Disclaimer: I didn't want to use names in this story, so sorry if it's hard to follow with all of "the kid" references :)
I grew up with a desire to hear the voice of God. This past year, I sometimes have to tell him to stop speaking because the weight of his presence is too much for my weak body. When I made him my first choice, when I put every last bit of faith in him…he started talking…sometimes he yells, sometimes he whispers. But I have come to know his voice, and it is beautiful….
I have been helping out in the high school ministry at my church. Volunteering was never something I considered doing. That sounds harsh…but I really never thought about it. I am a good friend. I am a full time Mom. I have a busy career. I pray. How can I have time to hang out with a bunch of high school kids.
Well, I started doing little things here and there…coming to a few church services a month…then going on a few retreats with this ministry team. I just kind of fell into it. And oh man have I been ROCKED. These kids bless me to the core. I have never felt more privileged to be a part of something. I can't really describe what it feels like to have Gods heart for someone. For him to lay his love for someone else on you so that you can tell them. It is mind blowing. It is too much. It feels like you can't breath, and you have never felt better. It is supernatural. It is undeniable.
I met a kid this weekend at summer camp. He looks like he walked out of that high school musical movie. I'm sure he is a girl magnet, and has too many friends to keep up with. Yet there is this humble spirit inside of him that shines through. He has this all-American, adorable confidence, that would draw anyone in. So when I gave a second thought to him…I tried to brush it off. And then God started speaking. And I started crying. It was all I could do. The Fathers love is like no other. I started praying for this young man. Praying things I never could have known without the spirit. I was praying literal things, and general things, praying for his next day, next couple years, his whole life. It was so intense. I just kept lifting him in prayer whenever I felt a push from the Lord.
On the last day of camp this kid was chosen for a demonstration about being bound up in things that keep you away from God. The pastor literally tied him up with rope and then asked him to move. He couldn't. I knew so much that the skit was for him….all I could do was cry and pray more. Watching his binds fall from him, watching him understand that he can't do it alone. That the things that were binding him are weightless, and meaningless.
And the thing about hearing God…is that he will give you confirmation. He will let you know without a shadow of a doubt that it was him. (as if the crying from the pit of your soul wasn't enough of a clue.)
I hadn't told anyone about the intense prayer that had struck for this kid. And that night after the skit where he was bound up, the pastor leading it informed me that the kid had confronted him saying that he needed that…they couldn't have picked a better person for the demonstration. …this was God telling me I wasn't off my rocker, bigger things than I can comprehend are in the works…
So I marveled at how good God is. I sat in the splendor that he comes down and reaches out to us…we just have to choose to reach back. And I prayed some more.
And then Jesus told me. "He has a call on his life to be a pastor.". He has to choose it, pray about it, hear me in it. But that call is on his life. And then I said, " I AM NOT DELIVERING THAT HUGE MESSAGE!" Little old me could not possibly tell someone that. Especially someone with plans, and dreams, and things figured out. Well, I really didn't have a choice…I mean, God was talking to me. So I see the kid at church. And knowing what I have to do…I ask him to talk for a minute. And then I just spill. I don't really remember all that was said. I just remember that God WANTS HIM. God has put a heart in him that has been molded to lead. To shepherd. To discern what people need. When I said, "God told me that you might be a pastor"…I saw this light come over his head. Like an awakening in his spirit. I can't describe it. Anyway…we finished talking…and I was left in like this melted state of a person, just reveling in how amazing God is, and how he uses us.
And then more confirmation, of course. This night at church was designed to be testimony after testimony from the kids about their camp experience. So I hear Jesus…"He's going to tell his rope story." And I think…cool, it's going to be so awesome that I know that I hear you, when he marches up there. And then he says, "No, go tell him to tell the rope story"…and I kind shuffle my feet and ask God if he's sure, and then he sits on my chest so I know that it's him. So I go sit down next to the kid….and he knows it's coming (we were both laughing because it was so thick). "You're supposed to tell the rope story aren't you?"…He says, "yes."…
So he tells his story. My heart leaps that he gets it. My heart leaps that I hear Jesus. My heart leaps that heaven rejoices over these kids. I am so thankful that I'm here.
But wait, there's more. I'm outside, church is over. Jesus: "Go tell him about the attacks you know are coming."…tell him girls will want his love and approval. They will want him to be their savior. His big heart that I have put in him will want to help them. Tell him to listen to my voice. Tell him to obey. Tell him I have him. Tell him to stay vulnerable. Tell him it's ok. Tell him to pray.
So I do. I pull him aside once again. This kid I barely know, that I feel like I've had a beautiful peek into all he can and will be. I warn him. I tell him these things. We laugh that we both knew that he was supposed to speak. He tells me he didn't know what about though, until I mentioned the rope story…..I hear Jesus….yes I do.
Reminder to this young man:
Surrender your whole self
Have your friends and family pray
I can't wait to see the fruit of what God is doing in you.