Tammy Garcia has been a part of CTF since 2005 and presently co-leads the youth at CTF Mississauga alongside her...
This powerful testimony comes by way of Lillian Brown, who regularly faciliates revival meetings around Canada. It's a powerful reminder that God desires to use each and every one of us to minister restoration, not just those always out in front.
First, a little background on Norman, that he shared with me after the meeting. He had walked away from God after his five year old grandson died from cancer, and he was very angry. Under some urging from his friend, he came to the meeting that night. Norman shared with me this story.
“Well life can sometimes seem normal and the day goes according to plan, until you're hit with a sudden God moment. This was one of those days. I went to the city of Halifax to get some faucets for a new vanity I was installing. I heard that Lillian from Catch The Fire was speaking at a friend's house. To be completely honest I was curious about what she could possibly share; I knew that she was an organizer with a gift of administration and I never really had any sense of who she was as a person. I would have guessed that she was not a people person, but I thought I would go anyway and enjoy the blessing of my friends' company and hear Lillian’s message.
I stayed for supper at the house and then the people started to arrive. It was a full house and we started with worship which was really great as the people who were in attendance were all worshipping wholeheartedly, rather than being an audience. During worship, I saw myself standing on the edge of a cliff and I felt that the Lord wanted me to jump. It was foggy below so I could not see much. I didn’t understand as I thought 'I have no thoughts of suicide and God would not be telling me to jump…would He?' When worship finished, the atmosphere was charged and Lillian began to speak. She started by almost apologizing for the message as the Lord had just given it to her that very day and it didn’t seem to be very polished. I thought 'well I pegged this one right'. As she began to share, her message gripped my heart. This isn't what normally happens when I hear a message. As she continued sharing, the more messed up I was becoming as it seemed like she was addressing me and my stuff, though she knew nothing about me. As she finished her message she said “I see someone standing on the edge of a precipice. You have been dead for awhile! You want the real thing!”
We began to transition into prayer so I decided to go to the washroom. I was trying to process what I had just heard. I thought about getting on the road for the drive home. I went back into the room and went to go to my chair when Lillian intercepted me. She had a word for me. I was surprised as I never knew that Lillian moved in this gift so I was completely unprepared and disarmed. I saw someone else coming towards us with their phone recorder on. Lillian started to release the prophetic like it was bursting to get out of her. I had heard many words in my life however I never trusted nor valued them, rather I was merely entertained by them.
This word was different! She began to speak about how God was putting a lasso around me coloured with red and gold. I quickly began to realize that it was really Him speaking to me through her. He was affirming me as a son and was saying "Please come home son, I love you." Lillian seemed to be broken and her eyes were filled with tears as she spoke. I suddenly thought 'What? Would God’s heart be broken for me? Does He really still love me?' I thought God was done with me. I was sure that this word was from Him as this message was somehow bypassing my mind and going right to my heart. God was asking me to trust Him once more. Boom! That was it. No one knew that my trust in Him was broken but He and I.
I left that night and had the long drive home to ponder what I had heard. I was so happy on the inside. I had been believing the lie that God wanted nothing to do with me, but He actually hadn't given up on me.
Since then I have been trusting God with more, and our 'REAL' relationship has gone deeper. I have regained a sense of peace that had been lost. God and I continue to work on some more inner healing, such as self protection and vain imaginations, as I believe more and more that my trust (100% of it) belongs with Him. Life really does flow from Him and doing the outward religious things will never satisfy and will not give you peace. Peace comes from being part of a family and being called a son by your heavenly Father. I got to hear that. I actually have the audio of the word Lillian gave and I use it as a marker in my life. This was when God met me to speak truth to me. So if I am being assaulted by the enemy or wavering in my trust and faith I can re-listen to this and be strengthened with the reminder of who I am and not what the enemy tells me.
Oddly enough, as I was asked to recount this story I felt that I should share it recently at a men’s group in Sherbrooke. I wasn’t sure how 'receiving a word' would go over with them, as it wasn't regularly done there, but I told the story anyway. I shared with them that I didn’t even realize how estranged things had become between the Lord and I. After I gave them the foundation of what happened I played the audio for them to hear it. I think all were touched by it but everyone present was quiet. The person facilitating the group said we would return to the topic later. I was particularly curious how the Baptist Pastor was going to receive it, or even reject it as something crazy. The night went on and then the Pastor said to me. “ I would like to ask you a question about that word, Norman.” I thought 'Uh oh, here it comes.' He then asked me if it would be okay if he received that word for himself too. He felt that God was saying the same thing to him and perhaps many others. Wow!
Like I said, this encounter with God was a marker that I can refer to much like one does when one wants to know where his property line is. Check the marker.
Should Lillian return I will not be fool enough to think 'What could this organizer, this administrator type ever release from God?' Ya didn’t see this coming!"
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