Let’s not forget the good things that God has done for us.
To be honest I wasn’t going to go to service that day. It was hot, and I was tired. But, as in every time I feel this way, I go. Since I know the schemes of the enemy to try to deter my blessing, I got there early to help with prayer and set up. Samuel was looking at his weather radar, and we spoke to the clouds and skies to recede. Yet the rain came in torrents, and clouds dumped buckets on us. Each one of us dove in helping to bring chairs and equipment downstairs. I kept thinking, “We all are getting baptized. How wonderful and refreshing this is." We hurriedly set up and found new places for the children, chairs, instruments and equipment. You would have never known that it wasn’t intended to be there.
During service, Pastor Josh spoke of walls coming down, embracing the storm and becoming renewed, restored, and revived. The Holy Spirit was thick and tangible.
A peace fell in the warehouse, and a vision of Pastor Josh telling me “Welcome to our new space” flashed through my mind. Every life will be touched; no one will miss out.
Then he spoke out an altar call for relationships: "Are you having a tough time in relationships?" I ran to the front. What some don’t know is that this past summer - so beautiful, yet so hard as well - has been the most difficult for me. I had been dealing with heartbreak. And while maybe it was a place I should have walked away from earlier, I chose to stay, to believe in a person, and to work it out. The consequences were such that my heart needed drastic healing and redemption. I would arrive at church, (since the one thing I do know how to do is show up) damaged but present, pouring out my worship and tears to God: “Heal me Lord, do for me what I cannot do for myself." I met with Pastor Josh and Georgie, and they lovingly reminded me of who I was - not someone to be discarded but someone to be loved. So I ran to the altar, received the love of God in my heart, and heard “no time has been wasted." For a 44-year-old woman, that is great news.
Baptisms: I wasn’t initially going to get baptized. I stood there newly minted, so to speak. I was so full of God’s love, taking pictures and watching the waters being stirred. The humility of each heart, the chance to be new again, and the joy - I had to have some of that. I ran, got my shirt, put it on, and Amber grabbed my hand, saying, “Julee, I feel like God is saying that this is a brand new start for you.” Renewed, I ran in the pool. Pastor Josh asked me if I repented. “Yes." Do you believe that Jesus died for you? “Yes.” Do you want declare him as your Lord and step away from your old ways into the new? Emphatically “YES!”
It may have only been a second in reality, but in that instance - and those proceeding - it was the seeds of hope, love and encouragement that awoke inside of me and encouraged me to go. To move beyond what I knew; beyond the desert to a place where God could speak to me; where He has full control; where I am known, sought after and pursued with a mad passionate love like no one has ever pursued me before.
That night when I went to sleep, I dreamt of a house that was full of junk - messy and dirty - and the process of cleaning seemed so arduous. But in a second it was spotless.
For you, God, have wiped away every tear from my eyes; death shall be no more. Neither will there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore - for the former things have passed away.
Isaiah 61:10 // I will rejoice greatly in the LORD, My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness.
// JULEE RESENDEZ