This is so INSANELY long. I will not apologize for that. To shorten it or leave anything out would dishonor the highly overwhelming, intense, beauty of it all. I refuse to dishonor my process. So read or not read.. I will love you either way.
Those two words – Sacred. Special. Transforming. Life-altering. A Gift. Papa’s Love.
Thursday evening, as we are gathered in the “living room,” everyone sharing a part of their heart, I felt a poke in my side. It continued until it was clear that Jesus was standing beside me, poking me, saying “Your turn. Your turn. Your turn.” I physically shook my head no. Several times. I was not obedient in that moment. I had something to share that was needed by someone and I was too scared to share. I felt unworthy… of everything. Unimportant.
Friday night I did not feel very present. I felt light-headed and empty. I was not connecting with anything or anyone really. I went to sit in the back of the room on the other stage and just wept. Feeling the vibration from the main stage, the drums seem to beat in synchronization with my heart. The keyboard played a melody from my heart. The guitars amped my spirit. Yet, it didn’t. The tears I cried that night would begin a weekend of easy flow. My tears didn’t stop. They poured out in buckets. My soul crying out. My heart bleeding out. My spirit flowing out. It wasn’t until Neal came back and wrapped his arms around me that I begin to feel, deeply feel, and connect with the essence of Koinonia. Walls began falling.
So let me share what I was supposed to share on Thursday evening.
I spent a lifetime in a cesspool of unworthiness. Never feeling good enough, wanted, loved enough, needed. I spent my life running from abandonment and rejection, the two things that have stripped me of worthiness. I was running towards love for thirty years. I was seeking out something that I had no idea how to find it or even what it really looked like. As the course of life raged on, I began the perpetual roller coaster ride. When I was up, I was really up. When I was down, I was really down.
The moments that I spent in glory and joy, I wore a suit of armor that deflected all the negative thoughts, feelings, opinions – EVERYTHING – or so I thought. I would be so high on life and love that I would be blind to the trip wire that would set of an explosion inside of me, sending the deadliest shrapnel all through my heart causing me to bleed out my inner chaos. As I tripped, I would fall into a black hole of desperation and self-damnation. I would be reminded, yet again, of how unworthy I was and began the cycle all over again. I would watch carefully as people all around me were engaging in joy, togetherness. I was the uninvited one. Still am. I processed my worth by the measuring stick held by others. Comparison is a thief of living authentically.
Until I was pulled from the wreckage once more.
I pleaded with Papa to save me from the hell I was living. It became a routine. I was happy. I would trip. I would drown. He would pull me out. Wax on. Wax off.
So as He pulled me out from a pit of darkness this time, He pointed to my feet and whispered, “You don’t have to crawl anymore. Walk.” He was recognizing my growth towards freedom. As we walked, He throws a ball of dirty yarn at me. As I catch it, I notice how many knots were in it. When I pulled some from the ball, it was frayed. All of it, frayed and knotted.
“Papa, why did you give this worn out yarn to me? I can’t do anything with it in this condition!”
He replied, “Oh, my Daughter, don’t you see? For the yarn is well-loved.” He began unraveling it with one hand and took my hand with the other and asked, “Do you trust me?” I said yes, of course. But He gave me this look and asked again, “Do you REALLY trust me?” And I said I did. He smiled and replied, “Then be still and know that I will make something beautiful out of it.” I started weeping as He continued, “This yarn is how you see yourself. Tattered. Worn. Dirty. Knotted. Frayed. Wrecked. Useless. Unwanted. Unneeded. Unworthy. But to me, it is so beautiful. Valued. Perfect. Soft. Special. Warm. Inviting. Wanted. Needed. Worthy. Just like you. And I am about to make something beautiful out of you. Just trust me. And you will take this yarn, wrap up all my broken children and together, we will make something beautiful out of them too.”
Authentic love blankets self-exaggerated flaws with perfect grace.
I really wanted to share that Thursday and didn’t and I felt a pull of shame and dishonor for not doing it when He asked me to. I waited to feel His nudge all weekend to share again but it never came. There was never a right time. I missed my opportunity. But I didn’t. He had something better planned. For you see, Thursday’s story was from a place of wreckage. Saturday’s story is a place of becoming.
When I left WHO on Friday night, I wasn’t sure I wanted to return on Saturday. I knew I did but I was full of fear and still covered in a cloak of unworthiness. But I got up and prepared for a day of whatever was supposed to come. I was open to anything. I had to be at that point, otherwise, I was just an observer, not a participant. I had no idea how deep He was about to take me.
I had many encounters with many people on Saturday that were a vital part of my spiritual recovery. And I don’t want to dishonor any of them for their presence because each reached to the depths of my heart but please let me share with you the most life changing moments for me. I honor all who were there for me, completely and unconditionally as I began to peel the most painful layers off. I will share in another post who because I need to honor them. Not for your voyeurism, but for my own gratitude. Not for personal gloating but for THEIR honor.
As I said previously, I really didn’t stop crying, deep, hard, painful crying all of Saturday. I was beginning a process of purging and burning. It was so necessary but completely painful and beautiful at the same time. One of the most completely deeply personal moments of my koinonia experience was when Sandi asked me to step out of my comfort zone and asked if she could honor me by washing my feet. I bowled over in humbleness. I had never felt worthy and she wanted to wash my feet because she wanted to honor me. She thought I was worthy. She took my hand and led me to the front. She looked up at me with such love. She is pure love. The words she spoke to me were the most honoring words I have ever been told. I sat there as she washed my feet feeling unworthy still. Why did she want to do this for ME?
