I know what you’re thinking, “What does this title mean? I thought she was going to write about what God had to show her while she was experiencing Bethel Music?” Well let me tell you something, you’ll find out soon enough. Just keep reading.
I will say this. I put as much detail into what I experienced so that you could see what I saw. This was not dramatized.
Yesterday. Valentine’s Day. A day that I usually end up spending alone. I had a Daddy/daughter date with my Father/Savior/Redeemer. I was blessed enough to receive a special ticket to Bethel’s Worship Nights in Orlando. Not only did I get to be at the worship night, I was able to be a part of the Bethel Breakout Sessions, but let’s start with earlier that morning…
I began to put my make-up on for the day’s events. This included some fun eyeliner and major mascara. I wanted to doll myself up. Let’s face it, I was going to be in a room of a bunch of good-looking hipster, Jesus-loving, Christians who were my age. I’m single. I needed to look good. I wanted to stand out. But I also wanted to dress up for my Date. As I was applying mascara to one eye, the other eye began to burn and water. I don’t really know why. It’s a new mascara and it’s made by Clinique. Shouldn’t have this problem. So I grunted in frustration and grabbed a make-up remover cloth and wiped it clean. I re-did the eye make-up and then added more mascara to the other eye. Then that eye began to burn and then they both began to burn. I whined quietly to myself. Face turning red and tears beginning to form as I argued with God in my head. He said I didn’t need to wear all of it anyway and I said, “Yes. I. Do. I want to look good. I need to look good. Especially for You.” He smiled and laughed to himself and said sweetly, “No. Take it off. Now. Please. Wear it like you did yesterday.” As I removing it I began to argue again, “No. I don’t want to. I hate you. Ugh.” I didn’t mean it. I just wanted to have it my way. But he said, “I liked the way it was yesterday and this is for you and Me. No one else.” I exhaled sharply and did as He asked politely. Once I was finished. I was pleased. Confident. Calm. As I walked back to my room, He said, “You know you were just going to cry it off later anyway.” Ugh. He was SO right.
Now for the Bethel Breakout Sessions. There was an acoustic worship set. It was beautiful. Then the Q&A came along. The first question ended up with the worship leaders praying over this woman, Amy. Impartation. He came in like a flood. A rushing waterfall that flooded the entire room. More questions came and there was this moment. Hunter Thompson, worship leader, was asked what God was telling him right now. They could see that God was showing or telling him something to say. Hunter was just saying to Amanda Cook that he really didn’t want to answer any questions today. HAHA! Then he preceded to say a core thing that he carries with him that God has shared with him. He has been thinking about how Jesus wasn’t only just God, he was also FULLY MAN! I honestly don’t remember what else he said because the Holy Spirit began to engulf him and he began to cry and we all just quieted ourselves in awe of His power and presence. We were reminded that what our churches do and what Bethel does are the same. Our church is not on a “smaller scale!” We worship the same God! WOW! What we do here in Okeechobee is just as powerful as what Bethel is doing around the world because we both serve the same Great God!
After the Q&A we had a time of “Soaking” as one of the pastors of Bethel called it. This is where the willow tree comes in. They asked someone to come up and play guitar and as he did, we were asked to get comfortable. Close our eyes. Imagine God standing next to you. Then He grabs your hand. Now think about where He would take you. Under a willow tree. On a large swing, like one of those cute swings that are made out of pallets and a twin mattress swinging from a tree. It was a soft white. Completely shaded from the willow tree. We walked to it. He sat down on it and I was now this little girl. I was sitting in His lap. Playing with His beard. I was in a white cotton sundress. Barefoot. Hair flowing in the cool breeze and the sunlight flickering in and out from the shadows of the willow tree leaves. Obviously the tears were flowing. I’ve never felt His presence like this before. Then we were asked to listen to what He had to say and write it down. So I got out my phone. Waited. Listened. This is what He had to say to me…
“You are beautiful.
You are forgiven.
You’re white as snow.
You’re my little girl.
I love when you sing for me.
Did you know that I am in your voice?
That’s why people feel when you sing.
That’s why I gave it to you.
I am so happy that you do that for me.
I know that you struggle with being confident.
You’re afraid that people will think you’re over-confident.
But if you’re confident in Me, then there is no reason to be afraid.
I love you.
I love it when you are in My word.
I love it when you journal to Me.
I love when you allow Me to speak through you.
Either in English or your heavenly language.
You are desirable.
Your husband is coming.
He’s closer than you think.
But keep your eyes on Me.
Neither of you are quite ready yet.
But I see you hanging on tight to My promises.
He’s everything you want and need.
I am right here.
Hold on to Me.
I am your Peace.
I am your Comforter.
I am your Wonderful Counselor.
I am your anchor.
Thank you for the song you wrote for Me. (Rain Down)
It has encouraged your church body. (His Church)
How cool is that?
Let me pour more into you.”
By this time, tears and snot are flowing down my face. What a gentleman?!?! I want to be in that place constantly. On the large swing. With my Daddy. Under the willow tree.
The worship portion of the day was overwhelming. I honestly cannot express everything because there are no words. I was delighting in His presence. That child-like state overflowed into this time of singing. Which is what I love to do. Sing for Him. Sing about Him. Near the end of our time there, they asked some people to raise their hands if there needed to be any chains broken or bondage to be freed from. They named a list of things. I raised my hand. As people began to lay their hands on me I became inundated with love. Then I felt this complete, honest, stillness. My body was completely still. There was a healing. A healing from my bondage. There was a complete release. Calm. Could not and would not move. I wanted to stay there forever. I was overtaken. Ravished. Enthralled. Captivated.
After being dismissed, a lady that my party knew, came up to me. God gave her a word for me. There is an increase of the Holy Spirit on me and coming to me and whatever I was receiving there that evening was coming back with me.
There was a shift. I knew it the moment she began to speak. A spiritual shift that He was speaking to me about at the beginning of the new year. He asked me, “Are you ready?” I accepted but asked for the strength to receive it. I know now that this is what He wanted for me because it’s also what I have been asking for in the depths of my heart. I want more of Him. I want to go deeper. There was a hunger there last night and it wasn’t only me. There was a steep desire for His presence and His power and I got some of it. I just need to be the vessel. I am not broken. He has made me new. I am honored and blessed to have His favor to be used by Him and given more of Him.
I hope this has encouraged you as much as it has me.
Have a blessed day.