Rapid Redirection for Family Reconciliation
This month as I finished my summer classes at seminary, God sent me one of my biggest answers to prayer yet. All at once, the Lord answered prayers I have been praying for family reconciliation for over a decade.
Believe it or not, the events that led up to this breakthrough started about a year ago. In August of last summer, I made a trip to the Pacific Northwest and Denver to spend time with family. On my trip, I made it clear that I sensed God drawing me to a season of travel that would likely take me overseas for several months. While my family didn’t pay much attention to my words then, I continued to try to get them comfortable with things like video-chatting through Whatsapp and set boundaries on how much I would initiate communication so that they would have to come up some levels. At the time, I needed to come out of over-functioning and have permission to be merely human. I also set boundaries to help them brace for the possibility that I will likely be living significant portions of my life overseas.
For up to a year before leaving the classroom, I kept getting dreams about a season of travel followed by a season of rest, and then a season of receiving inheritance in ministry. These dreams intensified in the Winter. Due to the communication issues, I seriously wondered whether details (like resting in my mother’s house) were abstract (motherhood in a metaphorical sense?) or concrete. I did not understand how it could be concrete, given the deterioration of the situation.
In the Spring, an established prophet gave me a word about family restoration. At that time, I still needed to keep boundaries, and I saw such little change that the situation that it was very personally challenging. On the flight from Singapore to Brazil, I was really crying out to God in travail, and I was grieving. Due to my calling to Latin America and the grace for family that is on Brazil, the Lord exceeded my expectations by setting me in a family homestay and healing me up *fast* from past family trauma. Then unexpectedly while I was in my last week of seminary, my mom reached out unprompted. Over the next 48 hours, the friend who I was planning to visit and I separately decided that we needed to work on family restoration instead of reconnecting in Toronto. So within just 72 hours, I was on my way to Seattle.
The following week, I checked in with friends in Brazil again. Just as I sensed, God confirmed to us both separately that the time wasn’t right for me to return. Realistically, I need to rest, and they need to focus on long term planning related to negotiating space and potentially buying a building. It was the most peaceful, “Not yet, but soon” conversation I’ve ever had, and I’m really excited to maintain in touch. My friend’s goals to see Holy Spirit move within the Educational sector are so similar, and as family, he made it very clear that the door is open in an ongoing sense for the future.
Relating to Family as a Prophet
My family is just starting to figure out how to relate to me as a prophet. Within days of me landing, there were several specific incidents that were eye-opening for them related to the outworking of my call. The most notable event was probably when my sister was choking at a restaurant and I had to do the Heimlich maneuver to save her life (she’s fine now). As a prophet called to deliverance, I wasn’t fully surprised but I definitely needed to lie down after.
It’s dark, but I got to try Lemon Lavender creme brûlée as a free dessert from the restaurant after. Haha. Hopefully another time I’ll get to order that under different circumstances…
Another pretty wild incident was when my mom was out of town over a weekend and I prevented my dog from going into a diabetic coma and dying. At 13 years old, taking care of Teddy (Teddy Bear) is like taking care of vulnerability itself. He’s blind and diabetic, but he still has the most beautiful long eyelashes and likes to be held like a baby.
I cant help but look at him and remember the days when he was little enough to wash in the kitchen sink.
While my mom was gone, I ended up having to force feed him some apple juice when he wouldn’t eat and was delirious. I was relatively familiar with diabetes as a condition because my dad was diabetic growing up. Either way, through prayer and close supervision, Teddy is just fine and sleeping next to me right now on the couch. This experience made me think of Psalm 71, and how the Lord doesn’t just care for us when we are young but well into older age (71:18).
Apparently, the favor God has put on my life is good for more than just free parking spots, free desserts, and discounts. Speaking of diabetes, I got off the phone with my dad a few days ago, and according to the doctor, he is no longer diabetic. I did not know it was possible for the pancreas to heal itself, but suddenly his A1C levels are at the level of a normal, fully healthy person. As someone who always was a little afraid of my dad dying young because of lifestyle and health issues, this news was a wonderful surprise. I didn’t know to pray for it, but God did. I’m praying that this healing would help my Dad receive God’s kindness and remove shame related to unbelief.
