WOW! One month has already come and gone since I’ve moved to Las Vegas!
I’m gonna start by saying that the past few weeks have been absolutely insane. Las Vegas is a beast. It’s so stinkin’ hot here, there are honestly places here that its incredibly hard to pray, but I’ve seen the Lord do more in the past month here than I’ve ever seen before. I’d love to say its been easy, but it absolutely hasn’t been. The Lord is teaching me so so much about trusting who He is above all else.
Typically, when I’m out on the Strip, I’m reminded of the fact that the Lord is making all things new and that He is restoring and rebuilding. This weekend, however, that was not my experience.
This past Friday, my day off, my housemates and I went to a pool that is open to the public in the LINQ hotel and casino. (Its been about 110 degrees here most days, so a pool is really the place you want to be.) Now, I’m normally the person who’s runnin’ around at the pool ready to jump in and just be free in the water! (I thought I was Ariel as a kid… still kinda do;) ) But when we put our stuff down and went to walk over to the pool, social anxiety like I’ve never felt before, hit me.
“Am I pretty enough to be here?”
“Am I thin enough to be here?”
“I feel like a dork here.”
“I might be the only person in a one piece bathing suit here…”
“What if everyone here is judging me?”
I’ve felt that type of pressure before, but this literally paralyzed me. I felt myself struggle to even move forward! The Lord provided a large pool floaty that looked like a swan that I snagged and hid inside of, and I floated there trying to process what was happening in me and all around me.
First, the Lord dealt with my heart. In the kindest way, He reminded me of His thoughts towards me.
“You’re more than enough, daughter!” “I really like who you are!” “I’m proud that you are Mine!” “I made you exactly the way you are.”
When you stand firm in the truth of your true identity, in the truth of how the Father sees you, the opinions of others fall far to the side.
Then I looked around at everyone else there. Most of them were drunk, the girls all had the smallest most revealing swimwear I’ve ever seen, most look perpetually unhappy, most acting out as much as possible. Every. Single. One. Of them are looking for validation and satisfaction. They all want someone to look at them and say, “I approve. You’re enough.” They all want something to satisfy the emptiness they feel inside.
This revelation of thought left me speechless (hard to believe,eh?) and the only thing I could say was, “Jesus.” In that moment, my heart was so broken for these lost brothers and sisters that the only thing I could say was the only thing that could fill their needs- JESUS. But then a thought rushed over me– His heart is far more broken for these people than mine is. Wow. Isn’t that nuts?
At one point, my friend Hannah was lying facedown on a beach chair to get some sun. I saw two girls look over at her and I saw both of their faces change from annoyed at life to something I can’t put words to. Hannah has the most lovely tattoo going up her spine that simply says, “Jesus is Lord.” When they saw it, it was like seeing Lucy discover Narnia for the first time. Thats what the Gospel is like though. You think you have it all figured out and then something comes and changes everything you knew about life.
I honestly didnt have any meaningful conversations with people at this pool, it was just a time to see how broken people are and to be reminded of all that Jesus is to the lost. Going from small town western PA to Liberty… I’ve never been in a situation like that- it was eye opening to say the least. It was so important, though, that we were there to pray over the place and people and invite Light into a dark place. We carry the Kingdom everywhere we go! Sometimes you’ve gotta get behind enemy lines and place your stake in ground!
Then, on Sunday night, I went out with a team and some of our interns to do something we call Viva La Worship, which is worship on the Strip right outside of a casino. I was so excited to see heaven invade the las vegas strip!! But… it was super hard. I could literally feel darkness pressing down on us as we worshipped. But we did. We pressed in and proclaimed Jesus as who He is. When we got done, I wasn’t sure if we had done any good. No one began to weep as we sang! No one fell on their face! No one sobered up right in front of our eyes! I left, honestly, pretty crushed.
But the Lord is faithful and His word does not come back void. As we sang in the middle of one of the seats of darkness in this earth, we brought Heaven with us. A friend reminded me later that it isn’t about seeing the strip saved in one night or the city saved in a week, it’s about being faithful day after day after day.
Then Monday morning rolled around! (I’m sorry this is so long but it’s about to get really good, I promise!) The entire GC staff, interns, teams, and whoever wants to, meets three times a week from 9-10:30 for Word-fed, spirit-led, Worship based prayer. On Mondays, we share stories of things that happened in the past week. For the past two weeks, testimony time has taken a full hour! The Lord is healing people constantly, saving the lost, and calling prodigals back to Himself! It’s been the craziest few weeks of seeing the Lord move and do what only He can do. In my heart, I believe that this is the beginning of revival.
He is so faithful to be faithful. When we feel desperate and broken and hopeless He comes through in bigger ways than we could ask or imagine. It’s just who He is!
So I leave you with this charge- believe that He is who He says He is! There are days when you just have to look at Him and say, “I know that You are good and You are faithful- even when I don’t see it!”
His heart is so beautiful and so full of love and grace for His broken kiddos.
Pray fiercely, friends!
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