Merry Christmas dear friends. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year. I asked God for an encouraging and uplifting post to share with you as we celebrate the birth of our precious savior. He put it on my spirit to share the story of how League of Hope came to be. It is truly the most incredible, “God’s all over it” story, and it is with great joy that I share it with you now.
This story begins almost a year ago, on a Sunday in January 2018. It was a normal Sunday morning. Jeff, the girls and I pulled into the church parking lot and prepared to haul our bundled up girls, 3 diaper bags, and the kitchen sink into the church. We were still adjusting to life with two kids under 3. On our 30 minute drive into town, we had been discussing our need to really hear from the Lord. We decided to say a quick prayer in the parking lot before walking in, not realizing just how huge He would show up for us that day.
We got the girls checked into kid’s church and made our way into the sanctuary. As we walked in, my eyes immediately found the horse tank at the front of the room. It was baptism day. God started pulling at my heart the way he had been doing for many, many months. I knew He had been calling me to get baptized for sometime now, but my usual rejections made their way into my consciousness. 1. I had already been baptized as a kid. 2. I don’t want to take the attention away from people who have never been baptized. 3. I’m already saved, I don’t need to do it again. 4. I’m not wearing the right clothes. Nevertheless, He kept pulling on my heart as I continued to lock gaze on the tank throughout the service.
We had a guest speaker that day, named Pastor Dick Young. He had founded our church years ago; and remained a mentor to our current pastor, Gaylan Huck. I remember only one thing about Pastor Young’s message that day. He was talking about meeting a colleague at a local hotel that is now a vacant, condemned building in our city. The hotel’s name was the Hitching Post. When he said the words Hitching Post, I received a vivid vision. It was startling how clear it was and how it took over my mind. I could see this Hitching Post Hotel, which I had driven by many times, but never given much thought to, transformed into a beautiful living facility for women and children. I saw everything in great detail. There was a quarter section that was designated as living space for homeless women and their children. There was a section for homeless teens. There was a section that was a recovery center for women trying to get clean and sober. There was a childcare center for women that were struggling to pay for childcare while working to support their families. There was a security fence around the entire property. It was a place of beauty and refuge. It was astounding. Not only could I see the building in great detail, but I knew what purpose each segment of the building was for.
By the time I came out of the vision, I was in tears and complete shock. I had never received a vision from the Lord before. It was time for the baptisms. I looked at Jeff and told him, “I’m going up.” A look of surprise and excitement came over his face as I walked past him and into the aisle. Jeff followed me to the front, and we waited in line. I had a very strong feeling of being in God’s will, and I felt His presence like He was standing right beside me.
It was my turn, I climbed into the tank and was baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. All of the hesitations that I had been feeling for months about re-committing my life to Christ were washed away as I was washed clean. I knew I was exactly where God wanted me to be in that moment and I felt a surreal peace as I was brought up out of the water. I wasn’t prepared for what came next though.
As I got out of the tank and was given a towel to dry off, Pastor Dick Young came up to meet me. He said the Lord had told him that my getting baptized today was not an act of salvation; that I was already saved. He went on, that my getting baptized was an act of obedience, and that since I had been obedient, God was ready for me to step into the calling He has on my life. Whoa. So God had given me a crystal clear vision during the service, he had asked me to get baptized, and now he was confirming the vision he had just given me. Was this real? I.Was. In. Awe.
I still get goosebumps and feel overwhelmed by God’s reckless love when I share this story. I wonder why God would choose me, a sinner with a bad past and a track record of not following through on things. Before that day, a living center for struggling women, teens and children was no where on my radar, but boy was it now! I hope this story of how the vision was given to me encourages you. The story by no means stops here. In part 2, I will explain the rest of the story, how He called the five of us women together and what has happened up to the point we are at now. You will want to tune in for that one, the story gets even better.
Until then precious one,