Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ruined for anything else for now!

It's been a busy year that recently climaxed in miraculous ways.  As most of my friends know, I have had the privilege of working with LifeWay Women Events for the past year on a couple of events.  Last year I was part of a team of women in KC that hosted Living Proof Live with Beth Moore downtown.  We hosted 9000 women in Municipal Auditorium for worship with Travis Cottrell and teaching by my hometown gal, Beth herself!  I couldn't possibly explain how I became a part of these events.  God simply orchestrated it miraculously and curiously.  The team of gals I've worked with have become dear dear friends!

Because we all had such a glorious time working on the LPL event, when LifeWay asked us to host Priscilla Shirer in 2013 we jumped on it!  I traveled to Nashville back in August 2012 with our city coordinator, Mary Tostenson, to begin planning for Priscilla.  This would be a smaller event at FBC Raytown with only 1400 women. We planned for months, invited women, introduced them to Priscilla (Dr. Tony Evan's daughter), promoted her studies, and prayed constantly that He would blow us away with a mountain top experience. The event concluded on March 2nd and I can honestly say it was a journey I'll never forget.  People say that all the time, but I mean it!  I'm ruined after this one!  My sweet friend Patricia from LifeWay told me once that I'd be changed more than anyone when I signed on to take this responsibility, and was right of course!  I've never been so disgusted with myself and amazed by my God than during this journey! I'm so grateful that He thought it was time to deal with some stuff in me that had rooted itself so deeply I hadn't even realized it!

For both of these events, I was asked to serve as the prayer coordinator.  For an event like this, LifeWay literally asks you to write a prayer strategy.  Seriously, a STRATEGY...written down...and submitted to people who might actually keep you accountable for what you wrote!  YIKES!  I felt like my name was on the line, and honestly I wanted LifeWay and Priscilla to be blessed by our work. I felt so responsible so I prayed like never before.

I've spent the past year praying for so much in addition to my own family and desires!  I've prayed for minute details and HUGE life changing results.  I've prayed for protection from Satan and I've fasted!  I've prayed thousands of scriptures!  I've prayed alone, with one or two others, and with hundreds.  I've begged and pleaded for women and men to pray with me and I've been awake in the middle of the night praying more than I could've imagined.  Why did I take this so seriously?  I honestly can't explain it without admitting that I'm competitive and selfish and prideful and all sorts of other ugliness.  But I'm also utterly aware of His sovereignty and ability and goodness.  I'm pretty sure I went into this whole thing believing that if I just asked often enough or desperately enough He'd answer.  I mean I knew He was going to do what He was going to do with or without me, but I think I thought I could beg enough to make it all "work out". What I now have come to understand is that He so graciously and sweetly invited me to be involved in what He was already doing.  He was giving me the holy opportunity to see His supernatural activity.  I've often prayed something like this over the last year:  "Lord, I know You call us to walk by faith, but I'm asking You to peel back the curtain and let us see just a glimpse of what You're up to.  I promise I'll walk by faith tomorrow after this event, but today I'm asking You to let me just see a glimpse of what You're doing...see some fruit today."  Boy has He done just that!

I've seen young women and teenage girls surrender to Christ for the first time.  I've seen young mothers excitedly accept their callings to lead their children first and any circle of influence they may have next toward the one Merciful God!  I've seen depression replaced with hope.  I've seen women of all races and ages worship in a variety of ways that surely is what heaven will look like! I've seen homeless women find stability in Christ alone.  I've seen men praying for the women of this community humbly.  I've seen miracles...sheer miracles!  I've seen shipments arrive at the last minute as we were asking God to send them.  I've seen people come out of the woodwork to attend an event when we thought no one was coming.  I've seen money for ministry appear out of nowhere.  I've literally seen and heard the Holy Spirit sweep through a room until His presence was palpable.  I've seen Him change my heart of stone toward women's ministry to one of willingness to serve women in His name yet again.  I'm even excited about it. Now that's a miracle!  All this because I was invested in prayer and watching for Him to work.  All this because He is so sweet.


I'm ruined for anything less!  I won't ever stand before 1000's and teach.  I won't ever have my own book or write my own Bible study.  I won't ever travel the world to teach or lead worship.  But I will pray like my life and the lives of the women and men I serve depend on it.  Don't misunderstand me.  I know nothing depends on me, but I am ruined for less than living in such a state of dependance on Him alone from now on!  I believe this is why God graciously allowed me to take part in this past year full of women's ministry.  I want to hear Him, see Him, and sense Him so I'm going to ask Him! I'd welcome anyone else who's with me.  

Thank You Father for focusing me on You again in this season!


Debbie McGrath said...

EXCELLENT!!!!! your entry really spoke to me!

cdh said...

LOVE knowing there are people like you praying fervently for the rest of us!

Suzanne said...

Oh Gayla Beth!! How have I not read this until now?! Now is when I needed it. Prayer is our life blood. Our constant breath and companion to walk in the way of our Lord. May we be 'faithful in prayer' today. Praise God for this passion & privilege!!