Things are still a work in progress, but it’s already more than I would have known how to pray for. As a kid, I often struggled with seeing or sensing things and didn’t have tools to communicate it to them. This photo was taken when my sister an I were 18 months old. For me, this photo represents some of that tension of sensing and seeing but not being able to explain. I am the one in pink, and to this day I wonder what I was sensing when the photo was taken. This month, I’ve been able to help put words to some of those experiences and how they affect my current life. This time of reconciliation is answering their prayers for a second chance and more time before I move abroad in the future. It’s also healing things in way that is necessary before I move into the next season of life and ministry.
This month, I encountered God’s love most powerfully through Emerging Prophets friends. On a training Zoom call, I was unexpected placed in a Zoom room with two friends who are full of the innocence and genuine love of Jesus. After we had finished collaborating on the assignment and without anyone’s permission, they love bombed me by praying for me and telling me that I absolutely have to come visit this fall.
This experience was probably the most tangible experience of unconditional love I’ve experienced since I was 11 (and that experience changed my life completely).
Through these friends, I realized at a really deep level that if I utterly failed at everything, they would still choose me. It made me aware of a deeper level of security I didn’t realize was already available, and began the sudden death of my perfectionism.
Multi-Month Process of Burning
So in this time of internal reformation, what apart from perfectionism needs to die?
Idealization / wrong expectations too.
So…maybe a lot?
He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord.Malachi 3:3
The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tests hearts.Proverbs 17:3
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.1 Peter 5:10
God’s refining fire prepares us for new life and is full of necessary discomfort. In the Flint Hills of Kansas where I’m from, there is a practice of controlled burning the prairie in order to restore the ground for the new season. Since my name meaning roughly translates to “pasture land” or “fruitful field”, this imagery for transformation has always stuck with me.
During a recent Zoom call with friends, I not only felt but saw part of this burning process as the light made it seem like my hair was on fire. I love God’s sense of humor.
Finding my Lower Limit: Rest
Once in my last year of high school, I found an unorthodox way to measure my capacity. I intentionally took advanced calculus and chemistry courses so that I would know whether to write off STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers when I started university. Ultimately, STEM wasn’t my jam. While it didn’t help my grade point average, knowing my limits was gift in the long term because it helped me know what to pursue instead.
God poured out such grace during my time of traveling. I was able to move really fluently at relatively intense pace, and learn to hear his voice on a dime. So much of the sensitivity that I have today was formed through this February-June period. At the same time, sensitivity training woke me up to how much I love connecting with different kinds of people. At a deeper level, I saw that I was organically made to build networks and highways between people groups.
However, towards the end of seminary, I began to feel the grace for traveling lifting.
Clarity started to come as a desire to be still and rest. As I listened, I became more aware that the growth now looks like going deeper with the Lord versus expansion. During traveling, I found my upper limit for activity. During rest, I hope to find my lower limit for stillness.
From that place of stillness, the Lord will sort things out. Even in the rest, there is such an acceleration that it shocks me sometimes, with resolution coming to situations within a day. As I’ve been resting and letting God do the internal work, I have been shocked by how my capacity related to words of knowledge, revelation related to youth ministry, and watchman prophesy growing fluently. God is sitting on me like a mother chicken over her eggs; I can let go and trust that things are going to be fine. In the meantime, I’m learning how to receive. If I don’t learn how to receive, I’m going to struggle with blessings God wants to send in my future.
Watchman: Sensitivity, Walls, and Protecting my Eyes
Beyond just protecting my family, there were some situations this month that really left me in shock about the existence of evil in the world.
In these moments, I find solidarity in God’s horror at the brokenness of the world. It also made me more aware of the horror of the cross, and God’s potential need to look away.
Your eyes are too pure to look on evil;
you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.Habbakuk 1:13
I don’t normally cry excessively, but I spent a significant portion of this month undone in intercession through tears. It didn’t feel like heaviness, but a deeper sensitivity to the experiences of vulnerable people in general.
