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USA adventure (III): Rose On Aish

[Photo by Gabby Orcutt on Unsplash]
I had this as a draft for months, because I haven't taken time for it. Sad, but true. I'll continue with the posts about my trip to the United States of America, although it's a while ago, but I will link it together with an experience I had this summer. I "stepped" into a new year in another country on a different continent and the first day of the year was a Sunday. Going very late to bed the day before didn't hold me back from going to church in the morning. Rosie (read my previous post if you want to find out who she is) came to pick me up and at the entrance of the center, where I slept, I met an Asian girl, who asked me if I'm going to church (FCF). Then and there at that moment I didn't know that she'll become a very precious friend to me. As I told her that we are heading to FCF exactly at that moment, she asked if she can join me and another girl from my room. So, the four of us headed towards church. I was so happy to sit with them at church because we were so colored, if I may say so. European, Asian and two African-Americans. I was honored meeting them.


[Photo by Bart LaRue on Unsplash]
After the service we spoke a little bit and I just came to know that the Asian girl, named Yousun, was going to attend the summit I was going to. I really like her very much. I've been having a special place for Asian people in my heart, but never had an actual Asian friend. When I was a child we had visitors from South Korea and they played with us a lot. I only remember how much fun we had with them. I think my affection for them is coming from that time, because as I was growing up and seeing Asian tourists in our town, I looked at them with admiration. So, after the church service we were dropped off at the International House of Prayer University, where the Luke 18 Project Summit was, and hung around for a while until the summit started later that day. The summit was as a family meeting. I was surprised by the tighter group and by the people who were there, because I didn't have a clue what to expect. The first session started with worship led by Lauren Holmes and a sermon by Allen Hood.
The worship was very free, passionate and full of devotion and love rising towards Jesus from the depth of our hearts. It was one of the best worship moments I had, to be honest. We were singing from the core of our hearts and we sang about how much we love God and worship Him for who He is. I can't describe it, but it refreshed my heart. I felt His presence in an immense way, submersed in the sweetness of it, without finding fear of people or fear of change in my heart. It was more intimate than what I experienced at the One Thing Conference with thousands of other people. Actually while being at the conference I told myself: "Interesting, because I don't feel or experience something very peculiar here than what I experienced at home in front of my laptop watching the OneThingConference. I'm being touched and I feel His presence the same way. It's only a difference of place." I don't really know how to explain it, but God was the same for me and spoke to my heart in the same way in America at the Conference as He was in Romania watching it live. But this song describes the worship time at the summit, which was something unprecedented:

The sermon of Allen Hood, one of the leaders from the International House of Prayer, who stepped up, blew me totally away. I lost all my fences, my walls, my protections in front of God and I found myself lost in His love for me. How did this happen? You may ask yourself and I found myself asking exactly the same question. I saw Allen Hood share His message with such honesty, passion and zeal for God that he even trembled and his eyes were burning. His message was truly on fire, it was like Heaven descended for a while. He spoke about the Dwelling Place of God- an Open Heaven:
  • Nothing can contain God, because He's everywhere!
  • There are two places where God manifests His glory:
    1) On His Throne (Psalm 11:4, 115:3, Hebrew 12:22-24): in His Holy Temple, in the city of God, where the river of God flows out from. There's no need of the sun there, He is the light invading every corner. There everything is perfect, good, full of joy and pleasurable forever more (Psalm 16:11). He has prepared for you things you haven't seen, heard of, or even thought of. Those pleasures are not deceitful like these of this earth. Perfect creatures don't want to leave this place.
    2) In the inner man: God made a creature He can dwell in and that one wouldn't die, because this one was made for Him (Col. 1:27). The mountains melt before Him, but you do not, because you were meant for Him. 
  • The day will come when these two places will come together. 
  • Spiritual authority is given to you, you don't have to pray for it.
  • He finished it all, you just came out of darkness into His kingdom. You're welcome in the Holy of Holies. We can come whenever we want and we have family access, but the angels can't do that, they are waiting for His command, but you enter whenever you want. 
  • You've got the name of Jesus and it's your name and you can use it for His glory.

