Dieu est Amour — God is Love
Beautiful windows bringing out the best in the incredible architecture; coffee that tastes like gold; sweet and savory pastries; sweet and savory culture all around — and people, such lovely, dear people.
I’ve wanted to go to France forever, having been fascinated by its history and culture, but it wasn’t until about a year ago that I suddenly felt a deep desire to love on the people, and to show them who God truly is.
So, as God works, He doesn’t give us piercing desires and dreams without the intention of fulfilling them (This is an incredible lesson that I’m still learning, and it keeps on getting more exciting), so I was able to go to France this past March 30th to April the 10th.
Imagine me letting out a long sigh and smiling at the ceiling. That’s how I feel about the time I had there. God is so good. When we say yes, He moves.
We spent the majority of the time pouring into the churches there, teaching some, praying for people, honoring them, and giving prophetic words (for those unfamiliar with this term, it’s just a fancy word for hearing the encouraging, comforting, wonderful words that God is saying to people, and telling them what we heard).
I had lots of opportunities to preach, and share things from my personal journey. One of the main things I spoke about — being pretty much what I’m most passionate about — was intimacy with God, and some practical things I’ve learned about how to connect with Him.
In a nutshell: everything is about intimacy with God. If we’re intimate with Him, we automatically have the solution to every problem we’ll ever encounter, as well as the key to having to most enjoyable and fulfilling life ever. Though knowing this, for a long time I struggled a lot to connect with God.
Not anymore; and this is what I’ve discovered that has changed that.
First, I stopped believing the lie that God wasn’t close to me. One day I was fasting and praying, and crying out to God for more of Him. I was on my knees saying over and over again, “Jesus come close, please come close.” And He interrupted my very spiritual moment by showing me an image of Him in front of me, waving His hand in my face saying, “I’m right here. If you’ve asked me once to come close, where else do you think I’d be?”
So ever since then, it’s been so different. Even if I feel Him far away, I know it to not be true, so I just treat it like any other lie.
If you realize that you feel like He’s far away, and want to be able to connect with Him more, I encourage you to ask Him some questions, like, “Jesus, where are you? How close are you?”
I promise He’ll show you, and it will change your life. I speak from experience.
The second thing that has revolutionized my secret place, is realizing that, as the Bible says, God is spirit; it also says that I am body, soul, and spirit. Just as you can’t really “add apples to oranges,” it’s much more difficult to connect with God through your soul (mind, will, and emotions) than directly through your spirit.
The easiest way to do this is, like David did in many of his Psalms, is to speak to yourself and tell yourself what to do.
I started out by just saying to myself out loud, “Spirit, connect to Holy Spirit.” Over time of doing this, it’s amazing how much my connection with Him has grown, and how I can find that place of deep intimacy with Him wherever and whenever, even when my mind, will, and emotions are all over the place.
Anyways, coming off of my very important rabbit trail, this was my main message that I shared in France.
Perhaps my favorite setting that I shared it in was in a charismatic Catholic cathedral.
After about an hour of powerful worship, I got up and shared that message, and then was followed by other amazing people on my team.
Afterwards we had a ministry time where people could come up and have prayer. The first person that came was a lovely young woman who had asthma. She said it was so bad that the doctors told her that they couldn’t do anything else about it. As soon as she said that (or as soon as my translator told me what she said), I recalled a drawing that I’d done the day before leaving for France.
I was doing some drawings to give out to people, and was asking God what to draw. I felt strangely like He told me to draw a pair of lungs, so I did. I put some flowers in them, and made it pretty, and I felt like He said that someone’s lungs were going to get healed while I was there.
So when she said she had asthma, that was first thing I thought of, and ran to get the drawing out of my backpack. I showed it to her, and told her what God had said. We then put the drawing on her chest, because why not? and prayed for healing.
As we were praying, I noticed that she was breathing really heavily, so I asked her what was going on. She said that she felt something expanding in her chest! Though we didn’t get to talk more with her after that, I really believe she was healed! Thank you Jesus!
And what’s more, she said after we had finished praying that she felt like God told her that her healing wasn’t only for her, but for others as well, and that every time she saw someone with lung problems, she would show them the drawing, and pray for them to get healed!
God just blows me away sometimes.
We did some other activities as well, such as prayer walking in the streets of Marseilles, painting kid’s faces and doing English language activities with them; giving Muslim women hand massages, and trying to piece together sentences in the gorgeous language of French to tell them how beautiful and precious they are, and doing a workshop on prophetic art. (This is another fancy phrase for using art to express what we feel that God is doing or saying.)
Before the trip, I was asked to do a demonstration of prophetic dance for this workshop. Before I knew it, I had said yes to it, although I’d never done that before, and am terrified of dancing in front of anyone. Leading up to it, I was extremely nervous. But I felt God saying, “I will honor your yes.”
And He did!
The night that I danced, there were only about 30 people there; I was glad that it was a small crowd. I picked someone from the audience that God was highlighting to me, a middle-aged black woman, with the sweetest face ever. I pulled her up front and sat her down on a stool. I felt God tell me that she had back pain, so I asked her if that was true, and she said that she did. So with another extremely talented girl from my team playing something on the keyboard, I just went for it, and started dancing.
As I danced, her pain significantly lessened! By the end of the night, she was feeling God’s presence very intensely, and was about 75% better!
I have no idea what the dancing looked like, but I do know that God moved, and ultimately that’s all that matters.
I had such an incredible team, and God did so many amazing things. People got saved and healed on the streets, and churches got encouraged and revived, and in general, I think everyone got to know God a little, or a lot more, and that makes me very, very happy.
Following are more photos.