In becoming more sensitive to injustice, I have needed to make peace with areas of sensitivity in myself that I may not have openly owned before. In order to navigate this increasing sensitivity, I have set up a few extra healthy boundaries (Song of Songs 8:9) to protect myself. Right now, that relates mostly to my use of social media.
Part of this is a result of being careful to not take on responsibility that isn’t mine. Related to Watchman prophesy, watchman are primarily required to stand watch from a healthy distance (on walls) and share information.
Meanwhile, the Lord said to me, “Put a watchman on the city wall. Let him shout out what he sees.Isaiah 21:6
I’m trusting God to show me what he wants me to see in the Spirit or in the natural, and hide the rest. Ultimately, God has to be the one to watch over me as I remain watching.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the guards stand watch in vain.
In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to[a] those he loves.Psalm 127:1-2
I know at some point, I’ll have more beautiful things to look at and celebrate.
The voice of your watchmen—they lift up their voice;
together they sing for joy;
for eye to eye they see
the return of the LORD to Zion.Isaiah 52:8
But in the meantime, I have to:
- Preserve my Integrity
I will set no worthless or wicked thing before my eyes. I hate the practice of those who fall away [from the right path]; It will not grasp hold of me.Psalm 101:3
2. Preserve my Innocence
For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil.Romans 16:19
3. Preserve my Eyes
“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light.”Matthew 6:22
Learning about the Apostolic in the Pacific Northwest
As it happens, my friend Helen lives within commuting distance from my mom’s place in Washington. I have really enjoyed spending several weekends with her at events and starting. tosupport the work God is doing in her as an Emerging Apostle in this region.
It’s a real gift to come along someone with more experience, and an even greater gift. to have things to contribute. The Lord has been sending me strategy for her through dreams, introductions, and similar interests.
Drawn to Reflect on Time
As I’ve begun to slow down, the Lord has been speaking to me again through media about time.
Most Impactful Book
Based on Swinton’s book, I created this concept map with classmates on the timelessness and timefullness of God this month. I especially liked Swinton’s description of how Jesus redeems time through us.
As I played with Helen’s children this month, I realized that children’s difficulty with time and timings has to do with their hunger for open space. This hunger to explore without limitations reminds me of Isaiah 49:20
Yet as you listen, the children that you have been deprived of will say, ‘This place is too small for me; make room for me so that I may settle.’Isaiah 49:20
As we played, I said to them and myself:
- How can you make the fast time slow down?
- How can you turn the slow time into permission to rest?
- How can you turn the fast time into freedom to accelerate?
As God’s children, how can we find freedom in the measure of room we have while STILL waiting on the more beautiful territory?
Most Impactful Movie
I love well done sci-fi, always have. Like everything on this list, I found the movie Arrival accidentally this month, and it was such a gift. The story is framed exclusively through the first person experience of the main character, a linguist turned scientist. It relates to timelessness, memory, a mother’s concern for her child, and making peace with the risks involved with loving others deeply. Unlike some sci-fi, it’s more about human experience than the intensity of special effects or the shock value of violent aliens. I felt really understood watching this movie, because my memory is organized by people and theme (stories), not in chronological order. The movie essential concludes with the idea that love is worth the risk.
After all, where there is no mess, there is no unconditional love.
Most Impactful Poem
At seminary this month, my classmate shared this poem by Madeleine L’Engle, author of A Wrinkle in Time. This poem manages to talk both about the risk Jesus took to enter into the mess of human life, but also the risk of falling in love. Lord, teach us how to make peace with risk. Lord, when you are in a situation, you make the mess safe.
Most Impactful Songs
Please Pray For:
- For me to find my lower limit of rest, coming to absolute stillness before things speed up again
- Fluent, God-facilitated opportunities for provision
- Strategy, revelation, and joy in supporting my friend in her call as an Apostle
- The right partnerships to fall into place regarding part time work or next steps at the right timing
- Continued grace over family restoration