Beyond the Blank Page

My Journey to Telling the Untold

Book Review: You All May Prophesy

I just finished reading “You All May Prophesy” by Steve Thompson. When I was at Jesus Culture I was prophesied over and it majorly piqued my interest, and this book was recommended to me. I’m very glad that it was!

On Goodreads I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars. It was a great book, and it was also a wealth of information. I didn’t give it 5 simply because it didn’t go quite as in depth as I would have liked. It was a great starter book, and had a great outline to it, though. It has fueled my desire to prophesy and helped me learn some techniques, things to recognize about false prophets (along with how NOT to become one), and the reality that it won’t all be easy. All in all I think this is probably a perfect book for someone just looking to learn about prophecy. I think it will give you a foundation on which to learn from, and confidence to move forward with the Words that God has given you.

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Write Your World: Gettin My Shoes Muddy

As I believe the title would suggest, this post is about getting my shoes muddy. Shocking, eh? Not only was this a fun and crazy adventure, but it also taught me some stuff. Some deep stuff. Some stuff that I am probably going to make sound much more philosophical than it really was.

It all started when church ended and there was nothing to do for the next 5ish hours until the Unify event (a coming together of local churches to worship and fellowship together). Things began normally enough. Two of us simply started out chatting at the go to hangout coffee shop. Our conversation was completely turned toward God and all He has been doing in our lives pretty much the entire time. We had a lovely chat before deciding to go walk around downtown. A short while in we met up with another friend and headed back to said coffee shop. The adventure continued to lack, well, adventure, but was quite rich in conversation. Then our third friend showed up, and that is when it all changed. So, before we get deeper into this, let me introduce my friends. My friends are, in order introduced into story, Crystal, Charity, and Bre. Now that you’ve all met, let’s carry on. The adventure began, to some degree, right where we sat. A guy in the coffee shop kept staring at me and giving me very creepy expressions, such as raising his eyebrows. Awkward, yes, but also extremely entertaining. However, this encounter is very mild compared to where I’m going with this.

Bre suggested that we walk over to the park and swing for a bit, since we strangely hadn’t had any rain in the past couple of days (ironically enough, it rained that evening). We were all getting a little bored of just sitting around, so we agreed and headed off on our way. Bre and Crystal had fun on the regular swings before Crystal and Charity headed off to the tire swing! Now I know, it probably seems right now like this story couldn’t get anymore adventurous. I mean, young adults on tire swings? Does it get better than that? Yes, yes it does.

In fact, this is where the story begins to get good. I should probably start by telling you all that I have a major fear of heights. Yes, major. I also struggle with anxiety in general. And then let’s add in the fact that in the past I have had very, very bad luck when it comes to mud. Considering I live in a state that gets a lot of it, I am a complete klutz in it. I have fallen countless times, and in fact can’t remember a time, other than this one, that I didn’t fall right on my behind.

So, Bre suggests that we take a nature walk. I’m all for it, because there’s no way I’m getting on that tire swing! Thing is, I thought there were stairs that went the entire way down. Clearly it had been quite some time since I had taken the walk from Upper City to Lower City. We were walking down the stairs, all of us merry and energetic, when suddenly everything changed. There was no stair. There was a rock. Not a big rock, either. This rock was approximately the size of my foot, just large enough to put ONE foot on. From there, the drop to the path was nearly a foot. There was a way to go around, but my friends had all gone and were waiting for me. I was comfortable enough chickening out on them, but they weren’t about to let that happen. With the help of Bre and Crystal I put my foot on the rock and jumped. I braced myself, ready to fall flat in the mud and have no clothes to change into for Unify. When I landed on my feet I was amazed. The rest of the hike down was fairly easy compared to that.

Visual Proof That I Survived

Now, you would think (as did I) that the adventure was over at this point. There was no such luck for me, though. In fact, things were only about to get even harder. On the other side of that lovely creek, which thankfully nobody decided to go skipping through or over, is a path. Now, that path has a sign. The sign warns not to pass as it is a historical area. Surprisingly, at the end of our adventure, that was the least of my worries. I think the sign is there more to keep people from dying a painful, thorn filled death, than it is to preserve the land. I almost died. Totally not kidding. Really, I’m not kidding. I may be exaggerating a bit, because I’m Irish and that’s what we do, but I’m definitely not joking.

There were stairs this time, and I was super excited to see that. Thing is, though, that those stairs are extremely tiny, stone stairs that are who knows how old. There are also thorns all over the place going up. In fact, right as I hear Bre yell, “Watch out for the stickers!” one got me in the finger. Good times. And yes, height was definitely a factor yet again. The thing is, I didn’t really realize how intense this was until I was halfway up. At that point, the battle is halfway won. By then, going back down would have been just about as difficult as going the rest of the way up was going to be. I yelled, “Okay, I’m going to take the thorns just like Jesus did!” and continued my hike. I reached a place where there was a large rock in place of a step, and yet again wasn’t sure how to maneuver. This time I knew I had to do it, but just needed to calculate it right so that I wouldn’t fall to my thorny death of doom. Crystal offered to take my purse, and so I basically climbed up using my hands. There were a few more difficulties on the way up, but after that it was mainly only the thorns that were a hindrance. Ironically, I didn’t slip the entire way up, but once we reached the top I slipped on a patch of mud. I caught myself, but I couldn’t help laugh at myself.

We then played at the park that was up there as a reward for our bravery. We climbed all over and basically did a photo shoot. We had a TON of fun and laughed so much that my face hurt.

Survival of the Fittest!

