Happy New Year readers! December was such a busy month with visiting family in Florida and New York, celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ and ringing in the New Year. All the while, the alarms in my mind kept telling me “you need to write Part 2, you left everyone hanging!”, but that obviously didn’t happen, so here I am in 2019 writing Part 2 recapping all God did in the latter part of 2018. (I’m learning to turn off those pesky alarm bells in my mind and remain present in the moments that really matter, so if I go M.I.A. once in a while on the blog or on social media, now you know why).
After a really rough Summer, my husband and I did go see a Christian counselor after my melt down in the car that day. Side note: I highly encourage anyone in a really tough season to seek out Godly wisdom, there is such a pressure in the world (and I think more so in the church – because we’re perfect right?) about keeping your mess to yourself and the Enemy is wrecking lives and homes because of that lie. We sat with him for one hour and it brought such clarity to both my husband and I about some changes we needed to make in our communication and routines. It opened both of our eyes to the hard-to-swallow truth that I’m not Wonder Woman (darn, my lifelong fantasy was shattered) and that my heart needed to set some really strict boundaries about what I took on and let in for that specific season. It took ONE session (and I’m not saying this is the norm) for us to get to work and make some really hard decisions, but as with all hard discipline, we were trusting the results would payoff.
To rewind a bit, in the Summer (after buying my ticket and booking my hotel, uggh) out of rebellion stemming from the season I was enduring, I had decided on not attending the Moms in the Making yearly conference in October in Dallas. I tried several times (like ten times) to give away my ticket/hotel room (for free) and NO ONE took it. Really? Yep! A 75% all expenses paid trip for the grabs and there were no takers. I finally surrendered to the possibility that God really wanted me there and I grudgingly booked my flight. On the flight there I had a tough conversation with the Father, “Lord, I want NO words or messages about babies (remember, this is an infertility conference, no baby talk is nearly an impossible request). I’m over it. If you want to talk to me, let it be about our relationship, You and me, that’s it.”
At the conference, I worshipped like I hadn’t in a long time, not caring what anyone else thought of me. I danced in His presence with all my strength even when my feelings weren’t lining up. I declared over my spirit the very things my mind and flesh were begging me not to believe anymore “He’s a way maker, a miracle worker, a promise keeper, that is WHO He is.” I remember declaring over myself like I was in a literal spiritual war over my own soul “God is good. You know His voice Vanessa. You know what He has said. Doubt and fear have to bow down to His voice. He has the final say.” On one of the last days of the conference, my dear friend and keynote speaker Jessica Satterfield from “Grace While We Wait” came up to me in worship and whispered in my ear, “This dark cloud over your family’s life has lifted in the name of Jesus – the dark cloud has lifted from your marriage, your finances, your spiritual walk. You are stepping into your destiny and into the greatest season of your life.” All I could do was weep and let out a war cry “YES! Hallelujah, thank you Jesus!!!”
When I got back from the conference, I shared with my husband all that God had done. My friend Jessica shared this phrase with me, “The prophetic is not just a promise, it’s a partnership” and that stuck with me. The weekend after I got back from the conference, our Pastor James MacDonald preached a message “When I Need a Miracle“, it has been my favorite message he’s preached so far and I was on the edge of my seat. He said “God wants us involved in the process of our miracles being manifested.” Had this message been preached during the darkest nights of my soul, my spirit would have not been receptive. God cares even about the smallest details, He knows exactly what we need to hear and WHEN we need to hear something. My parents were also visiting from Florida that weekend, and when an altar call was made, my earthly father kneeled behind us and through tears intercessed for us, which was so special.
After the conference and this message, we knew God was speaking loud and clear, so we got serious about our strategy. We were desperate for more. I took off social media from my phone, we continued fasting on Mondays, we started taking communion together every Monday night as a marriage, we eliminated all TV, news, and distractions to listen only to worship music, preachings and read the Word of God, we were wise about the commitments we made with whatever spare time we did have, we stopped talking about the business or finances at home, we declared a 3 day water only fast followed by the Daniel Fast in December to end the year strong, and on date nights we committed to talk about Jesus with a renewed passion – all we craved and ate was from the table God had set before us. “Sit at My table and feast. You are not an orphan, don’t settle for crumbs, there is so much more readily available to you.” And feast we sure did, Heaven’s gates were opened upon our lives, our marriage, our home, our daughter, our spiritual walk. We were indeed living in a personal spiritual revival after an intense spiritual drought. I began to dream again, journal again, intercess for others fervently again, worship without restraint again.
This passion couldn’t be contained and I started sharing it with others, especially my local fertility support group. I began to spur them on to pray about a new strategy for their upcoming season. To tune into God’s voice and shut out the noise. God miraculously opened doors for us as a group to go and receive prayer from a local church that has a ministry of prayer specifically for infertility which was an amazing experience. We had our Christmas party to end the year under “Moms in the Making”, and the Holy Spirit’s presence was so thick. We took communion together, we worshiped together, there were so many tears, there were specific words from the Lord for each woman, there were baby onesies as gifts, there was lots of laughter, and sacred dreams were shared and tucked into our hearts for 2019. We know God isn’t done yet and there is so much more He has planned for each one of us. I shared with them the ending of one season and the beginning of a new one, especially for our group.
In 2019, the Lord has expanded our reach to include any woman who finds herself in the “Waiting Room” of life: whether that be for a spouse, a baby, or anything in between. The feelings of not being in control, of disappointment, of discouragement are very much the same for any woman who finds herself waiting on God’s divine intervention in her life, regardless on the specifics of that request. Our desire is to come alongside any woman who finds herself in a waiting season and encourage each other to 1) not wait alone 2) spiritually grow in our seasons of waiting. We begin January 13th and will be studying Lysa Terkeurst’s new book “It’s Not Supposed to be this Way“. There are 17 women signed up so far and I am secretly praying God supernaturally expands my home to fit the harvest of women he is bringing my way, space won’t hold us back!
Some people would call me crazy for being this passionate (and I’m totally ok with that), because honestly, not much has changed in our natural circumstances, but so much has changed in the supernatural. We have set our minds on things above and not on earthly perspectives or realities. The dark cloud has lifted, just like He said it would. I am so excited for this new season and this new ministry. There is so much freedom to be found in sharing our struggles, being vulnerable, and letting people into our mess. Of course the Enemy of our souls wants to keep that hidden, to keep us entangled, to suffocate us. BUT JESUS! He walked out of that grave and He has already won the victory over it ALL. Because of THAT reality, with the help of the Holy Spirit and my amazing husband, I threw off those grave clothes and have marched out of that tomb with a newfound spiritual boldness and passion to see women set free from being bound by their feelings, emotions, and crafty lies/schemes of the Enemy. Because I know WHO sits on the throne, He is alive and well, actively at work in every detail of our lives. The most calming truths are often the most corporately rehearsed, yet personally unclaimed. “God is good. God is good at being God. God is good to me.” I have exchanged my grave linens for a garment of praise. (To those who surround me, when it starts slipping off because of “life”, remind me to put it on and keep it on).
P.S. To the glory and honor of our King, out of His abundant grace and mercy, I have been invited to speak at the Much More women’s night at our church Harvest Bible Chapel’s Deerfield Road Campus on January 20th. If you or anyone you know lives in that area or would like to attend, please come! I will be speaking on the purity of our minds. Hope to see you there.
P.S.S. If you or anyone you know lives in the Chiagoland area and would like to be part of The Waiting Room, please email me for details: firstname.lastname@example.org. We begin January 13th at 5:00 p.m.