Reach.

2018 is in full swing and I am so excited about this year and all the possibilities it brings. Last year was quite the whirlwind for me. There were ups and downs and plot twists, but much growth, progress and joy along the way. I started 2017 dreaming. It didn’t seem like I had much to look forward to at the time. I had hit a slump and lost so much that was so important to me. However, I made a decision early on in the year to stand in faith believing and trusting God for the exceedingly and abundantly more He promised me (Eph. 3:20-21).

My pastor had encouraged us to write dream journals. At first, it was difficult for me to dream at all, as I battled through feelings of hopelessness and depression. But I pressed through, dreaming and praying, until I really started to believe in my heart that my faith declarations would come to pass. The first page of that journal was marked “Get married in 2018,” my biggest life-long dream. Other pages in the journal were marked with things like get a laptop and get a car. Some of them were less tangible. See the beauty for ashes in my life. See restoration. To be reset mind, body and soul. I got the car, the laptop and in June of 2018, I’ll marry my best friend. I totally got to see the beauty for ashes in what was a desperately broken time of my life. I have seen restoration in so many areas and I feel the reset. I don’t walk into 2018 in the same condition that I walked into 2017. Although I saw hardships last year, especially with the death of my brother, and even though there are many dreams I am still praying into, God has taught me the valuable lesson of dreaming with Him and praying in faith no matter what the circumstances might look like.

Today in my devotional time, I read Philippians 3:13: “No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.” This verse might be my anthem for 2018. Paul starts off the verse by putting it out there that no…he has not yet achieved “it.” We all have a different “it.” We all have things we are striving and working towards. We all have suffered at times from weaknesses, failures and limitations that have held us back. We all have regrets and things we wish we would have accomplished by now. But I love the next words of this verse, “But I focus on this one thing.” Our achievements, our failures, and what we have and have not accomplished should not be our focus. According to Paul, there is something far worthier of our attention.

So, what is the one thing? “Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.” Leave the past behind you. And for the record, the past includes everything up to one second ago. Don’t look back anymore. Don’t live your life swallowed up with regrets and reminders of the times you missed the mark. Don’t let what’s behind you hinder you from moving ahead.

Look forward. The Amplified Bible would say “Reach forward.” Look up ahead. And let God tell you what’s ahead. The promises He has written in His word are a good place to start. Despite anything that’s lies behind you, the future ahead of you is bright. Keep reaching forward in hope. Reach in confidence. Reach in trust and reach in faith. Do you hear God whispering to you? “Child, you have a lot to look forward to.”

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I said yes.

This past week, my best friend popped the question and I said yes. And let me tell you, I am a happy happy girl. I could write many blog posts and preach many messages about the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord based solely on my experiences in this relationship. Someday I’ll share the stories and the miracles that took place that led to his heart joining with mine. But for today, I’ll keep my musings simple and encourage you with the words found in Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of His heart.”

I read these words standing in a Barnes and Nobles minutes before my boyfriend proposed to me. After a lovely evening at one of my favorite restaurants, we took a walk in downtown West Hartford surrounded by beautiful Christmas lights. On a whim, we went inside a Barnes and Noble (the first place he ever took me for that first cup of coffee) and while I was in the bathroom he purchased the bear pictured above. While I was making my way back from the lady’s room, I took a quick stroll through the Christian book section. I picked up a devotional and opened it to the page already marked. I read about the goodness of God and of how when we delight ourselves in Him, He gives us our hearts desires.

Over the past year, I have had to lay my dreams on the altar of surrender many times to pursue a deeper relationship and intimacy with Christ. I have had to put my trust in my heavenly daddy to provide for my every need at times when it felt like all Hell was breaking loose in my life. Day by day the Lord has pushed me to greater levels of faith as I have chosen to believe for the impossible and to hope for restoration in every area of my life.

