A lot has been going on in the lives of Brad and Christy the last few weeks! We are loving leading worship in so many different places and experiencing great things in God’s presence! It was such a busy week I don’t want to attempt to put it all in one post…I’ll save a little for the weekend:) But I DO want to share right now about our night at Jericho House this past Tuesday! If you’ve read my blog at all, this won’t be your first time hearing about Jericho House. It’s a 12 month men’s rehabilitation program in Cleveland, GA, and the ministry there has stolen my heart and blessed me so much!
For the past almost 2 and a half years, Brad and I and Kevin have been going on Tuesday nights to lead worship and share a message with them. It quickly grew into such a huge importance to me, to see those guys come in sick, hurting, broken, and nearly dying, and see them transformed into mighty men of God. Men who aren’t afraid to worship, and hug, and love each other. There was one particular night where Kevin felt led at the end to simply offer hugs and prayer…and I’m telling you what…I’ve never quite seen God do what He did that night, through a simple hug. Walls coming down and wounds healed.
Well this past Tuesday was a good one for me. The guys think we come and bless them with worship and message…but they bless us more than they will ever realize. As soon as we walked in the door Tuesday night I was hit up with their song requests…I love that:) I think it’s great that they are so eager to worship that they’ve already been thinking of songs on their hearts. Of course I rearranged my plan and went with theirs;) One of their favorites is Hosanna. As I was leading this song, I got that feeling…you know that shaky one where the river is about to start flowing, the choking lump in the throat…I’m thinking, “Lord, I’ve been singing this song for years, what in the world are You saying?” During the bridge of the song it says, “heal my heart and make it clean, open up my eyes to the things unseen, show me how to love like You have loved me.” And it hit me, like the sweetest thing ever. So after trying to sing a little more, I stopped and shared with the guys what God was showing me, and it was a little hard to say through the tears, and while watching them cry as well. You see, I had been leading worship in the church for many years, and this one particular day about 2 and a half years ago, I went to Jericho House for the first time to shoot a little testimony video to use at our church to tell about the program. While I was waiting on one of our guys to finish talking with someone so we could leave, I went in the old barn on the property that they were turning into a thrift store. In there was this old…seriously old, out of tune piano. There were a few guys from the program in there, and they slid me over part of a workout bench so I could sit down and play a little. Long story short, I played and sang Amazing Grace, and the guys joined in, and I felt God in that barn like I never had before. Something changed in me right then! And that was a HUGE turning point in God setting me free and placing me where I am today in ministry. But it had never quite hit me as it did this week at Jericho House. As I sang the line “open up my eyes to things unseen, show me how to love like You have loved me…”. THAT’S why my sight changed, and ministry appeared so much different to me after that night! He “opened up my eyes to the things unseen”! He showed me an area of life that needed to be encountered with worship. He taught me where He could really go in worship, and I just hadn’t really seen it before. And through that, He has taught me how to love from His heart. I can’t even begin to explain the love that floods my heart for people…and for people who I never thought I’d have anything in common with. How can you love someone deeply that you don’t really understand? It’s pretty easy when God teaches you how to love like HE loves! Without hesitation, or fear, or expectation…I just can’t help but love. God used the guys at the Jericho House to show me this…and to start a change in my life, that has affected me to the core and has allowed me to experience and receive love that I never knew existed!
I would LOVE to write more on this, but a blog should be short and readable right? Maybe one day I’ll actually write a book:) I hope I presented that in a way that you understand and that encourages you to let God open yours eyes to what you may not have seen yet. There is so much more going on than what takes place in our little bubble. And even in ministry we can get locked so tightly in our world that we miss the real ministry.
I’ll never been the same, and I’m more free than I’ve ever been. But I must warn you, you have to be willing to see, and then not run, just trust Jesus and what He’s showing you…it’s so worth it:)