My son confessed something to my husband today.
“Neal, when I see people throw up, I gag.”
He’s not lying. It’s true.
Once, when he was a little boy, a stomach bug had invaded our home. As I was leaning into dark spaces throwing up my toenails, a little white-headed boy was behind me with quite the ferocious gag, “are you okay, Mama? *gag* I sick too, Mama. I sick, too.”
He wasn’t. He just didn’t have the capacity to know that staying was making him sick.
We laugh about this often. When my husband told me what he said today, he was confused when he was met with tears instead of laughter. I told him he had given me a ten-piece.
In case you didn’t already know, we weigh God’s favor, His nudges, in chicken nuggets at our home. God will give you a nugget at a time usually, just enough to keep you on the right path, and when you need it most, He will give you a ten-piece, something to sustain on the next rocky road.
It is not foreign for me to journal.
One of the very first things I learned as a Christian was that I was who God said I was, not people. If you dug and scratched enough, you could all the words explaining that message, but know it is where me and God started, and where we meet one another frequently.
Over the last few weeks, my journal scribbles have looked a little like this:
“My people matter more than my feelings”
“Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others”
Posture over performance, right? What if they were wrong… what if they were right?
“Behold you delight in the truth that lives on the inside- and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart”
My strength is that I am bold; My weakness is that I am bold.
“My grace is sufficient for you- my power is made perfect in weakness. so I’ll boast in my shortcomings so the power of Christ will rest on me” 2 Corinthians 12:9
You don’t get to decide. You get to obey.
“Tremble and do not sin; meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah” Psalm 4:4
There is a time for whispers; there is a time for flames. Figure it out.
“He makes his angels winds, and his ministers a flame of fire” Hebrews 1: 7
I think I may be an empath. I don’t know if that is a diagnosis or a category we are destined for but I feel everything. I read the ora of a room. I read into the things you say, and also the things you haven’t said. I also analyze those things and every scenario they could possibly touch and find solutions for them all. I’m the quiet person in the crowd because I’m observing. I used to think I was an introvert, and heck, maybe I am, but more than that, I think I’m just authentic. I don’t mean to not care about your bargain shoes or the neighbor’s cat, but I’d rather just care about you. I look for the things you are good at, I look for your weaknesses- not to exploit them, but to be able to have real conversations because I have lots of weaknesses too and God has helped me a lot. I need to know you because well, He can help you, too.
When you meet me, and we have real conversations, not just the fake ones I analyze and resolve in my head, Ive always prayed that you feel that little bite of “something” that is just a little bit “different” about me, that you can feels God’s presence standing over the unperfect vessell that I am because Lord knows I do not always walk out the Gospel, but I care deeply for it.
and I really hate that, but it’s true.
Over some time, some as recent as the last few weeks, I’ve been told the way I deliver a word from God makes people uncomfortable. I’ve been scored as ‘unacceptable’ and ‘inconsistent’. Told that I freely offer grace and mercy to everyone except such-and-such, that one day people are going to learn who I really am and not who I post to be, that people see me as belittling. That I cannot communicate, I’m not an effective teacher, and I lack self-awareness. Ive even been told I am a very quick processor of information- too quick.
You see, I’ve never offered the “this is just who I am” kind of girl. I’m the “Naw, sit down and just let me have it type”. I want to know because I want to correct.
To some of my friends, if you’re standing, please sit down. I desperately want to be accepted, to fit in. i know- I don’t get it either. It could likely be traced to some kind of childhood trauma.
I won’t take the time to dispute any of these things people have said, but I will tell you I’ve considered them all- Every single one of them, regardless of the source, friend or foe, I’ve considered quickly (processor), thoroughly (every single scenario), and with absolute sincerity.
I feel a lot so I write a lot. I have to visually see what my feelings look like and I attack them with scripture. Sometimes I am met with peace and others I am met with convictions, but the important thing is to know that God meets me.
Every time I call out and every time I don’t, every prayer, every not-prayer He has been faithful. Ive learned to never seek answers but instead truths.
lies are the enemy’s greatest tool. Well, lies and religion, but that’s another topic for another day.
I had a divine appointment today. I didn’t schedule it.
Talking with a dear friend today, I was discussing a story in 2nd Kings. As I spoke pieces of the story over our ride, chills lept to my arms and I knew God had scheduled something for me. He was calling to confirm.
“Yes, God. I’ll be there.”
Not five minutes after walking through the door, I’m met with this story of my son and the collision results in tears.
“Yes, God. I understand.”
What could this have to do with that story?
