Monday, October 5, 2009

born again - again.

a night of praise & worship turned into a night of deep healing for many people. i felt a nudge in my heart getting me ready to "pray in front" that night. i get very nervous every time i have to speak on stage, but i knew that this prayer would be different from other prayers. i was scared but i stood up and obeyed that nudge.

we were praying for the neglected. the abandoned. for the abused. for the fatherless.

all of which i was. and more.

i stood up on the side of the stage, watching as the intimate room gathered together, seeing people pouring out love and praying for each other. seeing tears stream from people's eyes broke my heart and i caught myself crying with them. most everyone in that room sympathized with them. i empathized. i KNEW how it felt.

i heard a whisper in my heart say to me... "you've been there once know how that pain feels... you know the torment, the nightmares, the shame, the feeling of death in your soul... it's time for you to share what happened to you so they know that healing and freedom is possible in Me."

i was just supposed to pray. i was NOT ready for that. but He knew otherwise. it required for me to be vulnerable. i was intimidated with the pastors that were on stage and everyone else that were watching & listening. thoughts began to rush in my head. who was i? i have no formal college degree. a rebellious high school drop out. i had NOTHING to my name. all i had was my story to tell and God's love to share.

but i knew i had to obey. nervous...i took the mic and shared my brief testimony about the abuse that happened in my life and told to everyone about having hope in God, His power to heal even the most painful parts in your memory... the power of forgiveness & His power to make ALL THINGS NEW.

i didn't really remember a lot of what i said. i just opened my mouth and words began to flow out. the one thing that i remembered though was the look in those peoples' eyes. i will never forget the look of pain in their eyes that somehow turned hopeful because they heard that healing & redemption & forgiveness was possible from someone who has been through it.

after i shared and prayed... i got off the stage with a deeper level of respect and awe to the God that i serve.
  • *if you would've asked me 15 years ago while i was cutting myself if there was a purpose for my life, i would've said no.
  • *if you would've asked me 10 years ago if my heart was capable of feeling, i would've said no because i've taught myself to feel numb.
  • *if you ask me the day i was left by myself, 1 month pregnant, left to raise a child by myself, that one day i would be the strong single mom that i am today, i would've said no.
there are many things that i thought WOULD NEVER happen but because of God's grace and mercy and love, He took what had been painful trials & tests and turned it into a testimony.... i knew that was true before....but for the first time in my life it had become a reality...because for the first time ever, my story was used as a means for others to receive healing and give Him glory .the pain i felt was not wasted....but it had a purpose... and the hope that i saw in people's eyes made all the pain i've experience WORTH it... he has indeed turned my mourning into joyful dancing.

days after and my heart still swells with overwhelming joy accompanied with holy fear. i now have a different outlook regarding life's pains and trials. i now have a deeper reverence for God. i am extremely humbled that He chose to use me to share His love for others that night. i am soooooo grateful.

for years i asked & prayed for Him to make the dreams that He put in my heart come to pass. i had a taste of that for the first time last sunday and it has broken me like never before. in the words of a *good friend of mine... i felt like i was "born again - again". it's like i've given birth to something that i've cradled in my womb for quite a while & i've seen my baby for the first time...and i am soooo in love with the Lover of my soul...the One who conceived these dreams in me.... and i feel so unworthy to carry this baby... but i know that it was given to me. and i must take care of it because He has entrusted me with such a holy calling.

i also feel like i have a renewed sense of purpose & passion in my life that i haven't felt for a really long time. a crying out in my soul to reach out to those that are hurting, because there are soooo many people out there who need to hear about His love.

i feel like He's defined & detailed the picture that He has painted as the story of my life. and what once a dirty canvas, with blotted ink that made no sense, is now a picture of hope, healing & restoration of a redeemed soul created by the Master Painter Himself.

and i am in awe of this Loving Creator who has given me a crown of beauty instead ashes and has put a trumpet in my soul to declare the sound of freedom and victory in Him.

He is TRULY worthy of all praise.

my dear friend, don't underestimate the power of your story. don't underestimate the God that can bring you through the storm and turn things around for His glory. weeping may last for a night but He promies you that joy will come in the morning. we ALL have a story to tell. and your story will be used to give hope and joy to others who need it and bring Him glory. don't be afraid to share it. =)

friend is *amanda mikko