Just shy of a year ago, I laid this relationship on the altar. In an act of surrender and obedience, I walked away from something I greatly desired to delight myself in God first and to allow Him to do some work in my heart that needed to be done. I gave up my natural fight and chose instead to take the battle to my prayer closet. In that place of prayer, God healed and transformed my heart. At the same time, God was healing and bringing heart transformation to the man that will now be my husband. Although I couldn’t know the outcome at the time, my faith, obedience and willingness to delight myself in God first prepared me for this season, in which God is giving me my utmost desires. Only God can take something broken and make it more beautiful than it was before. I reflected on all of this standing in that book aisle. I thanked God for His love and all His many blessings and in an attitude of joy and thanksgiving, I left the store.

Minutes later my boyfriend handed me that bear. I reached my hand inside it and pulled out a gorgeous diamond ring. The ring represents a promise. Not only from my fiancé, but from my heavenly daddy. When you delight yourself in God, even if it means letting go of all else, He truly gives you what your heart really desires.

With Thanksgiving

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with Thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:6-7)

With Thanksgiving…how important it is that what we do, we do with an attitude of gratitude. I remember a couple of years back, the year got started on a really rough note. Someone had suggested how thankfulness would be the key to propel me forward during that tough time. I remember opening up a sticky note on my laptop and each day I would make a small list of things I was thankful for. Somedays it would be the little things, the warm cup of coffee on a cold morning, my comfy pajamas or a kind word from a friend. Other days it was for bigger things like my family, my close friends and God’s provision. Either way, keeping my blessings in perspective helped to shield me from the bitterness of disappointment.

The verse referenced above tells us that “with thanksgiving” we should present our requests to God. Why? Depending on what the request is and in what area you find a need, you may not feel like thankfulness is an appropriate response. But it is! Thankfulness is one of the prerequisites for allowing God’s peace in to guard our heart and our mind.

Thankfulness helps us to remember God’s goodness and faithfulness. It reminds us how trustworthy He is. Thankfulness helps us to remember all that He has brought us out of, so that we can have faith for all that He is bringing us into. Thankfulness reminds us that no matter how hard it seems, God’s grace is sufficient for us. No matter how dark the situation, His light shines brightly in the midst of it.

Thankfulness makes a way for faith to rise up. We remember if He has done it before, He will do it again. What are you asking God for today? What is your request? Pave the way to your breakthrough with thankfulness and let God’s peace settle over your heart and mind. He is working. You don’t need to see the outcome before you start thanking Him for your victory!
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Be Thankful…Always

Be Thankful…Always

Always be joyful.  Never stop praying.  Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.  (1 Thess. 5:16-18)

With Thanksgiving less than two weeks away, it feels like an appropriate time to talk about gratitude.  I love the verse from 1 Thessalonians referenced above.  Always be joyful…be thankful in all.  Sounds great, doesn’t it?  But how do we put this into practice?  Sometimes it’s easy to be thankful, but other times we struggle with it.

For me, this will be the first year my family will spend without my brother at the Thanksgiving table.  However, I still find I have so much to be thankful for this holiday season.  We can let our circumstances drive us to the place of fear and despair, or we can allow them to push us towards faith and hope.  The bleaker things look the more aggressive we should be in our pursuit of hope and our stance of faith.  John 10:10 tells us, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy.  My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” The more the enemy steals from us the more we need to press into the promise of the abundant life God has offered us. Gratitude plays a huge role in this.

The loss of my brother has made me even more grateful for the family members and friends I will have around me this holiday.  Sometimes experiencing loss makes us realize how much we take for granted all the other blessings in our lives.  I am excited for new starts and fresh beginnings.  I am excited to see the stronger Theresa that will come through on the other side of this.  I love that I can know that though weeping may last through the night, joy comes with the morning (Ps. 30:5).

I can be joyful no matter the circumstances, because I know God is good.  I can be thankful through tears and hard days, because I know the one who is holding me.  I receive so much love and blessings from the amazing people He has given me to walk this journey besides me, but nothing beats crawling in the lap of poppa God and allowing His heart to comfort mine.  I’ll never be alone and that is something to be oh so grateful for.

