Fearful no more, for Father has come

Categorized as Rhonda's Posts

Raising my eyes toward the heavens, I addressed my complaint to Almighty: “Where are the girls in my life?!” And that quick, Little Tooter dropped this, “They’re in Ohio.”

I laughed. Hard, and right out loud. His dad did, too, and I took that jewel with me.

Standing at the podium for Friday’s opening session, I shared it with the women who’d gathered at a camp in the hills of Ohio. We shared a hearty laugh, and off we went, scooting straight into the heart of our topic.

Looking out over the women of Holmes County, this girl from Elkhart County couldn’t help but think back to a night in the spring of 2012.  It had been a season of pressing hard into the fatherhood of God. I hadn’t gone looking for it. Hadn’t known I needed it, but Father knew. He’d seen, and He’d come with His loving persistence.

For days and weeks, He’d been pressing me hard. Every time I’d go to pray to Jesus or address a need to the Spirit, it was in very truth as though they would both step back, wordless, pointing a finger. “You go to Him. Go to Father. Tell Him.” And like that, a discomfort deep down. A shrinking back. Inexplicable reluctance…

One day, I said it out. Said it straight. “You’re takin’ me to the mat on this. I feel like a school kid, wriggling around in my seat. You’re makin’ me very uncomfortable.”

In the absolutely lovely, gentle, compassionate way that He has with His children, Father took me on a journey that led me deep, deep into His great, big heart. What no earthly dad could give, Father could. And He did. Oh, He did.

And so one night in the spring of last year, I was sharing this journey with my husband when I found myself speaking these words: “Someday, I’ll be teaching this stuff.” Then one day, an email, and on a chilly Friday night in October, I found myself speaking to women.

What a God we have. What a Shepherd. What a Dad. Oh, what a gracious Spirit! Seldom, if ever, in my life have I walked in such a state of calm. Of power. Of authority, joy and confidence. In a bubble of the deepest peace. It was supernatural. It was truly miraculous, and it came, in part, from the prayers.

For those of you who were covering me (and as such, you were loving those women), I cannot thank you enough. You, dear friends, will share the spoils of victory. How precious and kind you were in your loving obedience. If only you could have met these dear ones…

Sue, the Amish woman with the deepest peace upon her face. “It was the Word,” she said, “that changed me.” She’d just recently discovered the person of the Spirit, she said, and “I think it’s making a difference in my life.” (I could have shouted. Wanted to clap! Oh, here was a daughter who ‘got it.’)

The beautiful, young, single girls splashing joy, radiating Christ, all in love with Jesus. They want to know His plan for their lives, and I could not help but love them.

Brenda, the Facebook friend I finally met who–yes–is a kindred spirit. What a treasure, she, and her worship songs took us straight into the throne room.

The committed, hardworking committee who loved us all and loved us well.

The mothers and daughters who came to retreat, feasting together at His table. My friend from high school, Sheila, who came down on Saturday to surprise me. So many others, too many to name, who climbed into my heart and in His.

As my column readers say, “We laugh and we cry, but mostly we laugh.” Us, too, all us girls at retreat. Laughing, crying, snacking, playing, but most of all, loving the Father.

I told “my” girls that first evening session, “I used to be the scaredest girl this side of the Mississippi. In fact, both sides of the Mississippi.”

What glory! What grace! What mercy and joy to stand, finally, teaching God’s women…living, knowing and walking in my own new name, no longer the scaredest girl either side of any river. All glory and praise to Him.

Most warmly and with deepest gratitude,



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