This is not the blog I was going to write. I had another blog rocking and rolling for this week. But then out of the blue God did something pretty fun and I felt like the telling of this story couldn’t wait. It doesn’t start out amazing. It’s about one of those crybaby kind of days. The kind of day you are not super proud of. The kind where you are sitting in a heap of self pity and you want everyone to feel that way for you. When a song comes on and suddenly you’re crying. When you read a verse about persevering, and suddenly you’re crying. And then you realize what a wimp you are and you cry even harder. Because you know there are others in the world struggling in ways that are significantly harder than you are at this moment in your life. But you realize you had promised God and yourself that you wouldn’t cry, so you begin crying about crying. Anyone else? Am I alone in this? So that was the beginning of this particular day...I was sitting at the kitchen table, feeling discouraged and having a rough time. And, obviously, crying. Work was staring at me, the hours were filled with meetings and, when it came down to it, really I just wanted to sit with the Lord. There are a handful of dreams and visions I wanted to pray through and I wanted to spend time hearing direction from the Lord. I simply couldn’t find the time. Or the head space. My mind was going 101 different directions. One of those directions involved a big ask. Our ministry is shifting a bit, in a really good and exciting way. But the good and exciting way led to each of our staff committing to asking five people to walk alongside of us in the form of donations to the ministry. It was something that was weighing on me. At the risk of sounding childish or overly dramatic, it was my worst nightmare. Okay, that does actually sound pretty dramatic - but for all of you non-sales people out there, I would guess you’re tracking! I’m horrible at asking for things, money most of all. I can’t sell anything to save my life. I had a sales job once that lasted all of one day and I quit at the end of the day in tears because it was so miserable. So I was a bit whiney about this new task. I was pretty sure I’d never be able to get one person, let alone five. That’s where I was at. And there were quite a few tears. So I did what I often do when I feel at my wit's end. I ignore the stuff and I start talking out loud to God. Why not? I’m a little quirky anyway. And it’s only my dog Oliver and I at home at this point. Lord I need something. Anything. Just some kind of encouragement. And I promise you, the very second I spoke that last word “encouragement”, my phone dinged with a text message that said “Hi Janae. This is (name). I had a pretty interesting dream....I think you will be encouraged by your role in it.” What?! Seriously God?! Did you really hear my cry and then answer me on the spot? Whoa. It was so immediate. Dramatic pause to let that sink in. If you don’t need a pause, I still do. Because that’s some personal relationship kind of stuff. God heard my cry, and He answered me immediately. At that point, the actual message wasn’t even as important as the fact that God heard me. Me. That and the fact that He answered. Once I let that all sink in, I realized the dream was probably important. So I asked if I could hear the dream and graciously, the person who had the dream called to tell it to me. The Lord used the section of the dream I was in to encourage me in my journey. To encourage me about who I am and what I’ve been asked by Him to do. And it gave me that desire to persevere. A call to action of sorts. A reminder that there isn’t time for tears or self pity, that there’s so much the Lord needs me, needs us, to do. But God wasn’t done. Just before hanging the phone up, the person asked a question about staff needing donors from an email that had gone out earlier. I answered, we chatted a few more minutes and then hung up. I received this text almost immediately after... “I hereby commit to being one of Janae's monthly supporters...” My first reaction - laughter. My second? Tears (remember, I’m a big baby) I couldn’t believe it. This person loved me that much. God loved me even more. And He knew. In Exodus 2:24 it says “And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.” He heard their cry. He remembered. He knew. The Lord knew I didn’t want to make a call, so He brought the call to me. Another whoa moment for me. He does that kind of thing. A lot more than I think we even realize. As if that wasn’t enough to convince me (and maybe you) that the Lord hears our cries, as I was working on this blog and as I typed the words I had said out loud earlier in the story, a song came on and the lyrics that were sung... Tears are falling, hearts are breaking How we need to hear from God You've been promised, we've been waiting Welcome Holy Child And then, just like that, the Lord brought me two more people to donate. And I actually felt the encouragement I had been crying out for. It came in an answer from the Lord and in an act of love and kindness from people in my life. It’s crazy, because the night before I had a dream where some men were coming to kill me. But before they attempted, they rang the doorbell, to make sure I was awake and fully aware of what was coming next. And the next - was them driving a large truck into my house, directly toward me, with the intent of killing me. The doorbell worked...in my dream, I was fully awake and aware of the impending attack. So I actually knew after praying through that dream, that going into that day, the enemy had something in store for me. Even still, I managed to let my guard down and let the petty lies of the enemy mess with me...You can’t do all this. Feeling discouraged yet? Why are you wasting your time? You’re not good at that...until I was at a point of needing encouragement from the One who gives it best. I’m thankful the enemy attack led me to cry out. But I’m even more thankful for a God who hears. It seemed like maybe someone needed to hear this today. To know that the times the enemy beats us down with his lies, the Lord hears your cry and He cares. And I’m believing with everything in me that He will answer. In small ways or in big ways, but in a way that is personal to you. You simply need to cry out.