faith in the overflow

I think I had to put  my thoughts down somewhere. The theme for the fall retreat was Overflow. The theme for me this weekend happened to be faith.

I was walking through the prayer walk – just wishing and hoping that it would mean something to someone. Putting pressure on myself because that was my piece of the weekend. I wanted people to talk about how awesome the prayer walk was. To make me feel like I contributed. I finally sat down to the first station – to write a letter to myself from God. I honestly just let my hand go and didn’t try to think about what I was writing. This is what it said –

“Dear Rachael,

Do you see? Do you see how much I love you? How proud I am of you? How much I trust you? Believe in me for more – for bigger things. I am challenging your faith. Seek me, you will find me. I have anointed you. I have appointed you. Not just Tyler – you. You are good enough. You are leader enough. You are wife enough. I love you. I have called you. This confidence you empower others with – believe it for yourself. You are mine.

I love you,

God”

I didn’t realize what this letter meant until just now. Two days after the retreat. Today, I opened up the booklet and reread this letter. Literally less than minutes later after I wrote it, God invaded my heart. I wasn’t even ready. I wasn’t even expecting it. Even though I WROTE IT DOWN, I wasn’t expecting it. Which is what he wanted to show me. His presence was more real than I knew could be possible. I knelt. Hands open. And he said, “Nope. You aren’t giving yourself all the way.” So I laid down. Face on the floor. Arms, hands open.

And He said, “Stay here.” And I did.

I wanted to be running around taking artsy pictures. I wanted to watch everyone else encounter God. But He wanted me to encounter Him in that moment. To not make it about anyone else’s faith. About MINE. Which I didn’t know needed to be challenged. I was feeling good – this whole weekend God had used me and had placed me in specific situations to help Him heal. I was so grateful.

And He told me – “You prayed last night for someone who called themselves a Christian to start over. You spoke over her and encouraged her to ask Jesus into her heart truly for the first time now that she could understand. Now it’s time for you. YOU need to ask me into your heart. As an adult. As a leader. As a mom. As a wife. Not just as a 6 year old because you wanted to go to heaven. Invite me in again, Not just as your Savior, but as your dad, the love of your life, the faithful leader of your steps.”

This was more than a retreat. This was more than teenagers getting away, causing chaos and learning about Jesus. This was literal chains being left at Summit Lake. I saw piles of fear, regret, heaviness, left on the concrete outside the tabernacle. I saw God’s presence invade a space to make it impossible to not have an encounter with Him.

And now God is telling me:

Why do you doubt? Why are you surprised every time at my goodness?

I will meet you when you need it; I will you use you where you are supposed to be

I will fill you when you are empty

I know we are meant to be in awe of Him. But I don’t think we are meant to be surprised. We are meant to expect. We are meant to anticipate and hope. To believe He is capable of more than we can hope for. I am so grateful to be a part of this group that provides the space for the leaders to be changed; to be vulnerable and broken. To allow for God to piece us back together.

Now live in the OVERFLOW.

Safe, sure, free, filled, healed, whole.

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