Open Doors

The Lord really began telling me about the work I was to do in the year 2000. And as I slowly came to believe and trust that this was indeed from God I entered into a process of waiting. Way back in 2002 I have in a journal entry, ‘the time is now, pray that the way would be opened.’ In 2004 another journal entry records, ‘pray that the doors would be opened for all over the world do I choose to use you.’ In 2008, ‘pray that the doors would be opened.’

And so I entered into the longing and the waiting and the praying alongside these directions of the Holy Spirit. I spent my time investing in my own inner healing and wholeness, for I knew that if these prophecies and the accompanying visions were true I would need to be a clean vessel for the Lord. Come forward to 2010 and our Capturing Courage team prayer times recorded, ‘pray that the doors would be opened.’

Well, the doors are open. Internationally speaking its been just over two years since the doors opened and we couldn’t now shut them if we wanted. I have invitations to 11 countries on three continents. Most of those countries have multiple invitations representing hundreds of churches and a number of Bible Schools.

The doors are so open that we cannot go through all of them at once. Most invites are followed by about 2 years of long-distance communication and relationship building before I ever arrive at that particular place,  and every time I do travel the invites become multiplied to that country.

The doors are so open that we have now entered into more waiting. I recently wrote about the power of longing (which is closely tied with waiting, you can read it here), and yet I hardly have the words to speak of the incredible investment made in the wait. I feel I am barely poking at the significance each time I write about it.

When I was young I was a ‘I’d like it yesterday thank-you very much’ kind of person. I like to say I’m a recovered driver-personality. I am now a firm believer of waiting and I encourage leaders and would-be-leaders to enter into waiting whole-heartedly and with faithfulness.

This duo of longing and waiting is in many, many ways the work. Really. Longing and waiting IS THE WORK. And I realize now when I travel and as I write and encourage and equip even over email and Facebook and phone calls that this is the harvest season for me. The multiplication of the waiting has already, and is still continuing, to take place.

All those years back then when I could hardly see my hand in front of my face for all the waiting on the Lord I was doing (many personal things as well as CCI), I never imagined that I was in fact and in that faithfulness doing the work. But I was. Today, we are simply reaping the harvest.

I’m so glad I didn’t go around the waiting. Thank-you Lord for keeping me faithful.

It’s interesting though that the ones closest in during those waiting years seem to have missed the significance of them. To them I was just going through difficulty and trial. Even the ones who knew of the visions and prophecies spoken over my life, even a few who did the prophesying, cannot believe it today.

And I think this is so true of all of us. We see waiting and we see the outward difficulties and we miss the work going on under the surface. We aren’t able to realize that faithfulness produces its own harvest. That staying the course alongside our Lord is an investment in great things to come. God looks at the heart after all, we on the other hand, seem to have trouble doing this.

Today, thought its a bit different, I am still waiting. Where will I go in 2014? I don’t know. I know my first trip will be back to Uganda, but when, what month? I don’t know. And I can’t know when I will know. What about the other places and people pressing in on my heart, India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Kenya, Burundi, Northern Mozambique, Tanzania, Ghana?

Names I’ve come to love: Timothy, Ravi, Ravindra, Esther, Alex, Charagh, Philip, Michael, Caliph, Walter, Daniel, Innocent, Patrick, Elizabeth, John, Irene, Edward, Praise, Evan, Joyce, Victor, Whisky, Edison, June, Annet, Grace, Moses, Joseph, Jacob, Mildred, Swen, Pascal, Lydia, Scholastic, Geoffrey, Nicholas, Mehtab, Anthony, Peterson, Kigozi, David, Alex, Mamma Bosa, Edith, Aaron, Nelson, Godwin, Bena, Elijah, Paul, Nabeel, Mathias, Honey, Jacob, Anniebel, Stephen, Isabel, Daniel, Camota, Vologa, Huda, John, Dombay, Paul, Isaiah, Lino, Rui, Armando, Oondo, (please forgive me if I missed you).

I’m waiting on the Lord. It’s really hard work. Every day I bear the load of it and invest of the longing alongside it. Yet gladly and with great privilege.

Not for myself any longer, but for those that the Lord chooses to touch and heal and make glad. My job is to show up. The Lord does the rest.

What has become very amazing is that I’m not waiting alone. Weekly I receive emails and phone calls reminding me that they are waiting for me. Hundreds of people in multiple communities are praying and praying and praying for me to travel to where they are. How many full days and services have been set aside over the past couple years for the express purpose of praying for me and my journeying I have no idea. I just keep hearing about them.

It’s an amazing thing. And I get it now. I’m not the only one waiting. Rather, we wait together. And in this I am convinced that the compounding investment of our communal waiting will bring about the Kingdom of God in mighty and powerful transformations of lives and leaders and churches within the body of Christ.

We wait on you Father. Together.

“The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.” Lamentations 3:15

“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” Psalm 27:14

“For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” Habakkuk 2:3

Amen and amen.

Learning to Rest

A couple of years ago, the summer of 2011, the Lord began pressing upon me the conviction to rest.

