Seven weeks ago I moved to Kona, Hawaii for a 6-month training and equipping season with Youth with a Mission.
I am a part of the “Fire and Fragrance” school, centered around prayer and worship. Within this 330+ student school, there are ‘tracks’ to develop a specific skill to use in the nations to bridge cultural differences, to share the Gospel through loving relationships, and to disciple the hungry ones. These tracks include Media, Dance, Messengers (speaking the message of Christ accurately and effectively), LifeBearers (women’s ministry), Music, and Respect the Corners (RTC).
What is RTC?? Glad you asked! It’s the track I was drawn to YWAM Kona for! RTC uses fitness to train coaches to disciple those in their community. RTC is filling the need for the Good News of Jesus to be taken to the hardest to reach places in the world! They train men and women to a level of fitness so that they are actually able to trek to remote, mountainous villages so that the number of unreached people groups diminishes every day with these trekking teams being sent out!
To paint the practical picture, every Monday and Wednesday afternoon we (RTC students) meet with the coaches to begin grasping the culture of RTC so that it can be multiplied in the nations. One of our incredible coaches challenged us to sit with the Lord in the question, “what is the message I am carrying in this season?” There is certainly a life message we all carry and grow into, but there is also a message for this season. After journaling through the question, I felt led to share that it may encourage you as well, beloved reader.
In early November, the Holy Spirit gave a very helpful dream in which someone asked “If your life was the title of a book or podcast right now in this season, what would it be?” In the dream, I knew it was “Warning: Deconstruction Zone!” That has been such helpful verbiage and imagery for what life in YWAM Kona has felt like for me! It does not matter my age, my past, or any other excuse, because God is so good He will deconstruct every lie, habit, pattern, or false belief about who He is and who I am in Him to align it with His will as I yield more and more to Him. A yielded spirit to God is all that is required to mortify the flesh of pride. I am saying yes again and again; it is more often than not uncomfortable, sometimes awkward, because it can look like staring a friend in the eyes and repenting for where I have been agreeing with lies and offense, asking for forgiveness. It looks like taking the thoughts captive that lead to death (a.k.a. insecurities, doubts, worries). It means taming the tongue to not speak the words I could for a self-deprecating laugh or joke at the expense of another.
He is so worthy of my YES. On the other side of the ‘yes’ to repent to my friend and receive forgiveness was reconciliation and healing. As I have yielded to the Holy Spirit to be the true Lord (which just means the One who controls my life…because it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me) of my life, rather than being constricted or constrained, I walk in greater freedom!
My good Abba in heaven is deconstructing the “little foxes” the Bible talks about that steal from the garden of my heart. These manifested yesterday during a time of ministry when we students were receiving prayer from the young school leaders. As I was continuously looked over and passed by, I had to keep taking the ridiculous thoughts of self-pity, judgment, and offense captive so they would not take root and reap a harvest of bitterness. I realized I was actually uprooting distrust I carried that God wasn’t being a good Father who gives good gifts. After Holy Spirit highlighted this, I repented with joy because now I knew the Truth that set me free!
My flesh hates being told I’m wrong. However, my spirit can choose to agree with Holy Spirit to put the flesh to death, and that’s where my liberty in Christ and life in the Holy Spirit grows! So after repenting for agreeing with offense and self-pity, I then chose to agree with the Holy Spirit that God was directing each leader according to His will who to go to and pray for!
The glorious ending to the story is that the guest speaker who walks in great authority from God was the one to pray for me; the Lord encountered me in a powerful way. I am just grateful Jesus and I got the deliverance and freedom work done before the Holy Spirit infilling (Acts 13:52)! He is a good Abba and knows exactly what each of His children need.
With this deconstructing of so many doubts and worries I have been carrying, Abba has been highlighting that He has a really good plan…far better than any plan I could dream up, ask, or imagine for myself! And He’s deconstructing the doubts I was not even aware I carried about His good plan for family, friends, nations, and the Great Commission to be fulfilled by His Spirit through His bride, the church! Deferring the hope of glory has made my heart sick (Proverbs 13:12). He is fulfilling my longings for a purpose and a future (Jeremiah 29:11) with true hope in his character, nature, and Word.
I digress. This journaling journey about the message I carry in this season brought me to the passage I have been meditating on and memorizing before I came to YWAM and have continued returning to here: John 15. It’s a popular one for good reason.
Considering the last seven weeks of life, it carries a whole new revelation. Innumerable branches have been chopped off and thrown away and even fruitful branches have been (painfully at times) pruned as He said must happen! I wrote parts of the passage out putting myself in the analogy:
“Jesus is the vine, Abba is the gardener. Every branch that doesn’t bear fruit, He cuts off; every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes so that it will bear much more fruit. I am already clean for the word Jesus has spoken to me. I remain in Jesus, and He remains in me. The branch (I) can’t bear fruit of itself (myself), but I must remain in the vine (Jesus). He is the vine, I am the branch; remaining in Jesus and He in me, this does bear much fruit, for apart from Him I can do nothing… Keeping His commandments, I remain in His love, so that His joy is in me, and my joy made full!”
Though the season has felt like a meticulously built-up sandcastle demolished by a 10-foot ocean wave, I would receive this discipline and breaking down of a false self from Abba Father again and again. I trust His only heart and intention is to make me more into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.
And now I invite you to sit with the Lord and ask this question: what is the message you carry in this season with the Lord?
the tall girl