So for anyone out there who might be struggling this holiday season, allow Him to show you His love.  Allow Him to show you His goodness.  Allow Him to show you that no matter what you may be going through, if you set your gaze on Him, you will always have something to be thankful for.

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In Loving Memory of Anthony Flood

On Monday, October 23rd, I lost my brother and one of my closest friends.  His death was tragic and sudden. My brother was only 36 years old and left behind three beautiful and amazing daughters. The news of his passing hit everyone like a freight train, leaving us heart broken.

Never before have I experienced such a devastating loss. To be honest, this was one of my biggest fears come true. However, what I want to share today in this simple blog post is that I never would have thought it possible that during such a time of sadness and loss that I would be able to simultaneously experience such joy, confidence, and peace.

My confidence comes from the fact that my brother had a relationship with Jesus Christ as His Lord and Savior. Although he had many struggles (don’t we all?), he desired to give his whole heart to God, to live the abundant life God offers and break free from a destructive bondage to brokenness and emptiness. Despite the fact that he will be sorely missed here on earth, I know that even as I type these words, he is standing in the presence of our heavenly daddy. My brother would often call me to share any Christian book, movie, or message he had recently viewed and wanted me to tune into.  “Theresa, you have got to see this movie!” “Theresa, you need to check out this book.”   Sunday morning as I worshipped with my church family, a tear rolled down my cheek as I envisioned my brother standing in heaven saying to himself, “Theresa has got to see this!!!!

Peace floods my heart as I look into the eyes of my parents and other family members. My mother was closer to my brother than anyone else and has invested her whole life into trying to make sure he was safe and taken care of. Of course, she has cried many tears over his death. But I have watched my mother radiate such joy over these past couple of weeks.  Through the tears, there has been so many times of laughter.  She still has that mischievous gleam in her eye and even the death of her son won’t keep her from telling a joke, pulling off a prank, or showing off her goofy side.  When I see my mom smile and laugh, I am convinced she is one of the strongest woman I know.  Her laughter has brought peace into our family.  And I know that life doesn’t end with this tragedy.

My joy comes from the fact that God has made me feel so loved as His daughter.  God has chosen the time in my life when I am suffering my greatest loss to bless me in ways far greater than I could have ever imagined.  Although my brother has died, I am seeing many dreams birthed.  I am seeing beauty from the ashes and new life springing forth.  Saturday, at my brother’s memorial service, 8 family members and friends of my brother chose to surrender their hearts to the Lord.  I met with a beautiful, bright young woman yesterday who told me that with my brother’s passing she has been awakened to the importance of living her life for God.  In a Facebook post yesterday, she wrote, “All for you Father.  Take my hand and guide me.  I am a daughter!”  With God nothing is wasted, even death.  I am fully convinced that my brother’s influence here in this world continues and that many more will follow his example and give their hearts to Jesus.

Tony, thanks for always being there for me.  I will miss you greatly and I will do my best to use every opportunity I’m presented with to honor your memory by pointing others to Jesus.  Can’t wait to see you again!  We have a lot to catch up on.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.  He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.  He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.  To all who mourn in Israel he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair.  (Isa. 61:1-3)

Facing your walls

“When you hear the priests give one long blast on the rams’ horns, have all the people shout as loud as they can. Then the walls of the town will collapse, and the people can charge straight into the town.”
‭‭Joshua‬ ‭6:5‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Recently, I was listening to a sermon given by Christine Caine titled “Possessing the Promise.” The subject material pointed to the walls of Jericho in Joshua chapter 6. Christine talks about how when the Israelites entered the promised land, they encountered the last thing they would expect…looming, formidable walls…seemingly insurmountable walls.

Some times we experience victory, we triumph, only to realize that there are still battles to be fought, even though we have entered the territory that God promised us. Even though we are doing the right things. Even though we have seen so much answered prayer. Sometimes we enter the promises of God and we hit a wall. Things get hard. Transitions get messy. And we could be left to wonder, if God really led me here shouldn’t everything go smoothly? Not necessarily.