“Rest Cyndy”

At the time this only made me angry and frustrated. I didn’t understand how to rest. Work needed attending to, I had bills to pay, an organization to grow, and children to care for. How was I to rest?

It’s been a process learning to rest, to say the least.

These last two years have been some of the most testing years. And I’ve learned a few things.

First off, resting is not about passivity. In fact, resting is one of the most intentional and difficult things we can learn.

I learned that resting is not about being negligent to the work at hand, but rather a manner of being from deep in my being. Rest is the way we go about our work.

It is easy to think that if we did not have the pressures of life, that rest would be easy. But how many people take vacations only to come home and find themselves right back into the same old pressures.

We think it is the pressures keeping us from rest, but I learned this is not so.

For me, the Lord’s conviction to rest same when it seemed impossible to do so. And it has only been once I learned to rest that life’s circumstances then became restful.

Resting is trusting the Lord’s provision, allowing the leading of the Holy Spirit in each day’s tasks and options. It is about ceasing to do what the Lord would in fact like to do for me.

Too much of the time we are taking over the Lord’s work in our lives. In fact, early into these admonitions to rest, and in the resultant emotional frustration that bubbled up from myself, I came to clearly see that I had been believing that God was negligent and incompetent, and that I was striving to make up for him.

That was a knife in my gut. But oh how good to see. For in my confession before the Lord about how I had believed him incompetent, I could finally put down my striving and the lies that drove me.

I began letting God be God and I settling into a state of rest in his provision and direction and guiding.

In prayer ministry, whenever it seems we are going round in circles I will stop and we pause, praying, “Lord, we take a moment to pause before you. Inviting and trusting your leading and guiding. Your words, your insight, your wisdom is all we need and we simply wait on you.”

And I’ve learned to do this in life. When the pressures are greatest, that is when we stop and pause before the Lord. We reaffirm our invitation for the full presence of God in the mix of our lives. We pause to worship and to declare our allegiance once more. And most of all, we stop to simply sit in the presence of God.

When life is pressing hard, this is when we pause the most, in reverence, in quiet, in waiting, in worship.

It is a counterintuitive way of doing life. For many of us, we press harder when life is pressing on us.

In this learning of rest I’ve now been brought to a beautiful home on a quiet island. With beauty all around, with deep silence, and days that stretch on and on, I can sense the Lord’s good care of me.

These last two years of learning to rest in the pressures readied me to actually receive the gifts of this place. I wouldn’t have been ready earlier and the gift would have been lost on me.

Resting is hard. No doubt about it.

It doesn’t come to relieve us of pressure, ti is something we must find in the pressure.

It doesn’t develop to save us from trouble, it is something we must acquire in the trouble.

For rest is not something from the outside in, it comes from our insides out.

It is not an easy lesson by any means. It takes time and intention and great inner struggle and reckoning.

It takes letting down our judgments and paradigms about how this world works. It takes releasing our anger and the injustices we perceive against us.

It takes cleansing the past of our learned driven behaviour. It takes great trust and releasing of our future.

I’m not all the way there and each day brings new opportunity to rest, but God is a great teacher and leader and I am glad to receive his rest over my life.

“Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29

Just Maybe

I think back to the beginning of Capturing Courage International, how I had been waiting on the timing of the Lord, had been wondering ‘When?’ eagerly looking forward, and that once it was time how everything began just falling into place.

The launch of CCI overseas was the exact same. I knew it was coming, but couldn’t foresee how. Then all of a sudden we were there, on the cusp, the time had come. And once more everything just fell into place and has taken off at top speed since.

All my efforts prior to the right timing couldn’t make a thing happen no matter what I did, and any efforts to stop the tide wouldn’t do a thing after.

I recall a story I heard of a woman looking for a job. She was the primary bread-winner in her home and so it was with much anxiety and frantic work that she canvassed and called and pursued job after job, month after month, until one day, it all fell into place. The exact right job.

Hearing the story I was struck with those months of anxiety and frantic search, and I wondered if she might have done it differently. If she had known that a job, the perfect job, would come at such-and-such a time, might she have been able to be a different kind of person in the waiting.

Perhaps the months could have passed with little to no anxiety, maybe her time might have been spent differently, in a different kind of preparation and readiness.

I myself am once again waiting on something, have been for some time actually. There have been all sorts of prophecies and confirmations about this thing for which I am waiting, but of course it is not yet here.

For months now I’ve been working and striving and conniving and projecting how my efforts might make this thing come about sooner. And I’ve been rebuked, ‘Stop it Cyndy’ the Lord has said to me.

If this thing is anything like my other experiences of waiting on something, then there is nothing I can do to make it come about any sooner, and there will be nothing I could do to stem the tide once it is here, once it is time.

So why don’t I just relax. Why don’t I trust the timing of the Lord. Perhaps the effort and preparation and production, that we humans feel we must do, could be put to better use. And maybe, just maybe, the waiting needn’t have any hint of anxiety or fear.