Sunday, September 8, 2013

One small step for some, One giant leap for me

Luke 2:19
But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.


Tonight was Sunday Night Live at our church.  It is our once a month Sunday night service where there is a more relaxed setting and the night is pliable, allowing the Spirit to flow and to sway freely throughout it.  It was my first such service.  I was able to go on my own and leave everyone else at home. 

God has been moving here; here in my heart, here in this church, and here in this move.  He is showing me things, and un-chaining things, and having things spoken to me as in literally and directly spoken to me.  Oh friends, there is so much of this happening that it is too much to contain in one blog post.  Just know that tonight was a culmination of all of those moments and steps that have come before. 

We started the evening with praise and worship, it was a small group of people who showed up, so the worship leader called us up to the alter area in front of the chairs to be closer together and to sing and to dance and to worship.  The sense of closer community was being created.  The songs were about freedom and love and deep intimacy with Jesus.  I sang them freely, but also with a tinge of hypocrisy in my heart, because I did not feel free from my chains and I don’t do intimacy well.  I ignored the tinge and sang and swayed and felt close to the other hearts around me as much as I could and I told myself that was enough.

I heard sniffles behind me during a pause in the music and I turned to see a new friends emotions spilling out.  I barely know her, but I saw her hurt and if felt familiar.  Despite my uncertainty I went behind her and I placed my hands on her shoulders and leaned my head slightly towards the back of hers.  I don’t know any of her story, but I prayed and sensed that she needed to feel loved.  So I prayed hard that she could sense God’s arms wrapped tight around her and that His love would encase her.  I wanted to bear hug her from behind, but I also didn’t want to freak her out, so I just stayed safely on her shoulders as I prayed. 

I went back to singing and thought, “okay God, you are giving me a break tonight.  That is cool.  I am down with that.  I could use a little observation time. *two tongue clicks and finger gun point towards heaven* Yeah, good stuff.”  Sing, sing, sing.  Message Time.


Yeah, no observing for me tonight.  It was a full on God in my face, holding my chin, speaking directly in my ear kind of a message.  “Are you getting it Karmen?  Are you fully hearing me yet?  I am talking to YOU!”  It was a message chock full of all those words that catch in my soul: fear, doubt, trust, freedom.  It hit every one of them.  And then Pastor uttered the words that God was wanting and going to set people free….tonight and I swear He looked directly into my eyes so many times that I was like, “okay I get it, this is for me (others too, but still for me).  And I wanted it, I wanted it so bad, but I didn’t know how to get it.  And the pastor said that no one cared if we lay in an isle bawling like a baby, that we could be messy, that it was okay.  At that point I was like, “Seriously God, I totally hear you, okay?” 

But I also was shutting down, because that is what I do.  I close off and in when the emotions rise, and I don’t do messy in front of eyes, and I don’t move I sit.

So I sat there wanting freedom while adding more locks to my chains.  I looked down at my bare feet and my dirty sandals and the light reflecting off of the guitar on stage kept flashing in my peripheral.  “I don’t know how to do this God.  I don’t know what to do.” I kept telling Him over and over.  “This opening of me, I am incapable of this.  I can’t do it.”  And I kept looking at my feet as I hunched over my knees feeling as though I was adding another failure to my long list of failures. 

I could hear the others praying, some crying, some speaking in tongues and I felt left out, because of the cages I have created.

Then Pastor stood beside me, laying his hand on the middle of my back.  Tears slid down my face.  I feared he was wasting his time with me.  He stood there waiting as others prayed aloud.  He stood there waiting and there was such a heat underneath his hand.  He began to pray and speak words to and over me when someone broke out in tongues on the other side of the church.  They got louder and louder.  The only word I understood that kept being said between the tongues was “Run”, “RuN”, “RUN”.  The pastor asked God for a translator.  It took a few minutes as God was using the voice of someone who wasn’t sure maybe if she was supposed to be the one to translate.  She began timidly. 

I can’t quote what she said exactly, but it was along the lines that someone was doubting themselves, their place, their worth and that God loved them, as they are, He saw them, the everything inside of them and He loved them so much and He wanted them to run to Him. 

I heaved beneath the hand on my back.  God was calling out to me; He was running to me and using other people to make sure I was hearing Him clearly.  The tears spilled out hot and my hair was sticking to my face.  More words, more hands, more love, more chains being broken for me because I didn’t know how to break them.  God came to me. 

The words stopped and the hands let go and let me sit and cry as I assimilated all that happened.  And even after all that, I sat and argued with God. 

“God I am not these things they are saying.  I am not blessing, I am curse.  You see me.  All of me, surely you know that I am not blessing.”

As the truth of the words He spoke over me through others voices continued to sink in there was a calming.  An emptying.  A freeing that was taking place. 

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus, was being sung.  A song from long ago that resonates in my being.  I sang out and shocked myself at the steadiness and volume that came out of my voice.  I just sang, freely.  There was a refreshing that occurred.

Another song began and once again there were feet at my side.  “Round Two”, Pastor said and he spoke to me of my future and where God was leading me and about my family.  Things that would only be able to come from a deep knowledge of us as a family, which he as a person does not have.

The sanctuary was chock full of the freed as the service came to a close.  The mic was opened up for testimonies.  Several came up.  Pastor called for if there were any more and I did what is normal for me I sat and thought/argued about it with God.  No one came so he prayed a closing prayer; afterwards I raised my hand though, because I felt I had to share.

If you know me at all, you know I don’t do this.  Public speaking, not my thing.  Private speaking, not my thing.  I am really just not all that into speaking when it comes to emotional anything.  So this walking up there, grabbing a mic, and actually talking….WOAH.

I pretty much sucked at the talking part.  I tripped on my words, didn’t clearly get at what I wanted to get at and probably left a few people scratching their heads, but you know what, I don’t really care.  I did it and that was Huge.  That might have been one tiny step for someone else but it was a huge leap for me.  Even if the only coherent part of it was the little "Yay God" at the end.

I know I am not doing this night and this moment and this forward momentum justice, but I just had to share with you.  I just had to get it down and out.

*If you were there and you caught anything I was trying to say, here are a couple of links to fill you in and maybe make what I said a bit more coherent.


Running with eyes wide shut
Standing Still


  1. KARMEN !!! I want you to know that I am SHOUTING on the west coast !! I am HALLELUJAHing ALL OVER the place !!!! THAT is a HUGE WOWSER WHOOO HOOOO !!! YOU did AWESOME !!!! AWWWWWW !! You spoke to the exquisiteness of the moments so well !!! tears are streaming !!! I am rejoicing because today while I was at the NBK lake I thought of you and wondered if I could ask you what you thought of the new revelation that occurred to me,.....(which I can NOT recall at this moment !!) AND THEN I read this !! Spiritual BACKFLIPS and high fives across the country my friend !! I cant wait to read the next post !!! grinning gatepost to gatepost !!! WHOO HOOOOOOOO !!!!

  2. Karm - so glad to hear you felt some healing tonight. You are absolutely a blessing to everyone who knows you. Love you!


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