This Friday and next are entries from a young married couple who attended the event on June 16th. Their words share their heart on seeking God and how time in His presence nourished their mind and soul. I hope you enjoy hearing their perspective and consider attending the next event on Saturday, August 4th. You can sign up on the Calendar page.
Today's post is from Jacqui. She is a beautiful soul, a "20 something" woman I met several years ago through her "then fiancee, now husband" Paul. It was evident in my first interaction with her that she was passionate about Christ, pursues His heart, and believes prayer is as essential as breathing, i.e. salve to her soul. Over the last couple of years, I've seen her grow and transform more fully into the child of light she is. She's clung to God and believed for more. She has a consistent trait of being vulnerable, believing in the radical life Jesus offers, and investing in God's Word. These 3 things come across as the bedrock of her life strategy. Jesus is her ROCK and she's following His Spirit by faith, pursuing "God-deposited" dreams like becoming a Certified Life Coach and investing in the lives of women coming out of sex trafficking. She would add she "believes in the power of mentoring and community, married the most amazing man in October 2016, loves Jesus with something fierce, and always wants to be eating a donut." To learn more about Jacqui, visit www.thrivelifecoaching.org. Hope you enjoy her perspective and accept the challenges she poses!
by Jacqui Stack-
“Dance on fear.” A few years ago, I received a beautiful gift of a framed piece that an artist had drawn of a little girl dressed in a light pink ballerina tutu lifting an arm in the air and extending one of her legs – an expression of complete freedom, peace, and joy! This gift was so precious to me because this is the image Jesus gives me repeatedly when I am soaking in His love for me, escaping to His presence where there is fullness of joy. There I am as a six year old girl with my two front teeth missing and those straight silky bangs that lay flat across my forehead, with my long pin-straight hair thrown into a messy bun that sits on top of my head. I’m dressed in a tutu that makes me feel like a beautiful princess, and all I want to do is laugh and try leaping across the tall grass that is almost as tall as I am. Everything has a soft, warm, golden colored filter, dressing everything around me: the grass, the sky, the trees surrounding the meadow I am playing in. And then there’s a man, gentle, with his arms fully extended – his eyes are smiling at me and gesturing for me to come dance with him. I do. He lifts me up and embraces my hand in his and twirls me around while I laugh and soak in that feeling of pure joy while the sun is setting. This is the place where I can dance with my Maker, my complete safe place, for hours. This is where I can dance on top of fear. (And boy do I have a lot of it that I have to choose to fight every day).
I am amazed with what Jesus can do in us when we seek relationship with Him with our whole heart (Jeremiah 29:13). There is something that He begins to reveal through images and words and community and silence if we begin to practice having shameless audacity to ask Him for what we need. This concept was introduced during the Into the Waters Sabbath Walk: shameless audacity to ask Him for what we need. Yikes! That’s selfish on our end, isn’t it?
I don’t remember the last time I approached the throne of my Maker in a way where I was absolutely convinced he was going to give me His absolute best. And yet, He commands that of us because he longs to be gracious to us (Mark 11:24; Isaiah 30:18).
I loved approaching Him with confidence – shameless audacity! I asked boldly for him to heal the areas of my life that feel hopeless: a painful relationship with a sister, and a desperation to fulfill the “perfect wife” role and never feeling enough. I have the fear that I will go through another suicidal ideation episode, and that I will never get out of my current job into one that fulfills me and brings me life. I fear that I only love God for what he gives me instead of loving him for who he is sometimes.
I began to pour out my heart’s desires to Jesus because through Gina’s guided questions during the Sabbath Walk, Jesus unraveled things within me that were sitting dormant in my thought life. Old memories floated to the surface, painful words from loved ones I held tight to understand my identity, and bold requests that I was afraid to pray. Shameless audacity! That is my what my little six year old self is teaching me to have.
When’s the last time you have experienced fullness of joy and complete freedom from fear? When is the last time you prayed with shameless audacity?
I can see that there is a craving for an emotionally healthy spiritual life, but a lack of knowledge of how to pursue a consistent quiet time with God where that can be discovered and developed. During the Into the Waters Sabbath Walk event, there was guided quiet time, space to hear Him with pointed questions like “ask God to reveal any lies that you believe, or thoughts that exhaust you.”
There is something beautiful waiting to be taken when we prioritize God in our lives. Life will not get slower, easier, less stressed or more convenient. If we are not choosing to incorporate him into our busy days, we will not choose to incorporate him into our lazy days. I admire my little six year old self who wears tutus, loses track of time, and dances in the golden fields with her Father. I also know that each of you have your own inner child that desires deep connection, to be parented, to be known, and to express your authentic self in a way where you are unconditionally loved. There is no love like the Father’s love – it is unparalleled to any kind of love we will dream or imagine because it does not exist in people to people relationships – only in glimpses.
So, I leave you with a challenge: Make movements to create space to practice courage and shameless audacity with your Maker. Into the Waters is a great place to start!
And being a life coach, I love to end with a question that you can unravel with yourself: What is your shamelessly audacious request that you have been holding back from the Father? Why? What does “dancing on fear” look like for you?
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Prayer is Gift!
Hi my name is Gina; and I'm the founder of the ministry. My 25 year journey with God has been centered on immersing myself in the safe relationship God offers, learning about the power of surrender, and praying for His life in greater measure!