Archive for November, 2010

November 10, 2010

It’s Never Too Late to Heal (Dana)

Dana so sweetly took the time to write out this powerful testimony for you all to be encouraged. Never give up on your families! What is impossible for man is possible with God.
11.7.10
As I was unable to come to church this morning, I spent time reflecting on what God has done in my life, where he has brought me and the work He is continuing in my heart. I have been coming to CITC for a couple of months now, know only a handful of people, but am certain that this is the church God wants me to invest in while living here in Chicago. I plan on joining the church and getting to know all of you. ūüôā In the meantime, I am burdened to share with you what God is doing, particularly in the lives of my family members.
I grew up on a farm in Missouri with my parents and 3 older brothers. Our house was filled with fear, control, and manipulation. My father was an abusive alcoholic, and my mother would not allow me near him. Shortly before Kindergarten, my mother was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and has been in a wheelchair since my earliest memory. The disease has since taken over her life, causing her to be paralyzed from the neck down throughout the rest of her body. My parents’ unfaithful marriage ended when I was 8 years old, causing great divisions in my family. Two of my brothers chose to live with my Dad, my oldest brother had already enlisted in the military, so I chose to live with my Mom. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I was left to take care of my mother’s every need. At first I loved it, because she was my best friend and I wanted to help her. As time surpassed, I gradually grew resentful, bitter, depressed, and angry. I desperately wanted out, and I needed an escape in order to live. When I turned 17 years old, I moved out of the house and have basically been on my own for the past 10 years. My family has remained disconnected and apathetic… despite my prayers for reconciliation since my salvation in high school. That is, until…
Shortly after I moved to Chicago in August 2010, my Grandmother died unexpectedly. For the first time in years, my entire family gathered together. I was extremely nervous to face these giants of tribulation. But, God, in his magnificent mercy and grace, prevailed!! For the first time, my family (believers and unbelievers alike) smiled with expectation, laughed with each other, and shared stories of the many things we learned from my Grandparents on the farm. No hatred, no bitter walls, no sarcasm. It had been nearly 10 years since my brothers and I reunited, and that was glorious! We live states apart now (Illinois, Missouri, Mississippi, and Virginia), but I could sense God rebuilding our relationships and making them into something beautiful. I had an intimate conversation with my Mom, and we talked for the first time without yelling or blaming. She introduced me to people as her daughter, while before she disowned me. She let me hug her, which before she would refuse. I walked through the halls of the house I lived in with my Mom, and it was liberating to be in the physical place where Satan ruled my life, where I attempted suicide, when I daydreamed of an escape to take me far away from the hell I was living in. God intimately spoke to me… telling me that He had his hands around me the entire time, that there is purpose in suffering, and God is using it all to make me into the person I am today. I was afraid that by being back in the places with much devastation with the people who hurt me the most would somehow undo the work that God has done in my life. But, that is not the case! Praise God… only He could turn something so ugly around. My life is so much richer with my family in it. With God’s guidance, I will continue to pray and seek opportunities for relationship building with my family members. I desperately want them to know the power of Christ.
God is a faithful redeemer!! I encourage you to seek reconciliation with your family members and those who have hurt you. Earnestly pray for their salvation! No one is too far from God’s embrace. No one is too dirty for salvation.
Desiring to live like I’m His,
Dana
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November 4, 2010

Bringing the Kingdom of Peace to Work (Amy Jo)

This testimony from Amy Jo is so encouraging to see because sometimes it is hard to grasp just how God is using us in the workplace. This example can help you lift your eyes to see the bigger picture of how you are impacting your world at work, and as we pray for one another. Thank you for passing on your testimony Amy Jo!

Amy Jo emailed Mat & Sheetal’s connect group on a Tuesday morning and we prayed for her that night. We got the 2nd response email from her a couple of days later…

 

Hello Connect Group…
I have¬†a prayer request that I was hoping you could lift up today and tomorrow… I am in Las Vegas for work. (It is a managers meeting for one of our divisions.) Because there are significant interpersonal issues between the leadership level and the next level down, I was brought in to facilitate a teaming event that has the potential to either be really really great, or totally erupt into a disaster.

My prayer is that for no apparent reason, my voice is gone… I have a feeling like my throat is totally closed up and I am actually having trouble speaking and when I do, it is really hoarse and difficult to hear… [I do not have a cold or any allergy symptoms what so ever). I am also experiencing pretty severe anxiety to the point of nausea. I do this kind of thing all the time so really feel like I am under some other type of warfare. This is very unlike me… Butterflies, yes… the other stuff… no.

I just feel there is a real opportunitiy to heal some really poor working relationships and possibly start mending bridges where leadership by fear and manipulation has been prevalent.

Thank you for your offering of support and prayer. My meeting¬†is tomorrow from 8-12n…
Many blessings,
Amy Jo

 

Dear Friends,
I cannot tell you how much your prayers, emails, texts meant to me this past week…. And I know it is no surprise to any of you that yes, God showed up in a big way.

When¬†I woke up that morning, the first thing I felt was an overwelming sense of being in the most luscious sleeping bag possible… It was such a profound peace… I can’t really describe it… and I knew immediately that my voice was back. The next thing that I remember thinking was this scripture:¬†Mat 10:19¬†¬†‘….do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say…

That morning,¬†it was evident that the group of people I was going to¬†work with were not pleased to be there (doing another ‘fluffy’ HR thing). They were all tired from being out ‘playing’ in Vegas¬†the night before, and unbeknownst to me, a major organizational announcement had been made that just added insult to injury. Things were just poised for disaster.

But God is a God of truth and when truth needs to be spoken God gives us the words; as he did with me. The activity took on a life of its own, the result of which was very powerful. Specificallly, relationships between two different sets of people were restored and several others significantly impacted. The post-session comments and emails continue to speak of a sense of unity between the two groups that has never existed.

It is humbling to really think about¬†how small all¬†things are compared to how MIGHTY the Lord is… and even more humbling that no matter how many times we forget this, He still pursues us with the love of a perfect Father.

All glory to Him and thanks to those who He uses to bring pieces of His kingdom to earth.
Blessings and thanks,
Amy Jo