It was an emotionally grueling day Friday. I was walking through a dark time with a friend. A lack of sleep, hurting for my friends and feeling the weight of everything made me want to back out of the IF Gathering conference I committed to that night. I was already running 30 minutes late.
But I went.
And I knew God wanted me there.
The live worship was powerful and lifted my spirit. It ministered to me and reminded me of things I knew in my head but needed to feel again in my heart.
Our small group table of 9 women were so sweet. I only knew one of them. But we shared stories together. How we met Jesus. How he was growing us. I went feeling so depleted emotionally but I soaked up their stories and could see Jesus using our table to minister to my own heart. And one story in particular grabbed my heart in the most unusual way. I can’t explain it really. But it grabbled my heart possibly even more than all of the amazingly powerful speakers at the IF Gathering. And we’re talking amazing messages from people like: Angie Smith, Lauren Chandler, Jen Hatmaker, David Platt and so so many more. I’m still reading all my notes and marinating in the Truths that were delivered. Such good stuff there.
But this story that I can’t keep thinking about is how one of the young women at my table encountered Jesus. Her story is this:
She grew up in an abusive home with parents addicted to drugs. She and her sister were scared a lot and they hid in the closet when things got really bad. The girl told how one good memory she has of her Mom is going yard sale shopping on Saturday mornings. One day she found a bundle of books she wanted and her Mom let her buy them. She took them home but didn’t read them immediately. But one night when she and her sister were hiding in their closet while all hell broke loose around them she found one of the books from the yard sale. It was a Precious Moments Bible. And she read for the first time about how Jesus loved her. She went on to explain that she felt a peace come over her and she knew she was loved.
Wow. I can’t get that picture out of my head…..two little girls hiding from their parents out of sheer fear and Jesus coming to them.
Emmanuel. God with us. In our closets when we’re huddled in fear. That kind of with us.
I just can’t get it out of my head. And I hope I never do. This is the God that loves us. That is astounding.
I thought this Monday morning post would be about the awesome session from David Platt on discipleship or Angie Smith’s impromptu Holy Spirit led session that rocked the room but really it was Jesus meeting that little girl in her closet that just made me fall in love with him even more.
So I’m reminded when we get that, “uhhhhh I really don’t want to go to Bible study, church, small group, that conference…….” we just gotta go anyways. And He’ll meet us there in ways we couldn’t even imagine.