The Story.

MAY 19-21, 2008

The three days that changed the trajectory of my life.

People always ask me “what happened?”

I went from believer to KNOWER.



Settle in. This is a long one.

I now separate my life into PRE-May 19-21,2008 and POST. Those three days were THAT significant. I got in the car on a Monday morning to drive three hours to Charlotte for a “healing conference.” I’d tried everything else and my body was tired, in pain, and broken. Little did I know that so was my spirit. Pre-May, I did EVERYTHING in my own strength (including women’s ministry and going to church every Sunday). I was driven, successful, had it “all going on”. The house, the car, the boat, the fam, the titles, the money. All the things we’re conditioned to believe will make all things right.

They don’t.

I arrived in Charlotte desperate, broken, absolutely exhausted. I pulled into the church parking lot around 9am...expecting to see maybe 100 other cars...but what greeted me was men directing traffic and soooooo many cars they were having to open up overflow parking. Seems there were a lot of us desperate people.

I checked in. Unpacked. Kind of wandered around until things got started. I was like “What the heck!?! How did I get HERE?” But I knew I was where I was supposed to be. Instead of the one hundred or so people I expected...I was greeted by more than 1,000 people from all over the world. I knew no one. I’m pretty sure being alone was part of God’s plan. I had no one to talk to or lean on ... just ME..well, and HIM. It was time to get super real and face some things. You know, often our busy-ness is simply a creative way to AVOID the things that are tough and hard and might hurt. We can go as long as we want, but at some point, it’s GOING to have to be addressed.

Anyway...the night session opened with worship. I found a little spot way in the back to observe and fade into the background. God had other plans. He had me right where He wanted me. I don’t remember who sang, what songs, who spoke or what message they delivered. What I DO remember...and really, that word is lame for this situation...what is ETCHED in my mind and my heart are the MOMENTS.

The first one happened right out of the gate.

Disclaimer...I know some of this may sound weird to some of you. I get it. I was raised in a nice denominational box also...and had NEVER experienced anything like this before. Hang with me.

It took a minute to stop feeling self-conscious and looking at other people...and so, I closed my eyes to worship. Within a few minutes, my body started feeling a way it’s never felt. Massive waves of electricity were flowing through it and every cell was vibrating.

In that moment, I saw HIM.

He was standing behind me about 10 feet away on the second stair. There he was. Clear as day. The rest of the room faded away. He walked towards me. The electricity and vibration got stronger and stronger...almost to the point I didn’t think I could take it anymore. He made his way to my RIGHT SIDE and as He stood there next to me, THAT SIDE felt like it was being pulled towards him. Every single hair was standing completely on end. He looked at me and said “Follow Me.” And from that moment on, I’ve been undone.

The next day proved to be as full of encounter as the night before. He wasn’t done with me fact, he had only just begun. As I think back...maybe He showed Himself to me first so I wouldn’t be so afraid about what was to come. LOTS happened. LOTS was whispered in my ear. Lots of random people would walk up to me and say things no one could have known EXCEPT by divine revelation.

He was clearly after my heart.

Much of it has kind of blurred together. It was so much to take in.

On that afternoon, however, the tears came. Not like “oh I’m crying, pass the tissues” tears but like guttural, moaning tears from a place so deep I didn’t even know it existed. I ALL had to come out and I could not stop. As I laid on the floor in a ball...who knows for how long...I began to feel that electric vibration again and as I looked up, there He was … walking towards me.

He was so different than the night before. The night before, he was in a very simple, plain, white, one piece of clothing. Also, he did not seem very tall or big. But this time, THIS time, he was dressed in a beautiful blue robe and seemed soooo much bigger, taller, even more radiant and he was walking towards me. Y’all. Walking. Towards. Me.

Me...the me curled up in a ball in a puddle on the floor.

I thought that surely he’d stop and say something, but not a word was spoken. He just kept walking. Closer. Closer. Closer. Closer. I’m kind of freaking out inside. The closer he got the more my body was on fire and vibrating with that electricity again. Finally, he was so close I couldn’t even see his face. He was engulfing me. And, with the last step, he took his two hands and OPENED UP HIS CHEST and the next thing I knew...he was taking me INTO HIS HEART. Like INTO it. My whole body began to beat to the rhythm of a heartbeat. Y’all. I. Was. In. His. Heart. I have no words.

Writing this now, it’s making me think of all the scriptures we read and don’t really “get” OR we read them and think they are simply a picture or metaphor. He is IN us and we are IN HIM. The physicality and actual experience and the REALITY of being IN his heart is exact truth. You and me are IN His heart. It’s the beat and the rhythm we’re supposed to walk to...the place we’re supposed to LIVE from.

