Esther was experiencing ear pain and dizziness again. It had been happening on and off for years along with other health issues which included excruciating stomach pain that went misdiagnosed for years as well as… More
I had been thinking of going into business for myself but suddenly found myself very discouraged. Thoughts like “who am I kidding?” and “I am not even close to having the right skills” were coming to mind. I had been in business for myself before, and though it had not been entirely unsuccessful, I had experienced a difficult season where things did not go well and I had run into financial difficulty as a result. On top of my discouraging thoughts was the question, “What makes me think that won’t happen again?”
As I began to pray, this question came to mind as Catherine encouraged me to ask, “Lord, when was the first time I felt discouraged like this?” I also remembered feeling this way going to college. I had had a terrible time emotionally in college and eventually dropped out. In both cases, I sensed it was not God’s plan for me to do so, but it had happened.
Then Catherine asked if there was any other time. I suddenly remembered a time when I was about seven. It was my birthday, and my mom had taken me to the toy store to purchase a gift. It was GI JOE helicopter. The helicopter required assembly, and I was so excited I decided to try to assemble it myself. But I did not follow the directions perfectly and had accidentally snapped together the helicopter frame before placing the propeller assembly inside of it. I was stuck. When my dad got home, he yelled and screamed about how I had ruined it, and I felt crushed.
Catherine asked if I would ask Jesus how he felt when that happened, and I did. Suddenly I saw a scientist lab. There is a scene in the movie Meet the Robinsons, when the main character as a boy is led by his adoptive parents into his own scientist lab, which is the place where he will ultimately build his most famous inventions. And in my memory, I suddenly saw Jesus as my adoptive parent, and He was leading me to my lab. I then saw Jesus address my father, as if to say: Do not chastise the boy for his mistake, for this is his very first experiment. I felt protected. I also realized that Jesus knew me, and that he had great plans for me.
Then another memory suddenly came to mind of me at the age of about ten, in the bathroom of our house growing up, standing quietly in the dark. There had been a power failure, and it happened on a night when my dad had been drinking heavily and, as he typically did, terrorizing my mom. I felt so alone and so helpless and hopeless.
Then Catherine asked if I could see Jesus anywhere in that memory. It was strange, but suddenly I could. He was just outside the bathroom door, shining a flashlight underneath the door. I saw myself open the door a crack, and Jesus asked if I wanted to play one of my favorite childhood games with him. This was extremely significant to me for a number of reasons. I felt that Jesus really understood me and wanted to spend time with me.
Catherine then asked if I wanted (in my memory) to go outside of the bathroom and have Jesus pick me up. But I realized I was hesitant. I was afraid to open the door any further. I felt that if I let Jesus be in control that much, something bad would happen to me. Then, at Catherine’s leading, I repented for believing the lie that Jesus was scary and terrifying, just as my father had been. I also forgave my father for teaching me that God was too terrifying to trust. I did so, and I began to cry deeply. In my mind’s eye, I then saw me reach out my hand and Jesus scoop me up in his arms. He then struck or rebuked the darkness, or something in the darkness of the bathroom. Holding me in his arms, He then went around the house placing his hand on all my family members, telling them everything was going to be all right. It was as though He was a super hero. Then Catherine had me ask: Jesus, what would it be like if I was connected to you like this all the time? I did, and I sensed God saying, “You would be a super hero like me, too, setting people free from what hold’s them bound.”
I then asked, “Lord, if I go into business for myself again, will I fail?” And I sensed Him say, “If you go into business by yourself, then it is possible you might fail. But I want you to go into business with Me.” I then saw suddenly why my past business had run into difficulty. It was as if Jesus shined a light on the moment I had gone one way when he was leading me in another. I had not done so out of rebellion; I simply had done so out of ignorance, because I did not know God wanted to partner with me in business. I had thought God wanted me to do great things for Him, to secure His favor. It had not occurred to me He wanted me to do great things with Him. And it was He who wanted to do great things through me, as I did what came naturally as I remain connected to Him.
I am now excited about going into business with God. And I will never see myself and what I do in the same way again.
This story is true and was posted with permission. The names were changed to ensure privacy.
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From Mary, 43…
When we met to pray, all I could focus on was the intense pain radiating from the center of my stomach.
From Mila, 19…
From Steve, 26…
I met with Catherine to get help for the anxiety I was having about my relationship with my girlfriend, Ann.
From Liam, 14…
I contend people behave exactly as they believe.
So, if you want to change how you behave, you have to change what you’re believing.