This evening, I received a phone call. It was a call of hope and of affirmation. Deliverance work can be ugly. Working with people who are hurting and still have broken pieces in their lives but are trying to hold it together and tough it out is not easy. My heart’s desire is to see each person completely free and wholly restored. Sometimes my desire for their wholeness is stronger than their own. This comes from a place of knowing what freedom, peace, and healing feels like. This comes from knowing it is attainable for everyone through the work that Jesus did on the cross. Many whose paths we cross are sorting details and trying to decide if they can really trust surrendering it all to the Lord.
Ministering to people stuck in cycles can be frustrating because you must move at their speed when sometimes you can clearly see what needs to be done. Many times they cannot clearly see what needs to be done or other attachments and mindsets are holding them back. They are just trying to keep their head above water, swimming in a pool of heaviness, desperation, pain, hurt and so many other negative emotions. I know because I have been there. I looked for a lifeline, any life line, but I moved when I was ready. We are not always ready to grab that life line even though we desperately call out for it. Sometimes we think that what we hold onto is better than where we can go.
On the other side now, throwing the life line to others, it can often feel like one step forward, three steps back just as it can feel being in the midst of brokenness. It is easy to feel like you are failing. It is easy to question why the sacrifices are made for each person when many times they turn and lash out against you. Perception is key to loving people through these hard and difficult places. Remembering they are hurting. Remembering they were created by the most High God for a purpose. I think of the person hurting and my heart melts. My heart melts for their pain. My eyes weep for their torment. I remember how it feels. My resolve grows stronger. I remind myself that Jesus endured so much but keeps pursuing us. We reject Him, but his choice is to pursue us. Who am I to think that I can do any different? So, I pursue. I battle for freedom for the ones who cannot. I don’t count the cost because what does it really matter when the reward of freedom is so great.
Freedom doesn’t come easy, and we don’t always see the reward of our battles in other. The process can be difficult. Sometimes, we will never know if the sacrifices we make have a lasting impact, but it is ok. Soldiers on the battlefield fight without knowing whether they will win the war or not. We don’t fight only when we are guaranteed victory. We fight because we believe in the cause. We believe in the mission. I fight because I know that Jesus died to set people free and that freedom is so very sweet. I fight because I believe that we are not meant to live in any type of poverty: physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. Jesus died to restore the fullness that was stolen in the garden. I fight without a guaranteed, immediate outcome because I know how sweet the victory is on the other side, and I want others to get to the same place.
But tonight, I did receive a call. A call of affirmation. A call of hope.
Last Spring, my team and I were working intensely with a young woman through a deliverance process. Over the course of several weeks she was in an out of the hospital and in and out of a catatonic state. Most of the time, we did not even know if the young woman could hear us. While we were working with her, we never were able to see her walk into complete freedom. We even questioned if any progress was made at all.
Several months passed and the young woman reached out to me sharing more of her journey as the Lord is still taking her through deeper levels of deliverance. This young woman has been through quite a bit of trauma. Tonight, she said that the Lord reminded her of a time when she was in the hospital. She asked if I remembered us staring at each other and me calling her name. I said there were many times over those weeks that I was doing that because we weren’t sure if she was even consciously present. She said she remembers one time. Specifically, she remembers that my pupils turned into the shape of hearts, and she could feel the presence of Jesus coming out of me. She was comforted in that moment. As she was sharing this with me over the phone, we both cried. I felt the Lord say to me in that moment, “Your heart is seen. The reason you do this.”
I thanked the young woman for sharing that with me and told her that the reason that we spent so much time with her and fought for her so hard was because of the love that we have for people and specifically for her. It is the love of Jesus that we have cultivated in our hearts. I was amazed that the Lord revealed that in such a vivid way. There were some days that we were up there 6 hours straight praying for her and fighting for her deliverance, freedom, and overall life. The enemy had a tight hold.
Sometimes when we question our impact…sometimes when we wonder if what we are doing has any impact at all, God sends us little reminders that what we are doing is making a difference. Resolve sets in. Love deepens. Courage grows. Faith widens. We take another step forward. Keep moving forward.