[notice]A monthly column for young ladies by Kate Fitz-Gibbon[/notice]
I just got back from Dubai, where I went for my birthday and a prophetic conference with Julian Adams, Shawn Bolz and Ash Anandani.
I learnt a few things while I was there and would love to share those with you.
Dreams do come true
First of all, God makes dreams come true. I knew this already but I got to experience it on a deeper level on this trip. I asked God last year if I could be overseas for my birthday this year, and left it in His hands. He chose Dubai for me. I got a hotel room upgrade to a suite, free Starbucks coffee from someone who didn’t even know it was my birthday, and I got to do a legit Sephora Makeup Haul. I was treated like a princess by my parents who were with me on the trip and God made sure my birthday was amazing. If He can do it for me, He can do it for you. Take that and put it in your pocket book. It is a year to dream big.
See God differently
Next of all, God gives Himself to you in unexpected ways, and to receive who He is, you have to stay unoffended and out of your natural mind. Often when we go to a conference we are expecting the big bang to happen. This was highlighted a lot this year when people found out that I was going to be in a Shawn Bolz conference on my birthday. So many people said, like wow, imagine he calls out, ‘I just feel it’s someone’s birthday today’. Well guess what, he did. Except he said he felt it was for a boy. I stood anyways because I was so excited and an incredibly awkward moment ensued. Let me back up a little bit to give you the full story.
Birthdays have been touch and go for me over the years. I have often found that the space between my expectation of what could happen and what actually does happen has been rather large, because I dream Disney size dreams. This would make me rather mopey and emotional in fear of disappointment leading up to my birthday. Over the past three years God has been slowly healing me and shifting my expectation off of people to being with Him on my birthday. Side note, I still believe in the fantastical, it’s just placed in Him now. So when I woke up on this birthday morning, the first words out of my mouth were, ‘God the greatest gift I could and will ever have, is You. You are my birthday present.’ I really meant it.
So in going to the conference I didn’t expect that my birthday blessing would come from Shawn or Julian, but God. That being said, in my world of anything could happen I have faith for the impossible, like being called out on my birthday. So when Shawn says, I feel to call out people whose birthday it is today, I was like, ‘YIPPEE God, look at you, a trip overseas, perfume, makeup, clothes, suite upgrade and a word from Shawn. Happy freakin birthday to me!’ What I didn’t hear was Shawn saying to me, sorry but I feel it’s for a guy, but I’m standing already so he graciously says, but you can stay standing. Now I just start to feel awkward, because I actually want to sit, but what if this turns out good and he said stay standing, so I keep standing, with a bad feeling that this isn’t going to turn out well. The three guys whose birthday it was get these kick ass words and I’m left until last. When it comes to me, Shawn just prays a blessing over me and doesn’t have a word. Now I’m prophetic, and that pretty much means, there’s not really a lot here for you but I’m being nice. Everything about this scene was contrary to who I am and incredibly uncomfortable.
I’m very unforceful in these things, I’m more like the cute child inheriting the kingdom, than the violent one who takes it by force. So I was left confused afterwards and a little embarrassed. Ok a lot embarrassed. I didn’t want to overstep prophetic protocol, and then not even have the boldness grandly rewarded. I wondered if I missed God somewhere, it was so close and yet so far. I shed a few tears for the sheer awkwardness of it and then I had a choice to make. I could wonder why the carrot was dangled in my face, I could feel like a fool, or I could say God, show me what you see. Let me not miss you in this moment, because if one thing is clear, His ways are not our ways and I know this didn’t happen by accident. I wanted my gold out of this moment and I was going to get it.
In the general prayer of blessing Shawn prayed, the one descriptive line in the prayer, was, God Himself is going to be your present, and God give her something tangible so that she knows this. The same prayer I prayed that morning was confirmed, God and I were on the same page. As I settled into not having an answer as to why this all happened the way it did, and not letting it become an issue or make me question God’s goodness, I realised that one thing that we need to enter into maturity with God, is the ability to embrace mystery. This was a message that had come through in both this conference and the Bill Johnson conference in SA earlier in Feb. If everything that happens in our lives can be understood by our natural minds, and if we always need an answer to feel secure, we are shutting out an encounter with the majesty of God. So the gift God was giving me was an opportunity, on my birthday, to enter into maturity and a new experience of Him. This is mine to own forever.
Jesus said blessed is he who takes no offense at Me and finds no cause for stumbling in or through Me and is not hindered from seeing the Truth. God is in the business of renewing minds. If you are asking God for more of Him, be open to the possibility that the way He may present Himself could at first seem offensive. Press past the natural and into the spirit to give Him space to show you life from His perspective. I think some of the disappointment we carry is because we misunderstood what God was trying to show us and we got caught in needing an answer that we could understand. I release you from that disappointment, and into new realms of His heart for you.
Conference Tips and Tricks
In closing, I want to say this. I spent a lot of time in conference sessions in the last month. I am not a conference bunny, it’s really not my first choice of fun things to do. I have often questioned the value of conferences as a main church activity, and still do. However, some truths have set me free to get what God has for me out of a conference. Rather than be there just to listen to a good message and hope I catch fire, again, for the fifth time this month (not literally of course). Here are some helpful conference tips, some of which were gathered from the speakers at Gatekeepers in Dubai:
- Look out for the little things that happen in and around a conference. It’s not always the message that changes you, but the little sign on the door, the kind word someone says to you in the hallway. God doesn’t restrict Himself to speak only through the main speakers. I got so much out of the sign posts on the train rides in Dubai and on signs on the floors that they gave me confidence to go for my dreams.
- If the person doing the talking is saying or doing things you think are awesome, in your heart claim that for yourself. Don’t feel you are less than them, pull on that anointing and get some for yourself. Don’t wait for them to lay hands on you to feel you got an impartation.
- Often when someone is teaching, your mind wanders to things God has said before, or stuff happening in your life. Instead of fighting it to listen to the message, let God join the dots for you and give you a message about your life. You will get far more out of that than writing down 10 points because you feel that’s what you have to do.
I hope this year you have the confidence to dream big and trust God beyond your understanding.
[Thumbnail Photo credit: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/dreaming-with-god-carrie-bennett.html ]