A week ago last Friday, I had the incredible privilege of speaking at chapel for Kings high school. Reminiscent of Leavenworth, the campus is tucked away north of Seattle. It was a gorgeous day ~ one of those where it seems spring has invaded January momentarily, and it felt like a vacation to drive away from little men fighting over Life cereal to speak to a group of young adults who actually might be interested in what I have to say. IMG_6940

I was greeted by the most lovely of staff, and upon entering the chapel, was overtaken by the energy of the clearly tight-knit and eager student body. With the Superbowl just days away, the crowd flooding in was a sea of blue and green; shoulders pressed together beneath chatter and laughter. A generally jovial spirit took over. The student-led worship was thoughtful and boasted great talent and heart. From the back, I looked over my notes, and gazed across the room, feeling the stories in that place – so much energy and excitement mingled with fear and brokenness, hope and despair, jealousy, crushes, insecurity and a tinge of arrogance. Their stories sat behind their eyes, visible to few, surely some visible to none.

As I took the stage and experienced the sweetest introduction I have ever been given by a dear woman who is sure to become a fast friend, I was struck by the fact that for several weeks, I had been praying for these individuals. These were the souls I had been talking with the Lord about; He knew them by name and theirs were the stories he planned to intersect with this morning. The holy spirit had specifically imparted a message for this very group on a flight home from Montana two weeks earlier. In seat 16B, I had scribbled furiously in my journal; it was one of those moments when God somehow got hold of my heart and my mind and from some deeper place, brought forth the fruit of scripture and truth that had been planted over years of following him. It was a message about identity.

And here I was face to face with those he loves.  Those I had prepared to share a scrumptious meal with on his behalf. I asked that the lights be brought down so that the faces in the crowd could be visible to me. I had to see these cherished young men and women that the Lord had been speaking to me about.

They were beautiful. Sitting expectant, some skeptical, I am sure. One already asleep.

But it was time.

My words came from that sacred ground where head and heart mingle with the holy spirit that God promised me when I put my faith in him. My story and God’s story {specifically that of my most favorite person in scripture, Peter} wove together to build a case for their story…. that there is life to be had and purpose to walk out despite our failure. That God has saved us from who we are NOT to become who we ARE meant to be.

I will post more of the content tomorrow, but the jist was that the truth of our identities – our value –  is under attack. Our own failures, our own over-promising, the lies we have been told have hi-jacked the truth of what God has promised He will do in us if we would trust Him, love him just a little, and allow him to take us beyond our potential… not for our own satisfaction and glory but for great purpose to yank others out of the same fog and into the saving light of Jesus!

At one point toward the close of the talk, I was derailed momentarily. It was as if I was interrupted, and I remember putting my fingers to my mouth and saying I was going to take a moment. I listened and opened my mouth and what emerged next with great conviction was a charge for each of those beloved men and women, for who God is calling them to BE and who the world desperately needs them to BE. A destiny only possible to attain through a trusting, messy, glorious friendship with Jesus.

I can’t remember all I said. I just know it was true. And they were listening. And hearts broke open. And God was excited that his kids were eyes and heart open hearing Him.

I have no doubt that there was movement in hearts that day. I have no doubt that in that room sat leaders of families and businesses and schools and ministries. I have do doubt in that room that there are stories unfolding of individuals who will lead others from brokenness to healing and bondage to freedom. I spoke to several of them afterwards and carry their names and faces with me.

I drove home by way of Dicks in Seattle and celebrated with Jesus what is to come over the most scrumptious cheeseburger on the most beautiful of Spring-invaded-January days. Because a spirit of truth and love invaded on that unassuming Friday. God is surprising like that.

I am praying for you Kings… God has given me a heart and a hope for you.

Until I see you again…


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