Monday, June 13, 2011

Just another week.

Marjolein Coghi spoke again this week, this time on relationships. Ugh. She’s such a wonderful woman, and I love when she speaks for us, but this topic is so obnoxious. It was all good stuff, for sure, don’t get me wrong. A lot of us really benefited from it. There was so much wisdom and revelation gained for my brothers and sisters. I, however, am done talking about relationships…mostly because there was a huge emphasis on romance. Ugh. I’m so sick of it. God has me single right now, and I believe it’s for a reason. I believe He wants me to learn to be content alone, to become complete as a man. He wants to make me into a good brother, and a good son. He’ll make me a good lover later, I’m sure. I just don’t want to think about women right now. I just want to be okay by myself.

Outside of romantic relationships, however, there is much wisdom to apply. Basically, we need to love people. We need to trust one another, enough to be vulnerable. We need to be honest. We need to respect one another, and see each other’s needs above our own. We need to understand one another, and not just look at things from our standpoint. We need to be compassionate.

One morning, during a praise and worship session before class, the Holy Spirit came to move among us. The whole base was in the common area, for the weekly worship, and the Holy Spirit prolonged it for a couple more hours than scheduled. A lot of people were sick from the weekend away, and we felt that God wanted to heal them. We prayed corporately, but then individually. I was feeling pretty sick myself, and I had a few aches and pains, but I was not healed…maybe because I didn’t ask anyone to pray for me specifically. Curiously enough, some people I prayed over were healed. This girl Molly who was visiting from the Air Force Academy asked me to pray for her injured shoulder and it was made well. I felt led to pray for Phillip’s knee, which he hurt here at some point, and he said it was feeling much better afterwards. He had been going on runs with a knee brace, but not anymore. Praise God. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen healings.

Despite this, I was still kind of discouraged that God hadn’t healed me. While no one laid hands on me, I still pleaded for healing. I’ve been really congested, and my tailbone still hurts a little bit sometimes. I also slept on my neck in a weird position in panama, therefore making head-turning a little challenging. Obviously these things are very minimal, but I could do without them. I still don’t really understand why God doesn’t heal people when they ask Him to. There are so many theories, but I think they’re all bogus. Who can explain God and rationalize the fullness of His ways in human words. I later found out that I wasn’t alone in this. Not everyone was healed that morning.

We wrote letters to God one morning, and prayed for a reply. I didn’t want to do it, because I wasn’t feeling very connected these past couple of days. I didn’t want my troubled mind to get in the way of me hearing God’s voice. I protested by not beginning my letter until like twenty minutes in, but I eventually poured out my struggles of the week in my letter. I was feeling lonely. Homesick. For some reason I’ve been comparing myself to my brothers here on the base and finding myself jealous of them. I told God that I’ve been feeling insecure with myself. It’s been really easy for me to see the gifts and talents God has given my new friends, and feel less than them. I also asked Him why He didn’t heal me the other day. As I was writing, I felt like He would whisper a response to every word I jotted down. We were to write God’s response on a separate piece of paper:

Dear Charlie,
You must remember that I am faithful. I have been with you since your first breath, and I haven’t stepped away for one moment. You are eternally and fully loved. You are valuable to me. I always want to spend time with you. I can’t get enough of you! I love when you talk to me, and I love it when we go on walks together.
Charlie, you need to stop comparing yourself to others. I have made nothing the same, yet I have made everything a masterpiece. You, my boy, are a work of art. Mine. Priceless. One of a kind. And remember: I do not make mistakes.
Remember this, also: restoration is coming, and I am going to raise the dead.

With Love,

In light of healthy relationships, we did something very interesting to promote unity among our team. Friday, we participated in what YWAM refers to as “Giving Day.” Everyone is supposed to pray about giving something, either material or sentimental, to someone else. I was a little nervous about this, because I didn’t bring much of value. The things I did bring were also brought by everyone else; my laptop and my iPod. I didn’t bring much clothing, and I was in huge need of money. For some reason when I prayed, I immediately thought of this glow stick Steven Rozzi had put in my suitcase before I left California. I don’t know why, I just felt like it was supposed to symbolize something for someone else, or provide a reminder while they were on Outreach. I wasn’t sure who, I just knew I was supposed to give someone the glow stick and affirm them. We all sat in a circle, awkwardly I might add, and waited for people to make their moves.

Some gave pieces of clothing. Some gave money. Some gave away iPods, and laptops. Some people met others’ simple needs, like giving them a pen because they lost theirs. It was particularly moving to see people give away their time, offering to take people out for dinner, or doing their work duty for them to give them a day off. Two of my friends spoke up and explained to me, during this time, that they felt like God wanted to provide for me so together they gave me $300. I felt really silly giving away my stupid little glow stick after seeing such beautiful generosity.

I gave my glow stick to someone who serves as a light in my life. I have it to someone who is constantly showing me God’s love, and who is always encouraging me. I’d like to dedicate this next paragraph to my friend Peter, from Denmark. He is a true and sincere friend, because he treats me with such brotherly love. Peter, when not cracking jokes, is always encouraging and affirming people. At the same time, his is completely honest and real with you. He loves spending time with the people he cares about, and is unwaveringly supportive of his friends. He comes to every yoga session, and will go out for a run with you at the drop of a hat. If he hears you agreeing with the enemy, saying that you’re not good enough or you can’t do something, he rebukes you and tells you the truth that you are created in the image of God and anything is possible with Him. I pray that my stupid little glow stick could serve as an affirmation for him, that he would know God has filled him with light.

Saturday night was such a bummer. This last week I finished my training to participate in Freedom Street, the prostitution ministry. Everyone who was finished just had to fill out an application so the leadership could pray about our participation. Of course, I forgot to turn in my application on time, so I couldn’t go out. One of the leaders did, however, read my application on the spot and talked with me about it. She questioned my motives behind working with the people on the street. On my application I mentioned, and perhaps over emphasized, my eagerness because of the uniqueness of the opportunity. It was a good reason, she said, but it’s not the best reason. I was given the suggestion to examine my heart a little more this week before coming out to the streets.

So, instead of going out to the street corners, I spent some time with God and asked Him to confront me with whatever He needed to. I was asking God why I couldn’t go out to the streets. In response, He asked me “why do you want to go?” I told Him, “I wanna do something significant; I don’t wanna just survive, I don’t want to just live a life characterized by consumption and resting. I want to feel like my life to counts for something.” To which He replied with the same question. “Why? Why do you want to feel significant?” Doesn’t everyone want this, I thought. Doesn’t everyone want to feel valuable? Doesn’t everyone want to feel like there is a reason for them to be breathing? Yes, God said, but that value doesn’t come from what we do. It comes from what God already did, and what He says about us. He pointed out to me that I should not go to the streets to do something that will make me feel valued, but rather go to the streets to help people discover the value in themselves that they do not know. I should go because the prostitutes are valuable to Jesus. Ouch.

Praise Report:
- God is up to something in my heart. He’s speaking to me a lot about contentment.
- My funds for outreach have increased! Thank you my dear friends for your generosity. I only have $535 left to raise until I’m in the clear. Five more days until my deadline.

Prayer Requests:
- Security in my identity. Knowledge of where my value lies.
- Finances. We’re almost there!
- Team unity. Please, please, please. Closeness, intimacy, and vulnerability. Trust and honesty.
- Courage for what lies ahead in Outreach. Peace of mind as we draw nearer to our departure.
- Divine appointments. Words from the Lord. Miracles. Signs and Wonders. Whatever He’s got up there.

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