[God told me there,He sees me like this: on aish]

These were only a few of my notes, but I can tell that the atmosphere itself was electric.I don't know if everyone felt it, but I surely did. As Allen Hood was finishing up his message I heard a voice telling me: "If this man will pray for you by laying his hand on you, I'm going to fill you up with more of Me!" My first reaction was like "what a stupid thought. How can he pray for me? It's only one of my foolish thoughts!" After the message he made a call for those who want to burn and be on fire while walking their journey here on earth and I was the first who went to the front, because that's my name: Rose On Aish --> Rose On Fire. After this call I started to think about what I heard and asked myself if maybe it wasn't me thinking that thought, because I didn't expect Allen Hood to pray for me and wouldn't have thought it either. As more people gathered we prayed corporately and then worship started while I thought "will he really pray for me?" Allen Hood was praying for people and I waited for my turn, but that didn't come. So I started to question my motives and look at why I stepped forward. So I said: "I don't care if he'll do it. That's not so important, I'm here because of God. I'm here because I want to burn with passion. I'm here because of God's plan for my life. I'm not here to receive prayer! I want to love Jesus with all I am. I'm on fire and I will be forever! This is who I am." I closed my eyes, and started a love conversation with God! I was feeling soooo good that I said: "I don't even need prayer from him, I'm feeling Your presence and it's enough! I feel You up close AND I love it! Your nearness is enough!" I was adoring and worshiping God, not caring about what happened around me. I was in the very first row nearly on the first step of the stage offering all to Jesus. Then suddenly... somebody touched my forehead. Literally just touched it. And I flew to the ground like a bag of potatoes without my will or my knowledge. I don't know if it was Allen Hood or somebody else, but I suppose it was him because of what I heard before. While on the ground I received a revelation of how God sees me and how He named me. I knew who I am, I knew my identity: Rose on fire/aish. He called me on my name. I was overwhelmed by His goodness toward me and that He chose me to be His. I was weeping because of what I was feeling and because of how good it felt to be loved, chosen, cared for so much, given a specific and personal identity, laid hold of, invited, accepted, pulled closer, found beautiful and unmatched. It's unthinkable and inexplicable. I felt His closeness. It's something I can't find enough words for, but if I could summarize it and use one word I'd use "delight". The Merriam Webster dictionary describes delight as a source of great satisfaction, someone or something that provides enjoyment and the feeling experienced when one's wishes are met. That's why I would choose that word, because it best describes what I experienced. The session ended but I remained there because I didn't want to loose the "sweetness" of it all.

I wrote at the beginning that I'll link this to something that happened this summer. On my trip around Europe this summer I've been hearing voices inside my head telling me where I lack something in my life or what I'm not doing very good. Like "You love languages but you can't speak them as well as the natives of those languages" or "you're not that pretty, you're not blonde, your smile isn't good enough, you're wearing glasses, etc." I'm a perfectionist and when I learn or do something, I try to do it pretty perfectly although I never can, but I'm giving my best. I'm criticizing myself too much and I'm always correcting myself which makes my life often miserable, because I can't enjoy who I am. And if I'm bluntly honest when I'm myself I feel so free and happy. It's when I enjoy who I am and live without analyzing every little mistake I have or make. While sitting in the car during the trip and listening to all these negative thoughts, I heard the song Catch the Wind by Jonathan and Melissa Helser where it says:

I am strong and full of life
I am steadfast, no compromise
I lift my sails to the sky
I’m gonna catch the wind
I am bold, no fear inside
Spread my wings, open my life
Like an eagle, whose home is the sky
I’m gonna catch the wind, I’m gonna catch the wind

Chorus
Your faithfulness will never let me down
I’m confident I’ll see Your goodness now
I know You hear my heart, I’m singing out
There’s nothing that can stop Your goodness now
Your faithfulness will never let me down
I’m confident I’ll see Your goodness now
I know You hear my heart, I’m singing out
There’s nothing that can stop Your goodness now

Catch The Wind by Jonathan and Melissa Helser


While struggling with all those thoughts, this song reminded me of who I am and again, God started speaking directly about my identity. I found the power and courage to tell all those critics: "Stop! It's enough... I don't care anymore! I don't care how well I can do something, I don't care how I look, I don't care how people look at me, I don't care how well I speak a language...! I'm confident and stand tall, because I'm in a relationship with a Person, who doesn't look at such things, but hears my heart and oh, takes so good care of it!" I hope you don't misunderstand me, I won't say that I won't improve, but I'm saying that these thoughts won't be my driving powers in life anymore. I am free to say, I AM ENOUGH AS I AM BY GOD'S GRACE! I don't have to be preoccupied with my own self, because it finds its joy and delight in concentrating on God, not self. I had wrong assumptions that I can find something in my "self" that is best for my "self'". Complicated, isn't it? I just try to explain how "self" can't be the solution to its own problems. I realized after starting a book and listening to a sermon about God's self-sufficiency that He created me out of His overflow of goodness for me, to share the joy He finds in Himself. There is nothing that satisfies me better, deeper, higher, greater than God. Not my feelings, my triumphs, my popularity, my family, my fame, my victories, my beauty, my fears, etc. I'm learning to take off my eyes of myself and look at God. I know it's a journey and I feel like I've already been here, but I know I'm on a training field and I'm sure I'll learn how to do that with His help. I desire to make His glory the object of my attention, or even the object of my obsession.

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