“Father. If this is Your will, if Your Spirit has been guiding me these last few days…show me. Please give me something that shows me I’m connecting with Your will for my life. Please, Lord. If we’re here tonight for Lena, God, I pray You fill her with Your peace and strength. I pray that You touch our lives, that we may take what we’re going through and use it for Your glory and honor. Please, Father…”
I never got to finish the prayer. The speaker that we were listening to last night at church, Dean Sikes, came over to us at that point and began to talk to my wife. We were sitting in the first row next to a dear friend of ours. I should say here that we were late getting there, and didn’t move to the front right away. We (Lena, Caitlin, Makayla and myself) sat in the middle towards the back because we didn’t want to disturb the service. After about five minutes, we began to feel guilty for leaving Marguerite up there by herself. So, following Makayla’s lead, we moved up. Thank God we did.
The anointing of the Holy Spirit has been on me hard three out of the last four days. The first was last Sunday. I wrote about that experience in Joy of The Lord. The second was on Tuesday night at our men’s meeting at church. There was another gifted speaker, Bill Otten, who has a God-given ability to discern the Spirit of the Lord. As we were standing there silently praising His name, heads bowed and eyes closed, arms lifted with our palms outstretched towards the Heavens, Brother Bill made his way around the room wherever the Spirit led him.
I had no idea that he was standing in front of me. I had already begun to feel the connection…a warmth, kind of like a warm rock in a sauna, that stirred in my chest. It was very much the opposite of the coolness I experienced last Sunday. Regardless of how it felt, it was there all the same.
Suddenly, I felt a light touch on my forehead. Bill was there and began talking about the healing power of the Holy Spirit. My head was made of metal and his hand the magnet. As he lifted his hand, my head followed. Tears began to flow unchecked down my face. My eyes closed, and all I could do was thank Him. I thanked Him over and over and over again as His love washed over my body.
Lena was at Wally-World (Wal-Mart around here) when the meeting was over so I met her there. The kids were all with her, and they were having a great time with each other, laughing and joking around in the store. They were going around grabbing each other’s butts…it was Inappropriate Touch Tuesday after all (that’s my girls! :)). When I met up with them, Lena asked me how the meeting went. I told her that it was unbelievable.
In the car on the way home, I explained my experience, and I told her that I couldn’t wait for Dean to get here tomorrow. Dean is the voice God used to begin this blog in February of last year. Given everything we were going through, I felt it very plainly on my heart that there was a reason we needed to be in church last night to hear him.
Back to last night. Dean began by speaking about anointing. Hmmm. I’ve been feeling that. He next went to the healing power of the Holy Spirit and how, when It’s with you, It has the power to free those oppressed by the devil. Again, hmmm. Been feeling that, too. Finally, he got to Acts 10:38…
“And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.”
By now, it’s clear that the sermon was for us. With all that we have been going through, and where we feel led to take this testimony, there’s no doubt that God was at Covenant Church last night. That’s when I began to pray that prayer I recounted at the beginning of this post.
What I didn’t know (and found out about in the car on the way home) was that Dean was telling a story while I was praying. I had tuned him out, but Lena heard him loud and clear. He told of a time when he went to a hospital to a neonatal intensive care unit. He prayed for a family there who had lost their baby. Hellllloooo…that’s us… Then he told of the strength and faith this father showed by speaking at her funeral. You can’t be serious…I did that… Lastly, he shared that the father carried his daughter out of the church. Oh, wow! It was at that point that Lena lost it.
She began to sob silently next to me. I held her in my arms and we cried together. I also found out later that half the church was crying with us as they knew what we are going through and have been praying for us. Dean stopped in mid-sermon, came over to us and said that he could see grief all around my wife. He began to pray in the Spirit over Lena and shared a lot of things with us. Thankfully, another good friend of ours took it all down and sent it to us in a message on Facebook. Here is what he relayed to Lena…
“God will use your story to reach people no one else can reach. Grief is a spirit that comes and it hands off to suicide. You’re the reason I came to Douglas, Georgia tonight. God is going to do something so significant in your life. It was nothing you could have prevented. In the next 14 days you will have multiple encounters with God. It’s okay for you to ask why, but do not get so wrapped up in the questioning that you miss the blessing. God wants you to know joy comes in the morning, worship him. It’s not in your past its in your future. There is an assignment to take you out, the enemy is trying. Don’t feel bad for feeling good. It’s okay to be mad, throw things…do what you need to do. God loves you, and you are birthing something that will minister to others. Don’t feel guilty. She’s watching from the grand stands. Acts 10:38…you are anointed with power. God wants you to journal…don’t worry about what it sounds like, just journal. There is a book on the inside of you, it’s just not ready yet. Why you? God said He can trust you.”
He had no idea that Mia passed away six weeks ago. He had no idea that Lena has been feeling all of these things and more. He had no idea that we are in the process of starting The Baby Butterfly Foundation for SIDS Outreach…to minister to hurting families all over the state, to share God’s eternal strength and peace with them, to bless them the way He is blessing us.
When we left the church, we were so excited about our revelation, and confirmation, that we are truly connecting with what God has planned for all of this. Even though Lena is scared out of her mind when it comes to talking to people and likes to read MUCH more than she likes to write. Even though we are still hurting and the ache will always be there. Even though it goes against every fiber of our flawed human nature. All we have to do…is just believe.
I imagine that this is what Mia would say to me were she able to right now. Close your eyes as you listen. Maybe you’ll be able to see.