This is Bethany speaking. I am the daughter of Cate Morris and the co-founder of Run to Mercy so I will be writing on here periodically.
I am currently in my second year here at Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry in Redding, California. As a second year student I have the privilege of being able to accompany leaders in our environment around the world as their ministry team.
This past weekend I had the honor of going to Longview, Washington with a woman named Jenna Winston and a team of eight others. Jenna is a volunteer and leader in my revival group* and an absolute powerhouse. This woman is crazy amazing and has one of the most radical testimony of redemption and hope I have ever heard.
We left on Thursday morning and after many bathroom breaks, a flat tire, and Chick-fil-A (Can I get an amen?) and 12 hours of travel we made it to Washington. Relieved, tired, (and unfortunately sick) we were taken in by our beautiful host families.
On Friday morning we had the opportunity to go to the rehab center where Jenna had graduated years prior. There she shared her testimony of life after rehab and how God has gone above and beyond anything she could have ever hoped or imagined! Afterwards we had the honor of praying with the women and over their dreams.It was so beautiful and humbling to watch as Jesus encountered His precious daughters.
It only takes one encounter with King Jesus to change everything. Those moments are something I will never take lightly.
Friday evening we were welcomed into Evangel church with open arms.
In John 13:35 it says they will know you are Mine by the way you love.
Goodness, they love Jesus.
I had arrived sick, my voice was at least one if not two octaves lower than normal, and I felt like a greenhorn** next to my experienced ministry teammates. Yet I have never felt so at home, so covered, and so empowered to be fully myself in such a short amount of time. It was crazy. Things that normally felt like risks to me came easy.
We spent the entire weekend pouring ourselves out praying, speaking, worshiping, and prophesying. However looking back I can say I definitely got more than I gave.
Let me explain a little bit.
The past two years I have spent here at school has been life-changing. I’ve learned to hear the Father’s voice for myself and for others. I have learned to follow the Holy Spirit and how recognize when He wants to move in a room. I’ve learned what worship is. I’ve learned to read and understand the Bible. I’ve learned to serve. I’ve sat under so many teachings sometimes I think they are going to come out of my ears. It is WONDERFUL. I would never trade it, not for a million years.
However, without love all of that is just a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. It means nothing.
Last weekend I once again caught a glimpse of the power of the love of the Father.
It’s not contingent on what I say.
It’s not contingent on how I “perform.”
I don’t have to “do” anything.
It is unconditional.
I’m a daughter.
And He is a really good dad.
I’ve always known love in my head, but it is hitting deeper.
God loves me.
Such a simple statement, yet if pondered will leave you undone every single time.
I am a firm believer in the fact you can choose one aspect of the character of God and explore it for a lifetime and never come close to the end of its realities. He is just that big.
Yet it is so easy to become numb to the reality of love of God because it is thrown around so flippantly. There is a pressure subconsciously that says,
“You should know this already,”
“You should be done by now.”
“This is an elementary teaching, it’s time to move on to more complex truths.”
“You are behind where you should be, you need to keep up.”
But really, it is the opposite. If you feel like you need to “move on” and “do,” you probably really need to just sit and be loved a little longer.
I am challenged to not turn the page; to not move on.
I am challenged to stop; to sit and wonder.
I am challenged to engage; to stay gazing, captivated by the face of love.
There is no need to do. To work. To earn.
I am loved in spite of it all. There is no striving in perfect love. He never asks that I earn His affections, because I could never earn something that is free. I never have to fight for His attention because His eyes are always on me.
So why would I ever choose to move away from the splendor of His majesty? Why choose to strive when the invitation to sit at His feet is continually extended towards us? Why settle for normal life when He has dreams that go beyond our capacity to dream up ourselves? Why?
*a group of 70 students with an overseeing pastor within the school of 700 students.
**a person who is new to or inexperienced at a particular activity.