’ve never heard him speak, you absolutely must check him out. In the first program, the message was about lifting our eyes to Jesus. Keeping them fixed on him in the midst of all the trials, challenges and good things of this life. Knowing that without him, we cannot make it, will just make a mess of things and will never know the full beauty of the plan he has for our lives. Louie talked about the story of King Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20. Under fierce attack, the king prays to his God and asks for him to place His hand in the middle of the situation. Sure enough, through the faithfulness of the king and his people, the three attacking armies defeat themselves before King Jehoshaphat’s army even arrives. Through it all, they remained fixed on the Lord their God and praised him.
I listened to this and thought, wow, this is just what I needed to hear to prepare further for this conference. Yup, I was ready. I arrived in DC to make my connection to Charlotte. And then…
That’s when the attack began. I knew the enemy did not want me to go. I battled it for weeks leading up to the conference. But I thought he had been defeated and all was fine. How wrong I was. After arriving in DC, here’s what happened in a nutshell:
• Flight delayed for 2-plus hours, then canceled altogether
• No ability for the airline to reschedule for 36 hours (at which point the conference would be more than half over)
• No complimentary hotel or other option
• Miscue on retrieving my luggage (after waiting two hours) – it was put on the next flight to Charlotte (although seats weren’t available, there was room for my luggage)
• A dying cell phone – charger was in my luggage
As if the enemy was saying to me, see, you think you need/want to go and learn more about fulfilling what you say is your calling. Well, see how much of a Jesus girl you are after this!
To which I said, GET OUT OF MY WAY! And I proceeded:
I Tweeted, texted and Facebooked an urgent request for prayer to friends and the Proverbs 31 sisterhood – others preparing for and traveling to the conference. I knew they would have my back. I then rented a car, bought a phone charger, an energy drink, some food and headed out of DC at 11:30 p.m., determined to make the 500-mile drive during the night.
I was driving for about two hours, singing with Christian radio that I found on the dial, thinking that I had it under control. And then…
That stinking devil tried again to break me down. I started to wrestle with my decision to drive. Do you know how far it is? Do you really think driving 500 miles in the middle of the night, a woman alone, is a smart idea? As I wrangled these, and other thoughts, I made a transition on the highway to head south. As I did, I began to crest a hill. I had lost the radio signal so the car was silent. Just as I began to climb, I looked up to see the most incredible sight. There, straight ahead of me at the top of the mountain were three 2-3 stories-high illuminated white crosses. Seeing them took my breath away. I began to tear up. Okay God, I said through sobs, it’s clear to me that this is not about me. You are showing me that my heart was not as prepared as it needs to be for this conference. That like the story of King Jehoshaphat, I need to fully fix my eyes on you. I had no power to face this vast army that is attacking me. I don’t know what to do, but my eyes are on you. (see 2 Chron. 20:12).
With that realization, I began to have an incredible time of worship and prayer with the Lord. I continued on feeling the tight grip of the prayers of my sisters while my God showed me the way.
Finally the next morning, I arrived at the conference. Tired? Absolutely. Discouraged? Absolutely not! I felt a supernatural energy as I entered the hotel. As I did, there sat two of my P31 sisters. We hugged and shared tears of joy and relief. I knew it was going to be okay.
|With Lysa TerKeurst|
Hearing that story twice in less than 24 hours, I went back to my room that night practically shaking. I knew God had delivered me where He wanted me. I was affirmed and encouraged. I prayed that night and the whole weekend for God to speak into my heart. To show me those places where I need more of him and less of me. I prayed for Him to teach me and direct my steps.
In 48 hours, I learned so much. Received so much. Gave so much. But most of all, I felt my Lord holding me tenderly yet firmly, never letting go.