Sunday 24th July - Day 2
Good morning! Beginning of day two and I'm excited! I just want to take everything in and see what God's going to do. I am enjoying that it feels so normal to talk about God. It definitely wasn't the case for me before. I realised after reading my blog over later that I started my blog saying the encounter room wasn't weird... and then quoted my blog and clearly I thought it was pretty weird at first. Amazing what you adapt to and accept as normal!
I had my Sozo session straight after the Healing Rooms and again, I wasn't sure what to expect. I had heard lots of people talking about their experiences of it and of course have chatted heaps to Mum and Dad, but of course I hadn't experienced it at all myself. I still don't really know how to describe it. Sozo means "saved, healed, delivered" (haha! i just typed signed, sealed, delivered! oops!) which to me sounds pretty intense. I had decided before hand that I was going to be really open and just go for it. I was welcomed by a lady called Lori and taken through to a room with a sofa and a few seats. I sat on the big comfy sofa and Lori and her 2 helpers sat on the chairs. I took off my flip flops and snuggled in for the session. I pretty much started crying immediately... lets just say I often respond that way. If I'm angry - I cry, if I'm laughing a lot - I cry, if I'm tired- I cry, and sometimes I just cry for seemingly no reason... get the picture? And having had a pretty eventful couple of years, I have got over the crying in public/ with strangers issue. I used to hate it and get really annoyed at myself, but now there's no point. Better out than in. If I'm trying to stop myself from crying, then I'm obviously keeping something in. And if I'm working at holding something in, how can I really concentrate and be myslef? I can't. It's not like I'm constantly weepy or anything. But you know, it's just what I do. There was helpfully a box of tissues on the table next to my sofa. There's a spectrum- almost too open to unbelievably closed off. I'm pretty hard to open so I'm told, but when I feel safe, I'm there. I was there. I had been told by quite a few people to just say whatever comes into your head. I did. Even when it was telling one of the girls I really liked her shoes. So I was all set. And what can I say? It was BRILL! Basically, they chat to you and help you chat with God. The first thing they asked me was what I was expecting/hoping for. And then they fired in with "What do you think of Jesus?" my answer started (no joke) "I think he's pretty great..." Of course I elaborated but there is definitely no need for super-spirituality. Literally just say what I think. Fab. We talked about all sorts. They hardly had to ask me anything, I just splurged. It was amazing how they just sat and listened to you, and listened to God and helped you hear Him too. I was totally amazed at how easily I heard God. But also how I did not feel judged at all. If I didn't hear anything, I just said so. If I didn't see anything, no problem. We talked about stuff I was expecting to, and also some things I didn't even know I was thinking about. I was free to say I wasn't comfortable. But also free to just say stuff totally off topic and unrelated to what we were chatting about at the time.
I don't know if this is making any sense... I hope so. Sozo seems to me to be a great tool for chatting and sharing and welcoming God into all of your life. Dealing with stuff if there's stuff to deal with. If this could happen in normal life and normal church- fab. In the meantime, it didn't matter to me that I didn't know these people. They loved God and therefore loved me. They wanted the best for me and for me to get deeper in relationship with God. They stepped in when required and stepped back when not. They were unobtrusive, but also so willing to listen to anything you wanted to say. I left feeling lighter, free-er, and more equipped to be me, and to let God love me. I left having renounced lies that I wasn't good enough, didn't deserve His love, and needed to be someone I'm not. I left knowing in my head and my heart that my Father God delights in me just being myself. That Jesus is a top dude. And that the Holy Spirit won't make me do anything I don't want to do. That He's powerful yet tender, lion-hearted but not scary. And that I can let God in as much or as little as I want. Incredible.
Saturday 23rd July - Day 1
Hello one and all! We have arrived and are nearing the end of day one! Feels a bit surreal.
Travelling was long but good. Rich Kennedy was a total legend and drove us to the airport in Edinburgh to start the first leg of our journey. Despite some small issues with my passport, all went well. We arrived in San Franciso airport after 24hours and 3 flights and then Phil Ford drove us all the way up to Redding - wow!! A 4/5 hour drive!! Mental. Another legend. You sure do learn a lot about people when you are all that far beyond exhaustion!
The house we are renting is great- it has air-conditioning and internet, what more do we need?! It's also really close to church and some of the other buildings we'll be at. I'm not really sure how to do this but I guess I'll just type.
This morning we went to the Healing Rooms that are run on Saturday mornings. I had no idea what to expect, despite hearing lots about it from Mum, Dad, Andy and Theresa. I had kind of pictured this big room with white curtains and drapes and stuff, with people sort of floating around praying for people. It was definitely not like that. When you arrive, someone gives you a wee form to fill in with your details and just write what it is you want prayer for. Your form has a letter at the top and you go into the "encounter room" and it's actually not weird. Haha. There are just lots of people sitting in chairs around the room, a band playing spontaneous worship- not songs that you would sing along to or anything, and people wandering around singing or dancing or jumping, waving flags, and praying for people, or just sitting. So we found a seat (there were a lot of people!) and just looked around for the first wee while. I'd say we were in there for about an hour. I'm actually going to quote some stuff from my journal so it's not so much of a fact fact fact type blog.
"Enjoying sitting in a room full of people worshipping. Just sitting. I mainly keep my eyes closed coz I'm finding it a bit busy and frantic with tons of people around. But God's saying "these people are just happy. You dont have to dance or jump but leave them to their thing- they're enjoying it. Yeah it's weird but what about me is normal?" PAHA! There's a lady wandering around with a curly trumpet thing. She's blowing it in some peoples faces and it's annoying me. But why should it? She's not doing it to me. I started trying to block it out and ignore it, but then i saw there were colours coming out of it. It kind of looked like one of those kids books where there's a little boy playing a trumpet and everything turns from grey to colourful. But God also said that I could choose to see/have colours or I could have grey if I wanted to. But I don't want grey. "
I did lots of writing, but I think the main thing was that I just need to get over myself and stop letting what other people do annoy me- like blowing trumpets and waving flags and prophetic dancing, and shouting WHAM! in your face. Ok, not so sure how i would feel if she'd blown her trumpet in my face, but she didn't. Also, I was so surprised that I wasn't the only person just sitting there. It wasn't a room full of crazies and I was the odd one out. Ok there were some of the out there crazy types to be sure, but I was totally free to do whatever I wanted.
After about an hour, it was our turn to go into the other room and get prayed for. I actually prefered the encounter room, but it was great to get prayed for. I found it more difficult to just zone out while I was waiting than in the encounter room. But soon enough two guys Randy and Michael called my name and prayed for me. Johnny came too which was good and got some prayer for his back. I felt some improvement in my hands but they're still pretty sore today. I know that God can heal me, and wants to heal me, and that it's not anything I've done thats caused me to have this illness. So that's good. I'll just keep getting prayed for. It gets pretty exhausting getting prayed for all the time, but today it was ok.
Man, this is so long already! I'm definitely taking after Mum on the essay-length blogs! I've not even got onto Sozo session and Walmart yet! Heehee. I will write some more later. Pretty tired now. It's great hanging with Phil and Lizzie. And Johnny of course :) Think we're going to make some dinner soon!
Big love xx
Welcome to my blog. This month me, Johnny, Phil and Lizzie are going to back to Bethel church in America.
Here I'll talk about my experiences and what I'm looking forward to when we get back.
Please feel free to leave comments or questions.