All through college, I served with the National Prayer Breakfast, which is an event in Washington DC every February where leaders from across the world come together for payer, hope, and often reconciliation. Our favorite Christian singers lead worship and various prominent Christian men and women speak. Every year the President of the US also speaks, which sometimes ends up being a bit controversial, since the not every president's beliefs line up well with those of us who follow Jesus.
But, that’s a whole other conversation.
While serving with the Prayer Breakfast through my years in college, I also began volunteering with The National Student Leadership. Through this group, I met with student leaders throughout the country, Senators, Congressmen, and others who wanted to make a difference in our country for the Kingdom.
After graduation, I was offered a coveted internship with the group, which would take me to DC for at least a year. I majored in Art History in college and wanted to go on and get my doctorate and eventually become a curator at a museum in Europe. But I thought this opportunity was too good to pass up…certainly a once in a lifetime sort of opportunity.
Excitedly, I told my college boyfriend about it. He shot it down so quickly though, I’m not sure I ever even finished my sentence. Convincing me that my taking this internship would prove that I believed him to be unimportant, this man-boy shamed me into the idea that I thought myself out of his league. If I loved him at all, I would stay by his side.
Because I was wounded and manipulated (see this post), I agreed to stay by his side.
Eventually though, it was over. Very over.
I ended up wounding him, which saddens me...no matter how warped our relationship.
Suddenly tasted freedom and was reminded of the exciting things God had placed on my heart and gave it all back over to Him one afternoon.
It was within this time that I asked a friend to help me. I had met this girl (woman really, since she was several years older than I) through our local Prayer Breakfast in Seattle. She was Bill Gates Sr’s right hand man. ‘er…girl. Her job was to decide what organizations around the would receive money from the Gates Foundation and she seemed to knew everyone.
I told her I wanted out of Seattle. Knowing my opportunity interning with The Prayer Breakfast or National Student Leadership had come and gone, I was gripped with regret. I told her I didn’t care if I was getting copies or coffee for someone on The Hill…I just wanted to be out there.
I wanted to work with people who were doing something that impacted the world.
As we finished our coffee, my friend, let’s call her Rachel, said she’d spend the next few weeks praying and brainstorming whom to reach out to.
Two weeks later, we ordered lattes and walked around Greenlake, talking and catching up as we watched runners zip by us with dogs and college students playing Frisbee on the rich green grass. We rounded a bend in the path and noticed a tree holding a poster asking a girl named Sara to marry Nick, smiling at the hand-drawn sign in guy-handwriting, I turned to Rachel and asked for her thoughts to my future.
Taking a breath, Rachel just kept walking as she explained she would not help me.
I looked at her incredulously as she relayed the feelings she received as she prayed for me. “You are not to leave Seattle”, she said.
Had I been braver, I would have countered asking how she thought she knew what was better for me than I did. But she felt so solidly that the command to stay in Seattle was from Christ, that I nearly began to believe it, as well.
So I asked instead if she’d (please!!!) help me find something in town. Looking over her shoulder as she jogged to a green painted trash can at the side of the path, Rachel smiled and tossed her empty Starbucks cup inside, and said that she would.
Between Rachel and connections my parents had, I sent my resume in to eight different non profits. During the interview process, I learned more about each organization and got really excited about several of them…and almost…almost excited about the thought of staying put and not moving to DC.
One of the positions that was revitalizing my thoughts of remaining in Seattle was working as the personal assistant to Dan Allendar and having various responsibilities with his Wounded Heart Conference. At this point, I had interviewed at all eight non-profits and every time it was down to me and one other person…and the other individual got the job.
It was no different with Allendar’s organization and I knew they were deliberating between myself and one other. The night after my last interview, I woke to…take a deep breath…my entire bedroom filled with monstrous creatures.
Immediately my spirit whispered that there was a Legion in my room.
You may recognize this word from the passage in Mark 5, just after the story where Jesus and His disciples are confronted with a storm that threatens to topple their ship. Upset that Jesus was sleeping through a violent tempest, Jesus’ companions wake him and are bewildered as He easily calms the waves and the wind with a mere command that they “be still”.
After docking their boat, they encounter a naked man in a graveyard who tells them “They call me “Legion,” for there are thousands of us in this body.” (Mark 5:9)
Need a little history lesson? A Legion is a term used for a group of Roman soldiers and their supporting men. Legions were between 5,120-6,000 in total, though later in history the number shrank to 1,040 to allow for greater mobility (more here).
Needless to say, a legion is a ton of evil spirits.
I’m not sure how detailed I should be about it. I don’t want to freak you out, but at the same time, I want to share my experience because don’t forget…Christ has already won. Our God is WAY BIGGER than a bunch of demons.
In Him, we are safe, for He is Jehovah-Roi (my Great Protector).
He fights for us, for He is Jehovah-Tsebaoth (my Warrior).
He never leaves us, for He is Jehovah-Shammah (my Divine Presence)
Nothing that we ever experience is bigger than Him or bigger than He can handle. Armed with this knowledge, I opened my eyes in the middle of the night to slithering beings and horned beasts. Things with forked tongues and scales and gore and rot.
They crawled along the walls and ceiling, and floor. There was such a great number of them that my room simply could not contain all of them so they writhed and clambered atop each other…the ground was many demons thick.
For some reason, they must’ve not been allowed onto my bed because though they stretched their talons out, attempting to heave themselves up nearer to me, they never succeeded.
Even so, they never stopped clawing in great attempt to overtake my mattress.
As I’m typing this, I’m realizing I never turned around to look behind me. I suppose I was in such utter shock about what my eyes were seeing that I never looked over my shoulder to see what my Personal (or Guardian) Angel was doing, because surely it was there. I suppose either it was not allowing the creatures onto my bed, or was fighting off those who tried and I simply didn’t perceive that battle.
As I perched myself in the middle of my mattress, blankets clutched tightly as I sat wide-eyed, these beings hissed at me in union. They were almost chanting.
Enough years have gone by that I can’t remember exactly what the phrase was they spat out, but essentially they were disclosing to me how they would not allow me to work with Mr. Allendar because he was doing too much good for the Kingdom of Heaven. They would’t concede in letting me be part of it.
And you know what? Two days later I didn’t get the job.
A minor victory for the Evil One. But joke’s on them….because the job I did get few weeks later, is where I met my husband, and so begun the most exciting and fulfilling chapter of my life. Because through working with Ben and growing together in friendship for several years, we saw how Christ had some really exiting (and BIG!) plans for us as we joined together in marriage.