Seeing Friends in Glasgow
Roots in Seattle
Worshiping God for his Capacity
As November comes to a close, I’m taking time to focus on worshipping God for answered prayer.
In May, I decided that for my birthday, instead of focusing on the mind (another degree program), I really needed to focus on the heart (finding healthy community). This month, I found such a robust church community that it took my breath away.
In July, God redirected me to Seattle after nearly decade of praying for restoration in my family relationships. I’ve been in Seattle since August, and for anyone who knew my family in the past, the transformation God is doing is explicit evidence that there is a God (lol).
In both of these situations, Jesus went before me to do things I couldn’t do for myself.
This month, I went to Scotland for one last training before I graduated from the Global Prophetic Alliance’s Emerging Prophets Program. Graduation marks the end of a 2 year journey that has left an indelible mark on my life. During this program, I met and befriended some wonderful people, started a training nest for people interested in Youth + Young Prophets, developed a social group to keep in touch with prophet friends, and explored my calling across contexts and countries.
As this program comes to a close, this month I processed some of the highs and lows that my journey as a prophet has taken over the last calendar year (not necessarily related to this program, but in general). While there were many beautiful things that happened in 2022, I faced others’ jealousy, competition, usury/consumerism, rejection, and bitterness periodically. I saw both loss and risk, even when risk was worth it.
Part of me feels like I’m experiencing Revelation 12:14, in finding a new Church community and being tenderly nurtured by God.
The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach.
In finding Mosaic Church, I’ve found the balance my spirit has been craving. It feels like an outworking of a word God gave me in October about a season of more relaxed, buffet style pacing regarding growing in the prophetic.
I love how this church is quietly apostolic and missional. I’ve joined a small group where worship and practicing the gift of prophesy are routine, and am excited to continue practicing the gift of prophesy while on team outreach to Seattle’s homeless population. I’m also hoping to start volunteering with their ministry to teens. I am still continuing to develop national prophetic words and resources related to Youth and Youth Prophets with friends, but this Church gives me a grid for how prophets can function within an Apostolic Center setting. In general, I feel like this Church has more opportunities for robust ministry than I could possibly explore, and seeing the hyper-abundance of good choices feels like grace after feeling like I was lacking room to expand for so long. I feel that God has brought me to this church to learn from how fluidly (and subtly) they do apostolic ministry, as part of developing range, especially for regions of the world who need a gentle introduction to prophetic ministry because the Prophetic Movement hasn’t yet touched them.
As I worship Jesus, I’ve been delegating some responsibilities and my timeline back to God. While it’s true that my faith has taken me through so pretty wild experiences of God’s power to rescue and provide over the years…
As I process where I’m going and where I’ve been, I’m finding a new degree of acceptance of the unknown that outpaces all of my previous seasons. It’s wonderful, and feels a little bit like freedom and floating. While I’m still getting used to this degree of peace unknown, I feel a greater measure of trust developing. It feels like the beginning of a period of seeking and finding, where God intentionally conceals part of the solution in order to have greater dialogue about the process.
That being said, in order to stay present in this season, I’m needing to push back performance pressure and rigid expectations (externally from others, internally from myself) about my development process. I’m looking for work, but am hesitant to not rush timings, even though taking control and forcing something that isn’t God’s best is tempting.
Defining the Time and Season
In this specific season, I’m still primarily focused on allowing God to reset and redeem family dynamics. Apart from themes of quality of life, balance, and community, I sense God calling me to hold salt and develop resources, develop maturity, and expand skill sets. In general, it’s a season where I’m letting the ground lay fallow so that I can gain strength to keep swimming up current.
Direction for Doctoral Thesis
Another focus of this season is laying the groundwork for my doctoral thesis. When I started my Doctor of Educational Ministry in Educational Leadership degree (D.Ed.Min.), I was 25, working out of my apartment in DC, and really hungry for Jesus. I applied and was accepted to doctoral program just a year after finishing my Master’s in Early Childhood Ed because, even though I had set out to not get another degree for a decade, I was just too hungry to learn.
I’ve met some wonderful friends and have loved the historical grounding and focus on cultural engagement of Virginia Theological Seminary’s doctoral programs. The way they teach students to engage with society should be a standard for the Church and in the Prophetic Movement.
It feels really good to come to the point in my studies where I can lay the foundation for my thesis (which will take another 1-2 years). I’m grateful to be so aware of my own interests and identity that I can use the final assignments in my other courses to already start to explore potential topics.
