My relationship with Jesus over the past few months has been absolutely WILD. I have learned so much about the character of God, and the incredible intimacy we have access to through the Holy Spirit. I have been awestruck by how creative, personal and intentional Jesus is. According to what I had been taught, Jesus was supposed to be my best friend. On some level I think I believed that and would tell people that was my truth. But quite honestly, up until a couple months ago, Jesus was probably more like a casual friend whose company I really enjoyed. He was part of my social circle and was always around, and quite frequently our interactions would make my day. I certainly talked about how cool he was to other people as if he was my best friend. He was someone who I really wanted to get to know on a deeper level, but somehow there was a disconnect and I didn’t know how to get past it.
But then, one day my mind started to explode.
It all started with a life-coaching meeting over zoom. After I talked with the coach a little about my background, she told me that she thought I had the gift of prophecy. I was a little hesitant to believe someone I just met, but I was intrigued and excited. As the conversation went on, she sensed and spoke to a struggle in my life that I had not previously shared with her. A struggle that had plagued me for at least 7 years. I was dum-founded. She prayed for me and so much of that pain and struggle started fading away. “Hearing” from God and feeling known by Him started to take on a whole new meaning.
After that, I started to dive deep. Knowing with absolute proof that God could speak to me and lead me in very direct and deeply personal ways, I was so excited to begin this journey. No wonder I had been discontent at times with my walk with Jesus and that he never gave off that best friend vibe. I had experienced and been taught that God speaks to us usually in subtle “hunches,” feelings of peace, and Scripture (which still should be our ultimate authority and through which we should test every spirit). All those things are still to be praised, cherished and sought after. But, there is soooooo much more that we all have access to that I would soon discover.
There are many incredible things that would soon start to happen. To explain every cool God moment and all the exciting personal revelations Jesus has given me would be pages and pages long even though this journey started a mere couple of months ago. Jesus is constantly surprising me with something new. Every day I am excited to wake up and see how he shows up, because no matter how my day goes or my fluctuating emotions, I get to learn more and more about His personality and character. He is just so creative, intentional and at times quite humorous.
But for now, I want to share a recent story that has rocked my world.
A couple weeks ago I was praying while on my lunch break. I had started to understand that I can often get what is known as “Words of Knowledge”–a spiritual gift listed in 1 Corinthians 12:8. It is when you receive words or knowledge about someone or an event you only know by revelation and no prior knowledge. Jesus modeled this all over the gospels as he received words from His Father, such as when he told the Samaritan woman that she had had 5 husbands (John 4:16). So while on my break, after quieting my mind, I heard 3 seemingly random words through an inaudible voice: Jessica, jungle, birds. I felt it was God because I was not thinking about any of these things prior. Also, I didn’t have any people in my life named Jessica or had talked with a Jessica recently, so I just took note of it.
A few weeks later I attended a healing and evangelism conference at my church. During one of the sessions, my pastor introduced a couple who pastors a church in Columbus. Their names were Aaron and Jessica. I got excited. Maybe that was “the Jessica.” After the session, I thought why not. I awkwardly introduced myself and told them that God gave me a word of knowledge about a Jessica. We started chatting and they prayed for me. Then Jessica told me that Aaron had bad arthritis in his hand and that I should pray over it. So, in faith, I said a quick prayer and after a few seconds he started tearing up. He said the pain was going away. He cracked his knuckles and said that he hadn’t been able to do that in years. My mind was absolutely blown. I had only heard of healing miracles happening from afar. And the first one I saw came from God mightily working through me.
As amazing as that was, it would only get better. When I got home, I looked through my notes and remembered about the jungle and birds. I texted Jessica and asked her if they meant anything to her. She told me that when she was praying for me she saw a jungle and birds flying around. I started laughing with joy.
At first, I didn’t know what to make of what the birds and the jungle meant. Then the next weekend I was worshiping at a retreat where my church was playing. While in the mighty presence of the Holy Spirit, I saw a mental image of birds flying. The word migration came to me. I started to ponder more and thought about how God spectacularly hardwired birds’ brains to know exactly where to migrate over hundreds of miles every year so that they can find food and shelter. I sensed the Lord urging me to trust him in that he will continue to guide, protect and provide for me throughout the jungles and craziness of my life to bring me to work he wants me to accomplish.
“It is the Lord who directs your life, for each step you take is ordained by God to bring you closer to your destiny. So much of your life, then, remains a mystery.”Proverbs 20:24 (TPT)
In this season of my life, through various forms of revelation, I feel so much anticipation that God is preparing a future for me and work for me to do that will be beyond what I could ever think or imagine. He has already started to do that and I am constantly in awe. However, in the midst of job transitions and unknowns, it has recently made me pretty anxious and impatient to know more of the path he will lead me on and see more of that plan unravel.
But the Lord is so good, and thankfully so patient with me. Through a couple of random words and a few acts of faith, I know that he has me. All that Jesus wants me to do is live in daily obedience, having an excitement and desire to hear his sweet voice and step out in faith.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”Proverbs 3: 5-6
So, is Jesus my best friend now? I’m not sure. But he is a very good friend and gets closer to it every day. I know that if I ever need someone to talk to, he will listen and he will share his heart with me if I ask. If I am bored, I can day dream with Him and ask Him to show me some cool mental images that reveal more of his character and bring scripture to life. He is always down for an adventure and can always make me laugh. I know that when I open up the Word, He will always speak. And more than I ever have, I know that I can trust him with my life. I am beyond excited for all the amazing places he will continue to lead me as we trek through the jungle together.