God is so patient! So kind! So really sweet! So tender! Soooo a lot of things that words won't say and can't tell about Him. Today, He seemed extra gentle with me. Like I said, so patient with this fear-FULL girl of His!
Last night I went to bed out of exhaustion... and a whole lot of overwhelmation too (if that's a word). That's not me. Normally I wouldn't dare hit the pillow having no idea at all what I would be talking on. I woke in the middle of the night in the midst of a dream. I was sitting watching myself speak to the guys in prison and the message spilled out as I listened. I jolted right up (it was sometime after 1 a.m.) and wrote down all that I could remember I'd said.
I was blown away by how perfectly the things seemed to fit. It was wild, but I knew it was what I'd be saying. I had planned to, but surprisingly did NOT get up any earlier this morning than it took for me to get ready (thus no time to do what I thought I'd do and work on my speech). God was obviously listening to the prayers of my friends, for even on the drive up there (about an hour and a half) I wasn't nervous. I wasn't in a panic. I wasn't pleading for God to do some great thing. I had a unsurpassing peace encompassing round about me. I will admit, though, that for a moment when I got close I put my hand to my chest and asked outloud and breathlessly, "What am I doing?? I'm fixing to walk into a men's prison!!! What in the world am I doing there???"
But it didn't last long. I walked in all by myself (with God) like I'd been doing this very thing for years. I was escorted to the front of the chapel and sat down on it's front pew. Then, the most gifted bunch of boys rocked the house with their praise music and song! They had my heart soaring in the heavenlies while they were singing. I wasn't supposed to speak until 9:30, but surprisingly they didn't go by the schedule and I was being introduced before I'd even opened my notebook to see what I'd written. And then, miraculously I spoke to about 100 men sitting there attentively listening.
I never looked at my notes and was amazed that God reminded me of so much to say that I hadn't thought to. I spoke from my heart and seemed to hold their attention. I encouraged them in every which way I knew how... and surprisingly felt very comfortable doing it. Neither one of my knees were knocking as I knew they would! My hands weren't shaking. I didn't forget mid-sentence what I was saying ((*smile*)). What can I say? I feel like I stood there and God truly took over. I was His vessel. He was only using me as a vehicle in which to speak.
After I finished a black man came up to me and said that "everything you said just confirmed everything that I feel God has been saying to me." He talked to me for a few minutes before I was whisked away again back to the side of the fence that I'd come from.
I drove home in complete silence. No radio. No music. No listening to a lecture of some kind. No cell phone conversation. No texting. I drove in complete wonder of my Savior... in complete awe that He is able to do all that we can't.
And now tonight, the faces I watched and that stared back into mine are engraved behind my eyelids. I didn't personally know any of them and yet I felt as if they were all my brothers, my cousins, my schoolmates, my friends. I liked the guys. How could I not? I don't know how to explain it, but I loved them. I didn't feel afraid or intimidated. I feel I had a very special audience. I talked to them as easily as I talk to my son.
I wish they knew for real how much I am pulling and praying for them. I want them to do well so badly once they get back out into the free world again. I'm praying hard for God to draw them to Him, for Him to keep them safe and strong, and for Him to be able to use them hugely for His glory... that they will in time turn and help someone else to keep from doing what they've done so that they won't land in the same place that they did.
They should hopefully all be out soon. Some possibly as early as 30 days. May God woo them tonight even as they sleep. May He give them an unexplainable hunger and thirst for His Word. May they not get enough, but continually keep their noses in His scripture. May He make them mighty men of valor! Warriors for the Lord!
God was faithful in a mighty way today. I thank Him profusely for all that He did and He does! I love His love! I love how He loves me... and loves them just as much.
How GOoD He is to us!
The faucet has already started. My pillow will be wet when I wake in the morning....