So what do you do? You keep marching. In the case of the Israelites, they had to march around those city walls for seven days. For us that means that we continue to move forward in prayer, faith, hope and obedience. Christine says in her sermon that we keep making laps around God’s promises until we see those walls fall down.

This message really resonated with me. One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned this year (and there have been plenty) is the importance of standing in faith and keeping your hope alive, regardless of how things might look. This year God really challenged me to put my nose to the plow and begin to contend in faith for things I couldn’t see (at all!) in the natural and not to stop no matter how desperate my circumstances became. This put me in a position of needing to put my faith and the words God had spoken to me above the opinion of others. It forced me to dry my eyes and look ahead with confident expectation toward a hopeful future.

I am still in that place of contending today and while I may not yet be fully where I would like to be, I have already seen God bring so much restoration to my life and bring beauty from the ashes of my brokenness. More than anything I’ve learned that He is oh so faithful.

What walls are you facing today? Keep on marching. Sooner or later those bad boys will come tumbling down.

Behind and Before

You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. (Ps. 139:5)

Life is full of transitions.  Transitions can be scary, but they are a whole lot less scary when we put our firm trust and confidence, in our navigator Jesus Christ.  In the above-referenced verse, we are told that God “hems us in behind and before.”

God covers our past and leads the way into our future.  He redeems past mistakes, hurts, wounds and trials.  He weaves our history into a story of redemption that makes way for a legacy that will continue long after we have passed on from this life.  He is the God of beauty from ashes and grace from shame.  He is the voice behind us whispering in our ear, “This is the way to go.  Step here my child.”

He is also the God that takes us by the hand and leads us forward into our destiny.  In Proverbs 16:9, we are told, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”  God is our faithful and trustworthy guide.  As we set our gaze on Him, He is sure to show us the right path to take.  With each step, we can rest in full confidence and reliance on Him.

Today, whatever change or transition you might be facing, be assured that God has already made the way.  The past is behind us.  The future lies before us.  Can you hear His voice?  Take a step today.

My Delight.

Take delight in the Lord and He will give you your heart’s desires. (Ps. 37:4)

Recently, I have been doing a lot of study pertaining to our thoughts and the mind.  In a short span of time, I have read Breaking Free by Beth Moore, Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer and Heart Made Whole by Christa Gifford.  (All excellent reads!)  God is bringing me through the process of rewiring my brain, in order that old pathways of fear and insecurity can be rerouted in the ways of faith, expectation and unconditional love.

Through this process, God continues to speak to me of His great love for me.  He loves me for the sake of loving me.  I am guilty of coming before God always trying to improve something, change something, do something, but God is showing me over and over again that He simply desires to hang out with me, because He delights in me.  In Psalm 149:4-5, we are told, “For the Lord delights in His people; he crowns the humble with victory.  Let the faithful rejoice that he honors them.  Let them sing for joy as they lie on their beds.”

This understanding has deepened my level of intimacy with Christ.  Although I continue to study the word, pray and worship, (all necessary, vital and of utmost importance), I also take time to sit with Jesus, to admire the beauty of creation with Him, to go for walks together and to sit in silence, knowing He sits with me.  There have always been painful things in my life I have needed to confront.  There has always been some degree of chaos around me.  The problem is I have too often been guilty of letting the chaos going on around me get inside of me.  Too many times I have allowed circumstances and people to rob my joy.  This knowledge of the God who so immensely enjoys me, empowers me to have a good day no matter what situation I am facing.  I made a decision recently that no matter what goes on around me, I would make the choice to choose joy, even if that means getting away from the crowd to enjoy a sunset with Jesus, after a long stressful day.  It fills my heart with joy, acceptance and belonging to know that He doesn’t require me to come with words, a plan or a course of action.  He just wants me to come with my heart, in whatever shape that it’s in, so He can mend any places it has been torn and give strength to those parts that have been made weak.

