The first couple of months after our baby David died a year ago, the hormones were tough. Peri-menopause is a difficult life stage for most women, and with the addition of post-partum hormones, I found myself struggling with overwhelming sadness. One day when I was driving around Colorado Springs (where we were living at the time), I heard a radio ad for an upcoming prayer school led by Dick Eastman at Every Home for Christ’s Jericho Center and I knew instantly that I had to go.
I don’t think my eyes were dry for any part of that morning’s session. I felt sorry for the young woman next to me when Dick said, “I want you to pray with the person next to you.” I couldn’t even speak, I was crying so hard. Toward the end of the morning, this woman who I came to know as Rachel, handed me a piece of paper. I thanked her and tried to explain how overwhelmed I was feeling and how we had lost a baby recently. Her mother, who just happened to have raised and homeschooled five kids, and who just happened to be visiting from Manitoba, overheard our conversation.
“There’s only one thing that is required of you, and that is to draw close to Jesus,” she said.
‘Yeah right,’ I thought, ‘Draw close to Jesus and cook meals for nine people and do endless laundry and make sure everybody gets a good education and keep my house clean and love my husband and a thousand other things.’
Over and over in our conversation, though, she said those words, “One thing.”
Leaving the Jericho Center that day, I knew I had to step out and do something so I booked one of the center’s prayer grottos for 6 a.m. one morning the following week.
When I got into my vehicle, I opened the paper Rachel had given me.
“I see you dancing in a field of wildflowers with Jesus, just the two of you. And I feel like He’s saying that He wants to take you into a deeper season where it’s just you and Him.”
My initial reaction was, ‘I love wildflowers!’ And my second was, ‘I don’t want to be in a field with Jesus. I want to be alone. He’s just one more person who wants something from me.’
Just being real, that’s what’s I was thinking. But then I remembered what Jesus said in Matthew 11:28, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” And I realized that Jesus is the only person who doesn’t need anything from me. He’s the only One who can actually give me rest. There’s no other place in the universe where I can find that.
The morning of my scheduled prayer time arrived and it was hard rolling out of bed at 5:30 but I knew I had to go. When I stepped outside, I was shocked to see that my van was covered in snow and ice. We hadn’t seen weather like that all winter. It would have been so easy to go back inside and pray in the basement, but I knew I had to go. I didn’t even have any gloves and it took me a while to find a scraper, but I persevered and drove the 20 miles to the Jericho Center.
I’m not sure if I did anything but cry that morning but I came home with less weight on my shoulders. I had met with Jesus in a quiet place away from the needs of other people and it felt really good.
I decided to go again, then again and again. Soon, I was going five mornings a week and Rachel’s vision was unfolding in my life. I was re-discovering that intimacy with Jesus and that has been a beautiful thing.
That’s what the spring of 2018 looked like for me and I’m so glad I had those opportunities because I had no idea God was going to send us back to Nebraska and launch us into ministry with our local church. I have come to love and appreciate the following story from Luke 10:38-42:
“Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.’ And Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.’”