Standing In The Gap
Ms. Eve, I need you. . . .
Words that warm the heart, but can also strike fear in the strongest of leader.
As small group leaders, we have the honor to serve students, watch them grow into their strengths, and recognize their value. While we are neither parents nor friends, we have a unique opportunity to partner with parents as a conduit of the Father’s love for the short time they are under our influence.
In the eight years I have served, I have seen much more than I ever imagined. I have heard stories that would make a grown man cry. I have held the tears of those who just could not bear the burden any longer.
God is so good to invite us into His Story.
I never imagined it could be like this. My perception of being a leader was so different from reality. But I am thankful for those who encouraged me to step out in faith.
There’s still this little girl inside me; however, that chants,
“Father, why me? I am not qualified!”
“Daughter, You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.”
The day I read these words was one of those days. One of my former students, we will call her Kayla, texted me with this 911. I had not heard from her for several months, so I knew the situation must be serious.
I responded to her text and listened intently to the dire circumstances surrounding her. My heart was heavy as the enemy pointedly blamed me for everything she was experiencing. “See, who are you to think you can lead? It’s all your fault for not preparing her.“
It was only the beginning.
In the spring of 2016, the number eleven found its way in my everyday life. Fall 2016 solidified that there was no coincidence here; something was coming. As I researched the biblical meaning for the number eleven, “chaos,” I came to realize it was time to begin praying every time I saw the prophetic reminder.
“Father, give me wisdom, show me what You would have me do in the face of chaos.”
"Daughter, my peace I give you. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid. I will strengthen you and help you and uphold you with my righteous right hand."
I had come up with all kinds of kooky reasons why these numbers kept popping into my view. But the answer became clear as February 2017 rolled around.
“Father, in addition to wisdom, can you throw in some strength?”
“Well, of course, daughter, go read Philippians 4:13 again.”
In addition to the weird numbers, I began to have dreams. In vivid technicolor, there was chaos around me, while I was at peace. As a strange plot twist, the responsibility to care for someone else’s child was given to me. I’ve counted about (6) dreams so far, all similar. In speaking to a friend, she asked me if I thought that I was being called to help girls in severe distress.
“Like my friend Kayla?” Hmmm.
“But Father, I AM NOT QUALIFIED! I am not a counselor; how can I do this???”
“Eve, when You are weak, I am strong. Keep your eyes on me and ALWAYS, point her to Me. She doesn’t need your wisdom, but your love. She needs you to LISTEN, not to instruct. She needs you to PRAY. Jesus will heal her heart, but you have to be willing to stand in the gap.”
Stand in the Gap. I remember the first time I heard those words. I thought of all of those that the Lord had faithfully placed in my path to stand in the gap for me. Those who listened and held my hand through my pain. The ones who prayed over me. The ones who prayed with me. The ones who NEVER GAVE UP, even when I wanted to.
“You’re right God, I am not qualified, but YOU ARE. You build the bridge and call me to stand in the gap. I know that You will help me as I stand with Kayla.”
God doesn’t call the qualified, but He qualifies the called.
As God does, He placed the right people around me to stand in the gap for me as I prayed with her. Remember the story of the human chain of people who saved a boy from drowning? Yep, you’ve got the picture.
Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
I had no idea how to handle the challenge of a “Spiritual Battle.” Honestly, the only spiritual battles that I even heard about were stories of hellfire and brimstone, angels and demons.
Oh boy, did the enemy begin to incite fear inside of me!
For only a moment. God stepped in and said, “Not Today, Satan.”
And so our journey began.
Tune in next week as I share Kayla’s battle.