I put this to the test the other day.  Due to some circumstances outside of my control, I was up all through the night. I felt angry, worried, exhausted, you name it.  After finally getting some sleep.  I got up and decided in my heart what kind of day I was going to have.  My day would be a good day.  Because I was going to spend it with Jesus.  I got together with a really good friend of mine who asked me what I wanted to do.  Although I really wanted to visit a beautiful park I had heard of and never been to, I told my friend we should go to the orchard that was closeby.  The park was a long drive away and I figured it would be more convenient to go to the orchard instead.  We stopped by the orchard but didn’t stay very long.  My friend said we should leave.  Not thinking too much of it, I got back into the car.  Next thing I knew, we were on a long drive thorugh the country.  I let all my circumstances melt away and began to reflect on God’s goodness and love towards me, as I watched the sun shine through the trees.  I took in all the beauty and allowed myself to let go, relax and rest in Jesus.  I felt Him massaging my heart back to good health and felt truly joyful.  Although I enjoyed the time with my friend, I so enjoyed knowing that Jesus had made that trip with us.  Eventually, the car turned into the very park I had wanted to visit, but had never expressed.  Jesus had used my friend to give me that gift.  Everything about my day perfectly met my heart’s desires.  From the beauty of the park, to the places we stopped on the way home, to the flavor of ice cream I ate, I felt that God had designed it all to show me His love in a special way.  He delighted in being with me throughout the day and setting up these fun surprises.

It tells us in Psalm 37:4  that when we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our hearts.  When our delight is God, He gives us more of Himself.  He gives us more of an understanding of who He is, His nature and His heart towards us.  He gives us a greater desire and capacity to know Him better.  The more He becomes our delight the less other things will be able to take away our joy.  When your joy is in the one who will never leave you or forsake you, the one who remains the same yesterday, today and forever, you are undaunted and unshakeable.  And while things won’t always go the way we thought or planned, and while we will have those hard, tough days, this God delights in surprising us.  He takes joy in making our dreams come true, dreams He gave us to begin with.  He loves to draw us to Himself, wooing us and romancing us.  His heart is always to do in our lives more than we can ever dare, ask, think or imagine (Eph. 3:20).

Make Him your delight.  Enjoy Him with every breathe.  Open your eyes to His love notes all around you.  Find yourself in the center of His heart.

Limitless Love

Limitless Love

I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit.  Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him.  Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.  And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is.  May you experience the love of Christ though it is too great to understand fully.  Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.  Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.  (Eph. 3:16-20)

Recently, an experience of God’s love restored to me my awareness of my identity as a beloved daughter of God.  In his letter to the church at Ephesus, Paul makes it clear that it is by experiencing the love of Christ that we are made complete and brought to wholeness.  I went away this summer to find direction, to regain focus and to come away with an action plan.  Although those things did come, what I found during my time away more than anything else was love itself.

To be honest, I felt as though God orchestrated that whole trip to speak to my heart over and over again, “You were made for love.  You were made to love and be loved in return..” The messages I heard of God’s love were simple yet profound and struck a deep chord in my heart.  One girl challenged us to consider a time when a person’s gifts or words made us feel particulary adored and cherished.  She pointed out that God intended for us to feel adored and cherished every day of our lives…because we are!

Another leader on campus shared a story about how he watched a dream he had one night unfold in real life.  Mike came to YWAM lost, looking for a better way, but unsure of the reality of God.  He had grown up in the church, but was deeply affected by the hypocrisy he found.  He had turned to alcohol, drugs and partying as a means of escape.  He came to YWAM a complete mess, but God was pursuing his heart.  As he sat on his bed one day, he watched a dream God had given him play out before his eyes, as a young man presented Him with a sea shell, saying “Mike, God wants you to have this.  He loves you so much.”

Reflecting on all this one night, during time with the Lord, I felt God saying to me, “Theresa, I want you to treat this journey with me more like an adventure in Disneyland and less like a stroll through the trail of terror.”  I realized that I have spent far too much time waiting for the ax to drop, terrified at what might jump out at me.  I couldn’t see that God intended this journey with him to be the greatest adventure.  I couldn’t understand that although I may come across some dark forests or steep mountains, every challenging passage was intended to strengthen and develop my warrior heart.  Each opposition God allowed, to prepare me for future chapters up ahead.  I became so focused on the challenges that I lost sight of the fact that the road before me was bursting with exciting surprises, endless opportunities and saturated with the limitless, unconditional love of my Father.  Here I was a princess whose heart was being pursued by my King, a girl loved and cherished.  Somewhere along the way, I had laid down my crown, tooken up the position of a frightened servant and forgotten my identity as a beloved bride.