As of today, I’m hoping to build a framework based on interviews that bridges a Contemplative, Traditional understanding of Christian Mysticism and a Charismatic, Active understanding of Christian Mysticism, asking individuals to “describe a time when they were near to God.”
This framework will hopefully:
- provide common language for encounter
- provide a sense of balance/counterbalance to both groups AND
- provide an on ramp for charismatics and contemplatives to understand one another’s mystical experiences
I will likely focus on themes of vocation and childlikeness. I hope that this thesis ultimately strengthens charismatic’s focus on identity, community, mentorship, and comprehensive individual internal robustness (Deut 6:5).
As I stay in the peace of God, I am noticing God draw my interest towards several new subjects.
- Foreign Policy and War: How do nations prepare for war? How does a nation’s culture influence it’s tactics?
- Governance How can leaders subtly respond to high intensity situations? In positions of high ranking national governance, what does discretion, collaboration, and a right use of networking look like?
- Business How do governance and business administration overlap? How does discretion, strategy, producing a quality product, and leadership look similar and different within these spheres?
- Embodiment and Connections between Nations How can God form the internal dispositions of an apostle/prophet to be an embodied bridge between countries? How do we as individuals become the highway?
- Prophetic Cooking (more to share soon) How can traditional storytelling through ceremonial foods be a model for contemporary prophetic words through cooking?
Worshipping God Who Doesn’t Rush Me
As learn to slow down, I can’t get away from worshipping God who isn’t rushing me towards an outcome or the things he’s prophesied over my life. This month, I listened a lot to Travis Greene’s “You Waited”, in awe that Jesus waits until his Bride is ready instead of rushing the Church’s timing on the earth for his Second Coming. You never rush your Church to be fully ready, but you warn her that she is responsible for making herself ready (Rev 19:17), because the time is short (1 Co 7:29).
I remember when I was in my early 20s, I hated this song because it seemed like a let down. Truthfully, I hadn’t lived long enough to learn to appreciate process and understand that good things have to be built slowly.
Navigating Gender and Healthy Ministry Friendships
As I reflect on Jesus’ unwillingness to rush me, I’ve also been reflecting on the healthy friendships I have with guy friends in the Church. As someone who has dealt with stalking and sexual harassment in the church as a woman, I’ve had to think more than I like about gender, safety, and healthy masculinity.
I used to wonder how I would keep myself safe (especially while traveling) from questionable men in the church. Yet as I look back on the supportive friendships and ministry alliances I’ve developed with healthy guy friends, they all have similar traits:
- Purity of heart that leads to sincere words and actions
- Honoring right boundaries for friendship; purity and honor as a standard
- Appreciation and respect of women’s limits (ie, respect for emotional sensitivity), value for women’s strength
- Solidarity without sameness, true cooperation
These men have allowed me to be feminine while authoritative at the same time. It has been awesome to be able to support one another in ministry in healthy ways.
Reflecting on Leadership
As I reflect more on leadership this month, I can’t help but quote my favorite leadership quote of all time, from Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. The analogy between stewardship, marriage, and church governance is powerful. It makes me think of Ezekiel 34, about what it looks like to develop resources, protect people’s weaknesses, help them invest their talents, provide inner healing, support them under trial, and restore them from failure.
What does Leadership look like? It is basically leadership Christ provides the Church:
- He died for her and makes her whole
- He looks out for her growth and best interest
- He cleanses her from guilt
- He provides resources for her growth
- He protects her from the world, the flesh, and the devil
- He helps her to invest her talents
- He heals her hurts
- He takes her suffering on himself
- He supports her in trials
- He comes alongside of her when she falls
This month, I read Escaping the Maze of Spiritual Abuse by Dr. Lisa Oakley and Justin Humpreys, and was blown away by it’s wisdom. It helped named some trends I’ve noticed in former experiences with healthy churches, and made me more aware as an emerging leader of how authentic leadership guards people from manipulation and usury. The authors cite several other authors (like Margaret Bailey) whose books I’ve read for seminary, in Ethical leadership or Governance and Mission courses. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to raise healthy organizations and values safeguarding for adults and youth.
This book reaffirmed my conviction that sincerity is the ultimate witchcraft antidote. Because sincerity requires purity of heart, exudes servanthood instead of toxic manipulation and control, and focuses on relational investment, it heals. Love that surrenders its own agenda for the sake of others can’t be faked.
Worship this Month
- Practical: Clarity, direction, right pacing, and favor to find a new job
- New levels of purity → in prophecy, in friendships, and pursuit of God in general
- Even more curiosity to seek and find, finding God in mystery
- To remain expanding and remain led by the Lord in the midst of tremendous change