So, that is basically where the adventure ended, despite two more hours of exploring around town. One last thing, though. On our way out of the park I noticed something. My shoes were really muddy. Okay, you’re probably thinking I’m really dumb right now. “Wow, you’ve been talking about your trek in the mud this whole time and you’re just now realizing that your shoes are muddy?” That wasn’t the shocking part. The surprise was that I LET my shoes get muddy. I don’t do that. Ever. Sometimes once I stop caring so much about a pair of shoes I will walk around, a LITTLE, in wet grass. Mud, though? Nope, doesn’t happen. I don’t like to get dirty or something like that. I really don’t know, I just know it’s how I’ve been for as long as I can remember. I let myself let down that wall and have a good time. I conquered my fears, however dumb they may seem to some. The cool thing is that we had talked about fear at church that day. I didn’t let my fears rule my life on that amazing day. I stood up to my fears and found that they weren’t quite as bad as I expected. After all, I’m still alive, aren’t I? And even then, the worst thing that could have happened was dying and going to be with Jesus (not that it would have happened here, but in general). So, I conquered some fears, had some fun, and got my shoes dirty!

Friendship

And friends? Pretty darn important! 😉 I couldn’t have done it without you, ladies! Love you all! ❤

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Write Your World: Breakthroughs

If you’re like me, you’re still searching. Maybe, like me, you have found God but are still learning new things each day. Maybe you still doubt. Maybe you ask Him “Why?” on occasion, confused as to why you have suffered so. Maybe after you question Him about why your life sucked so much you feel awful, realizing how much worse off some people have it. Maybe sometimes you don’t care. Maybe life just doesn’t make sense sometimes. Maybe, just maybe, this all means you’re simply human.

As most of you know, I experienced spiritual healing on December 2, 2011. My life has been changed ever since, and about 98% of the time I am a happy person that just wants to glorify God and get my homework done on time. That other 2%, however, is extremely powerful. Even the slightest bit of anger in my soul opens up cracks. I never used to notice those cracks, and Satan could send his demons in without me even noticing. I have felt demons inside of me, wracking my body, soul, and mind with anger and confusion. I’ve never gone all “Exorcist” or anything, but I have heard them inside of me saying, “She’s ours, You can’t have her back,” heard myself echoing the words to my mom that sat beside me praying. Knowing that one demon was inhabiting me was scary enough, but hearing “ours,” realizing there was more than one, was possibly the scariest moment of my life. Now when I notice those cracks emerging, when I feel anger taking over, I pray that God will fill those cracks in me. Maybe you don’t notice when it’s happening, but if you simply pay attention, your body will tell you.

I know that this seems really random, because my posts are mostly all happy and positive. I don’t want to be a fake, though. I need to admit that my life has NOT always been filled with God or joy. In fact, most of it hasn’t been. The past week has actually been really hard. I realize why, coming home from a spiritual high like Jesus Culture can result in very mixed emotions. The desire to work for God 24/7 fills me, but at the same time I am back in the real world. It’s hard. It reminds me of when I was baptized and heard, on multiple occasion, that I needed to realize that life was going to get harder instead of easier by dedicating my life to the Lord. I didn’t buy it until it happened. It took time for me to realize that it was worth it though, that GOD is worth it.

This post is mainly my ramblings, I know, and I apologize for that. There are just so many things bouncing around in my head that I want to share! I guess I’ll start with today and go from there.

As you know, today is Valentine’s Day. I try to be okay with that, and in fact on the surface I don’t feel sadness over being single, but realized that it is there, just well hidden beneath the surface. So, start with that and nothing even had to happen to make today start off bad. After that things just went downhill. My dog, Xander, has seizures. He hadn’t had one in quite some time, but the one he had today made up for it. I held him and took care of him until it was over, concerned for his health. After he was feeling better I headed to get a shower. My jeans were in the washer, waiting to be dried, and I was leaving in just a few minutes. Shaving my legs to wear a skirt had not been in my plans, and thus I grew more frustrated. My cat, Yoda, was being a bit of a jerk to top it off. Then the icing on the cake occurred. I was going to Dutch Bros to get coffee for my mom and myself, but my ignition wouldn’t budge. I tried jiggling the key, and still nothing. My frustration was growing rapidly, and I felt those cracks opening up in me. Anger overtook me after about 15 minutes of nothing working. I called my mom and vented, and as my anger grew close to its peak I yelled, “When I get this freaking car to start I’m going to drive it off a cliff!” Yeah, timid little me wasn’t feeling so timid.. For the record, I’m humiliated to admit to this, but I’m trying to be honest.

I proceeded to yell at God for every single hurt in my life for the next ten or so minutes. I began to cry as all of my hidden pain surfaced. I tried the key again and it started. As it started, they were talking about a song by Laura Story, a Christian singer, that she wrote when her husband was diagnosed with cancer. After that, a song about getting through our pain came one (I don’t remember which one). I immediately began asking God to forgive me as I sobbed all the way to Dutch Bros. Here’s the thing: I have had an emotional blockage for a LONG time. The last time I was really able to cry my heart out was when I broke up with my ex, which was three years ago. I prayed, just last night, that God would bring a breakthrough into my life. I prayed that I would be able to really cry, not just tear up a little. I think it is still going to take time to fully get there, but I had a breakthrough today in the weirdest of ways. So, I guess the moral here is that God works in mysterious ways. My misplaced pain, that I didn’t realize I had, came out a little today. I don’t recommend driving off a cliff or yelling at God for every bad thing in your life, but I do recommend remembering that what seems totally out of the blue might just be God trying to get your attention.

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