Shame // Renamed

As Shannon said last week, we had the absolute pleasure to partner with IJM and Exodus NW in hosting a Nehemiah Night with 4 stations in March.

“Nehemiah never acted without praying, and
never prayed without acting”

The station I had the pleasure of leading was Shame Renamed. The purpose of this station was to pray for young people and the things that make them feel shame. To illustrate this station we used the imagery of having negative words wrote on rice paper and by dropping them into water, the word would disappear. For example, some of the words were unloved, hurt, ugly, worthless etc. All negative, heart wrenching words, but all real thoughts and feelings of young people. The words disappearing portrayed the accepting of the word, but also the acceptance that god has for it and that he covers you, he doesn’t see that negative word you think about yourself. He covers you with hope. 
During this prayer night, a word that kept popping into my mind was hopeless. I feel that god wanted this word to be prayed over so boldly and so deeply that anyone who felt this would know the the hope that god provides. In a city that knows the effects of this word so deeply, I’m so glad that we got to pray over these feelings and negative thoughts that so many young people feel. These words opened up such honest conversations between each group and I love that we were able to address these words in such a comfortable way and involving way.

It was so encouraging to hear the prayers of others for these words and I think everyone in each group was moved by the words each person had prayed. I think the station allowed a lot of people to take a small step out of their comfort zones and allowed themselves to listen to god and what he wanted to say through them for this word including myself.

I’m reading a book at the minute and the quote by mother Teresa “not all of us can do great things. But we can all do things with great love” really struck me. This night wasn’t about doing great things, or about changing the world but my doing these things with great love. By praying over these words with great passion. But by having such a massive passion, being world changers and doing great things but with great love. 

Even if you are covered in hopelessness, in hate, in worthlessness, in shame and in any other words that make you feel not good enough and not loved enough. There is always someone who is praying over you and praying that you would feel the love that god wants you to experience. Jesus welcomes everyone to the table. He welcomes you fully whether you are full of shame or full of love. 

All the love, Katelyn x 

comfortable

Comfort zones are comfortable and familiar. They’re not scary and we don’t have to take a leap of faith and we don’t have a rapid heart rate when we go into them.  That’s why we love them and rarely leave them. Leaving that comfort zone is sometimes almost completely debilitating and terrifying. I think many of us wait for God to tell us where to go or what to do next instead of just doing it when we feel that we want to, we wait until we feel comfortable to take that step.

I was watching a show when one of the characters said this and it kind of hit me:

“Everyday you don’t open the door, it gets a little easier to stay inside… no one can open this door but you.”

I just thought comfort zone. I think this is so true, I think that if you create a comfort zone and stay In it, it does become harder to leave it, it becomes harder to make dreams happen. A lot of us have beautiful dreams, but it’s so hard to carry them out and let them unfold due to this invisible box we have ourselves trapped inside. God will give you that dream and He will constantly speak to you and tell you to do it, but you have to take the action. You have to actually listen to him and believe that leaving that invisible box is safe, it’s not dangerous and it really isn’t scary. All you have to do is say yes. All you have to do is go and do it.

Nehemiah was like all of us. He had a comfort zone too. When the walls were destroyed in Jerusalem, he was shocked and hurt. Nehemiah prayed until God showed him what to do. God told him to go back to Jerusalem and rebuild the wall. Nehemiah didn’t like that thought. He was uncomfortable with it and was completely out of his comfort zone. He didn’t want to do it, but he knew his heart was in this and that he needed to do this for God’s glory.

Having a comfort zone is okay and it’s okay to go home and let your soul be at rest for a while, but don’t stay there, lock the door and don’t let anyone in. When you feel your heart telling you to go do that thing, come back to faith and loving Jesus, start that bible study or even just as simple as going and talking to that girl you feel needs prayer. Do it, if not for you, do it for Him. He is calling you to take that leap of faith and step out of your all too familiar comfort zone. When you take a leap of faith, it will become easier to open the door.

Do it afraid.

Do You Care?

Today’s a different kind of blog post. Its not a ‘i tell you how to interpret these things’ or your ‘5 minute life booster’. It’s a ‘lets be real, pull up a chair and join the party’ kind of post.

Today we are going to examine our hearts, we are going to look to the deepest darkest parts and decide if they really are as light filled by Jesus as the possibly could be.

Today if your not ready to be real push through. Be honest with yourself. Its the only way to move forward. lets get started.

In Nehemiah 5, Nehemiah has found himself in an outcry of poverty, oppression and pain. He has found himself in a world just like ours that is so far away from what God wanted for us. The first question I want to ask you just like I believe Nehemiah had to ask himself is – Does the outcry of poverty make you angry? When was the last time you paid £5 for a sandwich which with that money could have fed one child for a month in a foreign country. When was the last time you wasted money on things you truly didn’t need because you WANTED it. But better still when was the last time you felt convicted about it? Nehemiah wept and mourned for his country, he didn’t just pray and say its ok, chill out… life is under control, because he knew his identity and calling as a man of God was to do something, to shift something, to be obedient to what God wanted to do. 

Don’t get me wrong its not bad to want nice things, its not harmful to want to wear nice clothes but its when you buy your third pair of shoes in six months when truly you know those coral heels will only be worn once or twice. You with me? I really believe God is calling us to wake up and see who and what is actually around us. We are not called to be of this world. Empty your shopping bag and invest in someones eternity – take them for lunch, buy them a notebook, take them skydiving for all I know. But you sitting on the internet with River Island open for 2 hours is not beneficial. And you know I’m right.

Lets be real here. Ask yourself will you truly do what God wants whatever the cost? Will you fix,pay,and invest in someone else’s mess or will you leave them to figure it out on their own? Will you sacrifice? Will you fulfil your promises? and indeed the promises of God. When was the last time you did these things? Will you walk in knowing that you can do immeasurably more than you could imagine because of who lives inside you? Will you walk knowing that our God; is a God who jumps straight into mess, who eats with the worst, who walks with the poor, who humbly serves the ignorant and arrogant. Will you walk like him? Our God is a God who ultimately laid down his life for us. Will you walk knowing that is your calling and greater still believe and act like it truly is? Or will you walk believing this but having a level of self importance that means that truly walking like Jesus is left for the missionary, pastors, teachers and prophets? Will you throw up your hands and say I’m all for living for Jesus when I get the squishy feelings or will you be a faithful follower who follows no matter the feelings. I know which one God longs for you to be. 

Do you operate differently to the people around you because of the love of God in your life? Do you speak differently, act differently and treat others differently or do you simply blend into the crowd? Don’t waste your opportunity, please. Do you know that your reward truly comes from heaven and that you may not get rewarded on earth? Do you trust who God says that he is and who he has called you to be. Do you trust his provision? Do you remember that your reward is from God and not from people – in all you do?

Examine your heart. Be refreshed by knowing no one gets it right all the time. Don’t strive just obey. Listen to the gentle calling and he will take you all the way.

Love x