My sister, Juliann Phillips, came to visit over the 2nd week of August. Her time here was so blessed. Seeing her made CO feel closer when she was here, and much further when she left. We miss our friends and family!! Juliann experienced the Lord in a profound way in Sioux Falls, and with the Firehouse/UHOP. Please read her write up on what the Lord did, and enjoy the photos:
I was blessed with the opportunity to visit Mike and Sue McComber as my summer came to a close. When I arrived, they told me that they had been praying that my time there would be restful, and that I would experience God in a way that previously I had not. I am so thankful for their prayers, for they were answered! Through my struggles in the prayer room and mornings of silence, it has become clear to me that we are God’s beloved children.
I sat one morning reading my bible, fiercely pleading to the Lord that he would reveal his word to me. Divulging into each line that I read, I searched for meaning. I was becoming frustrated as I felt that what I was doing was not bringing the results that I wanted. Rather than revelation, I was confronted with confusion. My whole life I have been a good student; studying is my forte. And yet here I was, studying the bible, and nothing was coming of it. The Word that I know brings life was bringing me frustration and anger so I knew something was wrong. Downhearted, I realized that I was seeking the wrong thing. I was seeking knowledge of God for the sake of myself and not God’s heart. I felt so lost and distant from my God; a God who says that we can be so close to Him that we can call him Abba, Father. As I sat there I was confronted with the fact that God loved me exactly where I was, even in all of my confusion and frustration. I began to weep (a lot!) at the realization that the Lord loved me, truly, no strings attached.
Over the corse of the week the reality of God’s love continually brought me to my knees. The fact that the Lord does not need us and yet calls us by name is humbling and a mystery. That Sunday I watched in church as parents held their children during worship, and their kids were clinging to them. Just like these children of men, we were designed to be held, to be comforted, to be supported by something that is greater than ourselves; by our Heavenly Father. A child does not grow up and know how to love others if they never experience a loving hug in their youth. We also are unable to love others unless we understand the simple truth that God loves us exactly as we are. Rick Joyner, who wrote The Final Quest, says that God called out to Adam in the garden, even though God knew exactly where Adam was. God called out to Adam so that Adam would know where he was in relation to God. He was in hiding, he was shameful of his sin. But God does not want us to walk in shame, he loves us despite our sin. He merely wants us to accept His love, come out of hiding, and worship Him with the same love he loves us with. That morning reading my bible God needed me to understand that he loved me, because without this understanding I was still walking in the shame of my inadequacy which has produced a profound fear in my life.
The fear of failure, of financial security, of not finding a husband, are just a few fears that have ruled in my life. With this fear there is no room to love God or others because all I see is myself. God called out to me so that I could see my shame, but let me come out into his love because of his grace. I found my true identity while in South Dakota, and that is that I am a beloved child of God. We can be set free if we accept God’s grace, if we accept his love. We no longer have to live trying to please men, for our Heavenly Father accepts us just as we are! I always “knew” that the Lord loved me, but that morning the love of the Lord swept over me, causing me to be filled with a love I had never felt before. I am so thankful that God showed me even the smallest portion of his love for me. The amazing thing is that he loves us all with that zeal! My prayer is that everyone may come to understand the Lord’s love for them. Our true identity is certainly lost without it and we continue to live in the shame that enslaves us.
I’m so thankful for the refreshing time I had in South Dakota. The Lord revealed himself to me in ways I was not aware, and I met a new family, the McCombers, who graciously let me stay with them. I’m excited to go back, to say the least!