Courage and Love are a tree with Hope as the trunk.
This symbolic mural had me on the verge of tears as a patient described
her vision of those who climb the mountain of breast cancer.
About a dozen years ago, I met a woman who was most probably schizophrenic. She had a language that sounded prophetic, but the more I conversed with her the more I realized that her mind had been assaulted to the point where reality no longer reigned. I remember others being afraid of this woman. I was frightened too. We often fear what we don't understand, people and situations, but meeting that woman caused me to understand my life's calling...
Love the unlovely. Trust that love is more powerful than evil. Don't just talk about love, walk it out.
I remember this woman sitting by herself in a room full of people. My heart was drawn to her. I could sense her confusion and isolation. Sitting by her, I noticed that when we sang worship songs, she began to weep. Again, I could feel the intensity of her loneliness and her inability to truly connect with her surroundings. As I moved to put my arm around her in order to comfort her I heard,
"If you touch her, you'll get the demon that's on her."
Immediately the Holy Spirit rose up in my spirit distinctly directing,
"Love is more powerful than evil."
I overcame fear that day with the love God had placed in me. I'd like to say that from that point, I walked through life fearlessly loving everyone in every situation, but I cannot. However, I do know that the path set before me is directed towards fearless love.
There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection].
This past Tuesday, I was able to take the love of Jesus to a group of people literally locked away in a state mental hospital. I had been invited to share my story at a breast cancer awareness event being held by the hospital.
One of the many things I love about the Lord is His specificity. There was no doubt in my mind that I needed to accept the offer. Abba was so good to show me His will ahead of time.
On September 20th, I received a prophetic word from a total stranger at "The Pursuit" conference. She said, "You have a heart for the outcast. God has anointed you to speak a word and people with schizophrenia and bipolar will be healed." Amazing enough because I am a psychiatric nurse, but even more incredible when considering I checked my email to find that I had been invited to tell my story at the breast cancer awareness event at Danville State Hospital!!!
I really didn't have a story without speaking about Jesus. It turns out that the administration contact person was in charge of the hospital's chaplaincy, and that's why she invited me!!!
The Christian music singer, Mandisa, gave permission for me to play her music video, "Overcomer!"
My manager at work gave me the night off so I could speak!
However, I am a story teller, not a speech maker. It's difficult for me to get up in front of people. Even as I approach my 50th year of life, fear of man still grips me at times. I knew I needed to ask several people to cover me in prayer. Thank you to all who prayed!
I spoke without fear!!!
God's love prevailed and I encouraged approximately 50 patients and staff to be overcomers!!!
I spoke about overcoming mountains of adversity, whether that mountain is named breast cancer, financial difficulties, relational difficulties or mental illness.
I received many hugs and thanks on Tuesday night!
One man said, "I'm a Christian too. I can't believe your boldness, coming to a secular place like this and talking about Jesus."
Another man said, "Thank you for coming to us. You came to a mental hospital to speak to us."
One of the staff had recently had a mastectomy and hugged me tightly as I spoke blessing over her.
A young man spoke about his aunt dying from breast cancer. He thanked me for encouraging everyone.
Another young woman hugged me multiple times. This woman told me of her dream to go to college, get her counseling degree and open a home for children. This woman is scheduled to be discharged from the hospital this weekend!!! Oh, how I love the way Abba loves!!!
I hadn't been afraid to go into a psychiatric hospital, but I had been concerned about speaking in front of people...go figure.
As I spoke, the Lord encouraged me to again face the mountains in my life with the same tenacity as I faced and climbed the mountain of breast cancer.
I have a hope, an expectation that the current mountains in my life will be overcome as well. I don't know how God will empower me to climb them, but I know as I submit myself to Him, He will guide me.
If those of you reading have a mountain to climb, be assured that God is with you. He will teach you how to be an overcomer!!!