2nd Kings Chapter 6-
First things first: I analyze the numeric because I’m a nerd like that.
six- the day man was created; signifies imperfection
Syria was warring with Israel and every time Syria was getting ready to make a move, Israel was tipped off. The King of Syria thought there was a mole, but was assured by his people that this was not true. There was a man of God, a prophet (a proclaimer of the will of God), named Elisha that had the King of Israel’s ear. Elisha’s discernment had protected the king “more than once or twice”. This shifted the target. The Syrian King no longer sought Israel, but its protector.
He sent horses, chariots, and a great army to surround Elisha.
Elisha’s servant wakes up, sees, and basically says aye boss, what are we going to do here?
“Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them. Then Elisha prayed that THE SERVANTS eyes be opened that he may see”
and this is amazing… but stay with me just a bit further.
The spiritual reveal is present to the servant and he understands. Elisha prays that the enemy is blinded, leads them into a compromised place, and prays again for the Lord to let them see.
and they did. They saw they were in a place of compromise.
So did Israel’s King. Enthusiastically, the scripture says as soon as he saw them, the King asked Elisha, “Should I kill them?” “Should I kill them?”
and Elisha said No. Prepare a feast.
Can we consider that for just a moment? I’m often told, “Katie, it is your delivery” and honestly, it usually is. My friends are smiling while I speak lightly here, but bear with me while I shift gears for a second- please be sure in this particular instance:
My tone is tight, my delivery here is with intent, and if you are not uncomfortable after reading this, be confident that you read it wrong and then read it again:
You cannot be overjoyed when anyone’s vulnerabilities are exposed.
You do not get to be arrogant when God is on your side; You do get to be grateful.
You do not execute your enemies- you find the capacity to feed them.
God’s plan is to facilitate a message, not to win with one.
Scripture is absolutely a weapon, but one for spiritual warfare and not one to light and lob at one another.
“Are you okay, Mama. I sick too *gag*; I sick too”
All this time I was certain that my son didn’t have the capacity at such a young age to understand that staying with me was making him sick, but I was pressed by the Lord to consider an alternative tonight.
That he knew and stayed anyway.
I’ve told you a few things about me, but let me tell you some about Haisten.
I’m excited to see what God uses him for because he is so kind. He reads the room too, and he knows when you need that hug… and those hugs- they are magical. He can make you feel the greatest peace even in the immediate midst of some of your greatest failures.
But I’ve seen him be rotten. I’ve seen him be mean, be selfish, and I’ve even seen him act with completely unacceptable behavior and immediately make the “right” adjustments when he realized his parent was watching.
I’ve watched him make mistakes; I’ll watch him make more, but I’d bet with any piece of me that it will not disqualify him. His gifts will still make a difference, and his ministry, whatever that looks like will still matter because this is the Gospel.
We are on mission, Friends.
We are on mission, Foes.
and it is not one of our own, but one we are called to through the power and authority freely given to us through the blood of Jesus Christ, our risen Savior.
You will do things, and some will be good.
You will do things, and some will be bad.
People will say things, and some things will be true. People will say things, and some won’t be.
But the Bible is weaved with stories of brokenness, manifesting in all different flavors- addiction, adultery, murder, prostitution, liars, manipulators- maybe even some of the same flavors as yours- and God used them all.
He will not waste you.
Haisten was right, he was sick too.
We all are.
Here are some key take aways from this passage:
Elisha helped his king, and that put a target on his back- the enemy seeks to destroy and extinguishing the most faithful will always be a priority.
When the enemy came for Elisha, Elisha not only didn’t have fear, he stood boldly with his tribe and prayed that THEY would see, too, their protection. He had faith, he prayed that others could too, and He stood in it.
God did, in fact, protect him. He even handed the enemy over- compromised.
The Bible does not say how Elijah feels in this moment. Maybe he was an empath too. Maybe he wasn’t. Maybe he journaled and somewhere scribbled on some thing we can find all archaically his feelings of bitterness, of self contained fear, of frustration as to why these people were chasing him.
What the Bible does tell us, though, is in a place of extreme vulnerability Elisha chose love.
This tells us a lot about this prophet, about his heart for the Lord, but let it serve also as an open invitation for us.
Pressed with the same feelings, the same fears, and the same opposition…
what do we choose?
how do we choose better?
I have a million words, and I also have none. My prayer is simple- that we would filter it all through your word and objectively consider it. That we would apply your peace and also your convictions and make necessary changes. God, we are sorry for any misrepresentation of who you are or what you stand for, but God, we are thankful that you knew of all of these things and that no error means no blood, and no blood would be no salvation. God, I accept your sacrifice and all of the responsibility that comes with it. May your gospel shine through our sin, and our response be of surrender and not of shame. Give us the capacity and give it for your glory and not our own. Thank you, God, for new mercies every morning, for second chances and seventh ones. Thank you, God, for you.
Be it so, So be it