This has been an amazing holiday season! Being back home with my family and friends surrounded by their love has been a wonderful blessing. But this Christmas and New Years has been even more amazing because God made a way for me to combine my immediate family and friends with my South African family and friends. My two worlds gloriously met and merged to share my favorite time of year together. God just keeps spoiling me!
It was an honor to show some of my friends from South Africa my Atlanta home. I got a chance to be a visitor in my own city. We drove from one end of the State of Georgia to the next these past two and half weeks. From the historic Auburn Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. birth home and museum to the big tourist attractions of the Georgia Aquarium and World of Coke we did and saw it all. Two of my friends from South Africa was their very first time in the United States, so it was even more of a treat to share my country with them. Spending countless hours in their new favorite store, Walmart, even getting the opportunity to travel down to Savannah we truly had a ball! God’s favor was all over our trip and He made a way for us to do and see so much.
But my absolute favorite part of my time home and their visit was how God used us to be a blessing to my family and others. Even though we were all on holiday God still had an assignment that is currently (and I am confident for the rest of the year) changing our lives and the way we trust God.
I must note that this was never a part of the agenda when planning this trip to Atlanta. Although this whole “Atlanta for Christmas” idea started off as a joke back in June, God showed up and showed out by not only making it happen, but also using us in unexpected but amazing ways.
So what was God’s assignment for us? Pray for my family.
The assignment was simple but powerful from the way God separately placed it on each of our hearts to how it was carried out. We all agreed that God wanted us to pray for my family and even share prophetic words with them just to bless them and encourage them in the way God would lead. We didn’t decide on a date or the perfect time, we all trusted that God would reveal to us His date and time for us to pray. That day and time turned out to be Christmas morning.
It should have been easy to gather all of my immediate family into one room at one time to pray and seek God together, but it was easier said than done. So before we gathered everyone together we spent some time together praying and seeking God to speak to and move in us. To give us words for each of my family members. That even if things didn’t go according to our plan we would not give up or become discouraged in the mission. We would press forward because we knew that God had a powerful word to share with my family.
Now just a quick word about my family. Like any family we had and still have our ups and downs, but love each other fiercely. We all have our own burdens we carry daily that need deliverance, so there was plenty of need for our prayer. Not only that the enemy had been on full attack mode for far too long in my family. From division in my parent’s marriage to physical illnesses to delays and setbacks in my older sister and her husband receiving their new home. Satan was on a mission of his own, but I was determined to see victory in my home and family!
So we prepared for war. We came together under one accord and asked God for His guidance and authority. We believed God wanted to use us to help bring about healing and reconciliation, and we were more than willing to be His vessels.
We started with my father. The head of my family and a strong (and sometimes stubborn) man of God. We surrounded him in prayer and through the Holy Spirit’s prompting prayed with power and conviction. I am confident that the quiet tears and soft tremors coming from my father were an indication of God’s words piercing his heart.
My mother was next and before we could even lay hands on her the tears started to roll. Rest and identity were the blessings God used us to pray over her life.
Next came my older sister and her family, and God used us to heal her and my nephew’s cold. God also breathed through us words of encouragement and a reminder that He was in control and had everything under His control including the status of their dream home.
Then my younger sister which was truly a joyous treat. For God had a special message for His special and uniquely made daughter.
Finally was my younger brother and his girlfriend, who slipped in during the course of our prayer time. We spoke blessings over each of them individually and collectively. We prayed for God to bless their relationship and lead them back to Him.
Our voices rang off of the walls of our home. Echoed God’s promises and His love all around the hearts of my family. What an amazing gift to us, to be a gift to my family. Although we still had a tree full of beautifully wrapped presents several with each of our names on them, the real gift for me and my friends was being used in a mighty way by God. We were and still are amazed by His faithfulness. But God was not through with us yet, we still had more work to do.
Just yesterday on the first day of the year, God called us prayer warriors up again. But this time with no preparation on our parts. No three day fast, no all night prayer seeking Him, just willing hearts to do His will when asked. God asked and we hesitantly answered. God put two new people in front of us, who we only met an hour or two before, in front of us and said pray for my children. So what did we do…we prayed.
And how the Holy Spirit showed up and showed out is still blowing our minds! God came through in amazing ways and used us once again to be a blessing to His children. What an honor to be used by the Almighty King to bless His children! We were just four friends who wanted to spend a holiday in Atlanta. Tour some places, eat southern food, and relax after a long and hard year. But God had bigger plans.
On this second day of the new year, I look forward to all God has in store for us. If this is the way He honored our meager faith, then I can only imagine what He will do with bold and confident hearts ready and willing to do His will.