I have been hesitant to bring this up, but I did want to share this with you ladies. I guess I've never really shared my testimony, and this is a pretty large part of it. It was at this point in my life that I felt God steering me in a clear direction. Anyway. Here goes.
When I was a sophomore in high school it became really clear that I was not fitting into the same mold my friends were. So many that claimed to be Christians were falling away from their faith or it was becoming clear that they hadn't had any to begin with. I was really alienated and ridiculed for standing up for my faith and morals in general. It was a tough time. Most of my emotions I kept pent up and began to fall into deep depression. My life was completely different. I had no one to turn to. My friends were participating in activities regularly that I knew, as a child of God, I had no business being a part of. I desired their friendships again, but not the situations I would have to put myself through to have that. I praise God for giving me the strength to stand up during all of that. He is the only reason I didn't fall. Now, these were my school friends. Since I went to church in a different town it made school life and church life two completely different worlds (which is a story all its own). At the same time, the few friends I had in the youth group at church began ignoring me. This included my best friend. It was traumatizing.
(Pause to say that at a youth retreat 2 years prior, I had been prophesied over, saying that God saw me standing and supporting people and that He knew my heart and the desires it held, and that I would soon have friends that would support me. When I heard this I feel to my knees weeping. It applied at the time, but I couldn't know what it would really mean until years later. I feel like this is a promise God made me that is still being fulfilled and continues to grow and bless me each day.)
After being almost completely rejected by my friends, I felt God tugging at me. I was a Christian, but I didn't fully rely on Him for anything. During sophomore year as I was struggling to stay alive, Jesus Christ became my friend. I realized that I had His love and that it was ALL that I needed. Time went on and I continued to stay in the Word. Socially, my life was still in the toilet, but spiritually -- I was awake, alive, and breathing cool, clean air for the first time in my life. I cherish those times when I was drawn so close to the Father and felt a serious amount of intimacy with Him. I don't have the intense desire like I used to and I imagine it is because I am not in desperate need of healing like I was back then, but it was amazing while it was happening. Each day I would get home from school, turn on my praise and worship cd, and sit on my bed for hours. God truly began a work in me when I felt the most alone.
A few months later, when I was a junior in high school, I went on a youth girls' retreat (February 8th & 9th, 2002). It was the first night and we were in one of the services. We had praise and worship, followed by a message about freedom and following God's plan for your life. You could really feel the Holy Spirit moving in that place. Everyone was really worshipping God toward the end when they were playing music again. The main speaker (I wish I could remember her name! She's kinda famous) asked everyone to pray and we all were just crowded around, praying for one another, praising God, etc. I knew that she had put down her microphone, but I was closed off, praying by myself in the crowded room. Suddenly, I felt hands on my shoulders and a forehead touching mine. It was the speaker and she was crying. I looked at her because I was a bit surprised, but no one else around seemed to be noticing (minus the one girl standing beside me). She put her arms around me and just hugged me. I was overcome and started weeping. Then she started to speak. In my ear she said, "God has been speaking to me about you. Follow where He is leading you. He is preparing you right now, to raise you up as a leader among women." She stayed and prayed for me for a little while before hugging me and returning back to the stage.
It wasn't the first time I had had that prophesied over me. It happened once before, when I was in the 9th grade, but I was not listening at that time. I know people are skeptical about prophesy and I understand that. But I waited it out. I stayed in the scriptures and prayed, and prayed, and prayed. And not long after, I had 2 different women at church approach me out-of-the-blue to tell that God had been laying me on their hearts during prayer and that they felt led to speak to me. They both said to follow where God was leading and that he was going to use me for His work.
Anyway, I really wanted to share that. Only a few other people know about this because I am not sure how I feel about telling this to people. I just want to thank God for allowing me to do this tiny amount of work for His kingdom. GodlyGals (and godly_gals!) has been such a blessing to me and to many of the girls who have become a part of it. We all devote our time to helping around there so that even just one person might be reached for Christ. As time goes on, it is easy to see that God has this ministry in His hand and that there is a plan for it.