I’m aware that some of you probably read the title of this post as “That Time I Pooted in Redding.” So I hate to disappoint you that this story has absolutely nothing to do with flatulence. Maybe some other time.
I’m talking about pouting. In case you don’t know what pouting is, synonyms according to Dictionary.com are “mope, scowl or sulk.”
I just recently spent 10 days in the beautiful state of California. And when I say beautiful… I mean beautiful…
One purpose of the trip was to visit my lovely friend Hayley. Another purpose was to visit Bethel Church in Redding and attend their young leaders conference. Bethel has been a really impactful movement in my walk with God in the past year. God is doing a major work in their church body and I have encountered Him many times simply by listening to their podcasts or watching their worship sessions on their live-streaming website.
I was super stoked because I found out that TWO of my absolute favorite pastors/speakers would be at the conference. (Not just one, guys. TWO!) Havilah Cunnington and Kris Vallotton. So I had a slight shadow mission – I wanted to get one of them to pray for me while I was there. Actually it wasn’t so slight. I was fairly vocal about it. How I was going to ask Havilah or Kris to pray their teaching anointing over me and I would leave Redding empowered and equipped and whatever and I would have this anointing on me to be a powerhouse speaker.
The conference was amazing – filled with gifted speakers who gave fresh revelation about our definition of “success” and how to be a comparison-free leader.
Havilah was scheduled to speak on the second night, so earlier that day I resolved in my mind that that night would be the night. I would find her and ask her to pray for me and she would see something in me that was significant and call it out and my life would be forever changed. (I hope you’re catching the drama in this. But I wish I were exaggerating the thoughts that were going on in my head).
Well low and behold, the opportunity never presented itself. I wasn’t one of the 30 people she prophesied over during her teaching. And believe it or not, about half of the room had the same idea I did and approached her after her teaching to be prayed for. So I went home.
But the next day I still had hope. I heard that everyone at the conference would get the chance to go to someone from the Bethel family’s house. Last year, a group got to go to the Vallotton’s house (squeal). So I could at least HOPE that it would be true again this year. And maybe one of the other houses would be the Cunnington’s! And I knew it. I knew that I would get to go to one of their houses, they’d meet me, tell me they see something on my life and just go off on this prophetic identity-speaking time over me. This would be the moment.
The three friends I was with were all in one really large group going to house #1. I was in a smaller group assigned to house #3. My friends told me I should just come with them to house #1. But I was stuck. I didn’t want to choose the wrong house! What if house #3 was one of the ones I wanted to be at?! So I literally asked God and felt like I should go to the house I was assigned to – house #3.
Well. What do you know.
House #1 ended up being the Vallotton’s house, the house my friends were all at, while I was without them at house #3.
“This is my life.” I thought. “God, you don’t care. You don’t give me what I ask for. This is my life. I always get short changed. I’m always the one left out.”
Cue the pouting.
Like a little five-year-old, I pouted my way through that afternoon. “It’s not fair.” I muttered to myself over and over again. “I ASKED for it. God, I ASKED for it! I thought You listened to my prayers?? I thought You gave me the desires of my heart?? Oh everyone except me, right??”
Pitiful. Five-year-old status.
And that’s when the conviction came; that the words of the speakers from the past 3 days hit me in one soft blow to my chest.
“Princess, do you believe today was a success? That your life was successful because you were obedient to where I asked you to go and that’s it?”
*Sigh* I don’t know.
Because that was the truth. My days are only measured in their success according to my level of obedience. Was I obedient to what He asked me to do that day? That’s the only question that needs to be answered.
“Princess, do you believe that you’re significant without people who you consider to be a “big deal” praying for you?”
Do I seriously believe my worth is added to according to who prays over me? And does that say more about what I think of them or what I think of myself?
The thing is, right now, in this moment, I’m as big of a deal to God as Havilah Cunnington or Billy Graham. I matter to Him just as much. He doesn’t love them more than me. And that’s hard for me to understand. Because in my mind, if I have more people who love me on earth, my worth increases.
In reality, my worth is set at a firm, non-negotiable price. It doesn’t even increase when someone prays a deeper favor or anointing over me. I’m still worth just as much as before… I’m still as significant now as the days I was living in sin.
I had a choice to make.
I could sit in the corner and pout, demanding that what I thought I “deserved” be given to me.
Or I could see the whole week as a success, my shadow-missions aside, and walk out in my secure identity, making my life about what I can give. Not what I can get.
I think I’m done acting like a five-year-old.
Sometimes acting like a five-year-old is way easier than putting aside your flesh and living your life off of truth. But one of my favorite things was spoken last week. “We’re called believers. Not feelers.” We don’t live our lives according to what we feel. We live them off of what we believe in faith to be true.
And I believe I’m not a pouter.