Movement, Resistance and Push-Through: Courage for Three Phases of Life

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Movement, Resistance and Push-Through: Courage for Three Phases of Life

You’ve gotten that promotion you’ve been waiting for. The baby you’ve been dreaming of for the past year has just been born. You’ve landed that new job. You’ve moved into a brand-new house (or at least new to you). Perhaps, you’ve lost a loved one or have gone through a divorce. Whatever the circumstance, change is here.What’s next? Now you’ve jumped that hurdle, but where do you go from here?

You are entering the new normal, at least for a while.

There are some common phases for this thing we call LIFE. Movement. Resistance. Push-Through. Where are you?

There is always that endless prophetic word about a shift or a breakthrough coming. That’s not necessarily prophetic. Those are normal courses of life. Something is always changing and there is an ebb and flow of movement, resistance and push-through, and, you guessed it, repeat.

Some of us just pushed through into a new place and in some senses, we are starting over again. Some haven’t quite pushed through and are in the resistance phase. The resistance phase of the season of life you are in looks like delays, setbacks, brokenness or some type of stuck-ness. Then comes the push or the breakthrough. Then you start the pattern all over again with movement.

Recently, in a conversation with a friend, we were discussing boredom. You know, that time when you find yourself at the top of your game in a certain stage of life or environment, yet, you’re bored. Maybe it’s a job you’ve become overqualified for. Maybe it’s a church where you’ve come to a point where you don’t feel like your gifts are being utilized. Maybe it’s a particular friend group where you don’t quite feel like you fit in anymore and you find your thoughts floating somewhere outside of the group’s “think”. It’s that season when you aren’t being challenged personally.

Boredom can be a great motivator. Have you ever considered that boredom could be an indicator that you are not living up to your highest calling? Perhaps instead of following, you are supposed to be innovating and creating, leading? Perhaps, God, in his mysterious language is leading you and prompting you to make a change bringing you closer to him and what he has called you to.

A business consultant to our corporation once told my husband that he was unemployable, not because he isn’t qualified to be a great employee, but because he was wired for something else. He thinks differently and operates in a different manner He told him that some people are CEOs at heart and that someone who is made to be a CEO doesn’t play well with others as an employee, CEOs are just not built that way. CEOs are built to lead and create, not just to follow and perform according to the status quo. The consultant said it isn’t a right or a wrong thing it just is how it is, and people are made how they are made. The best thing to do is just embrace it and understand what you are wired for and live from it. It was good insight considering the context of a much larger conversation.

The consultant was absolutely right. Some of us don’t understand who we are, and we will continue to go from thing to thing feeling unsatisfied and out of our element. The cycle of floating will leave us feeling defeated, exhausted and bored. We aren’t built to mindlessly wander. The wandering could be a sign of a much deeper wound that is in need of healing but often it’s a natural course of discovery of who we are and finding ultimately who we belong to and where we should be.

I am writing this today because I feel as if it is a timely word for so many. I am writing for three people falling into these phases in order that you may find courage right where you are.

I’m writing to the ones who are in the movement phase. You are in a time of tremendous growth and activity. This seems a whole new world, full of sights and new sounds. New people and new life situations are bringing both joy, and new opportunities. Enjoy it all. Learn all you can. Be yourself. Expect great things. Treat people well. Leave things better than you found them. Create long-lasting foundations. Live purposefully.

I am writing to the ones who are in the resistance phase. You are in a time that seems like it will last forever. It will not. All the things that seem to be coming against you right now are temporary. Remain grounded. Everything isn’t personal. You can do this. Choose joy. Expect good things. Don’t lose your confidence. Ask questions. Take notes. Revaluate your self talk. Develop communication skills. Seek counsel from those who have traveled this road who came out strong. Ask for help.

I am writing to the ones who are in the push-through phase. You are in a time of increased intensity. Things can go either way at this stage of the game. Carry light baggage. Leave behind what can’t go to the next level. Maintain relationships. Love people where they are. Be free of the past. Dare to dream. Pick your battles. Maintain integrity. Operate from peace. Keep your eyes wide open for God to speak to you and lead you in a different direction. Imagine the possibilities in the coming season of movement.

To all of the ones in every phase: LOVE BIG. HOPE MORE. SPREAD THE JOY.

Psalm 31:24 Be strong and let your heart take courage. All you who hope in the Lord. (NASB)

Copyright © 2019 Toni Imsen. All Rights Reserved.  

They Told Me I Was Gay

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There was a young man whose family brought him in with them for prayer. In fact, they had brought several of their family members in for prayer that week because they had been healed themselves for different things and wanted their whole family to experience God like they had.

The young man was in the room with me and a few other prayer team members. We were doing our usual thing and had asked him what he had come in for.

The man stated that he was brought there by his family and wasn't sure what he wanted prayer for but was open to see God move in his life.

