The day before driving to IHOP, I was excited inside my stomach. That surprised me. I wondered what I would find . . .
On the drive, I got to call & talk to family & asked them to pray for me and the coming adventure. I was coming in 'blind', but knew God could make amazing connections.
The first day there was nothing. I was disappointed. Oh well. Maybe something I couldn't see was going on. I spent the night at cousins & came back in the morning for a brief possible meeting with a lady from the Orphan Justice Center. There was also a 2-hr prayer block for orphans & the foster system early that morning.
The prayer time connected my heart to the Father's heart for the children, revealed in His Word.
Afterwards, before leaving, a lady approached & said she thought God directed her to pray with me about helping children. She had overheard me talking earlier with another girl. She was nervous & thought I would think she was strange. I smiled.
We prayed & that opened up a friendship that has continued 'til today.
I'm still here.
Saturday evening, the night before I had to leave (b/c I needed to return the borrowed car to my parents & I was scheduled to speak at the Sunday evening service at my brother's church), I read a page of Scripture that was open on the table. Acts 1. Do not leave Jerusalem until you receive the promised gift of the Holy Spirit so that you will be my bold witnesses in Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. It will come in a few days. [That's my pulling the main phrases that stuck out to me.]
Was that word for me? Earlier that day, I considered staying, but told God that was impossible. I needed to go home. He impressed on my heart, "Do you really need to do anything? Is anything impossible for me?" I shrugged that off. It would be nice to stay, but I didn't see how that was possible. I had to go home. Then that night, I read that direct word. (Other times in my life, God has spoken very directly with a specific word from Scripture, so it caught my attention. I've never been sorry for following Him.)
I asked Kaitlyn, Lisa's teenage daughter, to pray with me. I was staying with their family, the lady who asked me to pray. She got the word, 'Eden' and Psalm 61.
To me, Eden was a place of beautiful fellowship with the LORD. He walked with Adam in the cool of the day. Was God inviting me to a season of Eden? Psalm 61 had to do with training to be a king for generations, focusing on God. I also turned to Psalm 27 which says, "My heart says of you, Seek His face, Your face, O LORD, I will seek."
It seemed a clear word, but I wanted to make sure. I didn't want to do anything dumb & put other people in difficult situations b/c I was 'following God'. I needed to know it was from Him. I also knew it was impossible, unless He worked it out. But that night, I surrendered my will & said, "Alright, LORD, I'll stay. But you have to work everything out." I went to sleep praying for God to make it clear to me in the morning, and not have conflicting thoughts that would confuse me.
I woke early with the thoughts to stay.
I went outside to pray. "God, you have to open doors to make this possible." I read Scripture that came to mind. Everything seemed to point to staying and seeking the LORD, looking fully to Him.
I called my parents. I explained the whole story to them & why I struggled with how was it possible for me to stay. They both unanimously said, "This is right. We don't have any red flags of warning. Stay. The car is not an issue. Seek God for your next steps."
I couldn't believe it.
Second I called my brother. At first it through him off, but then he shared that God is teaching him to trust like a child, even when things don't make sense. He said the pastor was flexible and he would talk to him. Don't worry about it. Follow what God is leading you.
I went to the prayer room on Monday. My first day was distracting.
The second day was amazing. The first song/worship set was just for me. About leaning into His love, not striving, trust Him. The LORD, your Maker, is your husband. (Isaiah 54)
This third days has been a love feast. I'm amazed at how quickly time goes by when our whole focus is on the LORD and His love for us and ours for Him.
It is the most beautiful place.
I talked with my new Egyptian friend, Marian. She said as our hearts connect with the LORD, at the same time they must reach out into the world.
I am so excited to be here & to learn everything God has me to prepare me for our future.
A friend gave me a word today: He saw a picture of a treasure box & in it was linen. But they were pieces, resources. I had to put my hands to the task & sew & cut it. Then when it opened up, there was a whole row of little children, connected. And that God would use everything from my past to be part of our work.
Tonight we're having a celebration party.
Trusting my Heavenly Father to continue to lead each moment.
Taste & see that the LORD is good!