Have you ever felt nearly “blown away” by the awesome and timely hand of God at work? When was the last time you encountered a supernatural moving of the spirit of God in your life? Are you “still” enough before God to know His heart and then able to rejoice when you see His plan unfolding before your eyes?
I have discovered when my life is intense with responsibilities and demands, I don’t take enough time to hear the voice of Jesus. I miss many of the blessings and miracles that God intended for me to see when this happens.
This morning, my heart is brimming with gratitude and praise as I reflect on the various manifestations of God’s spirit that I recently saw moving in an incredible way. I love the times when I specifically pray for something, and God goes above and beyond all my expectations!
My husband and I had the opportunity to minister for seven consecutive days at two prisons in the state of Florida. I went to the women’s prison and Duane was at the men’s prison across the street. Each morning, we left around 6:30 AM and returned around 9:30 PM. The days were long and emotionally draining, but it was one of the best weeks of my life. I had eleven inmates on my team, and they quickly became precious to me as they began to open their hearts and lives with me. We were able to eat some meals with the ladies and many good conversations took place as we walked to and from the “chow hall” together. We had collective times of teaching as a whole group, sharing times within our teams, and one-on-one times with those on our team. During the first day, I was keenly aware of my need to hear God’s voice and to rely on the promptings of His Holy Spirit.
Many (I think I could safely say ALL!) of these dear women have been deeply wounded and devastated by the consequences of sin and have faced horrendous pain in their lives. Each of them need to be in prison because of the crimes they have committed, however, the events that led up to these crimes are often more painful than most of us can truly grasp. I heard many stories of years of physical and sexual abuse that most of them suffered from multiple family members. Many of these began as early as three and four years old. As I helped to lead them on their journey of forgiving their offenders, I had to pray that I don’t take up an offense towards the ones who damaged them in such an appalling way. I wasn’t surprised when I heard these women confessing they were in prison for murdering their abuser.
There was one twenty-four year old girl, whom I will call Tiffany, that was very resistant and defiant toward everything that was being shared. God gave me His love for her, and I was fervently praying for her all week. She refused to pray with our team and was easily distracted during our sharing times. As the week progressed, I cried with her as she finally opened up and shared some of her life’s journey with me. The walls around her heart slowly came down. Tiffany began to ask for one-on-one times with me, and she admitted that she had never committed her life to the Lord. She told me, “I do everything wholeheartedly or not at all!” I expressed my excitement about this because I knew she has great potential to be used in a mighty way for God.
On Thursday, each of the teams had an emphasis on delighting in the Lord, and we were able to fast and pray together. During our individual team time, we had an incredible moving of God’s spirit as we wept and prayed together. The women made restitution with the others within the team, shared their greatest fears, and confessed deep secrets and lies that they had never shared with anyone before. As the first woman began crying and sharing, it had a domino affect as this led to each of them wanting to be set free from these hidden sins. When they began shaking and confessing the dark details surrounding their crimes, I knew they had begun to reach a new level of freedom and healing. As I wept and prayed with these precious and broken jewels of God, I was overcome with awe at the sweet presence of Jesus. It was a “holy ground” experience that I will never forget!
Around 4:00 on Saturday morning, God woke me up and prompted me to earnestly pray for Tiffany. He also laid it on my heart to fast for her salvation. I shared this prayer request with my family and the rest of the team leaders. Just minutes before the inmates filed in, each of us team leaders joined hands, and with one accord, we cried out for Tiffany’s salvation. It was literally one minute later when she walked in and excitedly came up to me, grabbed both of my hands, and declared, “Mrs. Mullett! I am ready! I want to totally give my whole life to the Lord. Can you please come and pray with me right NOW?” A few minutes later, I had the blessing of leading this defiant and high-spirited young lady to the Lord. After leading her through the plan of salvation, I asked her if she wanted to follow me in prayer or pray her own prayer. She exclaimed, “I want to pray my own prayer!” She then prayed a beautiful prayer of surrender and committed her life to the Lordship of Jesus. It was hard to believe this was the same woman who refused to participate in prayer just a few days ago! Over the next two days, it was amazing to see the transformation that took place in Tiffany’s heart and life. Praise the Lord! She found true freedom in Christ!
On Sunday evening, it was time to conclude the special week together and say good-bye. Tiffany told me that she almost didn’t come that day because she didn’t want to think about saying good-bye. As the final moments ended, she hugged me a couple of times and broke down and audibly sobbed. She had been afraid to open her heart because she had been badly abused by her step-dad and severely rejected and mistreated by her mom, but once she did, she discovered that it is okay to be vulnerable and to love. Please continue to pray for Tiffany as God molds her into His image and continues the work that He started in her life.
I wish I could effectively portray what took place as we tearfully said good-bye to each of the eighty some women that participated in this “Journey to the Heart” seminar. Each of us team leaders lined up outside, and we hugged each of the inmates as they filed out and said good-bye to us. Most of them had tears streaming down their faces — and so did we. As they walked in single file across the compound, surrounded by high, electric, razor blade fences, they were unitedly singing a beautiful hymn of praise to their loving Heavenly Father. As I watched them go, I knew that I was leaving a big part of my heart at the Lowell Correctional Institution. What a blessing I received when I was able to see the hand of God move in such a mighty and powerful way!
Jackie HardenPosted at 08:40h, 21 April
Wow, Cindy this is so wonderful! Praise God for His work here & in the lives of these women. This must be so rewarding to you. May His blessings continue.
Duane & CindyPosted at 16:54h, 21 April
Amen, Jackie! Yes…being a small part of the work God is doing is VERY rewarding. I praise the Lord for making this possible. ~Cindy
Natasha MetzlerPosted at 10:47h, 22 April
What a glorious story of God’s redemptive grace!
Duane & CindyPosted at 15:25h, 22 April
Praise the Lord, Natasha! He deserves all the glory! ~Cindy