For multiple nights, I am assaulted by bad dreams. In my dreams, I am surrounded by people who look past me and through me; I am invisible. I stand frozen before them and do nothing to get their attention because I have a sinking feeling that I will never hold their affections. I am frightened and anxious and alone and wake up so. For the first time in months, I dread going to sleep. 

A bunny rabbit streaks across my driveway as I pull up. I feel all the weariness in my heart push against my chest and crack. “No more, God. I’m done with signs.” I can’t take anymore. 

“Maybe that’s just how your faith works; you need a solid yes or no from God,” Viv muses. I contemplate her words and my walk of faith and can’t decide whether I like it or not. 

It is at 6am in the morning when I realize I don’t get to tell the Lord, “No more. I’m done.” I’m not done until He says I’m done; not until He finishes His good work in me. In the face of suffering, it’s easy to call it quits as soon as it hurts but the Lord knows my limits better than I do and He refuses to let me cheat myself by running away. Who am I to tell Him to stop – why would I ever want Him to stop? So with a resigned sigh, I look up to the ceiling and tell Him to carry on. “I want everything you’ll give me.” He answers me with restless and dreamless sleep; I wake surprisingly refreshed and infinitely grateful.

“I’m begging you, Jesus,” I pray to the Lord. I don’t know what I’m doing; I don’t know what I’m feeling; I don’t know where I’m going. “But, you do. Lead me.” 

In a fit of frustration and desperation, I raise my voice as I speak to the Lord. “You know my heart, Father. You know that it is pure and innocent. I have walked faithfully with Jesus for three years. I am blameless before you.” There is no seed of doubt in my heart as I say the words and I am suddenly filled with joy. I remember Esther’s prayer for me, how she saw the Lord and I looking into a mirror together and the Lord pointing out my heart and telling me; “Look and see; it is beautiful.” 

I’m finally getting a glimpse of how the Lord sees me.

As I announce that I’m heading out, a sea of heads turns towards me and I hear voices chorus out in goodbyes. I gaze back at the crowd gathered in front of the restaurant and return their waves. Vivian calls in a pleading voice for me to stay; Christa yells out that she’ll try to visit me in Philly, a myriad of others tell me to drive safe. I note how it is a stark contrast to when I first joined RoX and remember how I stood still in the doorway, waiting and aching for someone to notice I was leaving.

Thank you, Jesus, for giving me their affections. I know you are faithful; I am not alone.

Half an hour until I board a plane headed for St. Louis. I know exactly what I want out of this conference; I want to be touched by God and changed. I’m heading straight for the prayer rooms and asking for prayer, healing, instruction, direction, and blessings. I want more of Jesus. 

“You will be making life changing choices here at Urbana. You will utter prayers that will alter your life and the lives of others – even the face of eternity.”

[Lisa Chinn, Urbana 03]

I am ready. Bless me, Father; touch me, Jesus. I do not want to come back the same.