An incredible truth.

And so, there I was. In HIS heart. Beating to the rhythm of it. The next thing I knew...I was trying to get up. But here’s the thing. I. COULD. NOT. Like I literally could not move. I tried. I tried to lift my head...pinned to the ground. I tried to lift my legs...pinned to the ground. I tried to lift my arms...pinned to the ground. I started to freak out a little and try was like 500 pound weights were on me and it was completely IMPOSSIBLE to move even an inch.

Someone I had never seen before or since came out of nowhere and stooped down as low and close as she could to my head. She put her hand on my arm, and whispered in my ear:

“It’s Ok. BE STILL. It’s the Lord. He’s doing something. Let Him. He wants this to go from your head to your heart.”

And then she disappeared.

Back then, it seemed like such a SIMPLE statement said in the moment to calm me down...but now that I’m seeing it in black and white...I’m realizing that here I am, 16 years later, and that whispered statement still applies.

“It’s Ok. BE STILL. It’s the Lord. He’s doing something. Let Him. He wants this to go from your head to your heart.”

I laid there for what must have been HOURS. Every time I’d try to lift my head it was impossible. The evening session ended, the people all left, and yet, there I was...PINNED. Eventually, the cleaning crew came in and vacuumed around me. Yup. That happened. I actually started getting impatient and frustrated. (ummm, anyone else been there smack dab in the middle of the Lord DOING something?) I mean, clearly I was pinned the ground for a purpose..but now I wanted to GET UP AND MOVE. Not yet. Stay on the ground a little longer...

Finally, in the early morning hours, I tried to lift my head and it moved! Then my arms. Then my legs. Praise the Lord.

I GOT UP. Wobbly at best. A bit out of sorts. Still dumbfounded and in awe with a million questions running thru my head...oh wait, get out of your HEAD and into your’d I forget that so soon?

I began to walk back towards my seat (that I never sat in:) I needed to find my things. My bible. My journal. My bag of stuff. I took a few steps with my wobbly legs and then a few more. All of a sudden, it felt like my feet, shoes, and the backs of my legs were drenched with water. I stopped and leaned down to check. Nothing. Dry as a bone. I walked a few more steps. Water. Now it was up to my ankles. Sloshing. A few more steps. It was getting deeper. A few more steps. Water up to my knees. It 100% felt like I was walking through water and that my legs were SOAKED. I mean SOAKED. If my eyes had been closed you would not have been able to convince me otherwise. It was the craziest feeling ever. I knew I’d have to get to my hotel room and hang my clothes up to dry. Yet, there I was...dry to the bone.

The next morning, getting ready to leave for the three hour drive home just seemed painful. Not only did I feel like a wrung out rag and an excited child at the same time...but I didn’t know how to go BACK. I cried the whole way home. Who I was on Monday morning when I left was NOT who I was on Wednesday afternoon returning. Everything that was my life on Monday...which, by the way, looked AMAZING to anyone looking felt lackluster and dull. The things I cared about on Monday now seemed small and insignificant.

As I was driving BACK...I realized I could not GO BACK.

Encounter will do that to you. It’s because it bypasses every bit of reality...every argument in your head and it goes straight to your SPIRIT. THAT is where transformation happens. THAT is where life change happens. BY. THE. SPIRIT. Only through profound encounter do we get the courage to give everything up that WE and the world have deemed important. Like I said before...encounter takes you from BELIEVER to KNOWER...and once you’re a can never go back to being merely a BELIEVER.

I made it home. I made it in the door. I made it to the kitchen table to sit down and just look at Keith and wonder where to even begin. I knew that once I began, life as I had known it was over.

So there I was. Back in my world. A world that was beautiful and lovely and looked soooo great from the outside looking in. A fab husband. Beautiful child. Amazing home + horse farm with a fabulous address. A lake house. A boat. A church we loved. Parents that lived 20 minutes away. Two flourishing careers. Keith’s business was great and I was in the top 1% of income earners in my company. We were SETTLED and SECURE. But were we really!?! Settled and secure? Is that where God wants us? Sure of life because we have it all in OUR OWN HANDS? Is it all a facade? I can tell you one thing I’ve learned…it can come crumbling down in 2 seconds IF we have built it in our own strength AND relied upon our own wisdom to get there.

LOTS happened between May 21 and that August, but let’s just say we were on a fast track we couldn’t get off of. Everywhere we looked, something was prophetically telling us to move and leave it all behind. Every time we turned around, someone would say something that confirmed what we already knew in our spirits.

