Being Stretched

The summer of 2014 was great. It was filled with private encounters in nature, amazing encounters at youth camp with amazing people, my first missions trip and an amazing time in Florida at Rodney Howard-Browne’s Summer Campmeeting. During the campmeeting, I had an encounter with God that would be a precursor to what He did to me in Trinidad on my first missions outreach.

During my vacation trip to Florida last summer with some close friends who are basically family to me, we stopped by a church for several days after hearing Rodney was hosting his conference not too far from where we were at. We decided to go and see how the services were and stay a few days to get some awesome God time. We went the first couple of days and nights and had some great moments but nothing too out of the ordinary. We had decided after a few days that we would leave and start to head back to Florida. Well… it turns out that as we had arrived back from what seemed like our last Campmeeting service, we find the RV we were traveling in had been flooded… By God. Turns out something related to the sink made water go everywhere. So hey! While we now had to stick around to fix the RV, why not go to more of Rodney’s services? So we did. And that’s when it all made sense. Aside from the family I was with having a life-changing experience themselves, I had my first supernatural encounter with my Father. I had gotten sick and had been enjoying the services by sitting back and relaxing, trying to just soak everything in. As I was sitting back with my eyes closed, just listening, I noticed Rodney’s voice seemed a bit louder than normal. I figured he might’ve been around us. All of the sudden I hear the words “Is this your family?” being uttered over the loudspeakers and although I knew it was Rodney, I somehow knew that he had been talking to us. I opened my eyes and looked over and sure enough, Rodney was standing there at the end of our row, looking at the father of the family I was with. He gave a nod at Rodney, to answer his question, and Rodney responded by asking us to all come up forward. My heart started beating faster and faster with every step I made towards the front. I got to the front and Rodney started laying out the people I was with, one by one. He got to me, laid his hands, and without even a push or anything, I was slain out in the spirit. At first I didn’t really experience too much out of the ordinary. I was a little loopy and things seemed funny but nothing to a great extent. But then…. I had this great feeling overcome me. As I lay there, every muscle in my body went limp and I couldn’t move. After a few seconds, I noticed that although I could not move my hands, they were in a slightly different position than I had previously been in. They had somehow moved just the slightest bit from where they were before without me even knowing it. That’s when it hit me. Every muscle in my body had been sort of swelling and contracting all on its own, as if it were being stretched. God was stretching me. I let God do whatever it was He wanted to do, even as weird as it might’ve been. After a while, I started to come back to reality and slowly got up and realized the service had just ended. We all got up, left, and I started contemplating what this all meant.

As much as I didn’t really know why God was doing what He did, I knew it was Him. There’s no doubt. After we got back from Florida, it wasn’t long until I had to leave for Trinidad. I left for Trinidad and after the first couple of days, I realized that the stretching was all a precursor to what God was going to do to me in Trinidad and at CFNI over the next few months. He was going to stretch me as he threw me into things I felt I was not ready for at all. God has no doubt stretched me beyond my believed limits and is constantly refining me in many ways. As children of God, we often believe we must be prepared enough to go do the things God has called us to do, but we might find that if we stay back until we are ready, we would spend a lifetime trying to prepare. We just need to go. Once we go, God will stretch us out to be where we need to be.