The prayer session wasn't really progressing and the team just seemed to be going through the motions. Then suddenly I heard Jesus whisper in my spirit, "Tell him he's not gay."

In my mind I questioned God. There was nothing about this man that even hints that he is gay. This man isn't bringing this up. Why would I even go there? Then I heard Jesus say it again, in such a soft and compassionate way. "Tell him he is not gay."

When there was a bit of a silent moment, and the team prayed. I asked him if I could interrupt. The man said, "Sure".

"I don't mean to be abrupt, but I am hearing something I feel like I should say. I've heard it a few times now." The man said he wanted to hear everything I had to share.

So quietly, although I didn't feel quiet on the inside, I was nervous. I felt so humbled in that moment. I said to him, "You're not gay." Tears welled up in his eyes and rolled down his handsome face. I could feel the emotion welling up in me too. There was more the Lord had to say. Suddenly I could hear Jesus talking again.

"Ask him who told him he was gay and when." Jesus said. So I did.

"Who told you that you were gay and when did it happen?" I asked.

The young man crying now, "I'm not gay? But they told me I was gay. My father called me a f#%%@t since I was little, and my uncles and my mother... everyone! I've always like art and decorating and cooking, they ALL called me gay and h#%o and every other name you can think of. Other boys and even men made advances at me my whole life. I just figured they knew who I was and so I began living it out when I hit puberty. You mean I don't have to live like this? I've been lied to? I've been in this so long and I don't want to be like this anymore." He continued as he cried.

I felt such compassion toward him and a deep love for this beautiful man sitting in front of me. "Do you want to live a different life?" I asked him.

"Yes. Living like this, this lifestyle is exhausting and embarrassing. I feel so dirty. I feel awful having to hide everything all the time, all my relationships. I feel so much shame, especially in front of my father who is disgusted by me." He replied weeping.

"You know I think this is a time when forgiveness is appropriate. When we live from a place of pain, especially when it comes from someone like a father, it begins to torture us on the inside. I think a first step is to forgive the people who called you names and declared things over you that didn't belong to you. That kind of torment can introduce us to lies about ourselves that we begin to believe. Those lies can be broken when we confront the pain, forgive people and clear the air. Then we are open to hearing what God has to say about us, our true identity. We can go through some of that right now, if you are comfortable and want to go there. You can always say no. We can do that together, right now. Would you like to?" I asked.

The man wanted to be free of all the past experiences with those who've harmed him. He wanted to forgive. He was ready. We went through a few of those issues in prayer. We led him through some processes. He forgave the people who called him names. He forgave the men and boys he had relations with. He severed every unholy soul tie as the Holy Spirit led him. He broke every curse spoken over him. He released all those people from judgment from him and blessed them by releasing their destiny into the hands of God. His biggest struggle was forgiving himself, yet he was able.

Then, his intimate connection to God came through when he was able to hear God himself when we led him to ask God, "What is the truth about me?" asked the young man.

"You are my beloved son. I am proud of you. I believe in you. I've made you to be sensitive and kind. You are generous and worthy. You are pure and holy. You are my favorite and enjoy spending time with you. I've known you all along. You were never separate from me. I was there. I am here now. I am with you. I am not going anywhere. You have great things ahead and I celebrate you..." He heard the Lord say to him.

There was not a dry eye in that room. He left feeling clean and free. He left feeling more connected to God than he ever had. He left knowing God knew all things about him and cared about the details of his life. The man never planned that prayer request. He never knew why he was there or what he needed prayer for but his Heavenly Father knew.

Personal Commentary

I never really know what is going to happen when I pray with people. I am always surprised by what Holy Spirit will bring to my attention. When I heard Jesus say, "Tell him he's not gay." I almost fell out of my chair. Really? That's not exactly a topic that I want to just bust out with. It's so personal and so private. I don't want to go that direction unless I am invited.

Sometimes you just have to hear, follow and obey. Truly, that is where stuff gets real, deep and on point. You just have to trust God, what you're hearing and go for it. Otherwise, you walk away feeling like you missed something and will always wonder 'what if...' Risk is an essential part of ministering the kingdom of God. Stay in the love zone.

I also want to share that in no way is this a grand statement regarding homosexuality. Everyone is on their own journey with God regarding such personal issues. It is not my job to see people as a fixer upper or some project I'm working on. It is also not my job to assume something is broken.

Everyone is worthy of having the essential freedom of wrestling things out with God. I in no way want to give the impression that I am saying that this is some formula for freedom. This was one encounter. This encounter was with one man. This man was one special person to God. God was speaking to this man regarding his specific realities. He was speaking from love and there was no condemnation.

Romans 8:1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

 

Copyright © 2017-2018 Toni Imsen. All Rights Reserved.