Can I just say, I LOVE my southern upbringing! LOVE IT! There are a few hard rules that are pressed into you from a young age.
*Be polite. Yes mam / no sir.
*Open the door for others ad hold it if you’re there.
*Don’t impose yourself. I remember as a little girl my mom telling me, “You don’t invite yourself over to your friends house. It’s rude. You wait to be invited.”
Fast Forward 35 years … now I’m at a place that I’m asked to go against all that I was taught of Southern politeness to move forward into RUDE … BOLD … Obedience?
A gathering … one you can only attend by invite. I wasn’t invited. I was ok with that EXCEPT one thing … I felt the Lord pressing on me to be there. “Hmmmm you sure, Lord? Let me pray on that, ok? I mean it’s out of town, you know there’s travel cost, and I wasn’t invited to this closed meeting. So, I think I’ll pray on that.” Isn’t it funny that when we ARE praying and talking to the Lord and the He speaks something to our spirit that we are uncomfortable with, we tell Him we will pray on it? Am I the only one who does that? I’m so glad He’s patient with me.
A month before the event, I was “still praying about it” and instead of the intensity of needing to be there fading…it increased … substantially.
So, I did what I didn’t want to do. I did what I raised NOT to ever do, impose and be rude. I asked my leader in charge of our group going if I could attend. I really had to get over myself for that. I mean who does that? Who invites themselves to a private event they weren’t invited to?! Apparently, I do that, but I knew it wasn’t about me, it was about being obedient.
I was unsure WHY I was being drawn to this event but that really didn’t matter I told myself. It seemed easier to walk in blind obedience since I felt I had heard from the Lord. Shortly, after getting the A-ok to go I found out that they were filming several TV segments. I was like …ahah…I see what your doing here, Lord. That’s when I knew, I was being assigned to this event to serve in one of my callings. You see I’ve been given a great hidden platform to serve others that are in the public eye by doing makeup for film and television. This also gives me the opportunity to pray for them, all that they say while filming, and for all those that hear it. ? One of my favorite things to do is to pray and cover speakers/leaders as they do their thing, even when they don’t know I am doing it.
Arrangements were made. Flights booked, rooms saved, rides set up. I wish I could tell you it was seemless and easy breezy, but it wasn’t. When you are sent on an assignment the enemy will come at you any way he can to stop you. AND HE DID.
I must say this was probably one the most effective tactics he’s attempted in awhile.
It was sly, it was subtle, it was PERSONAL. It was me.
My thoughts and FEELINGS started in on an overload assault on my soul. This was not, let’s take a thought captive thing…this was a mass arial assault like Texas size mosquitoes in the middle of summer kinda thing! I could swat all day long but was bit by a dozen while knocking that one down.
By nature I’m not insecure. I don’t have an issue flying solo into something or navigating the uncomfortable. BUT THIS was way different and AWFUL. I was in a constant battle with me, with my thoughts, my mind, my emotions, what people would think, and on and on. But I knew, it wasn’t about me, it was about what He had for me to do.
If the enemy can get you to withdraw and overtake your mind and emotions, then he has won that battle by default. Press into the Lord’s presence because that changes everything.
I had not been asked to do makeup, but I brought a kit anyway.
I had not been asked to pray, but I prayed anyway.
I had not been invited but I knew was assigned. I’ll be ready.
Once at the event it became increasingly clear (to me at least) that I was separate from the group. Now mind you it wasn’t them, it was me. They were very accommodating, accepting, and made every effort to include me in everything. I mean I know these people. I am friends with them and comfortable with them, but because of me not being booked with the group the seating and lodging arrangements left me solo at times.
This closed, invite only meeting (that I had asked to come to), was happening while my leaders were filming. I thought for sure I was there to be with my leaders during filming. This was my “assignment”! It’s what I am here for! but I wasn’t with them, I was in the meeting.
“Did I hear you wrong, Lord? I mean, I’m pretty sure I heard you right but NOTHING is happening! And for real if this is where you want me I’m gonna be miserable. Just sayin.” Ever had that conversation? Then it hit me. The question isn’t, did I hear Him correctly? The question is, does it matter?
Does it matter?! WHAT?! What do you mean does it matter if I heard Him correctly or not? Of course it matters! Regardless of what I thought I was there for, was I willing to let go of it for what He had for me? Could I (once again) get over me, my onslaught of thoughts, and emotional uproar of what all I THOUGHT I heard and was being obedient too for what He has for me now? Comfortable or not? Imposing or not? Feeling separate or not? Doing “my assignment” or not? Because as much as this wasn’t about me … this time … this moment … was about me. It was about how I would respond to Him.
I sat alone among strangers and told the Lord, “I’m here. I’ve traveled to a different state, obeyed, and am showing up FOR YOU. Not for what I think you have for me to do, but FOR YOU and your will, not mine. No plans, no emotions, no insecurities, no loneliness, NOTHING is standing between you and me. I surrender and set aside all I thought I heard you say for YOU. Right here, right now.”
I DID hear the Lord correctly. However, there was delay and I didn’t see it unfolding in the time I thought I was going to. I mean LITERALLY there was a time stamp on this, it was happening in real time, they were filing RIGHT NOW. So the delay felt like a passing over and that I missing out on the purpose that I was there for.
It felt like I had stepped out in rude, bold obedience for nothing. I had fought all those mind assaults for nothing.
I had to fight discouragement and the questioning of me hearing Him correctly. I had to fight me. I had to set my “assignment” and “obedience” aside to let the Lord know He was more important to me, than what He had called me to do.
Sometimes you have to choose to engage where you are and not where you think you are suppose to be.
Literally minutes after that, one my leaders came to get me to help in the filming. They encountered an issue that they knew I could help with on set and from then on out I stayed with them. I did my makeup job, covered the speakers in prayer, and prayed for the people who would hear their words.
The battle had been won, not by me or my assignment but by the Lord. The rest of the time there was smooth internally and externally. NO emotional turmoil, NO mental assaults, NO bloodsucking attacks. It’s as though when I pressed into the Lord He covered me with a spiritual DEEP woods OFF. A protection and covering my swatting away could no compare to. Why? Because…
The Lord cares more about you wanting Him, then you fulfilling His assignment.
Hear, Obey, Prepare and Surrender. It’s not easy but it’s worth it.