As she washed my feet and then oiled them, the most beautiful Dawn came over to me holding my face, telling me I am worthy. I am royalty. I am a queen. I am beautiful. I came undone. Undone because someone I respect, admire and love so deeply was telling me things I wasn’t sure I believed yet. She laid her one hand on my heart and the other embraced me. Sandi looking up at me, telling me things about me that I know are true about HER.
At some point, I felt someone form their hands and place an imaginary crown on my head, except, for me, I knew it was Jesus placing the crown on my head. It wasn’t just a little tiara either, it was grand, supreme, and full of hidden gems. I literally felt the weight of it as I sat there surrounded by my beloveds. I closed my eyes because the tears were burning and I saw Him beside me. He leaned in and whispered, “You didn’t do anything to earn that. You didn’t win a prize. You were born with it. You were born with it. You were born with it. You are my worthy and beautiful Daughter.”
Right after that, I heard the most tender voice tell me that it was complete. I was complete. Ashley honored me by giving me a necklace from her Unlocked treasured chest. It says complete. The message on the card hit me hard and in all the sore spots and healed them instantly. I will forever cherish this jewelry and just how special her message was to me.
I was not alone. I did not feel alone. Sandi Miller, Dawn Durniak, Ashley Floyd and my beautiful Sherri Jarrett were all there to share and partake in this incredibly life-altering moment for me. Thank you Sherri for thinking enough to take photos for me. I will treasure them as I treasure all of you. I am forever connected to you four because of this special and deeply intimate moment. I honor you all and I am humbled by your perfect grace and authentic love.
Another moment came hours after the feet washing, or I can only assume because time was not kept. I had no idea. I was all in and complete taken by koinonia. But at one point, August comes over to me and pulls me up and speaks truth and life into me. She thinks she just shared this special moment with me but I haven’t told her exactly what happened to me in that moment. It was incredible. I mean, guys, this was as intimate as it gets, really. I honor you, August Meyers. With all that I am, I honor you. You are a life changer and a love bearer. You bring and share His fruit with compassionate grace.
So she is holding me by the arms, our bodies are completely close and she leans her forehead to mine. We are staring into each others eyes as she speaks to me and holds me. I was undone. Sobbing. I closed my eyes and stayed in that quiet moment with her and when I opened my eyes again, I was not looking into August Meyers’ eyes. I was looking right into the eyes of Jesus. She began speaking but it was not her any longer. It was Jesus. “We will not hide any longer! We ARE worthy! We will stand up and take our place! We are loved and wanted and beautiful! We are not going to hide ever again!!” She pulls me closer to her, how that was possible, I don’t know because we were nearly one and then we were one. When she pulled me closer, I literally felt like I stepped into the body of Christ. I felt one with Him. One with her. I will never forget the intensity of that moment. Staring into her eyes and hearing the authority in her voice, yet it was His. Honestly, completely, unimaginably wrecked.
When I went home Saturday night, I was so exhausted. I was split wide open and healed in ways that I didn’t think were possible. I had a dream that was so powerful that I wanted to share Sunday morning but again, there was never a right moment to do it. So bear with me as I do so now.
I was at a WHO conference, I am assuming it was similar to koinonia but not quite. I remember walking through a building of pure gold. Everything in it was exquisite and rich and divine. Velvet and gold. Sparkles and treasures everywhere. It was the most beautiful place I had ever been to. But I was with Mark and two other people. I couldn’t see their faces yet. We were exiting the building when suddenly a crash of waves hit us and water begins flooding all around. Mark looks me dead in the eyes and says, “Know.” And he and the other two people begin floating down this hill, they are laughing, rejoicing and I am still standing there as another huge waves crashes into me. Yet I do not fall over. I am standing. My soul wanted to think I was being abandoned by my three friends, rejected. Alone. But it couldn’t feel that way any longer. I knew they were not leaving me. They just needed to do what was necessary for me in that moment. I needed to see that I could stand alone without fear.
Mark shouts from the foot of the hill, “Know! Know! Know!” It is then that I am able to one of the other two and I knew it was Dawn. She was emitting this light that she does every day. She is light and love in the purest form. She was beaming light up to me with the most gorgeous smile and she said, “You are loved. You are beautiful. You are royalty. You are a queen. You are worthy!” And then the three of them start walking back up the hill, water was gone. And I then knew who the other person was because I heard, “Man!! That was FUN!!!” in a voice that was so audibly Kendal. It is WHO he is. We all laugh until I realize we were not wet. We just got hit by a flood of water and we were not wet at all. I got hit by huge crashing waves time and time again, yet I never fell over. I was still standing every time.
Mark is smiling his sheepish smile and when I feel an arm around my shoulders. It was Papa. He looked down at me and said, “It is complete. You are complete. You claimed your land.” He turned me around and I couldn’t breathe for a moment. I had never seen such a magnificent sight. We were overlooking a city of gold and it sparkled and it shined and the view was not blocked by anything. No mountains. No valleys, No shadows, No darkness. I could see everything and it was painfully breathtaking.
I saw some red light flares all over the city. I asked what they were and He said, “You asked me last week to light a fire down in your soul. So I did. Those flares of red are all the love you have already deposited into the hearts of my Sons and Daughters. Look, Child! Look at all that love YOU have spread. It is raging and it is burning and it is spreading because of you! You were willing to burn yesterday. You are a soul on fire. You will light up this place. You will never feel unworthy again. Keep your eyes not unto comparison but unto me. YOU are a life-changer. YOU are a healer. YOU are a vessel of my love. You no longer have to crawl. In fact, you don’t even have to walk anymore. You are free! You can fly! SOAR! There are no mountains or valleys. You are complete.” He turned me around the other way and there stood LOVE. All of my WHO family was there. All of my natural family was there. Strangers were there. Arms wide open. Hearts exposed. Love pouring out.
Y’all… I am UNDONE.
WRECKED BY HIS LOVE.
Thank you Papa.