This past weekend I had the privilege of attending a conference from Revival People Netherlands about Reopening the Wells of Revival. We had guest speakers Apostle Shirley, Jaap kooy, Martin Kornsta, and Herman Haan. It was honestly a rich experience, because I was able to let go of expectations and be myself in this, I learned a lot, even possibly what my future should be holding.
The thing about this entire theme of meeting God in the middle, is that the middle is difficult to find. I remember standing in the first session of this conference praying to God whether I should go up to the front for prayer. Something that seems so simple but I was so socially anxious to go up there. But he wasn’t giving me the sign I wanted, so I didn’t go to the front. Yet I felt a loss as if I should have gone for prayer. After that session I was talking to someone from my church and we were talking about this theme of meeting God in the middle and that I was afraid. Once you take that step you don’t know where it will take you, where God will take you and as badly as I wanted to take that step fear had grounded me stuck that I couldn’t do it. I was reserved going into that first session and very guarded. He asked me why I had come to this conference if I was being so guarded and didn’t actually want to be there, I liked the question because it challenged me to really think why I was there. Later I came to the conclusion: I was there to meet God in the middle, to grow.
The second session started and during the worship I was praying for God to open my heart to different things. This manner of worship and teaching was different than what I’d grown up in and I was guarded because of it, but I didn’t want that weighing me down any longer. The friend I had spoken to came up to me at this point to say something, and very quickly very clearly he said God is telling me to tell you that you need to focus on him. To let go of the things plaguing my mind and focus fully on him. It made me emotional to hear that just because God was speaking to me through someone.At the end there was another call to prayer at the front, anyone who needed praying for could come and receive it. I started walking and immediately froze thinking am I really going to do this. I went up to the person I was sitting with and asked if she was going up, but she said no. I walked back to my place and couldn’t stand still. Before I knew it I was at the front where I saw someone I knew from church and asked her to pray for me. The funny thing about this I had barely spoken to this woman, we knew each other’s names but on both sides had no idea what was going on in each others lives. She asked if I had anything specific or in general that I needed prayer for. Not knowing how to answer that I just said general. She started praying and to my shock, started praying for the loneliness and brokenness in me. The things that I had been struggling the most the past year living in a weird country alone. I could feel my body softly shaking at this moment, it was so clear to me what was happening.
The third session rolled around and and I thoroughly enjoyed it, my emotions had settled down and I was just listening, trying to keep reminding myself to focus on God as my friend had reminded me earlier on to do. When that session ended it was time for dinner and at that point the person I had been sitting with left, so I kind of wandered around by myself for a while before sitting with some others my age. We had dinner and at one point I remember just feeling like I had to be on my own because certain things were once again just really bothering me even though they shouldn’t have been. It wasn’t my situation to deal with and yet I was on edge. I walked away to avoid my mind spiralling and sat in the conference hall waiting for the next session to start. I had taken seat in the back and was sketching in my book different things I had felt God telling me throughout the day when the worship started again. Usually when it comes to worship I’m the first to stand because I absolutely love it. Yet this time I remained seated because I just needed time to think and reflect and as I’m doing that I look to my right where I see my pastor and he sons dancing with her to the worship. Something hit me inside and it got too much, because that loneliness that my friend had previously prayed for came up so eminently and suddenly that I couldn’t hold it down. Why was it that I was here alone while everyone seemingly had someone, why don’t I have a family here with me, or that will dance with me to music, or attend the same church as I do.
I walked out cause I wanted fresh air to calm myself, and not for the first time that day. The entire day had been emotional in good and bad ways with listening to God speak as well as full on confronting pain that had been festering yet hiding inside of me. As I sat outside I was angry, angry that God would allow pain such as this and loneliness, that he made me a person that craves for contact and relationship and yet here I am sitting alone as so often seems to happen. Once I regained control of emotions I walked back inside only to see my pastor looking for me. She came up to me saying she had walked the conference hall twice looking for me and took me to where she had been standing and dancing with her sons. That made me quiet, because as I had been complaining to God and making sure he knew I wasn’t pleased someone was out there looking for me what I had so desperately wanted- to be seen. As the worship ended she placed me next to her in the front row of the conference without question, and that was the best session I had. Not because it was that much better than the others but because I was amongst others and people that loved me.
At the end of the last session there was a call to encourage. For we are the generation that will revive this country in faith and we were to encourage one another that we would do so. So I walked up to my pastor and gave her (what I was planning a quick hug to not take up too much of her time) but what turned into a long long hug. In that she kept saying to me that I belonged, that I was wanted and that I was loved. This was now my home too and I was there with purpose too. Again I could feel my eyes squeezing shut to avoid the tears from streaming and to no success that was. I hadn’t told her at any point these things that had been hurting me, and yet she seemed to know exactly what was needed and acted on that.
You see this never would have happened if I hadn’t taken that step to meet God in the middle. If I hadn’t prayed for God to make me open minded in this, to not be so guarded but to open myself up to whatever may come today so I could leave that place better, and more aware of God in my life. Meeting God in the middle is confusing, because where is the middle. It’s scary because what’s that gonna mean? It’s difficult because the world is not that great a place and we were never promised an easy or enjoyable life. But it’s worth it. I may have had to face some hard truths that I was struggling with these things, and deal with emotions I’d much rather have suppressed, but because I didn’t I had such a rich day, I felt on fire and honestly still can’t quite shut up about it.
There is no such thing as ‘too late’ with meeting God as long as we are alive on this earth. Some people choose to believe at the age of 5 others at the age of 67. At whatever point someone comes to God and gives their lives to him he’s there waiting for you and ready to accept you and welcome you with open arms.