The photo above is the result of several divine appointments put into motion through the dreams of multiple people. And when I say dreams, I don’t mean goals and ideas I’m talking about night time messages given by God. Through this most recent course of events and encounters I think I’ve become even more aware of just how much God speaks through dreams and also connects our dreams to those of others. It creates a web of intersections and confirmations that can really demonstrate just how much He thinks of us. If you don’t journal your dreams I strongly urge you to begin doing so, even if you don’t understand them at the time.
The woman to my left in the photo is my new friend Jennifer Voight. She is amazing and I feel so blessed to have met her. Please check out her Facebook page for Strokes of Grace her organization that provides painting parties to fund missions and charitable organizations. I’m going to brag on Jen a moment 🙂 Along with being a gifted artist she also is on staff at Grace Haven, helps with a ministry focused on needs of those experiencing homelessness, has a passion for expressive signing and connecting artists who have a heart for using their talents for the Kingdom.
To tell our story completely would be quite a long post, I’m saving this one in detail for a book. Yay! But, here is a little glimpse of how God brought us together. I was asked to paint a monarch butterfly life-cycle painting for the ladies at Grace Haven. I was excited to whip it out since it was a replica of sorts of a painting I had already done. So as I’m all prepared to begin I see a vision of a blue butterfly instead of the monarch. As I ask Holy Spirit why He’s showing me this I also declare that I would really rather do the monarch since the 1st one turned out so well. So, how many of you know that doesn’t matter much with the Lord haha! After some stern discussion I decide to be an obedient daughter and paint the blue butterfly! It turned out well but was a challenge as each part of the life-cycle was entirely different from a monarch. I got to go along and present the ladies with the painting and shared the previous story of the creating process. I say, “I still have no idea why it had to be a blue butterfly.” Then one of the ladies immediately says she knows why and leaves the room. When she returns she hands me the business card for Grace Haven.
Needless to say I was floored and humbled at the same time. I was also SO thankful I chose obedience. Here I was an unknown person that God just used to show these women He is thinking of them. If I would have painted the monarch it wouldn’t have had the same depth of message. The ladies begin to tell me of Jen who paints with them and that we should meet. I give them a business card and say to have her get in touch. About a month passes, my best friend Joelletta and her daughter ask me to lead a painting fund raising event for their upcoming mission trip to Uganda. Wouldn’t you know I get a message from Jen who leads these very parties that same week? Timing! Do you ever meet people and it just clicks? That was us. So many dreams, dates and life events that lined up. Even my 222 water mark/website name were confirmations for us both. God led us to a collaboration for this Uganda painting event. Together we could provide an opportunity for people to follow a step by step design Jen painted while also giving the option of a prophetic painting where I could share about that route.
The results were incredible. There were several times throughout the Passion Painting event where I was nearly in tears from being overwhelmed by God’s goodness. Attendance exceeded our expectations. People were putting their hearts on those canvases and every one turned out a unique expression, just as we are for the Father. The extravagant blessing in finance was the cherry on top. To think it all came from a web of people yielded to Holy Spirit, knowing & following His voice and making connections with others. To be completely honest, I think the catalyst spark was Joelletta connecting with 1 person the Lord told her to and the rest rippled from there. How appropriate this part of the journey begins with her stepping out and ends with her stepping out to Uganda. Not the end, but the end of a beginning. 🙂 If you would like to donate toward her Uganda mission trip please follow this link Joelletta Uganda Go Fund Me.
I felt a strong leading to complete this painting before the new year began. I really wasn’t sure what the purpose was until just recently. For me, this painting has a dual meaning. The preliminary theme was from Psalm 28:7-9 TPT, the Lord as our protector, strength and shield. As I painted the leaves and Holy Spirit wind a secondary meaning came alive. The winds are constantly and gently blowing leaves towards the young lion. Upon these leaves were qualities and traits, reminders of who he is and whose he is. They are soft whispers drawing him into walking in that fully. I believe it was a glimpse of what was coming as we transitioned into 2018.
It seems the Lord is really moving many speedily forward in the area of identity. I know I have been confronted with many old mindsets, negative view points/thoughts of myself and several other areas that affect the way I see myself. On one hand it’s great because I know these are areas God wants to give me freedom in and release from. On the other it is a bit uncomfortable because some of these things I thought I was good with and Holy Spirit is like, “Hey, you’re doing so great and have come so far! But you’re still in agreement with this thing over here. Let’s deal with that because that is SO not who I say you are. We are going places and that thing can’t come along!” So then we get the choice, right? Move through the uncomfortable moments & welcome the refinement or do we flee from the fire and remain letting those spots fester?
We make it seem so complex don’t we? We add labels and titles to ourselves and build our identity on that. I see it like an outline of a person with all these names and words piled one upon the other. The struggle comes when those positions strip away. Then we really wonder, who is this person? It’s so vital to know who you are outside of all the titles you have and things you do. The core of you is that you are a beloved son or daughter of God. It’s so simple and sweet, the safest thing you could be. The only thing that could really never change no matter what.
So if you find yourself with me in this accelerated rip the band-aid off kind of identity journey be encouraged the Lord has good reason! You are going places with Him and promises are waiting, those old things don’t get to go along! Lean into the Lord your strength & protector and remember who He says you are.
The past week or so the Lord has been talking about letters. I keep hearing “the letters are going out, the letters are going out!” As I’ve been in prayer over it I got a strong sense this is related to heritage and identity in Christ. The phrase “remember who you are” has been rolling around over and over. It’s interesting that I personally noticed some increased attempts to shake my own identity immediately after I began getting this download. What has developed is the following message for 2018.
It’s a time to remember and take hold of who God says you are. Recalling and standing firm in the prophetic words, encouragements and promises spoken over you. Especially the words that have given you a greater revelation of how God sees you and who He has called you to be. As I write this I see primarily single words passing before my vision, like words in alphabet soup but in varying scripts. Words like: Daughter, Overcomer, Visionary… They will be different for each person but ring with a resonance. I believe these are words written in a personal letter to each of us from the Lord. He stamps it with His seal and sends it on.
Heritage plays a part as well. As this word has unfolded Holy Spirit has been showing me a legacy is left in each place we dwell. It can be a family/blood heritage, things received and imparted to us from our family. Breakthroughs and revelations passed on through family, biological or spiritual fathers and mothers. But it went beyond that. It’s coming through people we have shared significant moments with as well. The example I was given was from CSSM. We recently had a large group graduate, I saw shimmering pools in the rooms things the graduates left, an impartation that the remaining students would soak up. Legacies, spring boards, a baton to pick up and run the next leg with and pass on.
So I encourage you, not only to look at what you have been given or what has been spoken over you but also what you have seen in those around you. The ones that spur you on and inspire you to ask and seek more. That freedom you admire in the person in worship, that’s for you. The peace you love in your neighbor, that’s for you. The incredible joy in your friend that makes you smile, that’s for you.
I pray as you have read this word that your letter has been delivered to your heart and set a new fire. Let’s walk boldly into 2018 confident in who our heavenly Father says we are. Take up your banner and step forward.
The curtain torn, the invitation is sent requesting your presence and the door has opened. Goodness and light spill forth from within, only possibilities, such promise, so much adventure. It is an invitation however, not an order, you get to choose. What if you fall? What if you fail? But what if you soar and it is the most spectacular view along the way?
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty…He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge. Psalm 91:1 & 4
Painting Available. Painted @”The Invitation” at Overflow & Zion Pickerington November 2017. Please message for purchasing options.