There is no way to fully describe what happened in my home today. We saw a living example of what the Body of Christ should be. It was lived out before our eyes. I had been praying all morning that God would give us strength not to just crumble in front of everyone, because I felt so humbled when I learned what our church was planning to do. While I had to choke back tears for the first few minutes, God did so much more than I asked. He filled me with such joy and excitement. I was almost giddy. I just kept saying, “This is crazy!” I have never in my life seen or heard about anything like this, much less experienced it myself. Clay and I were talking after and trying to determine what was more special….our wedding day, or today. Seriously.
When the news of our diagnosis first made it out to our friends, it was around 5:30 this past Tuesday. By 6:30, 60-70 people were at our church just to pray for our family. On Wednesday night, at our regular church service, the Lord moved in such an awesome way and our church was praying diligently for many needs. Praying over each other. Crying out to the Lord in desperation for each other. At that service, the Lord put it on my dear friend’s heart to ask the church to come to my house and pray for us. The Lord showed her Job 1:10 (Clay’s birthday is 1/10…cool, huh?)
“Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.”
She felt the Lord told her to have the church surround our house in a circle, as if to represent a hedge around us, and pray. People started arriving around noon. It was a beautiful day, so our front doors were wide open as many people came in. We started by singing some worship songs together, which was so beautiful. There is nothing like hearing people sing when they are emotional and passionate and in an enclosed area. I could have listened to them all day.
Then our awesome friends and family gathered around us and prayed hard for Clay Furlow and our family. Then, Clay preached. (He’s kind of been doing that a lot lately!) The Lord spoke powerfully through Him as He shared the importance of putting Jesus first, living for Him, having the power of the Holy Spirit, and loving Him more than this world.
As if that wasn’t enough, then they made a “human hedge” around our house. There were literally people encircling my ENTIRE house, swimming pool and all! Holding hands to make a circle and praying for our family. Beseeching God on our behalf.
I thought my chest would explode. There were probably 100 people (maybe more) giving up time on their Saturday to worship the Lord with us and to pray for us. Wow.
Friends, this is what the church should be. This is what God intended the church to be. The church should be such a testimony of love that the world would look in and say, “I want to be part of something like that.” We should be representing the love of God, agape love. That is what happened at my home today. All of us, gathered in one accord, worshipping the same God and letting Him change our lives forever.
If you need a church home and you live in Baton Rouge, I can promise you that you will be abundantly blessed if you came to First New Testament. The website is fntchurch.org. Please come and see what the Lord is doing. He is a miracle God and He is changing our lives through this time. He is bringing revival. His love was on display today. Service starts at 10:30 am!
I told my pastor when he arrived, that as I’ve walked through this trial, I hear his voice in my head over and over again. The Holy Spirit is bringing back to my thoughts so many things that I have learned under his teaching in the past 14 years. Most of what God is pouring out of me right now was invested in me by my pastor and other great leaders in our church. He doesn’t want any glory. He is the most humble man I know, but the glory belongs to God and the work Lee Shipp has allowed God to do in his life. If we had not been under his teaching for the past 14 years, I firmly believe we would not have been as prepared for this trial. Thank you, Pastor. Thank you for being obedient. Thank you, church, for loving us the way you do and being obedient to what the Lord said. We are covered in prayer and ready for next week.