As God spoke to my inner core, “Daughter, don’t you realize, I just want to love you?,” I reclaimed my  crown.  I stood up and once more assumed my proper position as a daughter of  the creator.  I felt myself becoming me again.  Life began to seep into my heart.  Joy washed over my soul and once more I became pregnant with hope.

True to the passage referenced above, I found strength in my inner being.  Instead of being easily shaken, I found myself anchored with roots that grew deep down into God’s love and acceptance for me.  I began to understand a fraction more of God’s unlimited, matchless, passionate love for me.  And in this love, I found myself complete and whole.

Do you hear the gentle whisper of God’s voice today in the inner recesses of your spirit, saying “Son, daughter, don’t you see I just want to love you?”  Let the adventure commence.

 

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For I am with You

Yesterday marked a significant milestone in my life. I was ordained at my home church, Dwelling Place Northeast, as a pastor. Since I was 13 years old, I have felt the call of God to do ministry full-time. Since then, I have sought out opportunity, after opportunity to engage in ministry and to learn the ropes from other men and women of God that God has placed in my life.

Yesterday, after the ordination service and a full day of celebrating with friends and family, I finally climbed into my bed and tears of joy came trickling down my face. I so was overwhelmed by the faithfulness of God. The way that God loves me and fathers me became so real to me in that moment. The God that is aware of all of my flaws and imperfections saw it fit to bring to fruition the dream of a 13 year old girl. He has spent the last 15 years refining me and preparing me for this moment. At times I thought the process might kill me, because sometimes preparation involves embracing pain and moving forward. God has used this season to stretch, grow and mature me. But I never thought this would be my year to see this particular dream fulfilled. Looking at my circumstances and my feelings, it just never occured to me that God was setting me up for this huge blessing.

As my pastors prayed over me, my pastor said, “God has known all along that August 27th, 2017 would be the day that he would fulfill this dream.” With that one line, the tears began to flow. This year started off rough. It was a defining season, but at times it felt like the weight of it would crush me. Even then God knew all that He was preparing me for, all that He intended to bless me with. And I remember a simple sentence He spoke to my heart, as I wondered and prayed about the pain I was going through. He whispered to my heart, “It’s not permanent.” Another night, as I cryed myself to sleep, He repeated over and over in my spirit, “From the breaking point to the breakthrough…from the breaking point to the breakthrough.” Yesterday, as I stood before friends and family to celebrate God’s faithfulness, I recognized that right in this moment, I am breaking through.

The thing that God marked my heart with more than anything else yesterday was that He is with me. The night before Sunday service, I was feeling all sorts of emotions. I wanted the moment to be perfect, special because it meant so much to me. It dawned on me that although many friends and family would be there to celebrate this moment, there would be someone present who has been there through every moment, both good and bad, and that someone is Jesus Himself. It occured to me that whoever else showed up, whoever else would be in the crowd or part of the festivities afterwards, my constant partner and supporter, the one who has been my cheerleader through all the ups and downs would be standing right by my side. This was our moment. A special moment between a girl and her heavenly daddy. I pictured it as though I was standing at the microphone and He was right at my side, holding my hand and whispering in my ear, “You did it baby girl.” And this is what I prayed. I prayed that He would take that position right next to me, even though I knew in my heart that I didn’t even need to ask. He would already be there.

When the service ended, my Father, who has shared this dream with me all these years and who had no idea of the prayers of His neverous daughter the night before, told me, “When you were up there, I knew that Jesus was standing right beside you, holding your hand.” I simply smiled and told my dad, “Yes. I asked him to be there.”

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isa. 41:10).