In June of 2014, I had an encounter with a dynamic personality, that left a mark on my life.
I was at a Joyce Meyer conference. Of course, I was.
And Joyce’s speaking points seemed so simple. Of the “Of course, I already know that” sort. Yet, by the end of the 3-day seminar, I felt unusually changed. Different. Like, permanently.
Let me back up. The whole story started with an act of generosity. (Doesn’t it always?) A young minister, in a tight place, needed some health care. I decided to treat her, free of charge.
She turned out to be that most unusual Christian minister. A former homosexual. Ok, I can say it. Lesbian. God had brought her so far, and now she writes books and speaks all over the country, helping gays get free. The church finds her story very uncomfortable. And the gay community wants to destroy her.
But…salvation is real. Or it isn’t. Make up your mind.
And a person’s past is just that. Past.
I really liked this woman. She was warm, real and genuine. And, oh, so honest. Gut-level honest.
We started to talk about the church, homosexuality, and teenagers. All critical topics in this day and age. I shared with her my plans for a book on parenting teens, mentally healthy teens. She shared with me that 75% of lesbians were abused or molested as young people. We bonded over the need to educate Christian parents on godliness, Biblical sexuality, and Biblical empowerment. Especially for teens. Especially for girls.
Two days later, I got a call. It was her. “I have 6 passes for the ministers’ section at Joyce Meyer. I have women’s ministers for 5 of them. The Lord instructed me to offer you the last spot.” Would I like to come?
Joyce Meyer. Ministers’ section. Um, yeah…
So I took 3 days off and came. And God, through Joyce, changed my life. Again.
At the end of 3 days, I could tell I was different. I just couldn’t figure out why. The Holy Spirit is like that sometimes.
And to be honest, neither Joyce Meyer nor my ministry friend was the dynamic personality I mentioned at the beginning of this blog. That happened after.
At the end of 3 days of amazing ministry, I had a tug on my heart. I was, at that time, the employee physician for Kenneth Copeland Ministries. And I just knew I should drive out there.
Now, “KCM”, for those who work there, is not in Fort Worth. It’s….near. Sort of.
And Joyce was preaching in Fort Worth. But, that still small voice beckoned. Whispered. Smiled.
And I called my husband. My quality time and acts-of-service needing, amazing husband.
“Go ahead, take all day if you want to. I’m working on the car.” Huh.
45 minutes later, I pull through the gates of a very empty Kenneth Copeland Ministries campus. On a Saturday. Scratching my head, figuratively. And my phone rings.
It’s one of Brother Copeland’s assistants. And he wants to know if I could possibly drive out to the campus that day for a special meeting…These are the moments I love learning to be led by the Holy Spirit. Smile.
It is beyond the scope of this blog to detail the private workings of a KCM meeting, and highly unethical. It was a good meeting. Great, even.
But it was what happened after that marked me. Probably forever.
Everyone else left, and I found myself alone with Kenneth and Gloria Copeland. In their blue jeans. On a Saturday. Both of them incredibly sweet. And I did something crazy. I demanded that they let me pray for them.
Yeah. I really did that. To my childhood heroes and mentors. On the first day I really ever met them.
If you’re Baptist, it would be like meeting Billy Graham. And then demanding that he let you preach. (Cue wince here). And they let me. Very graciously.
I can honestly say that it was one of the more focused, concentrated prayers of my life. I pled the blood. I stood on the Word of God. I put pressure on our covenant with God through Jesus. (See, I really have listened to them all of my life).
And a funny thing happened.
God began to move. Brother Copeland (forgive the formality, but I deeply respect the man) started to pray, too. Then he preached. Then he sang. And, as he sang an old hymn to me and to his lovely wife, the craziest thing happened. A particular line in the song, completely unintended, yielded the answer. To our whole meeting.
I can’t tell you how excited we got. Like only Kenneth Copeland, and Karen Smith, if you knew me, can get excited.
We jumped. We laughed. We cried. We celebrated.
It’s so good to hear from God, through each other.
And he gave me his number. “Call me, girl, anytime you need anything.”
I remembered another preacher, Jerry Savelle, teaching on the favor of God. And I corrected myself.
“This happens to me all the time.”
And I said, like only a Texas-born, Texas-raised woman would, “You better make sure you wanna give me that.”
“What?” he asked.
“Brother Copeland, I’m a missionary. I was called at 7 years old. I’ve been preparing. And things are changing all around me. I’m going to need godly counsel. So I’m just saying, if you say I can call you, I probably will. Be sure.”
He grinned at me. “Girl, I said you could call me.”
Gloria smiled at me, and they left. I just sat down. And shook my head. This Jesus.
We met the next week. And I got godly counsel.
I followed it–all the way to Amarillo, and away from KCM.
And tomorrow I start volunteering at an inner city children’s ministry that serves 21 different nationalities in their ESL program.
I feel like a Rubik’s cube that’s been disassembled, lubricated and put back together.
And now God is spinning all the pieces into their places, solving the puzzles. (Cue whirring noise here).
CityChurch Amarillo. By morning. Here we go.
Pray for me, if you think about it.