Y’all. This was our dream home. Our LAST HOME. We remodeled it with every bit of love and intention because we KNEW we’d be there forever. We were SETTLED + SECURE. Done. Never moving again.  So lest you read some of the above and were tempted to write me off as a crazy person or to NOT believe that Jesus is real and that He is actually still ALIVE and that it’s possible to encounter Him...I can guarantee you that NOTHING on God’s green earth could have made us move...except God.

The scripture “seek first the KINGDOM” took on new meaning and did NOT merely seem like a suggestion any more.

I mean...we loved God...but we had been seeking and building our OWN kingdom...all while serving in ministries and loving our church fam and really, really believing we were on track.

Those days were OVER.

We wondered how in the world we were going to explain to ANYONE why we were leaving EVERYTHING behind. And then, we realized we couldn’t and that really didn’t matter. IF we were going to follow God...we had to learn to be okay with being misunderstood. We knew that walking in fear of man or people pleasing would keep us from moving forward and there was no way we were NOT moving forward. We simply could NOT stay where we were.

Listen. You and I have a choice daily: follow God or be too intimidated by others to do so. It will NEVER make sense to the natural mind...the list making...the pro/con list...the bank account...the 40 year retirement plan. NEVER. That’s why it requires FAITH and TRUST in someone and something other than yourself. It’s a WILD RIDE. I can promise you this: you’ll have high days and low days. Days your faith is soooo huge you KNOW you’re on the right path and can conquer anything...and then...days you question every bit of your sanity or if you even have any.

We DID put our last home, our dream home, on the market, much to the chagrin of our realtor who advised us that houses in our price range and with land were  NOT selling in THIS market. It was 2008. Remember the real estate market crash?

We had just had the house appraised to refinance and SETTLE IN for the long haul, so, we knew the value. It had just appraised at $950,000. After the meeting with our realtor...we were like “this house will never sell? What are we going to do? We can’t have this house here AND move?!!” Question after question came up in our NATURAL minds, and here was the first big roadblock. We felt discouraged. I decided to go take a shower to de-stress. As I was in the shower, I heard AS CLEAR AS DAY:

“List the house and list it for $888,000.”


I came back to the kitchen...told Keith...and IMMEDIATELY called the  realtor to come list it. 

And y’all...GUESS. WHAT. HAPPENED? (I know you’ve already guessed:)

Two weeks later on 8/8/8 our house went under contract for $888,000.

You cannot make stuff like that up.

We have a GOOD Father who leads us, talks to us, and helps orchestrate the WAY when we follow faith...down the paths that make no sense.

So there we were. Under contract. It was REAL.

Some people ask and pray and seek God’s will...thinking that when they “find it” the heavens will open up, the angels will sing, and joy will flood in. That’s not always the case. That’s why OBEDIENCE is the key for us to move forward into God’s BEST for us. He can see what we cannot see. He knows what we do not know. But the steps to get there aren’t always easy. Mostly they aren’t easy at all.

There were so many nights of crying ... then waking up to mornings of knowing. There were times of sitting on the couch saying “did we hear right? Is this real? Are we crazy? what if we DON’T move?”

The answer was always the same. Yes, it IS crazy. Yes, it IS real. If we don’t move we will KNOW we are in major disobedience.

The day we were all packed up…everything we owned in moving vans and ready to go...I went out to the horse pasture and hid behind a pine tree. I sat there for the longest time weeping and crying out to God. “God WHY!!?! I’m scared! What if I’m wrong? “

We have to know that he does NOT always lay out the whole plan for us. It’s not “show me the whole plan, God, so I can feel comfortable and secure in this decision and then I’ll go.” Nope. It’s “step out in your discomfort and be secure in ME and THEN I will show you.”

We knew the only way forward was forward and taking the next step into the complete unknown.

I’ve painted a picture of what we LEFT, now, let me paint a picture of where we LANDED.

• In a city where we knew virtually no one.
• In a one bedroom basement apartment.
• All of our stuff in a storage unit.
• Keith driving back and forth to Southern Pines and spending part of the week sleeping on the couch at my parent’s house.
• Katherine preparing to go to a new school.
• Me wandering around in shock with my “business brain” totally gone to mush and any desire to build my biz gone overnight.
• 2 farm dogs now in the basement apartment with us minus one cat we had to give away.

Sometimes, you have to leave the GOOD, venture into the unknown and what looks like LESS, so that eventually, you find the MORE.

So. There you have it. The beginning of this part of our STORY. I hope it’s stirred faith up in you. I hope it’s caused you to trust and believe in God even more. I hope it’s encouraged you. I hope it’s stretched you. I know it did that for me.

So much more to share from this crazy life called following Jesus.

I’m so glad you’re here to follow along.