I thought we were buying an investment property already filled with paying tenants. Little did I know, that God would instead take us on a wild ride. Adventure excites me, it always has. If you know me well, you wouldn’t be surprised to find out that Nathan and I once stopped our car to trek down the side of an embankment because I was SO SURE that I had seen an alligator. I just had to know if my eyes were deceiving me. However, we shall save the ending to that story for another time!
God.. He is the one that designed ADVENTURE. He is the author of CREATIVITY. He is the one that continually puts these wild desires, these crazy ideas, these exciting adventures into our hearts! And as we grow and learn to walk next to Him, He shows us how to fulfill each and every desire that is lingering within us.
If you think that God is boring..if your heart cannot fathom the idea of Christianity because the thought of all those rules makes you sick to your stomach..if you have pondered Jesus, but feel so drawn towards a fun life, that you find yourself rejecting him.. Let me submit to you if I may, that you might have possibly come to know RELIGION, not JESUS.
I didn’t know Jesus. I knew religion. I knew of God, I knew of Christianity in a religious sense, and I knew rules all too well. I spent most of my life teetering between “being good” and seeking something more fun. Neither side seemed completely appealing, and I think it is because my heart longed for adventure, but neither side appeared to completely fill that desire.
But God.. He pursued me! He WILL pursue you too.
After a divorce from an abusive marriage, now newly married to my husband Nathan, in a new home and living in a new city with two babies, I felt lost/lonely/unseen. I could be sitting in a room full of close friends and feel completely alone, lost inside of my own head. At that time, I was involved in a Pink Group (a ladies bible study group) at Gateway Church, and my group was invited to participate in prophetic ministry. I had never been prophesied over, and I wasn’t even sure what I thought about it. I was open to it, but a little on guard.
Prior to meeting for the prophetic event, three women prayed for each of us, for weeks in advance. They did not know our names or anything about us other than a participant number. On that day, those three women poured into my heart all that it longed to hear. For the first time in my life, I felt that I understood why God made me, I knew that there were BIG plans that were for me, JUST ME! I felt seen, I felt loved, and I felt.. excited!!
Through that experience, I truly felt God’s love for ME, and I felt encouraged and excited to discover what these new adventures were that He was speaking about through these ladies. I began to seek Him, truly seek Him by reading His word and waiting to Hear when the Lord had something specific to say to me through His Word.
During this first exploration of what God truly had for ME, I was sitting in church one day when our pastor referenced a scripture. Genesis 28:16+ “When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it. He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.” He called that place Bethel, though the city used to be called Luz.
While reading this scripture, I knew deep within me that someday God would give us a place called “House of Bethel”. I did not understand what this meant, nor what the place would be for. In fact, at the time I pondered if it would be a safe house for trafficking victims. I was clueless to understanding the purpose, but I did know that it was for a later time. So I placed it onto a shelf in my heart.
Fast forward to 2018, and I am tested with trusting my husband’s notions of hearing from the Lord- that our new investment property is actually supposed to be a VRBO. I reluctantly chose to walk in faith, asking God to show up big time if this was truly Him. And He did!
While painting inside one day, God revealed to my heart that this was our House of Bethel. And THAT was the game changer for me, because as I mentioned already, I love adventure. I was clueless what to do, but I took one step at a time seeking His guidance. I wanted House of Bethel to be all that He desired.
As I began to trust God and walk patiently through each step of this unknown path, He began to speak to my heart what we should do to create our House of Bethel. We spent countless hours in prayer and worship throughout every room in the house, and around the property. We gathered a devoted group of men and women, known as our House of Bethel Prayer Team. This group consists of 12-15 people that are dedicated to praying for every single person and group that stays here. The prayer team prays for the people, and then leaves letters with affirming words and anything encouraging that God places into their hearts for that group.
The stories of what God has done in unsuspecting people’s lives are beginning to pile up. I am forever grateful to that group of Gateway Church women that prayed and spoke encouraging words into my heart that day many years ago. May their encouraging words multiply into the lives of all that enter House of Bethel.